Blair Buddy Blunkett Bows Out ...
Oh, how the mighty are fallen.
One could almost have been excused for feeling sorry for David Blunkett today -- but only almost. For rarely has there been a case of a high ranking parliamentarian being so patently the architect of his own downfall - for the second time in, relatively speaking, no time at all.
Some may see such a concerted and sustained pressurising of a politician, as has bedogged Blunkett of late, as heavy handed. But many more may be inclined to agree that he had it coming to him. That this time he'd gone too far. That he had pushed his luck once too often. That he had been asking for it.
Well whatever, today he paid a price; a high one. And Tony-the-liar-Blair bid one of his best bosom buddies bye-bye ---- again.
Arrogance, dishonesty, deception, lies, lack of judgement, etc, -- all these things have lately been leveled at him.
With today's [some say] inevitable though none the less extraordinary, super swift exit from the government front bench - via the back door of 10 Downing Street - it seems his usual tactic of toughing it out hadn't worked out this time as well as it usually had, and that his latest run good luck had finally run right out
Looking back, when Blunkett first appeared on the political scene proper, people almost everywhere applauded. A poverty stricken little blind boy from the absolute personification of an underprivileged [and overly unfortunate] family background, who had -- against all the odds -- worked, slaved, clawed and fought his way to the top.
Witness these few words for a feel of what the man once was.
Mr Blunkett's childhood has been described as almost Dickensian in its bleakness.
Born blind, he was packed off to a council boarding school at the age of four, against the wishes of his parents, who were only allowed to visit him once a month.
Then, when Mr Blunkett was 12, his father was killed in a horrific accident at work, falling into a vat of boiling water.
Mr Blunkett and his mother were left virtually penniless and fought a long battle for compensation from the Gas Board.
Through his own determination, Mr Blunkett won a place at Sheffield university, after taking O levels and then A levels at a succession of blind schools.
He was already a Labour councilor when he took his degree and became leader of Sheffield council 10 years later at the age of 33.
Then today there's this.
How Blunkett affair damaged Blair
David Blunkett has left the Cabinet for the second time in a year declaring he did it for the good of the government and Tony Blair's premiership.
His simple "mistake" of breaking the ministerial code was proving a massive distraction from the real business of government and was embarrassing the prime minister, he declared.
He had done nothing wrong and there had been any number of lies and innuendoes spread about his business and private life.
In a charged press conference he gave the impression of a man who, under other circumstances, would have continued to fight his corner against his enemies, who he suggested were as much in the media as on the Tory benches.
But it was the prime minister people really wanted to target, he said, and he clearly wasn't about to help them by staying.
He was certainly right about that, and the damage his continuing presence in the cabinet was doing to Tony Blair.
And whether he decided to quit after a long and interrupted heart-to-heart with the prime minister on Wednesday morning, or whether he was sacked as some suspect, there will still be questions over how serious and lasting that damage has been.
Had Blunkett held dear to his early beliefs and principles and not had his head turned by the likes of Blair and the the big-business 'bright lights' of London, things may have turned out better. Both for himself and for most other Brits.
But Blunkett blew it. What a waste.
Below are two links well worth a read.