No special favours

by Maria on December 22, 2004

Smoking gun or no smoking gun, the line going around in Ireland about David Blunkett’s resignation is; ‘Jesus, a Minister who didn’t sort out a visa application for someone he knew should have to resign.’

Plus, is anyone else irritated that the same Jacques Chirac who lazed by the pool while thousands of elderly Parisians baked to death last year ditched his Moroccan holiday for a photo opp with the released hostages Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot?



Ded Fisch 12.22.04 at 8:39 pm

I’d just like to point out that Maria’s post means that CT’s gender balance for today is exactly 50:50.

I hope no dead white males will be so inconsiderate as to upset this.

I’d say more, but I have a pile of ironing to get through ….


P O'Neill 12.22.04 at 10:11 pm

Chirac must be thanking God that he wasn’t on one of his customary important visits to Reunion around key holidays, so that the trip home to greet the hostages was so easy to pull off.


Aidan Kehoe 12.22.04 at 10:14 pm

Wonder how different British politics would be if constituency work mattered?


Backword Dave 12.22.04 at 11:29 pm

Since the visa in question for the nanny of Mr Blunkett’s son (‘alleged’ son to Mrs Quinn, perhaps, but two DNA tests are very unlikely to both be wrong and point to the same person), the point isn’t about “someone he knew” but about “someone he should have been paying to care for his child.” There’s also the hint that he does favours for “friends” — fast tracking for a family member is understandable; that a minister can be bought (or influenced — which is much the same) by who he dines with is unacceptable.


Bob 12.23.04 at 3:16 am

For rather deeper assessments of Blunkett in the press, try:,,1059-1406198,00.html


nic 12.23.04 at 9:59 am

I don’t get it. Why should it be irritating? There obviously had to be someone from the government to greet them. The same happened when they released the Italian hostages (on both occasions, the men, and then the two women). Chirac is the President, what’s so hypocrite about him being there when they arrived? It would have been weird if he hadn’t.


Maria 12.23.04 at 11:26 am

It’s irritating because Chirac didn’t consider it important enough to cut short his holiday when thousands of elderly French people were dying, due at least in part to government policy failures. This went on for about 10 days amidst statements from the French dept of healt that all was well – Chirac getting off his fat one would have done a lot to galvanise people and save lives. Maybe you had to be there…

OTOH, in this instance, when the work is already done and all he will achieve is a nice picture in the papers and a warm glowing feeling, off Chirac flies on the government jet on a couple of hours’ notice. Don’t you find this contrast striking?

It reminds me of the time an Irish football team came home covered in glory, and the prime minister of the day hopped up on the stage in Dublin city centre, hoping to leech some of the success. He was booed off. And rightly so. (anyone remember who it was…?)


nic 12.23.04 at 12:15 pm

Maria, sorry, you’re right, I hadn’t really got the kind of contrast you were pointing out with that heat wave situation. I see what you mean now.


Nick Kiddle 12.23.04 at 3:43 pm

backword dave: unless my information is out of date, the child in question is not Blunkett’s son legally, because the mother is married to someone else.


nic 12.23.04 at 4:03 pm

Er, paternity is not determined by marriage…


maria 12.23.04 at 9:02 pm

No worries Nic – in retrospect my initial post was assuming everyone’s still as steamed about the heatwave response as I am… Should have included a link to make it clear.


Darren 12.24.04 at 11:46 am

The supposed kidnap and subsequent release of the two journalists was a massive success for Chirac. Remember that they were kidnapped by ‘some unknown group’ (read: not controlled by the CIA) approximately two days before a law was to come into force in France that forbade people from expressing religious conviction in the manner in which they dressed etc. Mass demonstrations and social disorder were planned to fight this attack on individual freedoms which dissipated when news of the kidnap was released. The law came into force without incident and the freed journalists are saying that they played upon their nationality in order to be spared death. Perhaps they should consider themselves fortunate that France wasn’t trying to prosecute an illegal war in the region which may have entailed committing war crimes; otherwise, in order to stave off any demonstrations at home: they would have been beheaded.


Payday Loans 12.27.04 at 12:53 am

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