What a truly extraordinary performance in managing expectations from the Coalition government.
Labour completely wrong-footed after months of dire warnings of the greatest cuts for a century. Alan Johnson looking as if he delivered the wrong script. Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander desperately defending - yes defending Labour's toxic legacy - not attacking the cuts of more than £80bn in addition to those already announced in the Coalition's emergency budget in July.
And having done so, able to claim that at an overall reduction of 19%, is even less than Labour proposed cutting front line services in their election manifesto. Quite extraordinary.
And to think they called him 'boy George' for his naivety. How times change.