Back down to London, for Gordon Brown's last budget - noone even pretended to believe otherwise today! Obviously there'll be plenty about it in the media, but I think the budget will go down pretty well, particularly with Labour's traditional supporters, with the emphasis on taking pensioners and children out of poverty. It also seems to me be quite good for business as well, with the cuts in corporation tax and simplification of some of the complex rules on tax relief for investment.
It's also a reflection of how much the political climate (sorry about the pun!) has changed that the only criticism of what in the past would have been seen as a big increase in car tax for "gas guzzlers" is that it wasn't big enough! Actually, once the budget is examined, measures like the increase in climate change levy, aggregates levy, and landfill tax, along with the tax breaks for energy efficient buildings and proposed cuts in VAT for energy saving products, will do much, much more to cut carbon emissions.
But, as I've said elsewhere, if the the political debate is now conducted on the basis of what is the "greenest" proposal, then I'm not complaining, even if the supposed "green shift" of the Conservative Party is more gimmick than substance, as I think it is.
Like most in the chamber, I was amused, though, at the way that the Budget package clearly wrong-footed David Cameron, most of whose speech was basically just another personal attack on the Chancellor. It may have looked good on TV - I'll have a look tonight, but I really don't think he'll be able to get away for that long without being more specific about his policies. I was also genuinely puzzled at the line taken by Ming Campbell for the LibDems. He seemed to be arguing that the money raised from "green" taxes should NOT be used to spend on positive green measures (which I thought was at the heart of LibDem policy in this area), but should have been used to reduce taxes.