The Right Honourable David Blunkett
Before the NewLabour landslide of 1997, Blunkett had built a well-deserved reputation as a man of good sense and strong values.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Following on from his ‘unfortunate’ imbroglios in government, when he achieved the unusual distinction of having to resign twice, he sought alternative employment to boost his paltry MPs salary. One of his nice little earners was to accept a £50,000 per year contract with News International (file under ‘You couldn’t make it up - Private Eye) to act as an advisor for corporate social responsibility. Bearing in mind what happened subsequently, it appears Murdoch wasted his money.
He also has an occasional column for The Times, worth £5000 pa and before October 2009 he wrote a column for the Sun worth around £45,000 pa.
He is reputedly one of the highest earning MPs reportedly on nearly a million a year. He represents Sheffield Brightside, one of the poorest constituencies in the country. He is less than candid about his financial affairs.
He has recently threatened the Observer with m’learned friends and reported them to the Leveson Inquiry for having the temerity to question him about a reported pay-off from the self-same News International of £300,000 in the phone hacking saga.
Aren’t these confidentiality agreements brilliant? He probably will not have to declare it on the MPs Register of Interests. Why the hell not?
He has become a lot less candid about all sorts of things, including his role in changing the advice to British agents about the use of torture in the ‘war on terror’. He even maintained it was potentially libellous even to ask him questions about the matter.
What a hero of the people. What a bastion of democracy. What a defender of civil liberties.
What a hypocritical bastard.
Yet another who has tasted the sweet life and taken the devil’s shilling.
Like so many of his NewLabour cronies, Blunkett wrote an autobiography. It did not sell well. In it he had the following priceless observation about his venal chum, Mandy. Peter Mandelson was "in love with himself". "His tragedy", explained David, was that he "lacked self-awareness".