Thursday, December 16
Blunkett Gone- Better late Than Never
I didn't post much yesterday as I was busy, devouring the Christmas issue of Private Eye and obsessively following the downfall of David Blunkett. Lord, I'm glad he's gone, but if I hear one more person praise his integrity I'll scream.
For fuck's sake, he's a Labour politician. That tells you all you need to know about his supposed 'integrity' right there. You don't get to be Home Secretary in a New Labour administration without being devious, mendacious and venal. You have to be ambitious, greedy and be prepared to knife colleagues in the back whenever necessary. And I haven't actually started on his policies...
Leaving policy aside, this is a man who was having a blatant torrid affair, under the nose of all London's media and political establishment, with a social-climbing married woman. Blunkett appeared to have absolutely no concern for the negative public perception of his office that this caused. He used that office to do his mistress favours at the taxpayer's expense, and talked his civil servants into colluding. When it all went wrong he tried to drag a heavily pregnant woman through the courts and media out of some misguided hope that her child is his and he can force her, publically, to his will, despite the fact that her husband is adamant the child is his and the law also presumes this. No acting Home Secretary, in charge of the machinery of justice, has ever used the courts for such a highly personal and inflammatory purpose while in office. But, but... Blunkett has the utmost personal honesty and integrity! He told us so himself! Huh. Protestations of honesty, like patriotism, are the least refuge of the scoundrel.
He then compounds all of this by not only being loose-lipped about his affairs in the media, but also by openly insulting his cabinet colleagues in his biography. That kind of behaviour is either immoral, incompetent or insane, depending on your point of view. However you look at it, these are not qualities wanted in the person in charge of national security.
In my opinion, he should've resigned the moment there was any question, no matter how tiny, about the integrity of the office of Home Secretary. Because it's not about Blunkett; it's about the offices of state and the trust that the public is able (or not) to place in those holding those positions. Home Secretaries will come and go, good, bad or indifferent; but what Blunkett has done is to politicise and corrupt the post to such a degree that no-one will ever have any trust in it again.
And yet Mr T Blair continues to bleat on about Blunkett's integrity. Apparently Tony, the expert on integrity and honesty - where are those WMD, Mr Blair?- thinks Blunkett "...is a force for good". No, no and again no. He's a selfish, selfish man whose first loyalty is to himself and no-one else. Everything he has done has been about how he himself feels; he has shown no consideration towards his duty to the country, let alone any human concern for his ex-mistress or putative child or even his existing family, and his main concern all along has been that he escape the consequences of his actions. Why else would he appear on BBC2's Newsnight last night, looking for the sympathy vote and telling the world "It was all worth it for that little lad"? He does not even know the child is is, except by some magical sixth sense, and even if it were he is merely the biological parent. How ironic if the DNA test proves the child is the husband's.
The BBC has been enjoying this a lot, and I don't blame them one bit. As I said in an earlier post, it's the Establishment that will do for New Labour, and now the Establishment has the smell of blood in its collective nostrils. The letters and emails that have come to light would never have done so without the co-operation of the civil service; the story wouldn't have had legs if Blunkett, in his hubris, hadn't continued to bombard the BBC with constant protestations of his honesty; in doing so he gave the BBC and Civil Service just the ammunition they needed. All they had to do was shoot him down, just as they did, in a much less spectacular fashion, to Blair's best buddy Charlie Falconer and his sidekick David Lamy earlier this week.
Hats off too to Private Eye and Ian Hislop, who have been reporting the whole Blunkett/Fortier/Quinn saga since the very start, when the other media weren't interested. Even in his downfall the Murdoch papers are trying to spin for Blunkett, portraying a story of corruption as a man brought low by love, but even the Sun's best efforts can't sweeten the whited sepulchre that is Blair and his government.
11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004