Power politics

I think it was Norman Lamont who used his resignation speech to describe the major government as ‘in office but not in power’. Is this an example of the reverse; an opposition that is ‘in power but not in office’?

Do you actually need to win elections if you can announce policies and watch the government of the day implement them for you. Maybe the opposition needs to make more use of this ‘soft power’. Obviously not being in office means you lack the vast resource of government patronage, but  since that ultimately corrupts every government, maybe that’s actually a good thing.