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Home > Media

Electric Blunkett: Taking the immoral high ground

20 August 2004

On Sunday The News of the World took it upon itself to 'out' Home Secretary David Blunkett as an adulterer. Apparently for three years he has been carrying on an affair with Spectator publisher, Kimberley Fortier. Blunkett of course is divorced. Fortier however is married to Stephen Quinn (and has been for three years). She has a child with him. Oh, and she's five months pregnant. But the baby could be anybody's. It's a bit of a mess.

Of course any speculation over the affair is doomed to tasteless prurience. After all, none of it is any of our or anyone else's business. Even if it transpires that Blunkett is our very own Clinton and has been inserting odd things into Fortier's secret place, there will be no reason to suspect that his wandering hands have any effect on his ability to do his job. We already know he is perfectly capable of doing his job. As was Joseph McCarthy before him.

Anyway, back to the idle speculation. According to the Sun, at their first meeting Fortier told Blunkett she was 'tall and blonde', presuming, one presumes, that Blunkett was 'into' tall blondes. It seems then that for Fortier at least, it was lust at first sight. Indeed, according to Monday's Evening Standard, she made no secret of it:


'At a Buckingham Palace banquet in November last year, she sat beside Mr Blunkett and reportedly confided in him that she wondered what it would be like to sleep with a blind man.'


Now this is almost certainly untrue. That 'reportedly' is tantamount to the catchall libel-deflector 'allegedly'. If it were true however, what a bold thing to say! On first reading, it seems a tad shocking. Makes you wonder, if Blunkett had been missing his legs and not his sense of sight would Fortier have said, 'I've always wondered what it would be like to sleep with an amputee'? And if so, would that not have been slightly creepy? Slightly *pervy*?

But then when you give it some thought, you must admit, it would be interesting to go to bed with a blind person. Anyone with bad eyesight will tell you how incredibly acute their sense of hearing is. Does it not follow then that the functioning senses of the congenitally blind must be extraordinarily well-developed?

Well, it might. And does it not follow that someone who 'sees' with their hands must be able to do some breath-taking things with their fingers - things no able-sighted person ever could?

Of course it does! Imagine the sensitivity, the attention to detail. Imagine it. Close your eyes. Imagine having your body 'read' by David Blunkett. Imagine his fingers exploring you. (Best not to think of his gormless face at the same time. It might kill the moment.)

Still, the fact remains that Fortier almost certainly said no such thing. It just doesn't seem to sit well with the image of the 'highly intelligent', 'articulate', 'incredibly bright and vivacious' woman that the Sun has been brown-nosing all week. But then she has written columns about British men being a little backward in coming forward. And she is American, and we all know how pushy they can be. Crikey, maybe she did say it! We can't help wondering then, how the Home Secretary might have responded. Probably just smiled. Patted her on the thigh. Winked.

Anyway, it's none of our business. Or is it? Standard writer and one-time PR for William Hague, Amanda Platell believes it is. 'However much Blunkett and the Prime Minister try to brush this affair aside,' she wrote on Tuesday, 'it raises serious questions about the character of the Home Secretary.' Does it fuck. All it raises is the rather surprising notion that the man is capable of love. For questions about his character one need look no further than his record as Home Secretary over the last three years. The man's a tunnel-visioned rights-trampling monster.

Dynamite in bed though.

Reportedly.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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