A better standard of resignation.

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cuckoldgesture.jpgBack in the 1950s, when policemen called you Sir and Wimbledon was contested by adults, the Crichel Down affair led to the resignation of Sir Thomas Dugdale

He was not personally responsible for the problems with the case, and it is now widely cited as the classic example of the doctrine of Ministerial responsibility.

Nowadays, Ministers responsible for egregious failures cling on, bleating about needing the opportunity to fix their own mistakes. Opposition spokespeople fiddle taxes while preparing for high office. The Prime Minister's own fingerprints are all over various government disasters, from deregulation of the markets to the privatisation of the Tube, yet he will not go until the electorate drag him out of the door to Number Ten.

How much more impressive, therefore, is this news from Portugal. The Economy Minister made the sign of the bull to an opponent, implying someone else had got become very good friends indeed with his wife, and duly quit


I was shocked to read in Peter Oborne's 'The Political Class' That recent released documents show Dugdale was actually at fault and whilst still honourable by resigning, wasn't the self-sacrificing fall guy for others' mistakes that I learnt of in A-Level politics.

Still, as Jimmy Stewart said, when the truth conflicts with the legend, go with the legend.

Well said James.

I personally thought Mike Rumbles should have done the honourable thing and resigned as an MSP when he threw that paper clip at Salmond.

Boyler, that is desperately sad news about Mr Dugdale. I had always liked that story.

Ach, you mean they've lied to us about Crichel Down? Is nothing sacred?

As for Mike Rumbles, he fulfills a useful purpose. Every time a Liberal voter sees him on TV there's a 5% chance (and this accumulates with repeated viewings) that they'll say "Good god, is that what I've been voting for? Where's that form to join the Greens?"

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