There is nothing as dangerous or threatening as the barrel of a pointed finger, and the firing squad that greeted the Prime Minister on that cold December morning had him right between the eyes.
His had been the fifth voice of the day to declare itself "the first to admit that mistakes had been made, both costly and dangerous" but, as he had gone on to explain "the courage shown by ministers in their conviction was representative of the measures this government were prepared to take to get the job done." The soft soap had washed poorly with the public, some of whom demanded action, threatening "French-like revolts". Publicly, the PM cheerfully offered the dissenters a copy of the French partisans' track record, jovially asking which of the failed revolutions attempts the activists were hoping to replicate, but behind the closed doors of No. 10 he was as compposed as a Picasso. Trouble was coming, reigned in on the winds of vengeance, and tilled by the crew of the bloodthirsty and the furious. At best, he was looking at a forced general election, at worst: resignation. Despite the fact that everyone knew it wasn't his fault, no-one had felt the desire to acknowledge his innocence. His cabinet wouldn't help him, the egotistical swines, and the media were just as dependable for silence. Owing to either personal aspirations, lacking moral fibre, or protracted and bitter feuds (which the PM rueful conceded could stretch back as far a Balliol), none would come to his aid, and if the mutineers thought their captain was desperate enough to legitimately absolve himself, they were sorely mistaken.