Daily catch-up: Michael Gove, economists and Lib Dems debate the coalition’s record

Plus some top signage and one-liners in your essential guide to Friday

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1. “That’s my plans for the day scuppered,” says Katie Myler (of the signs above).

2. Michael Gove, the Chief Whip, gave a speech at Policy Exchange last night on The Myth of the Zombie Parliament that was a model of the form. It reads well, is full of jokes, and makes a persuasive argument not just for the Government’s record but for the Conservative Party’s contribution to it. This is how it starts:

“Unfashionable causes should always know they have an ally in me. Learning poetry by heart, keeping the Elgin marbles in the British Museum, allowing Wham to take their place among the great rappers of our time, believing it’s a good idea to have your mobile phone readily at hand in all meetings.”

And his closing lines on the dangers of a Miliband government put together in a hung parliament as “a daily act of improvisation” make David Cameron’s “competence not chaos” case as well as it could be made:

“A Miliband-led administration reliant on the support of minority parties risks creating not a Zombie Parliament but a Frankenstein administration – a stitched together creation capable of causing great harm.

“It is often the case in history that individuals fail to appreciate the stability, the security and the steady progress they enjoy until it’s gone. It’s often the case that effective democratic institutions and progressive reforming Governments are taken for granted until they are subject to mistaken change. It is, sadly, all too often the case in politics that the urge to criticise what is in front of us rather than appreciate the risks of the untried alternative can pitch us into crisis.”

3. The case against the Government’s record was made yesterday by Simon Wren-Lewis as part of its quarterly Economic Review by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.:

“The delay in the UK recovery over the first part of the coalition government’s term is at least in part a result of the government’s fiscal decisions. I have argued that these decisions were a mistake... It will be many years before we can settle on a figure for the total cost of that mistake, but measured against the scale of how much governments can influence the welfare of its citizens in peace time, it is likely to be a large cost.”

4. Contemporary History Question of the Day: “Even if the Liberal Democrats fall to 1 per cent in the polls, it was worth it. The point of politics is power. The alternative was cruising at 25 per cent to no end.” Janan Ganesh. Discuss.

5. “This is my favourite sign in Parliament; for reasons of, punctuation,” says Tiffany Trenner-Lyle:



6. And finally, a bumper crop of one-liners. Thanks to Chris Heaton-Harris for these:

“My mate’s new pet dog moves unpredictably from side to side. It’s a Lurcher.”

“Managed to sit down on the Tube today. Toothpaste everywhere...”

“Persuaded a mate that he is the atomic number 82. Boy is he easily led.”

Thanks to Gary Bainbridge for this:

“I arrived at the surgery at the same time as my dentist. ‘This is coincidental,’ I said to him. Not a flicker.”

And to Euan McColm for this:

“Did 14 sit-ups this morning. Finally managed to get out of the bed, though.”