If you are a Minister in a government that has lost its way, is trampling on the beliefs and ideals of its own party, and busily briefing against its own people, in the end you have to resign. You carry on, trying to avoid having to defend the indefensible, picking your way carefully through the mistakes, gross injustices and bad spin.
You live on in the hope that you will win the next battle in Cabinet, that you can persauade the Prime Minister to do the decent thing for a change, or in the hope that you will be allowed to make a difference in your own area. One day, if you wish to restore your own self respect and start the real battle for the soul of your party, you have to resign. It is a liberating experience. You feel so much better for it.
There are now so many reasons why any decent Labour Minister who can remember the principles and ideals that brought him or her into politics should resign.
If you came in to uphold and extend our civil liberties, you must be ashamed of how they are being damaged and abused by this government.
If you came in to see a better Health Service, you must be appalled at the numbers of deaths of patients from hospital acquired infections and even from malnutrition.
If you came in to defend workers rights you will be furious at the botched semi privatisation proposals already pushed through for the London Underground and now about to hit the Post office.
If you wanted to see better equality of incomes you will be scandalised by the public sector rich list and by the pensions for retiring bankers in state owned banks.
If you came in to see an ethical foreign policy you must be struggling to defend the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and extraordinary rendition.
If you came in to see a rise in standards in public life, you will be bitterly disappointed by the vicious spin used against Labour figures, even if you are not so worried about lies against the Tories.
If you came in to see public spending champion better lives for the poor, you must be feeling uncomfortable about the extent of public spending on the privileged and powerful.
If you believed it when you told us the government had abolished boom and bust, do you now feel let down and lied to by the Prime Minister who presided over the credit binge and the crash?
When you look at yourself in the shaving or make-up mirror in the morning, are you any longer proud to be a Minister in this government?