Ming Campbell comes in for some flack in today's papers for keeping quiet about Charles Kennedy's drink problem. Magnus Linklater in The Times wonders if these lines from E M Forster floated into Ming's head as he contemplated the decision he had to make...
"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I would have the guts to betray my country."
I accept that all those around Kennedy had a terrible dilemma, but it says much about the way Ming and his colleagues would seek to govern us that they chose the 'betray my country' option for so long.
Remember, these people allowed Kennedy to be their candidate for Prime Minister not once but twice in the full knowledge that he had a debilitating drink problem.
I really do appreciate the personal dilemmas involved here, but when the time came to exert leadership they were all found wanting. Those six million people who voted LibDem were betrayed. And in the end, that's all the electorate will remember from this sorry episode.