On 2nd April 1982 Argentina invaded the Falklands, three days later Lord Carrington, the then Foreign Secretary, took full responsibility for the perceived failings of the Foreign Office and resigned.

He followed in an honourable tradition of leading politicians resigning from office following major failures or mistakes by their department. Few people at the time thought Lord Carrington was directly or personally responsible but most accepted that, given the circumstances, resignation was regrettable but appropriate.

The last time in Scotland a minister took direct responsibility for the failings of their department was Stewart Stevenson back in 2010. Nobody thought that he personally should have been behind the wheel of a snowplough during the severe storms that brought Scotland to a standstill for the best part of a week. He did accept however that there had been failings by his department and therefore he resigned.

It was also widely accepted that ministers who were discovered not to be living up to the accepted standards of the time, or the mores which their own government espoused, should willingly offer to spend considerably more time with their family.

In recent years, both in Westminster and in Holyrood, politicians voluntarily falling on their sword has become almost unknown. With a couple of extreme exceptions, Derek Mackay springs to mind, politicians now seem determined to carry on regardless.

Our current Prime Minister has been caught red-handed, or should that be ‘glass in hand’, flouting rule after rule he demanded the rest of the country abide by or face possible legal action. He stands accused of, at the very least, not being entirely frank and open with the House of Commons. The policy failings and sheer incompetence of his administration are too numerous to mention.

And yet he soldiers on.

How much longer does he seriously expect that his entirely manufactured persona of the tousle-haired buffoon can protect him from the inevitable consequences of political gravity? He probably does not have the decency to resign, as he most certainly should. But his own backbenchers might well do for him yet.

Johnson hides behind the shield of his own eccentricity; the SNP hide behind the cry of Freedom! and the demand for a second referendum. Since Stewart Stevenson, no Scottish minister has accepted personal responsibility for the failures in policy or administration under their watch. In the last parliament John Swinney and Jeane Freeman, both incidentally genuinely liked as individuals by opposition politicians, should have owned their mistakes in the Education and Health briefs and tendered their resignation.

An independent Scotland will be perfect and thus an SNP minister can do no wrong seems to have become the rubric. This iron plated defence has also protected the First Minister who has survived revelations and accusations far more serious than those that have sunk the careers of other Scottish political leaders.

Here in Glasgow, our SNP Education Convener was even the subject of a successful No Confidence motion but carried on regardless. Our SNP administration, or City Government as they grandly insist, do not seem to particularly care what anybody else thinks.

And, yes, this extends to Labour politicians and my own colleagues too. In the past, MPs, MSPs and councillors I have liked, admired and trusted have had to resign; usually for good reason.

Recognising failures or failings, and acting accordingly, is in a fine political tradition which is in urgent need of resuscitation.