Start, as ever, with the known facts:

  1. The financial crisis wasn't caused by schoolchildren
  2. The financial crisis wasn't caused by pensioners
  3. The financial crisis wasn't caused by the Civil Service

Why, then, are those three groups this week's target list?  Well, go and read Gerry Hassan's piece today and a train of thought does pull out of the station - what we're seeing from the Coalition is an attempt by the people whose power caused the fiscal instability to retain that power at all costs.  This explains a number of things:

  1. the wanktanks - the likes of Policy Exchange and the Taxpayer's Alliance exist to turn business funding into right-wing talking points
  2. the Times/Telegraph/Sun/Mail/Express spin machine - this exists to turn wanktankery into public received opinion
  3. Journalist-politicians - reliability in a politician is nowadays defined as how well he can put Daily Mail Island into practice.  Andy Coulson is your key man here

The trick here is to find the cracks where this doesn't hang together - the nice thing about being both a realist and something of a conspiracy theorist is the understanding that if there is a conspiracy, and there is, it's done by humans and thus isn't perfect.  In this case you have things like the Sun's continued hating on the Liberal Democrats for getting in the way (on Cameron's torture investigation they're siding with New Labour, of course while on electoral reform they're well up on the Tory backbenches) plus those areas of public spending the public reflexively like, such as policemen and prisons, where the inevitable cuts can, without really top-class media management, look like being soft on crime.  More examples gratefully received.