A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned a campaign to protest against the proposal sale of English forests. Earlier this week the proposal was dropped with an unequivocal apology from the environmental secretary, Caroline Spelman.
The following exchange in the Commons illustrates the dynamic.
Labour MP: "Is it not [sic] this humiliating climbdown a tribute to the anger of huge numbers of people who said they would not have this? Is it not deplorable that you have been forced to stand in the corner with the dunce's cap on your head by a cabinet which drove the whole lot of them to vote the opposite two weeks ago?"Indeed.
Spelman: "It is only humiliating if you are afraid to say sorry. We teach our children to say sorry."
It would have been good for the leaders of the Coalition also to acknowledge their own roles instead of appointing a scapegoat to claim full responsibility. But I honour Caroline Spelman for her actions.