Like plenty of other people, I have never been entirely sure what to think of Darling. I'm told that in person he's a decent bloke, and the way he has essentially had to take the blame for Gordon Brown's mistakes has given him a sympathetic edge. As the Budget approached on Wednesday, there was a rumour going around that this would actually be Darling's budget; that he would apologise for the mistakes Labour had made, and come up with some novel, inventive and uniquely 'him' proposals. Sadly, this isn't what happened.
Darling slipped into line with Gordon Brown perfectly; throwing lie after lie, dodgy statistic after dodgy statistic, and just about the most terrifying borrowing figures imaginable at those watching. This was a budget which didn't just refuse to apologise for Gordon Brown's mistakes; it was one which revelled in them, defended them, and promised to carry on making them regardless. This week, one of the few nice guys in Labour was exposed as another careerist; not interested in serving the country, but in keeping his boss happy enough to retain his free house and car.