There's nothing wrong in being a physical wreck, you know. There's no moral obligation to be Postmaster-General or Master of Foxhounds or to live to walk ten miles at eighty.What with the police questioning the Prime Minister in the ongoing cash for peerages investigation, and the Attorney General putting the kibosh on the Serious Fraud Office investigation into a multi-billion pound Saudi arms deal, there's a powerful smell of mendacity in this country at the moment.
The leader in the Daily Telegraph savages Tony Blair today, saying that his "belief in the superiority of his motives leads him to reason that, when the New Labour project is at stake, the ends justify the means". That strikes a chord certainly, but I think that another contibutor to the collapse of probity and integrity in public life is the mania for presenting every issue in moral terms.
If everything has a moral dimension, then nothing does.
Public heath issues are my particular bete noire in this regard, hence the quote from Brideshead Revisited at the top of this rant.
The government expends so much of its virtue on nonsense like persecuting smokers and rubbishing parents who might have the temerity to feed their offspring the odd jam doughnut, that it doesn't have any moral fibre left to apply to itself and its own nefarious schemes.