I'm sure that there was an episode of Yes Minister in which Sir Humphrey explained to the hapless Minister how he could gain a lot of public credit for stopping a certain policy from being implemented. The Minister's response was to say that the Government wasn't intending to do that anyway, so how could he stop it? Ah, said Sir Humphrey, but if you leak the fact that the Government might be thinking about it, you can then launch a campign to stop it, and it's a campaign which you're certain to win.
If that wasn't an episode, then it certainly deserved to be.
There's more than a passing resemblance between that scenario and the Lib Dems' 'campaign' against regional pay. Perhaps they're using the same script writer?