The real story of today's pre-Budget report will be the dog that didn't bark or, more precisely, the black hole that disappeared. This will be the first statement by the chancellor for some years in which the opposition and commentators will not be able to point gleefully to an embarrassingly large gap between the Treasury's predictions for borrowing and the outturn. If anyone can be gleeful today it will be Gordon "I told you so" Brown. He will have to correct a forecast - the one for economic growth - but, happily for him, it will be upwards.
Now, dogs that don't bark rarely make headlines which is why the chancellor's tried to write his own news coverage this morning by previewing his pledge to rebuild Britain's schools over the next 15 years. This is classic Brown. It is meant to highlight the choice he says will face us at the next election between, you guessed it, investment and tax cuts.
But today's announcement will, I suspect, prove to be more an ambition than a concrete pledge. Remember his promise to increase spending in state schools to the same level as in private schools? The Education Select Committee criticised that for its vagueness and un-measurability. That won't worry him. His objective is to get interviewers and voters alike to ask the Tories "do you want to re-build schools or to bribe us with tax cuts?"
The Conservatives are, I suspect, a key influence behind another of the chancellor's announcements today. Ever since the opposition announced that they supported a hike in "green taxes" it's been irresistible for the Treasury to take them at their word. A politically cost-free tax rise is pretty irresistible and has the added benefit that it limits the shadow chancellor's room for manoeuvre.
Having said all this I will be missing the PBR. I am on my way to the airport to fly to Washington to see the unveiling of the Baker/Hamilton Report into Iraq and watch how the prime minister reacts to it when he arrives in Washington DC tomorrow.
The news there is being made by the new defence secretary's shock announcement that we are losing the war in Iraq. It's a sign of the times that that's considered news. Surely "we are winning the war" should be the more noteworthy and extraordinary statement.