Oh, and go screw yourself, David Blunkett

Who, as I like to say, caused everything that has happened.

1. He has an affair with a posh Rightwing woman.
2. To Impress her, he wangles a residence permit for her nanny.
3. He ends up making his Permanent Secretary get involved in this.
4. He ends up having to resign and being a major sleaze scandal’
5. The Permanent Secretary gets moved sideways in mild disgrace
6. The former Permanent Secretary becomes Deputy Governor of the Bank of England
7. The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England thinks Northern Rock looks sound…

I wouldn’t mind so much but:
1. Blunkett voted against an equal age of consent
2. Blunkett said at the time that he would rather rage the heterosexual age of consent than lower it for gay men.
3. When he was at Employment, his Department made a serious effort to claw back employment rights trans people had won in industrial tribunals.
4. Someone in Cabinet was pushing for Sterilization as a pre-condition for getting GRCs. Wonder who that might have been?

I don’t think his behaviour this morning on the Today programme made a difference one way or another.

BUT As Clement Atlee said, a period of silence on your part would be welcome.

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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11 Responses to Oh, and go screw yourself, David Blunkett

  1. lovingboth says:

    The story I heard from someone reasonably high up in the Labour party was that his (first?) wife left him for another woman. His autobiography doesn’t go into any details.

    He’s on record at the time of one of the age of consent votes as saying he didn’t mind homosexuals, but it was the bisexuals he didn’t like.

    • mevennen says:

      What didn’t he like about them, one wonders?

      I did feel that this was an interesting analysis.

      • lovingboth says:

        Given the story, their unfaithfulness in his eyes, presumably. (Not that he’s been a shining example of monogamy.) His display today suggests it’s also a belief that both sexuality and politics are binaries.

  2. innerbrat says:

    Just to get this clear: you’re saying these men did a bad job at running the country directly because they are disabled?

    • rozkaveney says:

      I think that is exactly what he is saying and was about to comment even before you did that it is an appalling thing to say.

      I am going to ask you to think very carefully about it and to remove or rewrite the comment in the next hour or be deleted.

      • On disability and ability

        I did not mean to say that these men did a bad job at running the country directly because they are disabled. However I did and have withdrawn the comment as requested, and Roz has given me a chance to explain myself.

        I’m prejudiced. I don’t think that anyone can do anything they set their mind to, no matter how much effort they and others put into it. For most people, most of the time, this is not a problem; nor is it for anyone else, because the consequences of failure are relatively small (e.g. failing to break an athletic personal best, winning a game against a master practicioner). It also occurs relatively rarely if the person and whoever helps them (if anyone) applies themselves to the root of the problem. The old sexist saw that women make bad fire-fighters because they’re “naturally” weaker and so can’t pull people out of a burning building (still far too common to this day) has been circumvented by the greater adoption of carrying kit and a buddy system which gets more people out safely (including the fire-fighters).

        The same applies to disabilities: most of them, most of the time, simply don’t matter because there is nearly always a way for someone who’s disabled in one way or another to achieve the same desired result as someone who isn’t. I’ve done a lot of work on this in IT for over a decade: pointing out that she’s got extra bits on her chair because otherwise she’ll be feeling like she’s got a red-hot wire running down her back all day, that the policy of everyone having the same desktop with the same font size may make the helpdesk’s job easier and presents a good corporate image but it really doesn’t help those with degenerating eyesight. And so on.

        But I’m prejudiced, because I believe that eventually there is a limit. And now I get back to what I was trying to say earlier.

        Tinnitus is hell. I get it sometimes. Jack Straw has it all the time. That’s why he got all the flack about not allowing face veils in his surgery: he needs to see the lips of people who are speaking to get a good sense of what they’re saying. It’s a reasonable thing to ask, but all I recall from the press at the time was a load of bull about how he was anti-Muslim, which he isn’t as far as I can tell.

        Tinnitus is debilitating as well as disabling. You hear it all the time, there is no let-up, and with the best will in the world it will from time to time leave you stressed and annoyed because it will not leave you alone. And it’s bloody difficult to give all your concentration on the job at hand while that’s going on. If the job at hand is Home Secretary, well, make a bad decision and there will be bad consequences for a lot of people.

        I’ve worked with blind, or near-blind, people. I’m not as crap at it as I once was: I think I’ve begun to understand what it’s like. If you lose the visual part of a conversation, things can go horribly wrong if you don’t know the speaker well (it’s why teleconferencing isn’t the way of the future we thought it once was). So your staff and your PAs, your Cabinet colleagues, you get to know what’s going on with them. More or less the same for the opposition, you hear them often enough. You might not trust them, but you grok them.

        However, there are a lot more people outside that comfortable zone than in it, and the clues to their intentions in their speech aren’t as easy to work out. You don’t grok them, and that can lead to untrust.

        And none of this is a good place to be if you have to run a country. In these cases, I don’t think it was an excuse for their decisions and their attitudes towards the public. It was, however, a reason, a contributing factor: not the greatest, not all the time, but it was there.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: On disability and ability

        This is a distraction from the fact that even as a studnet, Jack Straw was a horrible person with right-wing views of just the kind he has consistently brought to his job. He was crap in office because he has always been crap.

      • thesideshow says:

        Re: On disability and ability

        Oops, that was me, dropping in late.

  3. andrewhickey says:

    No-one loathes Straw or Blunkett more than I, but their disabilities are no excuse for their appalling behaviour, and nor is their appalling behaviour an excuse for that kind of appalling prejudice…

  4. I am with you completely.

  5. londonkds says:

    Moreover, he cemented successive Labour goverments’ truly horrific approach to immigration by consciously and unapologetically echoing Margaret Thatcher’s “swamp” phraseology.

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