Labour's pre-election conference marked the moment when Pat Rabbitte officially got sick of being asked questions about Fianna Fail and possible courtships.
How he did it in three easy steps.
1. Testy attitude when being interviewed by John Bowman. We're 22 minutes into the interview and you haven't asked me questions about policy yet!
2. Brutally blunt passage in his own keynote speech intended to draw a line under the issue. This is it:
In recent weeks I have been asked not about policy or programmes or reforms, but whether, on electoral strategy, I have left the door even slightly ajar. The answer is no.
3. Time to use the ace up the sleeve. This time it was a spectacular one that was the better of every other hand. The promise to cut the standard tax rate from 20% to 18% was brilliant. It stole the PDs clothes for tax-cutting but came at it the other way round, ie aimed at everybody, not just the middle classes.
There's small print. It's not a copper fastened guarantee (there's a get-out clause!). It will be very costly, maybe prohibitively so. FG might not buy it so bye bye new policy.
But still as a coup and as a way of moving the debate on from Rabbitte and Fianna Fail, it was masterful.
We're into conference season now. Cue eight weeks of the parties trying to out-bid each other with so-called "eye-catching initiatives" and all-singing, all-dancing, policies.