Had someone tipped him off, I wonder? Gordon Brown was on best behaviour when he stepped out with David Cameron this morning although, it looked to me, as he was doing almost all the talking. I suspect that he will be rather less respectful to his opponent in the Commons debate this afternoon.
Did this deliver the vision which the prime minister himself acknowledged he needed to set out? Well, that depends on what you mean by a "vision". There is, as yet, no pithy phrase or slogan, no piece of soaring rhetoric, no memorable soundbite that captures what Brown's Britain will look like. His opponents have been quick to deride tired old ideas and policies. He, though, is likely to counter that he has - unlike his opponents - set out plans for how he will meet people's aspirations for education for all, affordable housing and a cleaner environment over the next decade. If it is more of a list of what he'll do to meet voters concerns than what people conventionally call a vision, I suspect he'd say "so be it".
PS. Jack Straw did, after all, walk down the stairs backwards after handing the Queen her speech. I'm told that at yesterday's rehearsal (yes, like weddings, they do rehearse these things) the Lord Chancellor was cheered by the heralds when he ignored the Earl Marshall's advice that these days it was acceptable to walk forwards.