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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 18:49 GMT
UK voters' panel: Gerry Harris

MEET THE PANEL
Gerry Harris
Name: Gerry Harris
Age: 52
Lives: Glasgow
Works: Promotions
Original voting intention: Undecided
Last general election voted: Liberal Democrats
In 10 words or less:
"Family man, business man, independent individual expecting beneficial political intervention"

So Blunkett has finally resigned, again!

This whole sorry saga has only served to demonstrate the prime minister's deplorable judgement in reappointing him to government in the first place.

Did Blair not ask Blunkett what he had been doing with himself since December 2004? Or did he just not care?

This whole affair and others of its kind, such as the resignations of Peter Mandelson and Stephen Byers, illuminate the problem at the heart of this government - Blair expects others to answer for their actions only if it begins to affect his own image.

Blair should take note that the country's judgement on his performance will be tarnished further if he appoints Blunkett to a plum role anywhere else.

This episode also highlights the appalling state of Blair's political talent pool.

VOTERS' PANEL: BLUNKETT QUITS
If he has to resort to reappointing a man with such a recently chequered past, either he is desperate or this is just another example of the true state of Blair's Britain - rotten to its crony core and not the open and fair meritocracy he claims.

It also demonstrates how the issue of pensions reform must be unimportant to Blair after entrusting this vital area of policy to a minister with such poor judgement.

Probably because pensions reform has little to offer Blair in terms of a worthwhile and lasting legacy.

Blunkett is finally gone again, cloaking himself in dignity after the fact.

Good riddance. Albeit there are more in this cabinet that should go too, beginning at the top!


Your comments:

My views exactly. I voted for New Labour in 1997 but have been disappointed and disillusioned with them ever since. This latest episode with David Blunkett is simply another example of the cronyism and sleaze at the heart of government.
Colin Moss, Stockport, England

So Blunkett was a company director in name only so he was eligible to buy shares when he wasn't an MP or a minister during the general election. There is no controversy - only media hype. Blunkett's an effective minister - he sorted out immigration, something no minister has got to grips with in 20 years, and was turning his hand to pensions which was where some talent was needed. I don't think it's fair to call it 'resorting' when the man is an exceptional talent, since no government made up of elected people is going to have that many exceptional people.
Tim, London, UK

I totally agree with Gerry's comments. I would like to see all of these people gone from government.
Ann Robinson, Lincoln, UK

So true. If meritocracy ever existed, it was only as a smokescreen, because Blair could have had fresh blood several times over by now. What does he do? He recycles the same 12, no, 10, no, eight, no, erm, six cronies because he cannot rely on untested lieutenants to carry his water in the manner in which he is accustomed. Sack the lot of them.
David, Birmingham, England

It saddens me to see David Blunkett resign his position as work and pensions minister. Though his action went against the ministerial code, I thought he should have been given a chance after he admitted his mistake. David is one of the hardworking public officers of the UK and many people will miss him.
Baluri Bukari, Glasgow, UK

I actually read the Budd report on his last resignation - this showed that Blunkett did not ask for any preferential treatment (in fact the opposite is true). The woman actually processing his nanny's application did not know who she was - and the rail warrant supposedly misappropriated was not actually used, ie no cost to taxpayer. In other words the media hounded him out of office and did not tell the truth about the inquiry! This time is much the same it seems to me - except there has been a tiny indiscretion of no influence on his job.
Mark, Sheffield, UK

Not a balanced argument by Gerry Harris in my opinion. Mr Blunkett advised everyone of his involvement in the company when he was appointed as Cabinet Minister following the election. I think it was right that Mr Blunkett resigned but it is wrong of Mr Harris to denigrate his achievements over the past years. I totally disagree with so many of Mr Harris's statements. I believe that there is enormous talent within the parliamentary Labour party as compared to other political parties. Should I be accused of bias - I do not support any political party but feel that I am balanced having experienced many political leaders over many years.
Liz, Lincoln, UK






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