But then you turn to Patrick Wintour's behind-the-scenes account of the PBR in today's Guardian, and, suddenly, it's all looking bad again for our PM. It seems various Cabinet sources are briefing that Brown is "still in denial about the scale of the cuts required," and that he blocked Alistair Darling's plan to raise VAT above 17.5 percent in favour of the national insurance hike. Now, you can argue about which of the two measures would be more regressive – see Guido here on the VAT hike, although the Guardian claims that Darling "would have protected the poor" – or about which will will raise more money for the Exchequer. But the message that articles like this send out remains, rightly or wrongly, the same: that even the government doesn't believe in the PBR. And, two days after it was delivered, that's a very damaging message indeed.