Would this man have ever known high office if he were not disabled? Blunkett is a useless man who has traded on sympathy for his blindness. But blind people, like sighted people, can be good and bad; competent and incompetent. Blunkett is a bad and incompetent blind man.
Such situations are what we get (and perhaps even what we deserve) when we pass from treating people fairly to discriminating in favour of "victim" groups. Every time in future we hear a proposal for "positive discrimination", hear sentimentalism about victimhood or hear about candidate "A lists" that put minority status over competence, we should picture David Blunkett screaming down the phone demanding slaughter.
It does not surprise me that he did not care about the lives of prisoners, prison officers, or bystanders. Socialists only "care" about humanity in the abstract. They usually find any actual specimens they encounter profoundly irritating. Their "caring" is a political stance, not something they feel in their hearts. Consider recent stories of elderly working class people dying with maximum indignity, lying neglected in their own piss and shit in their hospital beds. Were Socialists more concerned about those poor people or the reputation of the NHS?
Blunkett will have seen this prison riot as a perfect chance to prove his toughness. That's how he uses the incident in his memoirs. Now as then, he does not see people in danger. He sees political opportunity.
I know this is not how we are supposed to conduct politics in Britain. The convention is that we accept our political opponents are well-meaning. I am sorry, but I grew up under Labour in a Labour rotten borough in the North-West and that is not how I experienced them. I experienced corruption, arrogance and contempt for a working-class that was believed to be theirs to deploy as they pleased. If they could have obstructed my life chances and kept me there as an embittered activist in their ranks, they would have done it. They have done it to many young people since. Without Margaret Thatcher's inspiration, they might have done it to me. No wonder they - and all who love the cosy status quo of the British class system - hate her.
If this account of Blunkett's conduct is true, how can we pretend he was "well-meaning?" What do they have to do before we scrap this ridiculous convention and take off the political gloves? Consult your consciences, dear fellow-Conservatives, and ask yourselves would you still be polite if Mr Narey had taken Blunkett at his word?