Former Conservative chief whip Andrew Mitchell today lost his long-running libel case against The Sun newspaper, and with it quite possibly his political career. As yet another politician is destroyed by a needless act of sheer stupidity it makes you wonder about the calibre of our MPs.
The great political scandals of this parliament have not been gravely serious crimes. They have not been outrageous examples of corruption. Indeed, compared with the often unbelievable actions of rogue politicians in other countries, recent British scandals seem almost trivial.
Chris Huhne: career destroyed because he was stupid enough to lie about who was driving his car when it was clocked by a speed camera.
Aidan Burley: career destroyed because he was stupid enough to go to a stag party where a guest was dressed as a Nazi.
Patrick Mercer: career destroyed because he was stupid enough to fall for a sting by reporters posing as dodgy lobbyists.
Maria Miller: career destroyed because she was stupid enough not to show contrition for a row about her expenses.
Brooks Newmark: career destroyed because he was stupid enough to send compromising pictures of himself to people he didn’t know over the internet.
Emily Thornberry: career destroyed because she was stupid enough to post a disparaging tweet about a voter.
None of these politicians needed to do any of these things. All of these scandals were entirely avoidable, if only they had engaged their brains. It makes you wonder.