As Walter Ellis remarked on these pages yesterday Nick Clegg is now working for Facebook. Nick Clegg? Remember him? He used to be Leader of the Liberal Democrats and, more to the point, Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition Government 2010-15. He lost his Sheffield seat in Mrs May’s rash General Election, and so good-bye.

That’s the way it goes now. Prime Ministers and senior ministers rarely stay in politics once they’ve been rejected by the voters or, like Tony Blair, by their party colleagues. We used to do things differently. When Asquith, ejected from office in 1916, lost his seat in the Khaki Election of 2018, he didn’t say “that’s enough then. I’m off”. He was over seventy and his Liberal Party was split. Nevertheless, he contested a by-election in Paisley and won it. As leader of his part of the Liberal Party he was responsible for enabling Labour to form its first Government – a minority one – in 1923. This was a good thing, a responsible act which confirmed Labour’s commitment to parliamentary democracy.

Few think of Asquith now. But what about Churchill? Having been Chancellor of the Exchequer 1924-9, he was ignored when the National (coalition) Government was formed in 1931. He was fifty-five, unpopular and distrusted by his former colleague, also, as ever, in financial difficulties. These days someone in his position would have walked away from Westminster to make more money elsewhere. Churchill, however, stuck around. In 1940 most people were rather glad that he had done so.