Right and Left seem to be saying the same thing.
The public is angry at a political class that doesn't understand the pain that ordinary families are going through. Polly Toynbee will hate me for saying this but parts of her column in today's Guardian read like a press release from the TaxPayers' Alliance: "No one in the public sector should get more than £150,000," she writes, "In the present mood, all wise public bodies should rapidly cut their own top pay."
David Cameron and George Osborne were one day ahead of Polly. The Tory leader has expressed "astonishment" that 68 members of the quangocracy earn more than the Prime Minister. Mr Osborne, as Chancellor, will veto any quango that wants to grant such a remuneration package in future. He writes about his plan in The Sun.
It is right that David Cameron promises to end fat cattery. The public resented the excess during comfortable times. They are going to detest it as unemployment mounts. Capping the pay of the biggest public sector earners will be popular and necessary but it's only a drop in the ocean of Britain's debt challenge. Across-the-board cuts in public spending are going to be necessary to save the UK's public finances - something which the public understands.
Politicians need moral authority to oversee these cuts.
If charity begins at home, so, too, must austerity. David Cameron must show that MPs and ministers will make personal sacrifices as they demand sacrifices of others. I was interested to read the largely positive response to my suggestion of yesterday that MPs and ministers take a lead with a temporary pay cut. It's hard to think of many other things that would more powerfully communicate an incoming Conservative government's intent to restore responsibility to the public sector. On Monday I'll ask a specific question in the monthly members' survey to get the measure of all grassroots opinion.
Many MPs will strongly oppose a pay cut - albeit temporary - but I'm sure David Cameron would have public opinion on his side if any choose to protest too much. If the Tory Party has anything like a Clause IV moment, this could be it.