When David Cameron ran for party leader, a key part of his success was his promise to withdraw the Conservatives from the European People's Party. it was largely because of this promise that many who would otherwise have supported Liam Fox, switched their support.
However, almost as soon as he won the nomination, Cameron retreated from this promise leaving many right-wing tories felling rightly vengeful. I suspect that this, even more than the grammar school debacle, was what lay behind Conservative in-fighting last summer.
Now most commentators agree that Fox has been extremely successful at pointing out government failures over defence. His office have been behind a number of high-profile stories that have made the tabloid front-pages week after week.
So when Fox appeared on Sky News over the weekend, you might have expected him to have been given the green-light to commit to increased defence spending.
Yet when he was repeatedly asked by Adam Boulton if the Conservatives would pledge to increase spending and manpower, he appeared uncomfortable and drifted off into a ramble about 'freeloaders' in Nato.
Herein lies the central problem for the Tories in the next few years. Cameron has committed his party to the government's level of public spending, afraid that to do otherwise would lead the public to think that their public services would be cut. But pushed by limp poll results and internal criticism, this firm commitment has been turned into a vague statement that these issues would be reviewed if and when the Tories get in to power.
Yet what little success the Tories have had in recent times has been from the hands of the Tory right.
It was Osborne's tax cuts and regular scoops from Fox and Davis that have stolen the agenda. Cameron's leftish ideas such as increased post-natal support have sunk without a trace.
All of which is making David Cameron look like the Tory party freeloader.
Fox and the Tory right couldn't care less about any of Cameron's pet issues and right now it is their agenda that is in the ascendant. And that agenda is clearly less overall spending but more spending on defence.
So basically it is less nurses but more wars.
I'm sure that will be a winning slogan for the next election.