David Blunkett biography

Amusing detail in this Review in The Sunday Telegraph today:

“Pollard tells the hilarious story of Blunkett and other senior ministers arriving at Buckingham Palace to exchange the seals of office. Prescott walked towards the Queen, nodded, kneeled, recited his oath and walked away forgetting to take the seals of office with him ‘and leaving the Queen holding them vacantly’. Straw mangled his oath. Then he had to lead Blunkett up to the dais. Instead of placing him so that he faced the Queen, he positioned the new Home Secretary at 45 degrees to the monarch, facing a statue of George IV, to which he addressed his oath. The Queen looked at her ministers and said, ‘I hope you run the country better than you’ve managed over the last 15 minutes'”.

17 thoughts on “David Blunkett biography”

  1. Well the tony’s bunch must have looked like a right bunch of wombles. I would call them Muppets but I have too much respect for them.And being that they never been bery Gonzo I’ll leave at that ….but what is this I spot in the indie on sunday – a film covering the history of the spectator, by Oxford films. Most intesting – wonder what else is out there for this paper after all the free publicity of the past few months.

  2. Blunkett and co

    An interesting bit in the Sunday Telegraph’s review of the Blunkett biography: Pollard tells the hilarious story of Blunkett and other senior ministers arriving at Buckingham Palace to exchange the seals of office. Prescott walked towards the Queen, no…

  3. And these are the people that the majority of electorate voted into office. Twice.

    The Conservatives need to get themselves electable, so that this shower of fools can be got rid of.

  4. One of the major problems Peter is that at the rate the tories are going they will never be electable at this time at lest…shame… but very…very true.

  5. How can we say we’re surprised? To stand for office stipulates on requirement; one of being a plebe; we still have an upper house populated by inbreeds or fellows of nepotism who are excused of this necessity. Modern british Politics is a situation-comedy. Nothing said by anyone who stands for office has any relevance to me. But I am proud of Blair’s feeble friend’s incompetence as it reminds us that we’re all little people in little houses…. like maggots as someone once said.

  6. Unfortunately, I’d say the Tories are none too impressive either, Nick.

    And they’re not as honest as they might be. There is another piece in the Sunday Telegraph that interested me far more. (I didn’t actually read the Blunkett piece – sorry *any* of the Blunkett pieces. I really don’t care whether Petronella Wyatt is at the bottom of this woodpile or not. Nor do I want to find out whether she thinks that amusing or not.)

    To get back to the point. It was Christopher Booker on the army reforms. Devastating. Commitments around the globe are continually going up and this pack of clowns cuts the forces at the same time. (Except for the Green Howards, who recruit in Sedgefield.) And why has the reorganization taken the form it has? …. Well, read Booker if you haven’t already. The implications are worrying to say the least.

    Now, here’s the rub. Soames *knew* why the reforms took the particular form they did, and what the implications are, but wouldn’t let anyone on the Tory benches comment on it in case it provoked another round of the usual squabbling among the Tories.

    Some would call this being economical with the truth, but there are far worse words for it.

    Thank God we have a free press not beholden to either party to let the cat out of the bag now and then.

  7. Here we are. Worrying to say the least:

    The Army’s new regiments will be of a size to suit the EU

    There was an extraordinary act of duplicity at the heart of the announcement by the Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, that the British Army is to be restructured round a series of “larger regimental formations”. All attention was on the abolition of old historic regiments. What Mr Hoon did not explain was what these new, more mobile units would be for.

    In particular he did not remind the House that last April he agreed with his European colleagues that the EU should be able to deploy “battle-groups” of 1,500 men in international danger zones. In the course of this year the plan has been firmed up, so that Britain is now pledged to contribute, by 2007, to the EU’s Rapid Reaction Force, made up of 12 such battle-groups.

    Mr Hoon’s new regimental formations of 1,500 men fit precisely with the EU’s agreed template. So too does his further announcement on Thursday that British troops will be equipped with the EU-compatible, electronically-linked vehicles known collectively as the Future Rapid Effects System (FRES).

    In other words, the “elephant in the room” which no one mentioned on Thusday was that the guiding principle behind Mr Hoon’s controversial restructuring of our Army is to make it compatible with the EU’s new defence force. Furthermore, since the Army will be equipped with FRES, it will no longer be able to work alongside US forces – which are planning a totally different system – but only with fellow members of the EU.

    The Tory front bench was well aware of all this last week, but the word had gone out from their chief defence spokesman, Nicholas Soames, that it was not to be mentioned, because the party does not want the debate on Britain’s defences to become a potentially divisive Euro-row. Thus, without the usual White Paper, our most significant defence policy decisions for decades are taken behind the scenes, for reasons not even Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is prepared to reveal.

  8. Interesting critique Michael

    We will be moving on from Blunkett – you did a great job in saying that- I do feel Blunketted up to the hilt

  9. I agree we have to move the argument on Beyond Blunkett. After all there must be be more fish to fry in the house of commons.

    But Micheal – as far as the army and the forces go and this applies to both parties and not just a singular one. Surely there is to much kotowing to tradition and that is what keeps hampering us. Surely it is sensible to have an army that can face the 21st century rather then the 1640’s. Would any anyone be willing to deploy Cromwell’s New Model army in Iraq or send them after Bin Laden? I don’t think so some how. Reform should not be seen as an afront to tradition but rather as a re-modeling of that tradition.

  10. > Reform should not be seen as an afront to tradition but rather as a re-modeling of that tradition.

    Well said, Nick.

    These are also cuts, though. One officer was quoted as saying, they must be crazy, what’s the price of a nissen hut and a few boots? 🙂

    And it does rather worry me that these changes in organization will make it more difficult for us to cooperate with the US. They’re a real military power in the way the EU will never be. I also noticed in the ST that Kevin Myers, who is no one’s fool, says the EU wants the Turkish army to back out of the political process. Since it is they who guarantee a resaonably secular state in Turkey is that wise? He thinks the EU has ambitions for military adventuring and wants the Turkish army for that. Hmmm.

  11. I don’t see how th EU will ever become military adventuring. After all were do we have the need to go? After all there is no major military threat facing us. I can see no enemy, other then say Bin Ladin. And to get him we need very small units for special operations say drawn from the SAS and MI6 etc.

  12. What has happened to Michael Howard and id cards or more accurately the proposed National Database. Ok Howard has form but please lets have some of that clear blue water between us and TB. Enoch, Utley Butler Macleod Boyle must be rotating in their graves. These were the philosophers who laid the foundations for our post war success. Heath too, much underestimated. The ghasly Lib Dems must feel greatly encouraged. We’re back in the Duncan Smith never never land.

  13. Thanks Scaryduck

    it was obviously sending me into a spin

    – I like the Private Eye take on it: Why is Mr Blunkett like a turkey? because he got stuffed!

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