It’s not reassuring that departments are responsible for marking their own homework in relation to alleged breaches of the Code.
Sir Anthony Eden offers the great modern warning: an expert who lacked the mental robustness to cope at the highest level.
Nor could the Foreign Secretary pretend that his department was paying much attention to Afghanistan before the fall of Kabul.
Never mind the holiday, feel the challenge – that’s to say, moving on from responding to Brexit to what Afghanistan may mean for foreign policy.
The overhaul of the civil service continues with a new (and notably less Eurocentric) head of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.