What in general has been a very uplifting day was only very marginally blighted by the unavoidable delight of listening to Alistair "Dr Death" Darling (or should that be Alistair "Dr Darling" Death?) drone on, and on, and on, and on, and on for what seemed like hours on end in roughly the following fashion...
"Time is running out for them. There isn't as much time for them as there used to be. They had time, but they've got less of it now. Unanswered questions. Questions that are unanswered. Questions that we have asked and need an answer to. Questions people are asking that haven't been answered. We need the facts. We haven't got the facts. We're still waiting for the facts. Facts are needed. We expect facts. Where are the facts? It's just more of the same. See this? It's the same. And we've just had more of it. It's a greater quantity of the same thing. I'm bitterly disappointed in them. I expected so little, and got even less. People will be thinking to themselves - is this it? Really? No more? Nothing over and above this? After all this time? Just this? This is the best they can do? Truly? Well look. Look here. Now just look. Now just look here. What I'm saying to you is, look here. Yes I heard your question, but what I'm saying to you is, well look. Look here. Now look. Now just look here. You see? If I utter enough variants on 'look' you always forget that you asked me a question. Vote No or the floppy-eared rabbit gets it. By the way, I've just thought of another unanswerable question that hasn't been answered. We need an answer, the people of Scotland demand an answer, and time is running out."
Leaving aside all the standard content-free Project Fear noise, there was one specific point that Darling kept banging on about in every single interview that quite simply didn't make any logical sense. He claimed that the SNP's explanation for why their transformational childcare plans couldn't be delivered right now under devolution was that if women enter the workforce in much greater numbers, they will "pax tax and those taxes will go to the Treasury". He then added that the Treasury passes that money back to Scotland, and asked "how is that a bad thing?". Well, perhaps it wouldn't be if it actually worked like that (although such a pointlessly circular system ought to outrage the "too much government" brigade on the right-wing of the No campaign**), but it doesn't, does it? The Treasury would pass SOME of that money back to Scotland, but it would only be a tiny percentage - indeed that percentage would be less than proportionate to our share of the UK population (because a large portion of government spending is 'non-identifiable', and therefore Scotland does not receive a population-based chunk of it). In other words, we would cover ALL of the costs of the new system from the existing Scottish block grant (potentially diverting funds from health and education), but only receive a tiny fraction of the benefits, thus making it impossible to attain the 'virtuous circle' threshold where the system becomes financially self-supporting.
There are intelligent budgies in Lochmaddy who can understand that very simple logic, but apparently it's all too much for the former Chancellor of the Exchequer. Ah well, he'll be back in the Project Fear crypt for a well-earned night's rest by now, so hopefully the penny will have dropped by the morning.
**The right-wing of the No campaign is of course better-known as "the No campaign".