DR Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, has shown – much as William Hague did in his friendship with a personal assistant – that clever people are capable making very stupid errors of judgment.

High intelligence and perspicacity don’t always go together.

However, when this lack of worldliness is accompanied by the pomposity and sense of self-entitlement frequently displayed by our national politicians, there is the potential for serious careerthreatening mistakes.

Given the self-importance of many politicians these acts of foolishness do afford the electorate a certain amount of amusement and satisfaction.

Any hilarity, however, is tempered by the knowledge that these are the people we have entrusted to make crucial decisions concerning the way we live and the good of our country.

In the case of Dr Fox, there is also the small matter of national security to take into account.

VJ Connor, Bishop Auckland