There was a time in British public life when a chap resigned and that was that.
Often the resignation was forced, but it allowed the man his dignity.
He would say his piece and was listened to in respectful silence.
To hang on for dear life and be unceremoniously sacked was considered un-British.
When Jack Profumo stood up in the Commons in the wake of the Christine Keeler scandal that was that.
He went to the East End of London to do good works.
The idea that he would be re-habilitated after a few years and back into political life was unthinkable.
He never was.
However, the rules appear to have changed on these matters and I first noticed this at the time of Peter (now Lord) Mandelson’s third return to the UK cabinet.
Between these two political careers British politics seems to have developed a sort of “sin bin” for politicians who got caught doing naughty things.
With Profumo it was about lying to the Commons on a matter of national security although the public wanted to know the details of the extra-marital sex.
In the generation that passed between MacMillan and Blair the rules seemed to have changed.
With Mandelson his first fall from grace was about an undisclosed home loan.
He resigned and was banished by Blair from the cabinet for a whole ten months.
Then there was the rather messy business with the Srichand Hinduja who was an Indian businessman who wanted British citizenship.
This led to his second resignation in 2001, but he was brought back onto the political gravy train by being appointed European Commissioner in 2004.
So it would now appear in British life that resignation, or being sacked in disgrace, isn’t necessarily the end, because today my attention was drawn to the public utterances of Mr Hugh Dallas on the subject of the bullying of referees.
Mr Dallas is an interesting person to get a quote from on the subject of bullying of SFA match officials.
As far as I know these allegations made by Mr Craven have not been withdrawn nor have they been the subject of libel proceedings.
Of course Mr Dallas is better known for the reasons of his exit from the SFA than anything he did when he was the head of referee development at Hampden.
The email at the centre of the Dallas controversy caused huge offence to many people in Scotland and beyond.
Although Mr Dallas’ bosses at the SFA dealt with the matter by terminating his employment they did not, as an organisation, see fit to contact the injured party in this incident.
Let’s say that a senior SFA employee had passed on a highly offensive email “joke” about the Prophet Mohammed.
I doubt that Glasgow the Mosque would be able to make such a complaint about receiving no apology from the people in charge at Hampden.
If Mr Dallas is now to become a regular presence on planet fitba again then there should be no airbrushing of history.
He had his Ron Atkinson moment.
The Englishman thought the microphone was off and I got the email about the Pope.
That is the job of a journalist.
It wasn’t personal it was just business.
For the record it is my settled view that if the Dallas email about the Pope had only been known to the denizens of the sports desks in Glasgow then “Hughie” would still be at his job today in Hampden.
In Pierluigi Collina and Tony Blair, both Dallas and Mandelson have the benefit from having very powerful friends who will come through for them.
However Blair’s consigliere would go to the mattresses for the type of sycophantic press that “Hughie” knows he can count on.
In England there was no one making excuses for “Big Ron” in the media in 2004.
The condemnation was immediate and total.
After that was done then there was then an intelligent conversation about the views that the ex-manager had espoused.
I saw a fascinating documentary where Ron Atkinson spent time with a couple of Afro Caribbean heritage as he tried to explain his upbringing.
It was an attempt at inter-racial, inter-generational explanation.
There was no doubt that, for whatever reason, Ron was publicly remorseful for the offense he had caused over the comments about Marcel Desailly.
Mr Hugh Dallas has been largely off the radar for two years.
Perhaps in that time he has become a billionaire, if that is the case then I’m sure the lads at the sports desk in the Daily Record will soon exclusively reveal that to us.
I can only deduce from this today that the mainstream media in Scotland now think that it is ok for Mr Dallas to be wheeled out as a voice of ethical authority on fitba matters.
At no point during my reporting of the Dallas story two years ago did I editorialise on his motives for passing on that email.
I attempted several times to contact him when working on the story, but I had no luck on that score.
Personally I have no issue with a public rehabilitation, but first the person has to embrace the truth that “sorry” is the most powerful word.
Say it Hughie.