You have to read it a couple of times to believe it, but yes, he did say the P-word. And his candid comments made international news. In an interview with the Guardian, chancellor, Alistair Darling, said that voters were "pissed off" with Labour's handling of the economy, which is the worst it's been for 60 years.
One would have thought a senior government minister would have been a little more circumspect with his language. Clearly someone has rattled his cage. And 60 years? That takes us back to the end of WW2, when the economy was on its knees. Thanks for the confidence-boost, Darling.
Using strong language, Darling finally acknowledged what voters have been saying for a long time. And raised the question whether New Labour ministers are too busy in-fighting rather than looking after the economy.
In the interview, the chancellor admitted the government had failed to get the message across.
Now that's coming from the man who has been presiding over the economy for the last year and whose predecessor was in charge of the economy for the last ten.
Darling reveals the huge rift in the Labour Party and open warfare and chaos in the government.
The Guardian interview reports: "Darling does not name names, but he says some people want his job and have been trying to undermine him. Many in the Treasury believe that Ed Balls, the schools secretary, has been less than supportive."
"There's lots of people who'd like to do my job. And no doubt," he adds, half under his breath, "actively trying to do it."
Asked why Brown has not communicated New Labour's mission, Darling falters, according to the Guardian as he says: "Er, well. Well, it's always difficult, you know ... But Gordon, in September, up to party conference, has got the opportunity to do that. And he will do that. It's absolutely imperative."
It's hard now to know who to believe. One the one hand, Darling is telling us the economy is at its worst for 60 years. On the other hand, Brown tells us we are weathering the storm.
Reaction to Darling's frank and forthright comments was swift. Shadow chancellor, George Osborne, wanted to know: "Who is telling the truth at the top of government?"
LibDem treasury spokesman, Vincent Cable, agreed: "Until very recently there was a state of denial. Now suddenly we've lurched into Apocalypse Now, the return of the Great Depression."
It seems, according to Darling, we'll have to wait until the September Labour Party conference before we're told quite clearly what the government is up to and what Brown plans to do.