After my piece 'Shed No Tears For Blunkett' was published on Sheffield Indymedia, one of Blunkett's cronies, who happens to be the councillor for Blunkett's Sheffield Brightside constituency, came (alone) to his defence. This went along the lines of 'You're all middle-class, not like me and my good working-class pal David', and part of this ludicrous argument was the supposed low-cost of the houses they both own in Sheffield. What Blunkett's pal forgets to mention is that Blunkett doesn't just have 1 home, but 4! And either Peter Price has been playing down the value of Blunkett's Sheffield house - or Blunkett has been on the fiddle again!
Blunkett’s pal, Councillor 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 à tierre 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 three 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 4 ‘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 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 Budd Inquiry.
26th January 2004