Dull and grey
The man was the message. Alistair Darling, the chancellor mocked for being dull and grey and lacking charisma delivered a Budget which was, well, a wee bit dull and grey and lacking anything very much to get political pulses racing. That, though, was the point. Indeed, it had been the advance billing from the Treasury.
That is why Mr Darling dubbed his own statement "the responsible Budget". That is why he repeatedly pledged to maintain "stability".
Starved of funds and still paying the price for producing too many rabbits from his hat in last year's pre-Budget Report, Mr Darling posed today as the unflashy man who you can trust to maintain a steady course as fierce global economic winds batter Britain.
The chancellor did, however, make two big choices today - one political, one economic.
First he dared to force people to "think before they drink before they drive" - by raising taxes on alcohol and cars to pay for a renewed effort to cut child poverty and to subsidise pensioners soaring fuel bills.
His second choice was, you might think, rather out of character - to gamble that Britain's economy will weather the storms and that the country's soaring borrowing will eventually take care of itself.