The PM uses the 'C' word: 'Cuts'
"I've always told the truth," Gordon Brown told me in an interview today when I suggested that people had questions about whether he was being straight about the state of the public finances.
He is furious that the current debate focuses on his integrity and his honesty, but it is hardly surprising given the fact that he has changed his description of what is happening to capital expenditure three times in three weeks at PMQs.
Today, he also declared that current spending would go up by "zero per cent" - a slip that produced roars of both disbelief and ridicule.
I travelled with the prime minister on the train to Leicester at the beginning of a three-day tour away from Downing Street and the debate about debt, which he believes is obsessing the Westminster village, but not the country.
People care, he tells me, about jobs and housing now and not unknowable public expenditure figures for several years hence.
When I point out that the OECD, the IMF and the governor of the Bank of England all seem worried, he makes his key argument - that growth is the best answer to the problem of public debt.
Under pressure to admit that he's going to have to make cuts, the prime minister does use the "C" word for the first time.
He defines the word narrowly, though, to describe efficiency savings and assets sales and claims that these will allow him to protect front-line spending.
This is a debate he does not want to have, an interview he did not enjoy, but a subject that will not go away.