Gordon Brown's tenth Budget, prefaced with a wry joke about the political fate of the last Chancellor to achieve that score - he became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a notorious sinecure - was none of the things it had been cracked up to be.
It was not a soaring demonstration of the height, breadth a grasp of Mr Brown's views on Britain and the world. It was distinctly short of "the vision thing" - not, as Sir Menzies Campbell acidly observed, a job application.
It contained no dramatic surprise, unless you count a freeze on the tax on Champagne.
Instead Mr Brown presented a parent's Budget, focused on education and issues involving children, young people and child care, the work of a concerned parent, you could say.
But on every other issue it was distinctly short of attempts to come to grips with Britain's more glaring economic problems.
It was an NHS-free Budget, for a start, Mr Brown's first. You can see why. It is all very well for a "prudent" Labour Chancellor to evolve into the traditional tax and spend variety over the years. But to get demonstrably poor value for the billions lavished on their most favoured target, health, is an embarrassment on Budget day.
Parliamentary questions about redundant nurses, closed wards and overspent hospitals were not the ideal prelude to a Budget speech.
The Chancellor took care not to dig the hole any deeper. We might have wondered what he is doing to see that the money now heading into education will achieve a better result than that entrusted to the NHS.
Then pensions. Again not a word - for the excellent reason that Mr Brown is engaged in a bitter Whitehall war.
He is fighting to block the Turner report's proposals to link the basic state pension to earnings rather than prices and whittle down his means tests for pension credits.
Otherwise many people on below average earnings who fail to opt out of Lord Turner's savings scheme would fall foul of the test and end up no better off in old age.
Nor did Mr Brown say, let alone do, anything about the crisis engulfing occupational pension schemes, draining away money companies might otherwise invest to pay off pension deficits.
To his credit, he did not claim that a move to borrow more of the money the Government needs by issuing the long-dated stocks, or gilts, the pension funds want would do pensions any good. Cheap borrowing - particularly on the scale that Mr Brown is borrowing nowadays - is good news for the taxpayer. But that is it.
He contented himself by describing it as one of "the benefits we now gain from long-term stability".
It was a small-scale Budget at the end of a year when nothing went either dramatically right or dramatically wrong with the British economy. But the public finances leave very little room for manoeuvre. You must welcome boosts for research and d evelopment by small companies and bigger tax breaks for venture capital trusts and the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
But some of the Chancellor's rhetoric about entrepreneurs was, not for the first time, detached from reality. It is all very well to take credit for Britain's 3.7 million self-employed - but how many of these are in any meaningful sense entrepreneurs and how many window-cleaners, market traders, or redundant middle-aged managers doing their best to scramble by as "consultants"?
"Summer Schools for Enterprise" sound a lot of fun. But who is to teach them? What on earth will they teach?
Mr Brown is well-intentioned to support scholarships at American universities for young British entrepreneurs. But what sort of entrepreneur can take time out from a new, very probably struggling, enterprise to shoot off to an American university?
On the grand scale of things Mr Brown has been lucky. Despite the consumer slow-down, his borrowing forecasts last December have come out on target. He claimed indeed, that he could have had a little in hand for a tax cut. He preferred to spend instead - on education.
It is what the focus groups say they want. David Cameron's Conservatives seem to be getting the same message.
That message may become less clear if Mr Brown's spending on schools achieves no more than his spending on the NHS
More on the budget: