Dead Men Left

Monday, December 20, 2004

Lady Blunkett's Chatterly

D.H. Lawrence wrote a first draft of Lady Chatterley's Lover in which the gardener, here called Parker, abandoned his upper-class mistress to become a steelworker in Sheffield, and joined the Communist Party. Less sex, and more politics: it's better than the final drafting.


'It's very much the American millionairess who's managed to knock out the working-class lad who's the voice of ordinary people.'

The "working-class lad" who just happened to be a Cabinet minister. Leader of the "Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire" during the mid-1980s, this near-Communist "working-class lad" abandoned Sheffield for the bright lights of London, rising up the ranks to become a government minister and enjoy the kind of company his previous socialist self would probably rather have spat at than copped off with: Blunkett is acting out a Third Way Lady Chatterly. This explains the popularity of the affair with the Liberal Bomber and other standard-bearers of Blairite virute; they can hide the vicarious titillation of the whole thing behind the most pungent of noble proletarian rhetoric - the kind Blunkett himself was always so good at.

So be it. If we're all playing at gruff working class Northerners, "Tha's made tha bed and now tha mun lie on it." Unfortunately, this dour man and his authoritarian politics will doubtless be back in government after the election.