It's ironic that the grand-scale evils of the notoriously guilty are often allowed to go unpunished, and that when the guilty are eventually dragged to account, it is often because of some piddling trifle of an transgression.
Al Capone springs to mind. Vicious murder for breakfast, lunch and dinner, yet he was finally nobbled by accountants and syphilis. Then there's Lord Archer. More crimes against humanity than a whole bagfull of Bushes, yet he ends up on the gruel for just one, comparatively measly, lie. And now there's rampaging David Blunkett, finally hounded out of office in tears for the eggshell crimes of lending a helping hand to Mary Poppins and belting out a Fred Astaire tune at a Christmas party. And all the while Fallujah burns, ID cards blossom and Belmarsh weeps for the death of justice.
At the end of the dark day, you have to pity poor Charlie Clarke. And when you've all done pitying, you have to run up to Stephen Pollard, grab hold of both of his great puddingy cheeks and give them a good old nip and stretch of congratulations. For this is Stephen Pollard Week. The week that the contemptible Bush-fellating slug-cum-pundit became The Man That Helped Mould
History. The man that got close enough to the Home Secretary not only to stab him in the back but to give the knife a few playful twists while he was about it.
Pollard is of course, the author of the authorised Blunkett biography, which was made timely by being rushed into publication a month ahead of schedule; made pertinent by Michael Howard waving it around the last two Prime Ministers's Question Times and eventually lobbing it across the Commons Chamber, only for Hilary Armstrong to toss it back, visibly disgusted; and made notorious by - depending on whether you care to believe it or not - the significant role it has played in the downfall of David Blunkett.
As a result of the furore, Stephen Pollard is beside himself with smugness. He is, as those terrible burger people would have it, lovin' it. And frankly speaking, never has one schmuck's downfall been so horribly soured by the consequent good fortune of another. Pollard's revelling in the publicity backlash from the miring of Blunkett has taken all the Freude from the Schadenfreude we'd all be enjoying right now, if there were any justice in this world. Instead all we have is the Schaden. Lousy Schaden.
Bereft of the usual wealth of articles expounding on the delicious taste of President Bush's glans as Pollard guides it slowly, lovingly into the back of his throat, the journalist's blog has this week become naught but a teeming, preening mass of all the latest media tittle-tattle about him and his wretched book. And the man's levels of self-publicity would cause even the most shameless of pluggers to colour at the cheek-bone. 'I'm afraid that if you cringe at my plugging my book,' he states, colour-free, cheek-bone-free even, 'you'll have to stay away from this site. I've got almost 30,000 copies to shift, and I have no shame when it comes to achieving that end. The sooner you buy this - and what an amazing Christmas gift it will make... the less I'll need to plug it.'
When one of his readers complained earlier this week that Pollard's 'commercially motivated monomania has bored [his] loyal website frequenters into silence', Pollard got all puffed up about it and started spitting like a toad. 'A number of commenters and emailers have told me to shut up about my book...' His response? 'Go somewhere else. There's a good few million other sites from which you can choose.' Ouch. What a tetchy fuck. Indeed, Pollard has become the Ron Artest of broadsheet hackism.
Although he makes no claims to actually like his fans, Pollard does profess an admiration for David Blunkett. (If that really is the case however, one can't help wondering how he treats those he doesn't admire. One can't help imagining, if one is of a particularly infantile bent, that he most probably sits on them. And then reads them his book.) Pollard's admiration for Blunkett however, is evident to Mark, another visitor to the site who last night left the following comment: 'There was a typo in your Daily Mail article today. It said Blunkett had acted with "honour and decency". I'm not sure how getting a married woman pregnant (twice?) and then lying about a visa application, and resigning only when you were about to get found out qualifies.' Nor are we, Mark. But then Pollard is a dodgy law unto himself at the best of times. Just when you think he really is completely up himself, he goes and owns up. This from a blog entry from December 6th: 'I owe an apology to The Times. I made the fatal mistake of reading my own words...'
Well, we'll forgive you this once. It is after all Stephen Pollard Week.
And thank God it's Friday.