David Cameron is preparing to give his own version of Tony Blair's famous “scars on my back” speech amid fears within the Government that it is failing to effectively sell its reforms to the public.
Downing Street is concerned that some of its key ideas, such as the Big Society and NHS reorganisation, are becoming confused with public sector cuts.
Mr Cameron wants to separate the two and argues that vested interests and bureaucracies are trying to thwart reform by blaming them for cuts in services.
Tony Blair famously infuriated civil servants, Labour's union supporters and some of his own ministers when he made a speech in 1999 describing “the scars on my back” left by two years of trying to reform the public sector.
A decade on, senior Cabinet ministers admit that they too have found reforms frustrating.
Mr Cameron is thought to be planning to express some of these frustrations in his speech, a date for which has yet to be set.
He is likely to argue that reform is vital, not just to offset the pain of the cuts but also to |improve public services.
The Prime Minister's speech comes as Downing Street attempts to fend off a crisis of confidence over its Big Society initiative.