Problems? Ask our new agony uncle

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The Independent Online

I am very pleased to announce that we have secured the services of Mr David Blunkett to help with today's column.

I am very pleased to announce that we have secured the services of Mr David Blunkett to help with today's column.

As you know, Mr Blunkett recently announced that he was leaving his job to spend more time with someone else's family. So as he is currently out of work with one, if not two families to support, it seemed only kind to offer him a job to tide him over, and he has agreed to run a problem corner and offer solutions to reader's quandaries.

All yours, sir! And the first question is?

Dear Mr Blunkett, A week ago the Prime Minister was saying he had absolutely no doubt the inquiry would exonerate you completely from all these ridiculous charges about nanny's visa applications and so on. His confidence may have been misplaced. He also said he had absolutely no doubt that we would find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They have not yet turned up. What does Mr Blair mean when he says: "I have absolutely no doubt" about something?

David Blunkett writes: Look, Tony Blair is a two-faced manipulative operator whose every word is untrustworthy. What makes you single out one particular phrase? The trouble is, he always believes everything he says at the time, so talking sense to him is an uphill struggle.

Dear Mr Blunkett, I am surprised to hear you say that. Isn't that somewhat libellous?

David Blunkett writes: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were writing a biography of me. It's my custom to open up to people who are doing books on me. I'm only discreet with people who aren't going to quote me. In that case, I'd like to say that I think Mr Blair has done a terrific job and I shall be 100 per cent behind him at the next election.

Dear Mr Blunkett, Will you be standing for re-election?

David Blunkett writes: Of course. I have a job to do.

Dear Mr Blunkett, I thought you had just lost your job.

David Blunkett writes: Being MP is still a job for which I get paid. I have never done much else than politics. I am not qualified for anything else and I need the money. But look, this all about my problems? Let's hear about someone else's problem!

Dear Mr Blunkett, My problem is that I have been locked up in Belmarsh Prison for some time, under your panicky anti-terrorism measures, with no charge brought against me and all my human rights denied...

David Blunkett writes: On second thoughts, let's get back to my problems.

Dear Mr Blunkett, I wonder if you think this was a good time to resign.

David Blunkett writes: An excellent time. I now have a clear week in which to do my Christmas shopping.

Dear Mr Blunkett, Talking of Christmas, I wonder if, with your experience as Home Secretary, you have any comment on the politics of the Christmas story.

David Blunkett writes: My feeling is that King Herod was excessively liberal. When the three wise men came to him, asking about the new ruler that was born, he should have had them locked up immediately. Here they were, potential terrorists, suspicious foreign migrants with some cock and bull story about a baby... Put them in the slammer and throw away the key. All he did was ask them to go and see the baby and report back. That's the sort of wet thing someone like Jack Straw would do.

Dear Mr Blunkett: Killing the first-born is not very wet or liberal, is it?

David Blunkett writes: Not very effective, either. Maybe he should have slain the lot.

Dear Mr Blunkett, I wonder if you have any views on the situation in which Joseph found himself. He was married to Mary, but she was pregnant by someone else and was going to have that person's baby...

David Blunkett writes: I am afraid that is all we have time for.

Does anyone else have any questions they would like to put to David Blunkett?