The most surreal moment of Alistair Darling’s session in front of the Commons Treasury Select Committee came when the soft-spoken Labour MP Jim Cousins said: “Chancellor, if you are going to lead us into this Temple of Doom I think the British people will be looking to you to behave a little bit more like Indiana Jones.”
Mr Darling’s mouth opened and then closed. His eyebrows, which have been trimmed but still look like giant black caterpillars, just ones with recent haircuts, shot up. The room tittered.
I tried to imagine Mr Darling, hat askew, shirt open, racing across a rope bridge. Simply not possible. I could only see him as Edinburgh Jones, wearing a suit (trouser legs rolled up), creeping along, each eyebrow fastened to the bridge by bungee jump cables. Behind him crawled an army of aides, with binders.
Do caterpillars have haircuts?