LIKE rodents scurrying for their burrows at the least swish of a predator's wings, politicians of all the primary hues have run for cover this week as the full ignominious story of the mistreatment of the Windrush generation has emerged.

The twitching and frantic sniffing of the air for danger began, in truth, months ago, as individual stories of incomprehensible, unacceptable hardship started to emerge.

For many, the barring of Albert Thompson’s path to cancer treatment - he has also been evicted from his council accommodation - has come to sum up the fundamental unfairness and downright stupidity of the Home Office’s, and by extension the UK Government’s, approach.

The subsequent trickle of stories of injustice involving those who came to the UK from the Caribbean decades ago has recently become a flood, forcing senior members of the Government to face the issue.

Sadly, the unavoidable impression is that they have done so through gritted teeth, as if struggling to keep down the large slice of humble pie they have been forced to consume.

Sorry, so the old song goes, seems to be the hardest word. So hard, apparently, that when finally uttered it comes out sounding hollow and - most unfortunately given the circumstances - alien.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Prime Minister Theresa May have both had a crack at saying it this week. The results were not impressive.

Of course, the ignominies heaped upon countless members of the Windrush generation must quite rightly cause the utmost outrage.

The latter is one of those words, overused regularly, that is in danger of losing its value. Not in this case. That value has been duly restored.

Another such cause for outrage, however - it is up to your good selves to gauge its level in this instance - is the pathetic claim and counter-claim voiced by politicians as they scurry back towards those aforementioned burrows.

Whether Tory blue, Labour red or Liberal Democrat yellow, all three parties have sought to deflect criticism over the decision to destroy Windrush landing cards, largely by arguing about the year in which the decision was taken.

First we were told it was 2010 (Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition). Then we were told it was 2009 (Labour in power).

This spat has been going on for days. On one level, we should not be surprised, as whenever a scandal like this is exposed, the political Newton’s cradle is always set in motion, batting the blame back and forth ad infinitum.

On another - morally higher - level however, this is appalling behaviour. It ignores the suffering and uncertainty experienced by countless thousands of the blameless, while endeavouring to deflect attention and ignominy away from the eminently blameable.

Enough. It is time to stop petty and obnoxious bickering over what year the seeds of this calamity were sown, and focus on solving it.

Time too, to seal up those metaphorical burrows and let the rodents take their chances.