Alistair Darling has responded to claims he is comatose. A friend said he had raised his left eyebrow twice in reply to the question: “Are you semi-conscious?” Mr Darling is kept lying down in a darkened room at the Better Together headquarters and is connected to the real world by tubes and cables through which he receives messages and regular electric shocks to keep him alert.
“It’s just ridiculous to say he is comatose,” said an insider. “He simply takes things very easy, very slowly and doesn’t move for weeks on end and then when Alex Salmond says something he jolts into life and splutters and twitches. But he’s perfectly normal as soon as Blair McDougall has shone the torch in his eyes and looked at his tongue. He normally gives him a slap, points him in the right direction and off he goes. This kind of thing happens in the House of Lords every day.”
He said it was ridiculous to say he was a “dreary figurehead” with no fire in his belly. Mr Darling is playing the role of Scrooge in the Better Together panto and has impressed campaigners with his effortless ability to make people laugh. “He says the most laughable rubbish about Scotland’s currency and the fiscal deficit and the EU, honestly, we just roll about. To think the media and the public are taken by this nonsense.” Mr Darling is known as the Undertaker for his mock serious presentation style designed to make him appear important but insiders say he often comes to work with a plastic red nose and a See-You-Jimmy wig and puts whoopee cushions in the boardroom.
Better Together also deny that he lacks passion. “He didn’t lack passion when he voted for an illegal war in Iraq, did he? That took real courage to send other people to die unnecessarily especially when it was against international law. How many thousands of people has Alex Salmond ever killed?” said the spokesman.
If Mr Darling loses the support of Downing Street he could be replaced by this year’s favourite Christmas toy, the Furby, an electronic robotic hamster which squeaks without warning and can move its ears independently, or by David Mundell.