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(en) Britain, Class War* Issue 88 I. (1/3)

Date Mon, 25 Jul 2005 10:44:19 +0300

Editorial 1
This may well be the final issue of Class War before
the 2005 general election. It goes without saying that
the choice between Tweedledee and Tweedledum is even
more unappealing this year than usual. That is
probably why the turnout in many parts of Britain is
likely to be lower than the turnout in parts of Iraq
in their “election” in January.
In Iraq many people did not vote for fear of being
shot or blown up – in Britain many of us would not go
near a polling station if our lives depended upon it!
In some parts of the country smaller political parties
will attempt to “fill the vacuum” by posing as an
alternative to the established, establishment parties.
In parts of the north, Midlands and London suburbs,
this is likely to be the fascists of the British
National Party. In some inner-city areas it will be
the Islamo-fascists and Trotyskists from the Respect
Unity Coalition (RUC). The RUC is an unholy alliance
of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), the
Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and Saddam Hussain’s old
mate George Galloway.
All these groups offer is a brand of politics based on
race and identity. In the case of the BNP they want to
turn the clock back to an all-white, law abiding, poor
but loyal Britain that never really existed. With no
doubt, a few elements of 1930s Germany thrown in for
good measure.
The least said about the sort of society the MAB, SWP
and George Galloway would build, the better.
If that is all that is on offer, the big question
remains – what are we going to do about it?

Editorial 2
Oi Blair – Hands Off our Nights Out!

Setting a hare running, with the press hounds in full
voice and pursuit, suddenly everyone is on the trail
of hated binge drinker. Experts are peeled from the
woodwork to lecture us all about ‘binge drinking. We
have TV footage of short skirted girls falling over in
the road, and rowdy youths struggle with cops on
crowded streets. Polls are being taken, the press
screams ‘binge’ binge’ and everybody is suddenly an
expert on this wicket new antisocial crime ‘binge
But hang on a minute, what are they talking about? To
working class folks, ‘going on a binge’ is when you
forsake all else, food, family, work and set off on a
non-stop drinking spree which might last days or
weeks, that's ‘binge drinking, it was our word. Is
this what they mean ? Nope, the level of drinking they
are talking about to qualify as a ‘binge drinker’ in
the newspeak is about the equivalent of TWO pints of
Stella per night. They call binge drinking, having one
drink after another, we call that going out for a
drink. The trouble with all this is, the nice Mr and
Mrs Middle Class doing all the complaining don't go
out drinking. It is alien to them. They go to posh
restaurants and show off their wealth and discuss
property prices and skiing holidays somewhere exotic
over a glass or two of wine. They hate mass company,
they hate lots of people together, they despise the
working class in general and at weekends in
particular. We on the other hand like to be together,
don't mind the heaving atmosphere and generalised
jollity with everyone mates for the night.

Blair has brought in a new chief filth to deal ‘with
the problem’. He’s fresh from the USA where they don't
have a pub culture, where a crowd of people on the
street anywhere is the cause for panic and the riot
squad. The US state does not like a crowd of people
together doing anything very much. He comes over here
and sees the masses of people, singing, shouting,
laughing, taking over the town centres, and thinks
this is a public disorder. In fact nothing is
happening. This is just folk having a good time.

Recently in Sheffield an army of police descended on
the city centre on a Saturday night, they effectively
sealed the centre with everyone trapped inside. They
set up huge marquees, and pulled in everyone they
found, strip searched some, searched bags and clothes,
breathalysed, tested for drugs, interrogated, searched
for underage teenagers out for the night, or just
anyone at all really. They kept people from going
about their night out. This to demonstrate they were
in charge and if they can’t stop you coming out they
can damn well mess up your night. It was a calculated
provocation. If there had been a collective response,
and a battle had started, the police and the press
would have had an ideal self fulfilling prophecy.
Except it would have been deliberately provoked to
create scenes of disorder and smash some heads. We'll
teach you to enjoy yourselves.
Suddenly we have a new moral panic reminiscent of the
News of The World frenzy on paedophiles who were
“taking over the country”. Will we expect marches of
worried housewives, pensioners and the army of middle
class social workers and sky pilots, the Salvation
Army and Cliff Richard demanding drink be driven from
the street ? It wouldn't surprise us, and the sad
trouble is having created the agenda and force fed the
public the dope, many will swallow it whole.
Class War is well based to start to the fight back on
this one. Why don't we hold demonstrations in town
centres on a Saturday night, with appropriate carnival
music and demand they get off our backs ? Binge
drinking is a straw man, by and large it is a myth.
The prats who cause trouble on a Saturday night would
do so after a couple of wine gums because they are
prats, not just because they are drunk. Its not by and
large ‘underage drinkers’ who cause trouble on a
week-end and hell knows we have all drank underage and
look at us! Don't let them become an excuse for a
whole big diversion of debate on a non existent
‘problem’. Class War says ….. carry on drinking!

One More Nail in the Royal Coffin
If Prince Harry did not exist, republicans would have
to invent him! He is rich, stupid, arrogant and vain.
Rules are constantly bent for him, whether he is
punching photographers, taking drugs without fear of
arrest, or cheating his way into the Army.
Harry’s “jolly jape” of dressing up as a Nazi to a
party with the theme of “native and colonials“ is
hardly surprising.
That a member of the royal family should be tolerant
of fascism, as our picture shows, is hardly news. The
only surprise is perhaps that his grandfather and
Harry’s mates in the Countryside Alliance were not
dressed up in the same outfits.
The British upper class has always had a contradictory
approach to fascism. Suggestions that going to
Sandhurst would “make a man” of Harry, and knock some
of the nonsense out of him, were undermined by
pictures that appeared, of all places in the Daily
Mail. These showed Sandhurst recruits in the 1990s
giving Nazi salutes and wearing swastika’s at a fancy
dress party. Hilarious. Harry should fit in well.

On 15th of January the NF had announced that they were
to march in Woolwich to stir up racial hatred over the
tragic death last January of Terry Gregory, aged 19.
It is not clear whether this was a racist incident and
the family of Terry Gregory have repeatedly asked the
NF not to become involved. After lots of
disinformation over the exact date of the march the NF
finally announced the night before that it was to go
ahead not to be put off with their fucking about a
small but determined crew of ANTIFA turned up to have
a pop at the 'master race'. Not long after meeting up
two of the dumbest boneheads we’ve seen in a long time
happened to come our way catching us a little off
guard at first - we followed them and had a brief but
meaningful discussion with the thick fucks resulting
with one of them crashing his head off the train door
and the other brave warrior clinging on to the train
for dear life! It goes to show that even with massive
police presence protecting the fascists these days the
hard working boys and girls in ANTIFA can still grind
out results. Here's to the next NF 'activity' Terry!

Antifa – Fighting The Fascists
Class War fully supports Antifa. We urge all our
members, supporters and readers to contribute to the
anti-fascist cause as much as they can. Lets do it to
them, before they do it to us!
You can find out more about Antifa at
www.antifa.org.uk or contact 07952 759473

Police Prevent Class War Christmas party
Last December, Class War organised a Christmas social
and party in Croydon. This was to be a joint event for
members, supporters and friends from Class War,
Antifa, Anarchist Federation and the Wombles. Sadly
the Metropolitan police had other ideas, and
threatened the venues owner. We therefore had no
option but to cancel the event. We apologise to anyone
who was inconvenienced, but these really were
circumstances beyond our control.

A Black Christmas For the BNP
Class War was not the only group to have a problem
with its Christmas party. What to make of London BNP,
who managed to book a black DJ for their Christmas
party. Apparently he “sounded white” on the phone.

Smashed up Courts!
Courts, the northern furniture company, went bankrupt
just before Christmas.
Courts, who spent a fortune hiring Bruce Forsyth to
promote their sales of sofas and chairs, have taken
the money off thousands of customers who will now
receive no goods, and under bankruptcy law are likely
to only get between a third and half their money back.

There was no Forsyth style cry of “good game, good
game” to this news. Ripped off punters who had lost
their money took the law into their own
hands, trying to snatch goods off displays in stores
and smashing windows to get at others. Police were
called to many stores to protect businesses before
ordering their closure.
We doubt however that the cops will be arresting any
of the managers, or directors of Courts, who are
responsible for this mess. Steal an item from a shop,
and go to jail. Steal the money of your customers, and
you can set up another business, with a new name later
on. That’s capitalism.

Have you got the D Factor?
Files released under the Freedom of Information Act
reveal that from 1957 onwards the British Army kept
some very odd, and very secret records, called D
Factor, about the ethnic origins of its recruits.
Following a medical examination, recruits personnel
cards were punched in a different way if they ranged
from looking “Asiatic or Negroid” to those resembling
“swarthy Frenchmen”.
Such information ensured that front line regiments had
higher numbers of non-white recruits, whilst the
Military Police and Intelligence Corps would be
entirely white.
If this is the sort of games they got up to with a
system of cards and a hole punch, what will they do
with a biometrics identity card scheme?

NF Wanker Killed by Anti-Fascist Kettle
We have always said that the National Front are a
bunch of wankers. Proof positive comes from Oldham,
where ex-NF candidate Kristian Etchells hung himself
last year.
Etchells naked body was found by police in a cupboard
in his home in Shaw. He had a kettle flex round his
neck and a picture of a naked woman dressed as a
schoolgirl was beneath his body. Etchells, who had
criminal convictions for threatening an Asian taxi
driver with a knife, and shouting abuse at an
anti-racist march in Burnley, had also been a member
of the BNP before standing for the NF in Lees, Oldham.

Given Etchells was a tosser of the highest order,
suicide would have been welcome. However Oldham
coroner Simon Nelson said: “I think the more probable
explanation is that the deceased deliberately placed
himself in a situation where he might achieve some
sexual gratification, and that his actions took a turn
for the worse.It highlights the risks when such
actions are undertaken.”
Amongst those who disagreed was The Oldham Evening
Chronicle. Their website places the story about
Etchells death in the sport section of the site. As
Alan Partridge would say “Back of the net!”

Red White and Blue Peter
Class War was shocked at the behaviour of Blue Peter
presenter Zoe Salmon, who suggested the Red Hand of
Ulster as a design in a competition for children. The
BBC were forced to apologise for promoting a symbol of
Ulster loyalism in a programme aimed at 8-16 year
It really is time Zoe Salmon respected the decent
traditions of Blue Peter – and if not perhaps Richard
Bacon or John Leslie should be brought back, to ensure
that our children get the sort of education they

No Trade is Fair
One of the current trade union campaigns is to
encourage union branches to join the Trade Justice
Movement. This is an organisation of unions, aid
agencies, religious and consumer groups campaigning
for fair trade. They have a Global Week of Action on
Trade Justice between 10-16 April, and are supported
by celebrities like Bono.
Their campaign is an utter waste of time. It is based
around the belief that capitalism can be fair, or
nice. The idea that capitalism can turn the world
upside down for over 200 years, divide the world into
rich and poor, fat and starving, weak and strong, and
that the strong will just roll over and let nice,
Third World capitalists challenge those in the First
World. Worse still, it ignores the behaviour of those
politicians and capitalists in emerging nations, who
are often as bad a set of bastards as the
multi-nationals than themselves.
Fair trade? No trade is fair unless those trading are
equals, and are trading voluntarily. And there is not
a lot equality around these days, is there?

Kilroy in the shit
Robert Kilroy-Silk is fast becoming a sort of poor
man’s Oswald Mosely. He left the Labour party, joined
a right-wing party to “protect the national interest”
and seems obsessed with the idea of being a leader.
Having pissed off everyone in the UK Independence
Party, his chances of becoming leader were somewhat
derailed. Whilst his criticism of UKIP (that it is
full of nutters) is one Class War certainly agrees
with, a party run by Kilroy really would be a case of
the lunatics taking over the asylum.
Having taken his bat and ball home, Kilroy has now
created his own party (can you guess who its leader
is?) pompously called Veritas, the Latin word for
Class War was amused to see that at the end of January
police arrested a man suspected of tipping a bucket of
farm manure over Gilroy when he visited Manchester
High School for Girls in December. Presumably it took
them two months to go through the long list of

Multi millionaire and son of Margaret Thatcher get's
off with bank rolling armed coup shock!
Unfortunately this is a piece of news that will not
shock any Class War readers in the slightest. Sir Mark
Thatcher has been spared a prison sentence and will
only have to pay a fine in a plea bargain which will
now only cost him a fraction of his vast fortune
(which he has made from selling arms).
This just happened on the day after (January 13) that
Baroness (hurry up and die) Thatcher returned from
visiting him at home were he has remained since his
"arrest" earlier last year. What a coincidence. What
really fucks us off is that these murdering rich scum
get away with this sort off shit all the time and
don't spend a single day in jail whereas thousands of
working class people spend months or even years inside
prisons on remand for crimes they have not done or are
being framed for because the filth a too thick or
corrupt to catch the real culprit's!
Oh - did we mention that his next door neighbours and
friends old Etonian's and ex SAS, have been implicated
in the coup. Arms dealers, old mates, ex SAS, old
Etonian's and millionaire’s all living next door to
each other now it wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to
investigate this would it !! FOR FUCKS SAKE!!

Cancer – a class based killer?
Critics of Class War will tell you that class no
longer exists in Britain, that we are all middle class
now, and working class people just want to be middle
class anyway.
It is not hard to disprove such views, but it is rare
that it stated so clearly from within the House of
Commons. A recent Public Accounts Committee report
showed that not only does the UK lag behind wealthier
countries when it comes to rates for surviving cancer,
but that survival gaps within Britain are widening.
These survival rates are based around wealth. Tory MP,
and Chairman of the Committee Edward Leigh commented
“You are almost twice as likely to die of cancer if
you live in a northern city as in an affluent area in
the south of the country”.
Whatever new Labour is good for, it is certainly not
good for our health.

One law for them
It is not long since Londoner Paul Kelleher was jailed
for three months for decapitating a statue of Margaret
Thatcher. There was no such punishment though for a
born again Christian who smashed up a Madame Tussauds
Nativity scene that portrayed David Beckham and Posh
Spice as Joseph and Mary.
James Anstice, a law lecturer (!) received a 12 month
discharge, despite causing criminal damage worth
The law really is an ass. And James, you have been
born twice too often.

Respect Has To be Earned

The unholy alliance of Muslims and the SWP, Respect –
the Unity Coalition (RUC), have announced that their
solitary MP, George Galloway, is to oppose Blair babe
Oona King in Bethnal Green and Bow at the General
Election. This should be one of the more interesting
contests at the election, not least because Galloway’s
suing King for libel. It seems she’s said that when he
was with War on Want he spent some charity money on
prostitutes. King’s other pronouncements don’t put her
in too good a light. She said last year that if she
loses her seat, her constituents would see a dramatic
reduction in government money flowing to the area. Not
that there appears to the uneducated eye that much
does anyway. Anyway, she insists she has excellent
relations with Labour ministers. Perhaps – after the
recent revelation that King turned down ten grand to
shag a Labour MEP – someone else has paid her price.

George Galloway’s made a curious announcement
recently. It seems that the vast sums of money he’s
received in libel damages have gone to establishing a
publishing house. The RUC must be very disappointed
that they aren’t going to be seeing much of the money
from the Daily Telegraph. Perhaps Galloway realises
that the RUC isn’t going to be around that long and he
wants to ensure he can keep himself in the style to
which he’s become accustomed. Yet his current
constituents – the residents of Glasgow Kelvin –
aren’t getting the ‘working-class representation’
which the RUC alleged was one of their reasons for
being. He hasn’t spoken once in the Commons in the
past year – and he has the worst voting record in
Parliament. One can see the Labour propaganda now –
‘why vote for Galloway when he won’t vote for you?’

Amusing as Galloway’s antics are, the underlying
causes of our concern about the RUC project remain.
The SWP’s alliance with Muslims and jihad’s has seen
them drop previous absolute principles like lesbian
and gay rights – and, amazingly wobble on women’s
rights and their position on abortion. The involvement
of former Territorial Army captain and Stockholm
syndrome sufferer Yvonne Ridley in the party suggests
some possible security service involvement. Any
scrutiny of her past, however cursory, raises
questions about her connections with the secret state;
and some of her newspaper articles seem hell-bent on
spreading anti-Islamic sentiment. Which is strange for
a Muslim convert. It is also of some concern that the
RUC’s practice will stir up fascist activity where
they stand. Their promotion of Islamic rights, and
relegation of the interests of the working class,
seems designed to sow the seeds of racism. We realise
the SWP don’t know what they’re doing, as if they did
it would be a first. It’s our firm hope that the foul
RUC folds as soon as possible – until then our policy
is to demand …. Disband the RUC!

Bye Bye Blunkett

Tears of a Clown
David Blunkett was probably the most right-wing Home
Secretary Britain has ever seen. Having jumped before
the findings of the inquiry into his conduct was
completed, Blunkett clearly hopes to return to high
office at a later stage.
By insisting that he is a “working class victim of the
rich” Blunkett is desperately trying to position
himself as some sort of man of the people. Somebody
who is a working class man from Sheffield, Mark
Barnsley, looks at the reality behind Blunkett the
man, and Blunkett the myth.


When David Blunkett boasted, characteristically, that
he would make his predecessor as Home Secretary, Jack
Straw, “look like a woolly liberal”, I doubt there
were too many people who believed this was possible.
Even Blunkett may not have been able to make ‘Mad
Jack’, as he was known in the prison system, look like
a liberal, but he is certainly the most right-wing
Home Secretary this country has had in living memory,
and he revelled in the fact. Straw may have been at
least as Draconian as Michael Howard before him, but
he didn’t have 9-11, an event, which if one were
needed, gave Blunkett’s innate authoritarianism and
xenophobia a free rein.

In the wake of Blunkett’s overdue resignation a
picture is being painted, with himself as the primary
artist, of ‘an honourable man brought low by love’.
The career of this vain, arrogant, conceited
individual was not brought to an end because of
Blunkett’s private life, something he has done his
utmost to deny the rest of us, but because he is a
liar and corrupt, neither of which are new.

I first met David Blunkett in 1974, and later suffered
under him when he was leader of Sheffield City
Council, and neither his dishonesty, nor his
corruption, nor his right-wing views are recently
acquired. He’s simply been better in the past at
hiding them. First and foremost though, David Blunkett
has been a ruthless careerist, no wonder, like
Margaret Thatcher before him, he’s blubbing now.

Thatcher was a great political ally to Blunkett in his
Sheffield Council days. He could cover up the
corruption and incompetence of his administration by
blaming everything on central government: Northern
Grit squaring up to Whitehall. Thatcher was of course
despised in Sheffield, leaving the local Labour
administration as secure as a one-party state, and
they ran it accordingly. As Blunkett well knew, during
this period, you could have put a red ribbon on a dog,
and people would have voted for it.

In the 1980’s Sheffield City Council may have had a
publicity machine worthy of Stalin’s Russia, but any
talk of ‘socialism’ was never more than empty rhetoric
for Blunkett and his pals. Look beyond the publicity
and their track record shows that.

Under Blunkett, more than half of the council’s own
32,000 employees earned basic pay below TUC
guidelines, and 10,000 of them were paid less than the
Council of Europe ‘decency threshold’. Women workers
got a particularly bad deal, earning far less than
their male colleagues, and getting fewer promotions.
There was also evidence of racial discrimination, with
only 1% of council employees being black, a quarter of
what it should have been, and rumours of a ‘colour
bar’ in the Town Hall’s heavily subsidised restaurant,
where no black person had ever been employed.

While lowly council workers got a raw deal there were
plenty of jobs and high salaries for the Labour Party
faithful. Irrespective of their true politics,
careerists from all over the country flocked to
Sheffield and joined up. Sheffield didn’t need
freemasonry, we had the Labour Party. Usually the jobs
doled out to the boys and girls were in social or
youth work. Sheffield had more social-workers per head
of population than any other place on the planet. In
special cases though, a job would be invented, such as
the creation of a highly-paid ‘Peace Officer’ role for
one Blunkett crony.

Blunkett presided over a huge homeless problem in
Sheffield, while massive numbers of council-owned
properties lay empty for years, and sometimes for
decades. Early in 1983 ‘Peace City’ was somewhat
embarrassed to find that a group of young peaceniks
had squatted one long-empty council-owned building and
turned it into a ‘peace centre’. In response,
Blunkett’s pal Roger Barton, then Chairman of the
‘Nuclear Free Zones Committee’, personally went round
and cut off the electricity to the building. Blunkett
however, faithfully promised the young pacifists that
they would not be evicted, a promise he quickly broke.

Another embarrassment for the Blunkettgrad ‘Nuclear
Free Zone’ was when a British Rail guard blew the
whistle on the transportation of nuclear waste through
the area, a fact the council had tried hard to keep

As homeless figures in the city continued to soar,
other long-unused council-owned properties were
occupied. The council’s response was always swift and
ruthless. Facing immediate eviction one group of
squatters wrote to Blunkett personally to ask for a
stay of eviction while they found somewhere else to
live. With typical arrogance Blunkett replied, “It
would seem to me that anarchy can hardly expect
reasoned and structured responses within the system
which is being attacked.” After the eviction the
building stayed empty for several more years.

Blunkett’s administration also waged a long and bitter
war against travellers, even evicting them in the
middle of a TB epidemic. The treatment of Sheffield
travellers led to a prenatal mortality rate of nearly

Blunkett and his cohorts constantly railed in public
about the corruption of Tory politicians in Whitehall,
while Sheffield City Council junkets were legendary
and almost every night the Town Hall hosted a lavish
function or banquet for some group of councillors or
another. Some friends of mine once went to visit
Blunkett in his Town Hall office in 1983. Walking in
unexpected they witnessed a huge feast laid out. This
was Blunkett’s elevenses.

A big part of maintaining the illusion necessary to
running Blunkettgrad was the notion of ‘squaring up to
Thatcher’, so from time to time various ‘stands’ were
made, with Blunkett & co promising to ‘stand firm’
against the Tories on various issues. Things were made
easier by the fact that to a very large extent the
Council ‘owned’ the unions, the Tenants Associations,
the peace groups, and just about every political
front, tendency, and organisation operating in the

One Blunkett ‘stand’ was over ‘rate-capping’, when
Sheffield and several other Labour councils refused to
set ‘a Tory rate’. How Blunkett and his pals puffed
and panted about this one, before crumbling at the
very first opportunity. The discovery of the ‘Tory’
rate demands already typed-up and hidden in Blunkett’s
office said a lot about his personal integrity. The
inside word at the time was that Blunkett had been
instructed to back down personally by Labour leader
Neil Kinnock, who was then waging a war against
Militant Tendency, particularly in Liverpool where
they controlled the anti-rate capping council.
Blunkett’s promised reward was the advancement of his
cherished political career. He was elected as MP for
Brightside, one of the most solid Labour seats in the
country, at the next General Election.

Another ‘stand’ was against bus-fare increases. The
city’s famously low fares had actually begun to
increase a few years earlier, but in 1986 Thatcher’s
deregulation of public transport threatened to send
them spiralling. After more hot-air Blunkett again
capitulated, and as always he aimed to crush any
uncontrolled dissent ruthlessly. As a member of a
group opposed to the fare increases I was sent to
prison for putting up a poster advising passengers not
to pay. I wasn’t prosecuted by the police, I hadn’t
committed a criminal offence, but by the Labour
council, for not having planning permission.

As Home Secretary Blunkett’s abuses of human rights
and civil liberties were staggering. He introduced
internment without trial for suspected foreign
terrorists, proposed military camps for children, and
barely a day went by without him dreaming up another
crackpot neo-fascist scheme to attack civil liberties,
criminalise working-class communities, and put more
and more people behind bars. Under Blunkett the
British prison population rose to more than 75,000.
Held in appalling conditions, which Blunkett has
consistently ignored, growing numbers of these
prisoners are driven to suicide, slashing open their
veins with slivers of glass or razor-blade, hanging
themselves from heating pipes only inches above the
floor, or choking on their own vomit through
swallowing pills. Callously, Blunkett refused to meet
the mothers of some of the young women driven to these
acts of desperation, while his only comment on prison
suicides has been to quip that he was inclined to open
a bottle of champagne after Harold Shipman killed

Blunkett has long had a vicious tongue, and as his
former cabinet colleagues have witnessed recently, he
is not slow to use it. He once famously accused single
mothers of deliberately getting pregnant to jump the
council housing queue. There was no basis for this
accusation whatsoever, but these were young
working-class girls, who might need a helping hand,
and perhaps a bit of advice on contraception. Not
rich, already married, right-wingers who didn’t need
his sleazy favours (and who might also now be
reconsidering the issue of birth-control.)

David Blunkett sought to hide his corruption by
playing the ‘my private life is my own’ card yet he is
always trying to deny the rest of us. The man who has
consistently assured us, in relation to ID cards, that
if ‘we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to worry
about’ has come unstuck, and those familiar with his
‘computer-like’ mind are probably taking his recent
bad memory with a pinch of salt.

Blunkett’s assistance with passport and visa
applications on behalf of his rich former mistress
sits hypocritically with the hard-line stance he has
taken with those fleeing war and torture abroad. This
is the man who told Kosovan and Afghani refugees to
“get back home”. Perhaps they should have offered to
work as a nanny for his mistress?

And without wanting to twist the knife too much, his
current fixation with acquiring a family, even if it’s
somebody else’s, sits uneasily with his past history.
The day after his election as an MP, Blunkett
announced he was leaving his wife and children in
Sheffield and moving in with his ‘research assistant’
in London. His marriage may, as he has recently said,
been “a loveless relationship”, but he had found it
politically expedient to hide that fact for a long
time, and he’s now finding out that middle-class women
don’t disappear into the background quite so quickly
or so conveniently.

Just like Thatcher before him, the only person David
Blunkett is able to shed tears for is himself.
Cnivelling that he doesn’t feel sorry for himself and
that he’ll “try to have something of a Christmas”, he
sounds like Albert Steptoe. Whatever happens to
Blunkett, and unfortunately we may not have seen the
last of him, he’s sure to have had a better festive
season than the families of the record 93 British
prisoners who have killed themselves so far this year,
those locked up without trial in prisons or detention
centres, or the vast number of other victims of his
reign as Home Secretary. Shed no tears for Blunkett,
he can shed them himself.

Four Homes Blunkett
The above article certainly provoked a storm when it
was posted on the Sheffield Indymedia website. In
particular some posters objected to criticism of David
Blunkett’s housing arrangements (the poor lamb only
has four houses!) Mark Barnsley expands further:

Blunkett’s pal, Peter Price, who recently accused me
of being “middle-class” (see ‘Shed No Tears For
Blunkett’ comments on Sheffield Indymedia) reckons
that the prolier-than-thou ex-home secretary’s
Handsworth pied a’ terre is worth £60,000. Now I don’t
know much about house prices, I’ve never owned one,
and my parents paid £500 for the Sheffield terrace
where I was brought up. I’m not a great mathematician
either, having left school at 16 (to work in Sheffield
Works Department’s Manor Lane garage – So much for me
being middle class.) But if Cry Baby Blunkett’s place
is only worth £60,000, isn’t it a little ‘strange’
that in the past 3 years alone he’s claimed £54,000
from the taxpayer in maintenance for it?

Blunkett’s certainly been responsible for making more
than a few people homeless in his time, but that’s
something unlikely to happen to himself – being as he
has no less than four ‘homes’ to choose from! Even
getting his corrupt snout stuck in the trough didn’t
lead to him losing the luxurious £3 million Belgravia
mansion which comes as a public purse perk of the Home
Secretary. His crony Blair, decreed that even though
Blunkett was forced to resign he can still keep it –
along with his official limousine, and all his
‘security privileges’. And just to make sure that this
so-called ‘working-class lad’ doesn’t have to struggle
on his £57,405 MP’s salary (about 30 times what I have
to live on Peter), Blair is giving him a third of his
previous £130,347 home secretary’s wage as a
‘redundancy payment’. We can’t have little David
blubbing again can we?

In case Blunkett fancies slumming it a little, there’s
always his Wimbledon property. He currently rents it
out (for around £15,000 a year), but David’s no
stranger to evicting people from their homes, or even
chucking them out of the country for that matter.
Which brings us to Blunkett’s own little place in the
country, the cottage he rents from the Duke and
Duchess of Devonshire on their Chatsworth Estate.
Almost a stone’s throw from the streets of Brightside
Peter? A little further than that I think. To claim
that a man with 4 homes, a limousine, a vast income,
and a wealth of middle-class cronies is
‘working-class’ is an insult not only to the people of
Brightside, but to everyone having to read such
rubbish. When it comes to investigating Blunkett’s
finances though, I doubt the Child Support Agency will
let him off the hook as lightly as the Scott Inquiry.

London Class War
PO Box 467
E8 3QX

* Journal of the British anarchist federation Class War

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