Cameron has floated plans to take away basic security of tenure from new entrants to socially rented housing. This is a big step - and an important one.
It's important but not, of course, practical in any way - he's just fired the starting gun for a hail of factually based correction from Shelter, the Churches, the Chartered Institute of Housing and every Tenants' Organisation in the land and we all know what happens when 'factually based correction' hits the fan.
If implemented, this idea would create homelessness, hugely increase routine housing management costs in social housing, increase rather than decrease the benefit traps Ian Duncan Smith is supposedly unpicking, lead to all sorts of undesirable 'hard cases' making unwelcome new housing law and - here's the rub - almost certainly increase the number of people in the private rented sector, which, not being subject to rent control, is more expensive than social housing. In short, it would cost the state more money. So it ain't going to happen.
My best guess is we'll see a familiar cycle of small pilots followed by a range of minor tinkerings with tenure law and a dribbling away of the original political motivation that reduces to some small funding programme designed to produce a few hundred, at best, specially designed new tenancies that automatically convert to shared ownership when and if the family income reaches a certain point.
No, the importance of this announcement is that it the first sign of the end of the 'glad confident morning' for this government and the harbinger of the shit-storm they are going to face once the autumn budget is announced.
This idea is really not like the 'Free School' initiative where Tory plans can be arguably claimed to be seeking to mobilise the positive aspirations of the Daily Mail reading classes. I don't actually think that's true, but the fact that Gove has undoubtedly played his hand very badly so far doesn't mean it remains anything but a positive hand in principle. The Education policy tries to reach out to so called 'aspirational' Britain.
This housing policy doesn't: it seeks to mobilise the prejudices and ignorance of the Tory heartland.It's red meat for the Tunbridge Wells Conservative Club Lounge Bar. It offers a 'tin-ear' to every other strand of opinion and, indeed, to the pesky constraints of reality. It is therefore important in a symbolic way: it ain't going to happen, but it is a way station along the path to what a contributor to one discussion over at Blood and Treasure described as 'Thatcherism without the Falklands'.
Shiny Dave looks a little less shiny this morning. That moderate veneer is starting to peel.