I remember a time where if you were in a high position of power or responsibility (or both) and were found to be dodgy or your associates/employees were dodgy, you resigned.
Now it seems that you do anything, absolutely anything to shift blame and hang onto your job. You blame a few rouge journalists/traders/advisors. You stridently protest that you did nothing wrong and are horrified at the actions of people who weren't honest with you.
Your bank collapses? Dig your heels and nails in and demand millions in severance/pensions.
Your newspaper endemically breaks the law and tries to run the country? Move forward your plans to close the newspaper and relaunch it under another, more profitable guise, deny everything, lie through your teeth, threaten and throw underlings to the wolves if it really, really won't go away.
Your traders get caught committing fraud on such a massive scale no one is sure if you can prosecuted for it? Shrug it off and say it was nothing to do with you.
Let your old school friend work semi-officially from your ministerial office and sell your support? See above
Sell your arse to a media mogul, get put in charge of deciding how much more power he can have and get caught trying to make sure he gets his way? Promise that you wouldn't have if you'd ended up having to make the decision, honest and blame it all on an underling while protesting that the underling did nothing wrong.
Never, ever accept that you failed in any way whatsoever and better yet, try to convince every one that you're absolutely the best thing ever at your chosen job.
I mean, what? Why are we all so accepting of this? Even in the highly unlikely event that some or any of the ministers and businessmen involved in these recent events didn't know what was going on below them, it still shows them up as incompetent if not actually corrupt.
Bob Diamond for example, claims he had no idea the Libor rates were being manipulated by his traders, despite being the traders' direct boss at the time. Now, in a position such as his, I can see two ways to lead. Either you insist your employees do everything by the book, put in place measures to ensure they do and make it very clear what the repercussions will be if you are caught not adhering to these principles or you just insist that the balance sheets rise and make it clear you do not wish to know how it's done so long as it is.
Seriously, whether he knew or not he was in charge and setting the game plan so he is responsible.
But responsibility is a somewhat homeless virtue these days. No one wants it and wherever it tries to lie it gets moved on. It seems that the more you earn, the less responsibility you're ultimately required to take on so is it any wonder that the rest of us plebs shirk it also? Maybe we all need to accept the blame once in a while and suffer the consequences, then perhaps we wouldn't be so lackadaisical about screwing up in the first place.