While ministers were nowhere to be seen, Caroline Flint was on the Daybreak sofa.
Labour MPs fear going into battle without defences against predictable Tory onslaughts.
To settle his party's nerves, the Labour leader needs another trump card.
Is Labour set to abolish fees and introduce a graduate tax?
The Budget has revealed how vulnerable Labour is to the charge that it doesn't really trust voters to manage their affairs.
The Labour leader uses the Scottish First Minister's weapon of choice against him.
Voters will still be worse off in 2015 than in 2010 - Labour's "cost-of-living" strategy remains its best hope of victory.
"This is the Budget that confirms people are worse off under the Tories."
The Labour leader is increasingly convinced not just of the moral and economic case for tackling inequality but also of the political case for doing so.
With Miliband as leader, Benn finally felt at home again in the party he served for so long.