So David Blunkett, Blair’s favourite cabinet minister, has gone. Why? As Home Secretary, his lover showed him a letter indicating that it would take a year to get a visa for her nanny. Frustrated at realising the long delays in the system, Blunkett showed it to his bureaucrats. It helped reduce the delays overall, but dramatically helped the nanny, who got her visa in 19 days. To add to this affair, Blunkett has apparently been behaving somewhat eccentrically towards his colleagues lately.
His offence is clearly more minor than Wilson Tuckey’s attempt to get his son off a driving fine last year, and doesn’t look any more odious than Trish Draper’s misuse of parliamentary travel entitlements or De-Anne Kelly’s maladministration of the regional partnerships program. But perhaps ministerial standards are different downunder.
Blunkett is a little too socially conservative for my taste, but he’s clearly one of Labour’s stars. I rather hope the Times’ Mary-Ann Sieghart is right when she says that she anticipates him to make a return to the frontbench after the next poll.