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BBC Documentaries: Season 2011

2011x171 My Resignation

  • 2011-08-03T21:00:00+01:00 on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Through personal testimony, this programme follows the process of resigning: from the initial crisis to taking the decision to resign and handling the timing, to the costs, consequences and legacy of the resignation.

It shows that the honourable resignation is not dead. In all walks of life people grappling with moral issues still take that decision to resign. Consultant anaesthetist Stephen Bolsin felt he could only go public after he had resigned and left the country. Former home secretary Jacqui Smith was determined to do the honourable thing and resign immediately over her expenses, but she was thwarted by a prime minister with any eye on political timing. The honourable resignations of Lord Carrington and Richard Luce were put back on track by a hostile parliament and press.

The programme charts how resignation can act as a social barometer - affairs that were once a fast route to leaving are no longer a career fullstop. Max Mosley talks frankly about how determined he was not to bow to pressure to go after revelations over his extra-marital sex.

Interviewees talk about their experiences and what they have learned. Alastair Campbell describes almost 'lamping' demonstrators outside his house. Greg Dyke can't sleep after his resignation 'deal' with the BBC governors goes wrong. Daily Star journalist Richard Peppiatt is plunged into depression after his plan to publish his resignation letter in the Guardian falls apart.

My Resignation shows that however society changes, resigning remains a personal and often traumatic journey.