I see that Blunkett’s memoirs are starting to appear in serialisation and already it seems that some interesting information is emerging…
Recalling his role in the war cabinet, he says: "I did two things, one that was good, and one that was not so clever. I asked rigorous questions to the point when Peter Mandelson said ‘Are you onside with Tony?’ and secondly I did not take enough notice because I was home secretary, and I did not argue enough about what we were doing presentationally about the dossiers. I just did not. There is no point pretending I did and I was right. I just did not." - The Guardian.
Is it just me or does the comment that ‘I asked rigorous questions to the point when Peter Mandelson said ‘Are you onside with Tony?’ appear to imply that Peter Mandelson, at that time a mere backbench MP after being sacked for a second time when the whole Hinduja passorts thing blew up in face, had a deeply intimate knowledge of the goings-on in the ‘War Cabinet’, as much as to suggest that he was either being extensively briefed, given access to minutes or even attending those meetings?
Funny, nothing like that was ever mentioned during the Hutton Inquiry?
Apropos of my previous post regarding the appearance in court, yesterday, of ‘ex-BNP member’ Robert Cottage on explosives charges relating to the discovery of bomb-making chemicals, rocket launchers and an NBC suit, it now appears that he may not be a ‘former member of the BNP’ as described in news reports but still an actual member of the party.
Cottage stood as a BNP candidate in the lcoal elections in Colne in May 2006, and must therefore have been a member of the BNP at that time. According to the BNP’s own website.
Membership is for the 12 months of the calendar year - January to December but those signing up from Oct 1st through to Dec 31st qualify for the following year’s card.
…in which case his membership of the BNP does not ‘lapse’ until 31 December 2006.
The suggestion that his membership had ‘lapsed’ before his arrest appears to have originated from comment given to the Burnley Citizen by Nelson BNP councillor Brian Parkinson, who said:
"I am very shocked and surprised to hear this. I am glad to hear that he is no longer a member of our party because the BNP wouldn’t want to be associated with this incident. It certainly wouldn’t condone the sort of thing he is allegedly being connected with."
Of course, under the BNP’s constitution, Mr Cottage could have been summarily expelled from the party by edict of Nick Griffin following his arrest, but otherwise there would appear to be no other means by which he could have stood as a candidate for the BNP in May of this year and yet have had his membership ‘lapse’ before being arrested last week, which makes Brian Parkinson look like a dickhead who doesn’t understand his own party’s rulebook.