Once Lembit Opik gave his public support to Peter Hain last week, he was doomed. Tonight, the Liberal Democrat seems to be the only MP who does not think the resignation was inevitable. He seems to think its ok for a Minister to carry on in office at the same time as he is being investigated by the Police! Ah well, there's no accounting for some people's opinions.
I really cannot see how a 'forced' resignation can be passed off as 'Honourable'. Yet that seems to be the word that every Labour 'spokesman' has been using to describe today's resignation of Peter Hain, the Secretary of State for Wales (and Work and Pensions). If he'd resigned on the day he disclosed that he had failed to declare over £103,000 of donations towards his Deputy Leadership bid, he might just have got away with the use of the 'H' word - but surely not on the day that the Electoral Commission referred the matter to the Police! Oddly enough, every Labour 'spokesman' who has used the word 'Honourable' has also described the resignation as inevitable. I suppose the New Labour dictionary has something of an unusual way with words.
The other theme of comments emanating from the mouths of Labour 'spokesman' today is personal sympathy for the ex- Secretary of State. So I've been delving into the deepest recesses of my heart to see if I can find any sympathy there. I found no more than a smidgen - and that only because I rather liked Peter Hain. But I can and will never forgive him for joining with Rhodri Morgan to force through the ban on 'dual-candidacy' at the last National Assembly for Wales election. I daresay you've forgotten what this row was all about. Too complex to explain in a blog post. But let me remind you that these two men distorted the electoral process in Wales for partisan advantage in an utterly disgraceful way. I told both of them, to their faces, in the Assembly Debating Chamber, that such a constitutional outrage would pollute both of their legacies for ever. So No, search as I might, I cannot find more than that smidgen of sympathy. But I can see quite a bit of 'just desserts'. And you can call me bitter if you like - because I am.
I've always had great respect for Paul Murphy. The Prime Minister got this one right, in my opinion. Should be fun watching how he works with Labour's coalition partners in the National Assembly, bearing in mind the total condemnation which has laced every utterance he has made on the coalition deal. Happy days ahead.