Yesterday was, I think, a very significant day in UK politics. Cameron walked out of the tripartite leaders' talks on Leveson, made straight for a Press Conference, and drew a very clear line in the sand. He left Clegg and Miliband in front of the cameras visibly gasping for air as they surfaced from the cold waters of the Thames into which they had just been dumped. They also gave the distinct appearance of being already in coalition which, when he thinks about it later, will not please Clegg one little bit, and he'll want to guard against it becoming a pattern.
This is excellent stuff.
Furthermore, it is self-evidently the work of a genuine strategist (Crosby), making earlier efforts by Osborne look the amateurish stunts they were. It is earnestly to be hoped that the precise parliamentary tactics for the complex proceedings next week have been equally well thought through.
I see it as being all of a piece with Cameron's 'Europe speech'. He sticks his neck out (and draws a dividing line); the commentariat goes, oooh, you can't say things like that ... and then they notice that overall, reactions are comfortably favourable.
If (as I've hoped here before) this represents the start of the 'no more Mr Nice Guy' phase, then (a) he's reached that point a good deal earlier in his regime than did Blair; and (b) Thatcher was very much deeper in trouble at the 2-years-9-months point than is Cameron now, albeit that he too has some massive battles ahead.
My new-found optimism is undimmed.