Letter: When resignation is the honourable course

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The Independent Online
Sir: There is an attitude which has been increasingly adopted that I believe to be fundamental to the general decline we are experiencing - and appear to be resigned to - in this country. That is the attitude of accepting responsibility for failure but refusing to act upon this - because one did what one thought was best.

Unfortunately, power breeds inevitable isolation. Hence many lose sight of the 'greater good' and adopt policies of desperate self-preservation. Recent examples are Norman Lamont, Graham Taylor, Ted Dexter and John Patten. In fact, the only honourable people of recent years who spring to mind are Brian Clough and the ex- head of the London Ambulance service, both of whom had the grace and courage to acknowledge responsibility by resigning.

Resignation is not a sign of weakness but an indication of strength of character - a realisation of these limitations. I hope that we in the United Kingdom soon learn to 'fall on our swords' again when necessary, before failure becomes even more commonplace.

Yours sincerely,

M. TARIQ ALI

London, EC1

2 June

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