Blunkett sells up and sells out

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.

11 Responses to Blunkett sells up and sells out

  1. Andrea says:

    According to some media reports, at yesterday PLP meeting, Jim Devine from Livingston complained about Blunkett’s diaries.

  2. Den says:

    Blunkett has done it for money, Watson did it for (hoped for/promised?) future advancement – in both cases for their own ends not the party’s.
    So not to much difference between them.

  3. Gregg says:

    For all his cack-handidness, Watson “done it” because he doesn’t want to lose his seat at the next election nor watch the Labour Party be wiped out at the polls. Seems very different to me.

  4. Adele says:

    Hmm. As Devine says no labour party member wants to wake up read the newspapers and see them being attacked by one of their own.

    Least of all I would expect, the members of Sheffield Brightside that helped him to get elected.

  5. John Lettice says:

    John Prescott “having the hump with him”? Now, that’s one I hadn’t heard…

  6. Den says:

    Gregg says about Watson – ” . . he doesn’t want to lose his seat at the next election . .”
    Watson had 54% of the vote last time, (with the second candidate at 22%). If he were to lose next time it won’t be because of who is labour leader.

  7. Nick says:

    Watson won’t lose his seat at the next election. But I don’t think he did what he did for careerist reasons, whether you agree with him or not. If that was the point, he probably could’ve squirmed out of it in a way where he got credit from the Brownites (Brownie points?) while clinging on to ministerial office.

    Blunkett, OTOH, may have done it for the money, or out of some kind of ego trip or self-vindication drive or a combination of these, but I don’t think he emerges from it with any credit either way.

  8. Sham says:

    Anyone see the front page of today’s Guardian? I wanna know if it makes Gordon more likely to win – said to have opposed the war, likely to win him support – or less likely – if he opposed it, why didn’t he resign like Cook?

    Also, what the hell’s Blunkett’s motivation???

  9. Sham – money. Lots and lots and lots of money.

  10. nick says:

    Not sure if it will help Gordon or not – some on the pragmatic left will be pleased but the more self-righteous lefties will be even more outraged than before, while some on the tough end of the right wing may not be too impressed with a potential lily-livered peace monger. Of course, it also depends if believe what Blunkett says!

  11. I agree that Blunkett has taken the 30 pieces of silver.

    As so often happens with politicians – of all political colours – without a cabinet job he’s been left unable to fund the lifestyle to which the powerful become accustomed.
    He’s pathetic but he was pathetic and poor before this book, so who can blame him, really?

    If Gordon didn’t resign over Iraq – and he genuinely didn’t support the war – then the reason is probably the same reason he called his dogs off over tuition fees, he suffers from a severe lack of both moral courage and political judgement.

    At this point, I refuse to confirm or deny whether or not I’m secretely Charles Clarke.

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