I won't see Newsnight tonight, or any night for that matter as I rarely watch TV, but the Newsnight newsletter tells me that the one phrase from the Tory handbook on crime-fighting that no-one ever forgets is, arguably, Michael Howard's mantra that 'prison works'.
But that was old Tory, it says, and today Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has torn up the handbook and called short term sentences an expensive failure. He accuses previous Labour home secretaries of building up the prison population with 'a chequebook and a copy of the Daily Mail'.
This is a real Nixon in China moment. When was the last time a Labour politician dared to deride the Daily Mail?