Liz Truss, remember her? Of course you do. Shortest-serving prime minister in British history. In office for just 49 days. Infamously trounced by a lettuce in a “who can last the longest” competition.

In an idle moment, say between pondering a world on fire and the next Trump presidency (basically the same thing), you may have wondered where Ms Truss is now. Hiding her shame under the biggest rock she could find, probably. Maybe she got herself to a nunnery, or the world cruise she went on sailed too close to the Bermuda Triangle.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. After a period of silence almost as brief as her time in office, Ms Truss is to be found on the comeback trail. Her first stop, prior to attending the Conservative party conference in Manchester next month, was the Institute for Government think tank where she gave a speech about being misunderstood. History may judge her as a blithering idiot, a Mrs Bean who crashed the economy and cost the country £30 billion, but she doesn’t see it that way. Heavens, no. Everything is back as it was, or better, she claimed.

There is one charge, though, to which she will cough - being too ambitious too soon with her plan to slash taxes and public spending. “Some people said we were in too much of a rush, and it is certainly true that I didn’t just try to fatten the pig on market day; I tried to rear the pig and slaughter it as well.” (She has a lovely way with imagery, don’t you think?) “I confess to that,” said the former PM. At last, something approaching an acceptance of guilt.

Not so fast, however, for this was one of those “sorry, not sorry” apologies. “But the reason we were in a rush,” she went on, “was because voters wanted to see results.” So it was the public’s fault. No shame or much in the way of blame can be apportioned to Ms Truss, according to Ms Truss. And even though she had been a bit hasty, she was still right to take action. “I went into politics to get things done, not to do public relations.” Shameless, utterly shameless.

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On she trots to Manchester and the party conference, where it went so well last time. She is promising to say more about the “anti-growth coalition” of media and political elites standing in the way of recovery. There is a book threatened too.

The comeback trail is a mighty crowded thoroughfare these days. Look just ahead and you will spy another traveller on the road to reinvention, one Nicola Sturgeon.

You might have reckoned on seeing much less of the former First Minister recently. After all, at her resignation press conference she made a Garboesque plea to be alone. After almost three decades in frontline politics she wanted a normal, unobserved life. Go for a coffee with friends, a walk on her own, drink pina coladas in the rain or whatever it is that ordinary folk do.

Except it turned out that the “friends” Ms Sturgeon wanted to spend time with were the panellists on Loose Women. That was comeback one. Comeback two is taking place against the backdrop of an ongoing police inquiry into SNP finances. Note that word “ongoing”. We have no idea how this is going to turn out. And in the meantime, some peace and quiet is called for. We are all of us tiptoeing around on this, and rightly so.

Ms Sturgeon, in contrast, has sashayed through the summer like a Strictly winner, with press conferences here and appearances at the Edinburgh festival there. She has signed a six-figure deal for her memoirs and, we learned recently, formed a company in her own name to handle future earnings. The business of Nicola Sturgeon Ltd is listed as “artistic creation”. So much for all that hillwalking she was supposed to be doing. The artist formerly known as Scotland’s First Minister has other plans in mind, and she is not waiting around for anyone’s permission to get started.

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Far ahead of Ms Sturgeon on the comeback trail is an hombre you know well. Tony Blair is the name, sending British troops into an illegal war with disastrous consequences was the game. But what price has he paid for it? What burden of shame rests on his shoulders? When the Chilcot report on the invasion of Iraq was published, the former prime minister said he accepted “full responsibility without exception or excuse”.

But then he went on to reject all of Chilcot’s sharply critical findings. It was another of those “sorry but not sorry” apologies. He still believes that he was right to get rid of Saddam, and he was right about those weapons of mass destruction that mysteriously vanished when anyone went looking for them.

Iraq was a spectacular failure of leadership, the fallout from which is with us still. Like the grief of families who lost loved ones, the consequences will be there forever. One can hardly begin to imagine what it feels like to make such a mistake. The absolute least he could do, in the absence of an apology, was keep a low profile. Instead he went off and earned lots of money, which he used to form a foundation in his own name.

Bit by bit, speech by article, he has returned to the spotlight. Should Labour win the general election it won’t be long before he is volunteering his advice to Prime Minister Starmer. He may have already started. No shame, see?

Gone are the days when politicians who found themselves at the sharp end of a situation took themselves off for some much needed contemplation. That only happens now when voters kick them out at an election, and it is usually the last thing they want. Some go on to reinvent themselves, have a second act in life that is nothing like the first. But for some, admitting any mistakes that might have been made is just for the little people, not the big cheeses.

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When did it come about, this never apologise, never explain, just blast through to the next phase attitude that some politicians have? One could blame Trump, but he is the purest expression of shamelessness, not its originator.

Whatever the reason, a little humility from some would be much appreciated. As for a comeback, we’ll get back to you.