“Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall; And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.”
Positive ideas of empire which in recent decades almost no one dared to express are emerging once more into public discourse.
He claims is that the report that triggered his removal was both rushed and wrong.
“When I became Prime Minister last year, I pledged that the Government I lead would have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.”
The former Defence Secretary says the Prime Minister is lucky his adviser delivered such an unambiguous verdict so swiftly.
The friendliness and expertise of the IfG’s staff, and worthiness of its aims, should not obscure its desire to place the fate of ministers in the hands of mandarins.
The question of who serves in Cabinet is a political one, and Sunak is accountable to Parliament and the voters for his choices.
If so much, as Ministers suggest, depends on common sense, nuance, context and common sense, people will draw the inevitable conclusion.
The hard paradox is that while older people are electorally powerful – perhaps more than ever – they are also individually vulnerable.
These concerns, however, often only add to the need for us to remain ethically and democratically engaged, particularly regarding the most emotive cases.
Disputes have focused on questions arising from his plight – parental, ethical, legal. But it may be useful to widen the angle of the lens.
Even the activists campaigning for legalised assisted suicide have admitted that “the majority of people who die in the UK will not suffer pain”.