David Blunkett is a man who has travelled a long way over the years. From being a well respected leader and effective cabinet minister, who owed it all to the Labour movement, he became a sorry figure with a whole number of demons dragging him down.
Now, to thank the Labour Party and its members for all the good times, he has taken a six-figure sum from our friends at the Daily Mail to, as Tom Watson puts it, “tip a bucket of poo over the heads of his former colleagues”. Nice work if you can get it, eh David?
So far this week, he has exposed the rows he and other colleagues had in cabinet, had a pop at Gordon Brown for not supporting the Iraq war “until the 11th hour”, and accused John Prescott of hypocrisy for having the hump with him over the Stephen Pollard book.
So far, so unhelpful – but not exactly devastating. However, The Daily has been told by sources that later in the week the serialisation will turn nasty – there will be attacks on cabinet members which have described to us as “eye watering”, and comments on the direction of the government which are “unhelpful to say the least”. This will be particularly unhelpful just as Labour is recovering in the polls after a successful conference.
The Daily hasn’t used this source before, so it comes with a health warning – but some papers have also started to say that the diaries later in the week will be tasty.
If Blunkett is happy to stick the knife into the Party, will we see an end to lectures from other Blairites about loyalty, or will they turn on him with the same level of viciousness and spite that Tom Watson has faced? Perhaps it’s about time that loyalty starts at the top – and doesn’t end with a pay-off from the tabloid preachers of hate.