A toe-to-toe row between health secretary Andy Burnham and his Tory counterpart Andrew Lansley in the Commons injected some colour into the papers last week.
Social care has dominated pre-election coverage for almost a week now - years in media terms. It has had everything; well almost everything - coverage has been remarkably fleeting on the complex issue of social care funding reform itself.
The posters apparently so infuriated Mr Burnham he confronted Mr Lansley in the Commons lobby and accused him of “bloody shafting” him
It kicked off on Wednesday when the Tories launched a poster campaign featuring a gravestone, targeted at one government proposal for funding care services: a compulsory duty on estates. The Daily Mail covered it under the banner “Labour’s ‘secret plan for a 10 per cent death tax’” and The Sun with “RIP tax rumpus”.
During the row it emerged Mr Burnham, Mr Lansley and Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb had held secret talks at which they had candidly discussed options including the “death tax” - unbeknown to Tory leader David Cameron.
The posters apparently so infuriated Mr Burnham he confronted Mr Lansley in the Commons lobby and accused him of “bloody shafting” him.
The three men went head to head on the BBC’s Politics Show on Sunday over whose fault it was the talks had broken down. The Daily Telegraph described it as a “TV squabble over care consensus”.
The action is due to recommence on Friday at a conference convened by Mr Burnham.
But he has told Mr Lansley he is not welcome to attend unless he drops the poster campaign, and Mr Lansley has said he will not turn up unless the government rules out the “death tax”.
Meanwhile, the Tories claimed 54 per cent of girls in the most deprived areas in England got pregnant before they turned 18. The real figure was 5.4 per cent.