'New Labour's top ten shits? Blunkett? Reid? Campbell? Cherie? It's a competitive field.'
Here's my own personal list. There are some controversial omissions: Gordon Brown, Jack Straw, John Prescott, David Miliband. While they are contemptible, I somehow just don't despise them as viscerally as I loathe the roll call of smarmy, deceitful, vicious cretins below.
This is in rank order, with the biggest shit in at number one. It's a tough choice but I think David Blunkett may be the most repulsive of the lot. One reason is the left-to-right journey he made - since his days in the 'Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire' (Sheffield Council in the 80s) - which makes someone even more detestable in my eyes.
Blunkett somehow combines shallow, cynical opportunism with genuine ideological commitment (to the worst elements of Blairism) - a remarkable synthesis, one he achieves with flair. There's a generational element in my choice too: for my generation of students, Blunkett will forever be synonymous with the introduction of tuition fees, still one of the most damaging things New Labour did in office.
It's an all-male list by chance - for me, the most ideologically fervent, personally nauseating and pernicious in influence have happened to be men, though some will (quite reasonably) give a place to Hewitt, Blears or C Blair. I won't argue with them.
I have particular contempt for 3 categories: a) those who really believe all that shit, b) those who used to be left-wing, c) those with a North East connection. Put them all together - yes, Mr Mandelson and Mr Milburn, that's you - and you are guaranteed a place near the top of my list.
So, here's my list. You are welcome to disagree or offer your own selection. It's cathartic, I promise you.
1. David Blunkett
2. Frank Field
3. Peter Mandelson
4. Alan Milburn
5. Tony Blair
6. Charles Clarke
7. Alastair Campbell
8. Jim Fitzpatrick
9. Stephen Byers
10. John Hutton