Uber-trougher Eric Joyce is making efforts to distance himself from Labour's sinking rats no doubt with an eye to his constituency majority, already likely to be severely dented by the scale of his Parliamentary expenses claims. But even his most uncritical constituents will wonder at the tone of patent insincerity used by Joyce in his resignation letter;
"As you may know, I told Bob Ainsworth some weeks ago that I intended to step down as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Defence Secretary before the start of the new parliamentary term. This seems to me the least disruptive time to do that. "
Um, yep; on the eve of Gordon's critical Afghan-justification speech
"Labour was returned to power in 1997 on the back of your great success in turning the economy from a weakness into a strength for Labour."
By promising no tax-and-spend, Gordon won over both the City and floating voters. He lied, of course, and abandoned all fiscal prudence by the early oughties.
"The Conservatives, of course opportunistically, think they can convince the public that we have lost our empathy with the Defence community."
The public only has to look at the ARRSE forums to see what the 'Defence community' thinks of Labour; Cameron and his team have actually been responsibly restrained in using this against Labour.
"As you know, two Black Watch soldiers gave their lives during your visit. I do not think the public will accept for much longer that our losses can be justified by simply referring to the risk of greater terrorism on our streets."
Here Joyce twists the stiletto; the image of dead soldiers being packed into body bags whilst Gordon, surrounded by massive security, glad-hands Headquarters staff for the cameras to no operational advantage whatsoever is neatly implanted in readers' minds
"It should be possible now to say that we will move off our present war-footing and reduce our forces there substantially during our next term in government."
As Labour's next term in government is unlikely to be before 2025, if ever, this is the hollowest of wishes
"in my view we should allow our service personnel greater latitude to voice their views on matters which make distinctions between defence and politics pointless."
This harks back to Joyce's own insubordination when serving, in publicly criticising his fellow officers even when ordered to desist. He continues to demonstrate that he has little idea of how the forces work, or of the long road of experience that has led to the current workable arrangements.
"I believe the next election is ours to win, thanks greatly to your personal great economic success."
Either Joyce is lying through his teeth (most likely) or he actually believes this guff, in which case his electors might conclude he's mad, and turf him out on grounds of lunacy.
The Times reproduces his cringingly embarrassing letter in full, whilst the Mail presents its readers with an edited version that omits the silly bits.