The 'C' word
So Gordon Brown will finally allow the "C" word - cuts - to pass his lips.
Ministers and aides have told him that if his economic argument is to be heard, the electorate must believe in his ability on public spending, and that means clearing the decks on the "C" word.
The chancellor prepared the ground this morning by telling the FT of his frustration at what he calls the "game" being played by journalists over use of the "C" word and points to Mr Brown's track record of cutting departmental spending in the past. For example, in his last Budget of 2007.
Peter Mandelson was clearly frustrated by being asked repeatedly to utter the "C" word on the Today programme yesterday. This convinced him and Alistair Darling that they needed to "end the semantic game" as quickly as possible.
The reason that I for one have asked again and again about cuts is because I don't believe that there should be a gap between the government's rhetoric and its own economic forecasts. The forecasts do show that cuts are coming in investment spending - and that, once debt interest and unemployment are accounted for, cuts are coming in day-to-day spending too.
Brown's advisers have told him that if he is seen to be upfront with voters, they are much more likely to listen to his case - that case being that Tory cuts would wreck recovery and would damage public services.
The next act in this drama will be the chancellor's pre-Budget report. It is increasingly clear that Alistair Darling plans to announce a spending package designed to force the Tories to spell out what more they would do, or to expose that they are refusing to do so and have hidden plans.