The aftermath of Menzies' speech is one of those occasions when I feel baffled down here in deepest straw-sucking Berkshire. The speech seemed to me to be a simple, and much needed, reminder that Gordon Brown will have to deliver a direction which is a marked change from Blair's drift at the moment.
It didn't enter my head that this was some sort of coalition statement. Why would it be? We wouldn't even advertise such a list on the day of an election, let alone several years before it.
The BBC and other journalists are not thick. They know that the list was not meant as a coalition deal list.
However, I suspect they decided that the best way of making it into a "good story" was to invent the coalition angle. I suppose, "Ming gets tough with Gordie" is not as attractive a story as "Ming sets deal-breaker list for coalition". The media "sexed up" the story, in other words.
I suppose that we should be grateful that, as a result, as least we got a bit of coverage that we might not have otherwise got.
It still makes you seethe though doesn't?