The power of the press

The pasty/caravan tax U-turn - together with this morning's secret courts story - offer a case study for Lord Justice Leveson if he needs one.

The Sun led the campaign against the pasty tax and today carries a front-page photograph of the chancellor eating a pasty and quotes from him: "I've listened to Sun readers".

The Mail ran a campaign against the ideas for secret courts and its front page hails a "climbdown on secret justice". The Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has done an article for the newspaper saying "the Daily Mail has done a service to the public interest".

Both policy changes will be viewed as problems hopefully solved by ministers but they highlight another big problem for this government - they had run out of media friends. There simply were no cheerleaders left. What we used to call the Tory press appeared to be Tory no longer.

This is the price our politicians pay in order to try and persuade the Tory press to become Tory once again. U turns? They may be in the public interest, they may be the right thing to do, but they are done in part to satisfy the editors of national newspapers.