"I don't accept that" seems like such an innocuous phrase - but it a phrase which is annoying the hell out of me more and more these days.
The reason why is that it has become the standard cop-out phrase for everybody who refuses to accept responsibility for the failures of the organisation they head up. Over the last couple of weeks I have heard it used by various BBC "chiefs" on Radio 4's Feedback or on Newswatch when answering criticism about the relative failures in BBC standards - and in the last few days I've heard it from various heads of environmental heads regarding the abject failure of their departments to prepare and cope with the flooding.
No one takes responsibility anymore. It's not just that they refuse to acknowledge that it is their responsibility - they actually refuse to acknowledge the criticism, brushing it aside with "I don't accept that".
Who cares if they accept it or not? I don't. The fact is that they have failed to do what they are paid to do - there is nothing to "accept", it is proven demonstrable fact. They should not be able to brush aside the criticism so glibly because the basic failings have been widely exposed.
These are public figures paid for by public money - our taxes. They are paid to do a job to a certain standard and when it is clear that they have failed then they should be accountable.
There is nothing they have to "accept". It is us, the British taxpayer, who should be accepting their resignation.