Perhaps this week's budget speech by Darling was a clever ploy to camouflage whatever parlous state we are in fiscally. Everyone expected his delivery to be boring and by popular accounts it was more of an incantation, perhaps suited to a wizard from Harry Potter.
Most of the budget information had been leaked in advance, which used to be a sackable offence. Presumably nowadays its to give all the management accountants a chance to get their at-a-glance briefings prepared. It certainly meant that much of what he said was recited like so many lines from a dull spreadsheet.
And no 'special something' to brighten up the fagsgasnbooze increases.
Yet a first budget, which would have been the ideal time for Darling to make his mark on something. Maybe he's already done that with his dithered assistance to Northern Rock's flailing deficit or the way he presided over the Department which lost 25 million citizen records.
Its likely that Pa Broon asked Alistair to keep a low profile as he's not already been fired for any of the above points. A hint now that the next election won't be until 2010, but maybe a separate bet whether Darling makes it that far. Unless, his near neighbour in Scotland, JK Rowling, gives him some new spells.