Politicians can be rather a loathsome bunch of individuals. Aside from breaking election promises and habitually lying to the voters, they treat each other with contempt (especially when they try to save their own skins).
Such is the treatment meted out to Adam Smith, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's special adviser, who has been forced to quit in order to try to save Hunt's skin.
For why has he been forced out?
Smith therefore has been sacrificed, in the hope that Hunt won't need to be.
It is of course ironic, and very instructive (as to how politicians stab each other in the back), to see that last night Number 10 insisted that Smith would not go.
Doubtless Number 10 will blame Smith's departure on an "invisible hand", but we know better don 't we children?
Here is Smith's "resignation" statement issued (and I assume written) on his behalf:
"While it was part of my role to keep News Corporation informed throughout the BskyB bid process, the content and extent of my contact was done without authorisation from the Secretary of State.
I do not recognise all of what Fred Michel said, but nonetheless I appreciate that my activities at times went too far and have, taken together, created the perception that News Corporation had too close a relationship with the department, contrary to the clear requirements set out by Jeremy Hunt and the permanent secretary that this needed to be a fair and scrupulous process.
Whilst I firmly believe that the process was in fact conducted scrupulously fairly, as a result of my activities it is only right for me to step down as special adviser to Jeremy Hunt."