We’ve noted on several previous occasions the somewhat alarming way in which “Better Together” campaign chairman Alistair Darling can barely contain his fury at the sheer outrageous temerity of the independence movement in seeking to peacefully secure democratic self-determination for the people of Scotland.
We were all set for more of the same on BBC News this morning after Alex Salmond’s speech on currency, but were surprised to be met instead by a calm, softly-spoken and altogether more statesmanlike approach.
And in fairness, he kept it up for a good 15 seconds.
Darling was barely challenged by the presenter at all, but the rage was already bubbling to the surface before the first faint glimmers of dissent. “He’d say anything to get him out of a hole!” was the blustering reaction to the slightest suggestion that a currency union might be workable, with Darling (the Chancellor of the government that claimed in 2007 to have ended boom and bust) dragging up a 15-year-old Salmond quote about Sterling.
When it was suggested that polls were moving towards independence, Darling snorted that the one cited by the presenter had come out “five, six weeks ago”, although just 30 seconds later (at 3.55 in our recording) he’d revised that to “four weeks”, and swiftly moved on to pointing out that Jim Sillars was at odds with the SNP leadership on the subject, in much the same way that Jim Sillars has been at odds with the SNP leadership on just about every subject for just about every minute of the last decade.
From there on it was a brief selection of Darling’s greatest doom-and-gloom hits, rambling on about the Scottish Government “defaulting” on its (non-existent) debts and painting a terrifying picture of life with a new currency – an option that the Scottish Government has unequivocally ruled out and which Salmond had refused to even countenance in his speech.
We’re not sure if it’s really worth bothering to record interviews with Darling, because frankly most of the time you could just play in one of his previous ones without noticing the difference. But hey, we paid for the video-capture software so we might as well get some value out of it.