Frequency Guy, the problem is frequency
A feature of this Government is that it has been happy to U-Turn
U-turns tend to follow several weeks/months of the govt vigourously defending their original policy.
I think thats the bit that sticks in peoples mind and why the public view u-turns badly regardless of whether they agree.
The public and media dont like the 'pain' they have been forced to go through by being in an argument with someone who has been insisting for the last month that the emperors clothes are there , are a very fetching colour, are well made , are good value ......
frequency breeds greater cynicism for the next batch of policy anouncements - because people want to be smart and dont want to expend the energy on having to take 'x' seriously when theres an increasing likelihood 'X' will be dust next month.
why should neutral journos expend time on getting to grips with a policy argument when they can play it safe and comment on splits etc ?
frequency also breeds apratchik fatigue - increasingly ministers ,outriders, supporters etc will get the experience of being hung out to dry by Dave and his chums and having to 'take one for the team', only for the policy to be reversed the following week.
Pretty soon when the call to arms goes up you find there's only Louise Mensch , Jacob Reece Mog and Ed davey willing to climb out of the trench.
said this before guy
the u-turns are because of Dave's style of govt and because the Tories ducked tough strategic decisions in opposition - the first wave was policy being resisted by interest groups ,the next wave is likely to be driven by tory backbenchers unwilling to play ball. With the slow rumble of the NHS clusterfuck getting louder and eventually breaking in early - mid 2013 .
Weirdly, I think ' Austerity' is a set of policies the govt can u-turn on without it damaging them too much.