Darling believes that the battle lines at the election will be clear: a simple choice between Labour investment versus Tory cuts.
"The Tories seem to be going back to where they were in the early 1980s - saying the government's role is pretty limited. They have set themselves significant cuts in public spending. I think that's incredibly short-sighted."
From Labour's perspective, there are two main problems with this. First - and as the IFS highlighted yesterday - any post-recession government is going to have to rein in spending in order to pay for Brown's debt addiction. Indeed, Labour have themselves pencilled in £37 billion worth of "cuts" for between 2011 and 2014, and the Tories haven't committed to much more beyond this. And, second, the politics of a recession mean that "belt-tightening" messages are likely to have greater traction. To ignore that is to swim against the political tide.