Here's something that's puzzling me. The Tories have 304 MPs in parliament. The Liberal Democrats have 57. Therefore the Tories have a much larger pool of talent to call upon than the Lib Dems.
The Cabinet has 22 members of whom 5 are Liberal Democrats - so therefore roughly 9% of Lib Dem MPs are Cabinet members. On the other hand, the 18 Tory Cabinet members represent just under 6% of Tory MPs.
So why is it then, with this larger pool of talent and proportionally less Cabinet members, that of the 34 policy u-turns the government has made so far, only one of them has been a u-turn by Lib Dem ministers and, given that the u-turn in question was Lords reform being blocked by tory backbenchers, it doesn't really count.
The remaining u-turns - all thirty three of them - have been by Tory ministers on Tory policy initiatives. And invariably, such as with the pasty tax or selling off the nation's forests, these have been u-turns made due to a lack of someone with the competence to sit down and notice the blindingly obvious political pitfalls of the latest wheeze.
Which, as Mark Thompson points out, begs the question: Why is it that the tory party, with a much larger pool of talent than the Lib Dems, has managed to make a pretty much unprecedented number of u-turns and mistakes while Lib Dem ministers haven't made any?
Now, obviously I'm discounting the coalition negotiations where the Lib Dems, as we all know, gave up on several of their policies. What I'm focusing on here is people being actually capable of competently enacting policies in government. I might not agree with Margaret Thatcher on selling off council houses but you can't deny that the policy itself was capably implemented with very few problems, for example.
But the modern day tory party it seems, is incapable of going more than a couple of weeks without making some sort of a cock-up or other. And I'd dearly love to know the reason why. Personally my prejudices tell me it's because the kind of people who succeed in the tory party are usually exactly the same kind of arrogant, ignorant and incompetent berks that we have passing for tory ministers at the moment but perhaps there's another reason.
Either way, the tory incompetence in government, not to mention the recent suggestions that Theresa May, a woman who's stupid and incompetent enough to let thousands of people travel through immigration without recording or checking them, who's credulous enough to believe a totally mythical story about a cat preventing an asylum seeker from being deported, is now being suggested by some tory MPs as a possible future Prime Minister, does rather tend to suggest that the tory party is facing a truly dire lack of talent.
So, despite all the oft-repeated refrain in the 2010 general election campaign that the Lib Dems were utterly inexperienced and unprepared for the challenges of governing competently, it does rather seem that, if anything, Lib Dem MPs tend to be fairly capable people while the tories, the self-imagined "natural party of government" couldn't even manage to organise a piss-up in a brewery.