Alistair Darling’s ‘calmness in a crisis’ remembered following death

The former chancellor has been remembered for his 'calmness in a crisis' and his 'wry good humour' following his death aged 70.

Former chancellor Alistair Darling has been remembered for his “calmness in a crisis” and his “wry good humour” following his death aged 70.

I’ve spoken to a number of people who worked closely with him in the referendum – and they all talk of his modesty, his calm assurance, his sense of humour, and his sense of duty.

He to lead the Better Together campaign. He had to be press ganged in to a job that no-one seemed to want at the time.

It meant holding a coalition of the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib-dems together. At times it was like herding cats.

The parties didn’t trust each other, didn’t really like each other very much – but they all agreed that Alistair Darling was the one person who could keep it together.

And he did – with his dependable bank manager like demeanour he was the perfect foil for Alex Salmond – and in that STV debate in the referendum he really did win and win well – the pro-independence campaign still can’t confidently answer some of his questions on currency from that night.

Alistair Darling will be best remembered for the referendum in Scotland, but what about beyond?

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STV News at Six: Colin Mackay on Alistair Darling’s legacy

As Chancellor during the financial crisis of 2008 – it felt like he was bailing out a different bank every day.

He used to tell the story of when he found out just how bad things really were – he got a call from the chairman of RBS, which at the time was the biggest bank in the world, it was about the same size as the entire UK economy, and he was told the bank was going to run out of money that afternoon.

That’s where some of his bank manger reputation came from – he was the country’s bank manager.

Bailing out the banks, the referendum – Alistair Darling played a big part in shaping where Scotland and the UK stand today.

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