Resignation and perspective

If you run a broadcasting organisation, you hire a journalist who discovers that the government is misleading the public in order to justify a foreign war (but who makes his report in a slightly exaggerated fashion, even though that has no impact on the substance of the accusations), and you back him up in the early stages of the subsequent investigation, then that is a resigning matter.

If you are the producer of a kids’ TV show, your external phone lines go down during a phone-in, and you put a child from the studio audience on the line instead of abandoning the item (or if you decide the audience has picked a silly name for a cat, and go with their second choice), then that is a resigning matter.

If you run a TV channel, you hire an independent producer to make a documentary about an elderly woman, and the independent producer cuts some PR footage of the elderly woman visiting a photographer in a way that implies she was more angry with the photographer than she actually was, then that is a resigning matter.

However, if you merely spread outrageous, scaremongering lies, in order to turn something which is entirely and unequivocally safe into an issue of serious concern and worry for gullible parents everywhere while promoting a pig-ignorant anti-science and anti-scientist agenda, then that is an ‘improved training” matter.

Quite right too. We should save resignations for the things that are really important…

  1. And, obviously, breaking the laws you yourself made in order to hobble your opponents is an honest mistake made in good faith.

  2. John B said:

    Not that this has anything to do with the topic of the post – but you’d need to assume an enormous streak of deliberate self-destruction to assume that TeacupDonorgate isn’t an honest mistake.
    Labour had nothing to gain from accepting dodgy donations – their financial situation isn’t currently especially precarious, and the value we’re talking about as a % of party funds is small.
    Their opponents (including, say, secretive disgruntled tycoons who the party had previously let down and deselected, as well as the Tories and LDs) had everything to gain from tarring Labour as just as provenly corrupt as them (hello Lord Ashcroft! Hello Michael Brown!).
    So, a quick perusal of the rules to see what donations can be accepted mistakenly in good faith but still be illegal, a little sting operation, followed by a massive PR blitz to claim that doing so is in any way important – bish bash bosh, and we have a scandal. Even though it’s of absolutely no account or importance to anyone sane.

  3. “spread outrageous, scaremongering lies!

    Just for a minute there I thought you had suddenly changed the habits of a lifetime and started writing sense because I assumed it was something to do with that tendentious pile of smelly stuff produced by Al Gore.

    As for your reply above, if I’m ever up in front of the judge for breaking the law will it be alright if I say it was a mistake, or that I forgot, or that my PA didn’t tell me, or I didn’t know – although it was me that helped draft the law?

  4. I thought (and hoped) that your punch-line — the heinous behaviour which doesn’t apparently require resignation whereas the absurdly trivial peccadillos described in your lead-in do — would be that taking your country into an illegal, unnecessary, unsuccessful, mendaciously justified and blunderingly unprepared war is not a resigning matter. But then, come to think of it, Eden and Selwyn Lloyd didn’t resign over Suez; Eden eventually resigned for (genuine) health reasons, and Lloyd, his partner in lying to parliament, the UN and the British public, went on to become Speaker.