Alistair Darling's memoirs were unleashed on an unsuspecting and uncaring nation last week. At least the 'best' bits were. Well, I say 'best'. Most likely to cause a minor ripple of embarrassment, more like.
What did we learn from Old Caterpillar Eyebrows’ diaries? Gordon Brown had a bit of a temper and Ed Balls (by name and nature) ran his own shadow treasury department. Neither of these facts are startlingly new or surprising. Brown’s penchant for flinging Nokias almost earned him a place in Scotland’s cricket team. The fact that Balls spent yours and my tax on his own pet projects means that he has even less right to comment on the nation’s finances. Let’s not forget that he thinks the answer to the UK’s economic woes is to bloat the civil service still further rather than slim it down as the Coalition are trying to do.
Whilst Chancellor, Darling always insisted how well he got on with Brown and his cabinet chums. But once there was the opportunity to earn a few quid from the true story, he has been more than happy to re-write history.
Which tells us nothing we don’t already know: politicians lie, Brown was a nightmare to work with and Ed Balls should never be allowed near a calculator.