I have just been interviewing the prime minister in Downing Street about his 10p tax rate U-turn. He insists that he had 'not been pushed around' and had stuck to his policy of scrapping the 10p tax rate. This, he said again and again and again, was the right long term policy for Britain.
Mr Brown said he had 'listened' to people's concerns about the impact on certain groups, particularly in more difficult economic times. He went on to make clear that the cost of the compensation package hinted at today would be substantially lower than £1bn. He accepted that not all those who've lost from the 10p tax rate cut would benefit. Not all losers, indeed most of them he believes, are anything like poor.
When I put it to him that Labour MPs might conclude that if they "pushed him hard enough he'd cave in", he denied that and insisted that he would stick to the other policy proposal which Labour whips have warned him he may lose - to extend detention without trial to 42 days.
I could sense his frustration about the position he now finds himself in. He still believes that his last Budget as chancellor was right and fair; that the number of poor people who lose has been exaggerated; that he's only made a minor change to his policy, costing a relatively small sum of money. And, finally, he is outraged at being lectured on poverty by the Conservative party.
Nevertheless, deep down, he must know that this political mess is largely of his own making.