Tellingly, before the interview started, this is what his press adviser [Catherine Macleod] said to him...
"Now Alistair," Catherine tells him firmly when eventually we sit down for the interview, "tell her everything. Make sure you tell her everything."
What an astonishing thing to say. She's effectively saying, go on, dish the dirt, and don't worry about that the man in Number Ten might think - save your own reputation.
The contents of the interview have been reported ad nauseum elsewhere so I won't go into too much detail here, beyond saying that it is extraordinary that a Chancellor discovers how bad a shape we are in from reading the FT, rather than from Treasury officials.
Two other points. He absolutely dismisses talk of a reshuffle. This is fighting talk, as I don't recall a Minister ever doing something like that in such stark terms. Normally, the line would be "it's for the Prime Minister to decide". Darling said this...
"Frankly, if you had a reshuffle just now, I think the public would say, Who are they anyway? You name me a reshuffle that ever made a difference to a government, actually." Brown, he points out, had to make ministerial changes in January, following Peter Hain's resignation. "And you can't be chopping and changing people that often. I mean, undoubtedly at some stage before the end of the parliament he will want to do a reshuffle, but I'm not expecting one imminently. I do not think there will be a reshuffle."
I suppose his 'get-out' is the word imminently, as the consensus seems to be that it now won't be carried until until after the Labour conference, but even so, it is still an extraordinary stance for a senior minister to take.
Secondly, it is interesting to note his acpocalyptic description of the state of the economy, as the worst in 60 years. This contrasts with what Gordon Brown has been saying rather starkly. If the economy is in its worst state since World War II (a description which I think is utter rubbish, for what it's worth), people will understandably ask who is to blame. They might accept that the global economic situation is partly to blame, but they will ask why our economy is in recession when the US economy continues to grow at 3%, and why the Pound is sliding against every other major currency.
My overall impression from this interview was a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders who hasn't got a clue what to do next. He sounded like a businessman who knows his company is about to go bankrupt, and cannot come up with a Plan B.