Magazine
Latest Issue

Don’t follow the people

Politicians of the left once led public opinion. A hagiography of David Blunkett shows how today's "authoritarian populists" now just follow it

By David Marquand   March 2005

David Blunkett by Stephen Pollard (Hodder & Stoughton, £20)

At first sight, Stephen Pollard’s biography of David Blunkett is a workmanlike, though cliché-ridden, example of a genre to which publishers are increasingly addicted—the journalistic instant biography that provokes a brief stir of publicity for a moment or two, and then sinks beneath the waves. But on closer inspection, it has a more enduring significance, both for British politics in general and for British social democracy in particular.

It is significant in an odd, roundabout way. Pollard is a hagiographer rather than a biographer. He is heavily biased in Blunkett’s favour…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect