Two computer discs holding the personal details of all families in the UK with a child under 16 have gone missing. The Child Benefit data on them includes name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, bank details of 25m people.
What has been compromised? Just the personal details of twenty five million individuals and seven and a quarter million families. Names, addresses, dates of birth and bank account details. For the government to lecture the nation on preventing identity fraud and then itself directly facilitating it is obscene.
If this is not a resignation matter for the Chancellor then, clearly, the principle of ministerial accountability has been expunged from our constitution by New Labour.
Frankly, there are already half a dozen good reasons why Alistair Darling should no longer be a cabinet minister. This is but the icing on the cake.