Labour's current Shadow Home Secretary is Yvette Cooper. Imagine it became clear that she had been guilty of serious wrongdoing, and she reacted by saying : "This incident would have required my resignation if I'd been the actual Home Secretary, but as it is I'm just going to carry on as if nothing has happened." Do you think that would have been considered tenable? Of course not. If you're not a fit and proper person to be a Cabinet minister, then you're not a fit and proper person to be a Shadow Cabinet member.
When Alistair Carmichael admitted knowingly lying over the "Frenchgate" affair, he carefully attempted to draw a distinction between his role as an MP and as an ex-Cabinet minister. He insisted that the matter did not require his resignation as an MP, but acknowledged that it would have required his resignation as a Cabinet minister had he still been in office. Conveniently, his position in the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet did not arise, as it appears that no such body existed at the time.
But it exists now. Tim Farron unveiled his list of spokespeople yesterday, and Alistair Carmichael has been given the Home Affairs brief. He is, effectively, the Liberal Democrats' Shadow Home Secretary, just weeks after acknowledging that he could not possibly have carried on as Scottish Secretary. How does that work exactly? OK, we know that the Lib Dems are "the party of rehabilitation", but surely to goodness they haven't completed his rehabilitation already?
If only they were this quick when it comes to delivering federalism and electoral reform.
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Meanwhile, Lib Dem Voice have continued to burnish their credentials as one of Britain's leading comedy websites, by describing Farron's new line-up as "the most diverse shadow cabinet team in the party’s history". As Sophia Pangloss pointed out on Twitter, the team actually includes more Baronesses (eight) than elected MPs (six). But don't be cynical - the Lib Dems have a really diverse range of Baronesses.
And at least they're making us feel nostalgic - this is the first time in several decades that any party's Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet has been drawn primarily from the unelected House of Lords. It's just like the good old days with Lord Palmerston.