Wednesday, December 15, 2004

So farewell then David Blunkett

Any comment on David Blunkett has to begin with a tribute to him for not allowing blindness to prevent him following a major career in politics. And the fight he had to put up to get a proper education probably explains some of the cheerlessness in his approach.

Nevertheless, I cannot pretend to be sorry that he has resigned. His presence as home secretary was central to a discreditable Labour campaign strategy that involves a populist attack on civil liberties. This attack is largely designed to lure the Liberal Democrats into opposing it in the belief (mistaken, I argued yesterday) that this will cost us votes.

All that can be said in Blunkett's defence is that unlike many of his colleagues he is not cynical. With his background in South Yorkshire Labour politics he really believes in curbing people's liberties.

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