The coalition's reductive focus on numbers and ever-tighter restrictions will not create the fair and effective migration system that it says it wants.
"Hopefully we will get a little housing boom and everyone will be happy as property values go up," the Chancellor reportedly told the cabinet.
The news of who's up and who's down as David Cameron and Ed Miliband refresh their teams.
If Cameron was referring to an economy that takes apart the assumptions and bad habits which led to the problems of the past, that might be seen as a sign of progress.
After leaving the political sick ward, the Chancellor is again being spoken of as a possible successor to Cameron.
By refusing to accept that the market is not working for the majority, the Tories have put themselves at odds with the public.
The party that triumphs in 2015 will be that which seeks to address its weaknesses, rather than merely playing to its strengths.
Cameron and Osborne should be wary of defining socialism so broadly as to encompass any political resentment of a complacent corporate status quo.
The PM dismissed Miliband's ideas as a mixture of cheap gimmickry and dangerous socialism. But with the market failing to deliver for the majority, the voters may not.
Claire Perry glosses over the problem that she and other Conservatives face when talking about women and politics - they voted for the policies that have hit women's lives the hardest.