The British Home Secretary is revealed be a Home Secretary with a difference or two. He is alleged to have engaged in an affair with a married woman — four months into her marriage. The government official is alleged to have fathered the child of the married woman.
The allegation derives from the government official himself — in a lawsuit brought by the government official to establish paternity, or have his child declared a, well… never mind. The married woman is pregnant. The government official alleges that the unborn child is his as well. The married woman is American.
The government official, coincidentally, is a blind man in the land of one-eyed men, and therefore not king, but rather a sympathetic public figure. He continues to hold office. He is nevertheless losing the sympathy that naturally accrues to him by his having overcome his disability in several areas of his life. He is losing public sympathy, not out of revulsion over his dissolute private live, but rather as a result of allegations that he abused his office to secure perks for his lovers, including a visa for his mistress’s nanny.
A columnist alleges that the government official may yet be brought down by his most dangerous organ: his mouth. The government official has made some critical remarks regarding fellow cabinet ministers. The government official’s name has the ring of Dickensian fiction: David Blunkett.
All of this raises a few questions. Is this an instance of the satirist’s art surpassing the stuff of real life? You’re putting us on, right? You don’t expect us to believe this, do you? Why haven’t we heard anything about this before now?
What ever happened to the hoary but irrebutable common law presumption of legitimacy for children born within marriage? Why is the New York Post spilling more ink on Bernie Kerik and Judith Regan when it could be covering David Blunkett? Where is Kingsley Amis when we need him?
These questions and more come to mind in the context of today’s column by Debra Saunders: “School for scandal.” Of the questions posed above, the only one I can answer definitively is whether Saunders is making this stuff up; she is not putting us on. See, for example, the BBC’s “Blunkett orders visa inquiry.”
UPDATE: For us, this story now falls into the category of “we hardly knew ye”: “Top UK Minister Blunkett quits ahead of election.” Blunkett goes the full Monty in “Blunkett: Why fatherly love forced me to resign.”
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