Guaranteeing an in/out vote would have shifted the debate back onto Tory territory and could have wrecked a future Miliband premiership.
At least 20 coalition MPs are expected to rebel against Clause 119 today, which would give administrators the power to close down any hospital or A&E without consultation.
Cameron's party can’t and won’t take the action necessary because it can’t admit that for ordinary Britons there is no real recovery.
Renewal's call for the 45p tax threshold to be reduced to £62,000 to fund the abolition of the 40p rate is smart politics.
The Tories’ tax and benefit changes have cost women four times as much as men – little wonder when they are so absent from the top table.
Beyond the bluster and rhetoric, there is a surprising degree of consensus on the reforms needed.
The Business Secretary tries to appeal to fiscal conservatives by highlighting that reduced EU migration will lead to "a much slower reduction in the public debt".
Being beaten after just one term by a man deemed unelectable would open up space for those who understand the need to reinvent the party.
There isn’t much point expecting a more sophisticated account of Britain’s role in the world from the Prime Minister.