Sadly we don’t have the ability to capture video here. Or rather, we don’t have the technical knowhow, or the time to acquire it. That’s not usually a problem, because we can capture audio and often other people more savvy than us will archive video clips before they vanish into the inaccessible vaults of broadcasting forever.
Sometimes, though, sound alone just doesn’t properly convey the tone of something. And since we suspect the seven-minute interview Alistair Darling gave BBC News this lunchtime will never be seen in full again [EDIT: Yes it will!], as rolling news doesn’t usually appear on iPlayer, we thought we had to capture it some other way.
The content of the interview wasn’t worth preserving. Ostensibly a reaction to today’s report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, it was just the same old same old from Darling, carefully dodging the point (in so much as it was put to him at all) that an independent Scotland wouldn’t have to follow the same spending plans and priorities as the UK, and that therefore his insistence that it would have to cut services or raise taxes to reduce its deficit is a straw man.
But it was perhaps the definitive record of the “Better Together” chairman’s attitude. We’ve observed for months the sheer fury the ex-Chancellor holds for the notion of Scotland running its own affairs like any other country, but even under extremely softball questioning like today’s he seems barely able to contain his rage at the thought that Scots would even dare to consider dissolving the Union.
From moment to moment his features contort into snarls, sneers, grimaces and glowers. The eyes flash with anger and the voice rises as the interviewer has the temerity to challenge him, even in the meekest of terms. The neck straightens and rises only to lunge forward in emphasis like a headbutt. The comedy eyebrows leap upwards as if cobras preparing to spit venom in the face of a mongoose.
Compared to the relaxed and affable screen presence of the First Minister, it’s startling and disturbing. As ever, we wonder why – if the No camp’s case is so positive and they’re so far ahead in the polls that victory is assured – he’s in such an awful temper.
You can listen to the interview by clicking the first picture. Scroll down these pics as it goes on and try to get the general ambience. For now, that’s the best we can do.
Don’t have nightmares, folks.