Dear Aunt Agatha,
I have a serious problem and need advice. I had a promising political career and had achieved high office. I worked with a friend and colleague on a major project in which we were successful. Unfortunately, one of my kitchen knives inadvertently found its way into my colleague’s back, thwarting his political ambitions, and giving me the reputation of a treacherous, back-stabbing git. This has severely damaged my future prospects. Can you suggest any way in which I might redress this and restore my reputation?
I recommend a tangential approach. The likelihood is that you will always be regarded as a back-stabbing git, so why not branch out in a totally new direction? Why not re-invent yourself as a greener-than-green environmentalist? Start eating quinoa, wearing sandals, and enthusiastically championing green causes that you have never previously shown affinity for. This will divert attention away from your unfortunate record and will appeal to a whole new constituency of support. Although people will not forgive your previous behavior, your newfound support for environmental issues will dominate the limelight and push your past actions aside. But I strongly advise you to fit a stronger lock to your kitchen knife-drawer.