(Images: AAP)

More than 400 years ago, English bishop Joseph Hall famously declared: "A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was."

The Christine Holgate debacle has seriously damaged quite a few reputations. Some may never be fully repaired, and the world will certainly not forget anytime soon.

For an issue which began over a relatively trivial matter, the list of candidates for reputational damage is long and shameful.