On the Missing CDs scandal

I love this government. They give me so much material to use when teaching kids how not to handle IT. I watched the Chancellor's wretched apology in the Commons this morning with a tired kind of incredulity. It's nothing more than par for the course under this Labour government.

What I found most remarkable, though, was Mr. Darling's repeated insistence that all this had been done "at a junior level". Of course, we know that's code for "this is not a resignation matter", but think about what that really means, if it's even true:

At Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, a junior member of staff has a level of access to data such that they can transfer the entire data set for 25,000,000 individuals to their workstation and burn it onto a couple of CDs.

If that level of access is afforded to junior staff at HMRC, then we're in a far worse position than I even imagined could be possible.

I agree with Mr. Darling's implicit assertion that this is not a resignation matter. It's a sacking matter and if Gordon Brown had any nerve whatsoever - or indeed anyone else of any calibre to choose from - he would have removed Alistair Darling from office ten seconds after he sat down from making his miserable apology.

If Brown had any honour, he would tender his own resignation immediately thereafter.