9 June 2009


Oh dear, blind Sheffield MP and former Home Secretary, David Blunkett, was attacked by a cow at the weekend while walking near his publicly funded quaint Derbyshire cottage on the Chatsworth estate - some twenty miles from his Brightside constituency. This self-proclaimed man of the people has of course suffered at the hooves of cows before - notably the American heiress Kimberley Qunn who bore Mr Blunkett a son - William - in spite of her protestations that the kid was her husband's spawn. That publicity brought the shutters down on Blunkett's promising ministerial career. Who knows - instead of Gordon we might have had David.

I have met Mr Blunkett on several occasions - mostly because I taught his three older sons - all born in wedlock during his marriage to Ruth. The three lads were very nice. Alistair was the oldest. I remember Blunkett sending me a letter on House of Commons notepaper declaring that Alistair could get a C grade in English. In the event he got a D grade. I wondered at the time - what can a blind man know about the appearance of words on paper and why was he so sure that Alistair could make a C grade? His wife was much more realistic about the lad's literacy skills.

The middle boy, Hughie, was the brightest of the three and had a certain intellectual edge to him that he must have inherited from his father. Many Sheffield people despise what Blunkett became and how he left his roots behind but I have always had a sneaky admiration for him. To become leader of a city council at a very young age, then an MP, then a minister and Home Secretary - such achievements were testament to his self-belief, his hard work and his refusal to let a major disabilty stand in his way. It's hard to knock somebody like that...unless of course you're a cow!


  1. "what can a blind man know about the appearance of words on paper" - YP - how on earth do you think he read all his governmental papers? The modes and methods available then and now are legion..his hopes for a C were surely more about wishful thinking and ambition than about personal ignorance of his son's efforts?

  2. I'm not familiar with the man and I know nothing about his politics or methods, but perhaps he thought that a little behind-the-scenes arm twisting never hurt anybody....

    So did the boy get a C?

  3. There's no doubt that to become the third most important person in the Uk is not bad going for a blind bloke from Parson Cross.

    Although most people can admire his achievments in the past, it's a struggle to find anything positive to say about him from recent memory.

    I recall him wearing a Blades scarf at a Bramall Lane function not long ago...unforgiveable...

  4. I always admired him initially, less so later on - - I felt rather betrayed by him, as by most of New Labour. Sighhh.


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