I wanted to resist blogging about poor old David Blunkett’s resignation, but given the amount of sheer hypocrisy being spouted by those saying “and about time too,” I thought I had to say something.
There was a bloke on the Radio Five phone-in this morning saying that Blunkett had lied about ‘the train tickets’; lied about the fast-track visa for his lover’s nanny; and now had finally been found out lying about this further through the email that said “no favours but slightly quicker.”
Well no he didn’t actually. He owned up to the train ticket thing. He thought giving them to the lover who he considered to be his partner was okay, in the same way that other MPs can do the same with their partners. Wrong yes, but not a liar.
And the nanny’s visa? Well he didn’t write the damning email and there is no reason why he should have known of its existence. That he has resigned because he takes responsibility for his civil servants’ actions is not the same as saying it was done on his instruction.
But even if he had, that’s where the hypocrisy creeps in. How many of us haven’t used our jobs to do a favour for family or friends at some time? I know I have.
Only today someone rang the place where I work to ask an acquaintance of hers about how to short-circuit the system. He had left some months ago so she was put on to official channels, but what she was looking for amounted to the same thing — a favour from someone she knew to lever a little influence.
I should make clear that my political leanings tend to incline to the left and I don’t hold any particular torch for Mr Blunkett — in fact, given his very much right of centre policies, there is no reason I should.
But the way he has been treated by a large slice of the holier than thou public is a sad indictment on how this country continues to get its priorities wrong, being led by the nose by the “press with an agenda.”