The papers are full of talk of cuts, be they 'progressive' or 'radical' but somehow I'm not convinced by the rhetoric.
There is no doubt that we are in a bind. There is no question that severe savings are going to be needed. There is also no question that the commentators are more excited than they ought to be by the amazing return of 'politics', that poor relation to celebrity in the modern world but an old friend that many of us welcome back with warm affection. However, my problem is that we have heard all this before.
Pick a Prime Minister - (almost) any Prime Minister - and I would put a significant bet on the fact that they have said when arriving in office that things are going to be tough. If they had any sense they will then have done all the really lousy stuff when they first arrived before rolling in the pork barrel as the next election looms.
The exception to this is of course Tony Blair who benefited from a strong economy in 1997 thanks in large part to Ken Clarke, everyone's favourite Tory. This was fortunate because his chancellor for ten years turns out to have been economically illiterate and to have done much to contribute to the depth of our current malaise by not thinking ahead, even if he didn't directly cause it.
'We have abolished boom and bust' shall surely be Gordon Brown's epitaph as much as 'Iraq' will be Blair's.
So here's the deal: yes there will be cuts; yes, they will be painful but I am not persuaded that things are as bad as they are being made out. I am of the view that we have been here before and that a lot of this is plain, old fashioned spin on the part of the shiny new coalition. Will all the cuts be necessary? Time for a pregnant pause.
If the coalition lasts for two years we should start to hit the upswing in time for the next election. New spending will begin, Dave's grin will return, the Tories will start to pull the duvet back onto their side and all bets will be off. As for the Lib Dems, I wouldn't want to be Nickers for all the vuvuzelas in Soccer City when the disengagement comes.