Spin cycle

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The Independent Online

The announcement by the Department for Transport that Martin Sixsmith had not, after all, resigned as communications director several months after Stephen Byers told Parliament that he had was almost parodic. We have become used to Mr Byers dreaming up ever more inventive uses of the peculiar bureaucratese that is his lingua franca, but this latest missive is notable for its obfuscation. "The department announced that he had resigned on what turned out to be an incorrect understanding of earlier discussions that day," the statement says. But it is fooling no one, even those who can understand it.

It is a priceless piece of Byers spin. And, like those other examples of Byers spin, at bottom an attempt to disguise the truth. There have been far too many of those in Mr Byers's lamentable ministerial career. You can stop spinning now, Stephen; the game's up.