Noble, honest and decent…pity Len doesn’t have it in him

Len Brown should have resigned…he knows there is much more to come, but this morning he announced his intention to carry on regardless via a press release announcing Penny Hulse as his deputy. They deserve each other…they both have things to hide.

The man, if you can call him that, lacks nobility, honesty and decency.

In these days of greed and self-interest, those who fall on their swords deserve our respect.

In the bubble bath of venality that is the Premier League, where even non-triers can soak up unimaginable riches, old-fashioned integrity appears too rarely on the score sheet. Loyalty exists, but only if accompanied by a seven-figure cheque.

Last week, however, the game’s forces of darkness suffered an uncommon setback. Ian Holloway, Crystal Palace’s manager, resigned, admitting that he was worn-out and no longer up to the job. What’s more, he did so without the aid of a pit-bull lawyer making demands with menaces on the club’s treasurer.

The south London team has won just one game all season, yet chairman Steve Parish did not want Holloway to quit and paid tribute to the manner of his exit: “He leaves with his head held high. Most would carry on taking the money. He has fallen on his sword. It was honest, noble and decent of him.”

Honest. Noble. Decent. Jeepers, when was the last time you heard an endorsement like that in football, business, politics or the media for that matter?  

Not many in politics have those three characteristics. Most are venal, corrupt and self-interested.

High-profile resignations make headlines on a regular basis but, in a world where legality and morality are diverging concepts, it’s hard to recall more than a handful of recent examples that represented truly exemplary behaviour.

Having presided over the Newsnight fiasco in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, the BBC’s director-general, George Entwistle, threw in the towel, telling reporters: “I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down from the post.”

The giveaway was his self-validating claim to be acting honourably. It sounded suspicious and we have since discovered why. Attached to Mr Entwistle’s gesture was a compensation demand for going quietly that now looks like a lottery win. He left with £450,000, double the amount specified in his contract, one year’s health insurance and nearly £50,000 to cover legal bills and communications advice.

As Margaret Hodge, chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, noted: “He took a public job. He is highly remunerated. He failed in 54 days and then he gets incredibly rewarded for failure.” If Mr Entwistle’s terms and conditions applied to ordinary employees, I suspect the economy would be awash with high-minded individuals offering to leave their workplaces immediately in limousines laden with cash.

A resignation that involves screwing taxpayers for a king’s ransom does not pass the ethics test. Neither do resignations preceded by dishonourable activities. Some of the MPs who stepped down following the expenses debacle tried to dress up their departures as displays of “doing the right thing”. Others hoped to retain honour and dignity by claiming to be victims rather than culprits.

Before resigning as Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith let it be known she had been “hurt” by criticism that followed revelations about her dodgy claims, including one for her husband’s adult movies. The voters of Redditch rightly concluded that there was nothing honourable about Ms Smith’s resignation and she was thrown out at the 2010 general election.

So, put on your thinking caps, who has resigned honourably in recent times from a position of great influence?

Have we got any in New Zealand? Perhaps Phil Heatley, John Banks almost all other have been forced to resign after prevarication for sometime.

Len Brown is shameless, he will weather the mocking, the giggles, the sly grins at council meetings, he thinks nothing of that, he will simply bank his pay-check and return home like nothing has even happened.

He is finished as a mayor, he just doesn’t know…he certainly won’t ever be getting a knighthood or an award now, ever.

The sad thing is that the people he hurt the most he has used the most in deflecting from his appalling lack of judgement.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.