Saturday, October 07, 2006

Do We Have A Right To Know?

The Guardian has published a detailed interview with David Blunkett here in which he claims to have had clinical depression at the time of his resignation. Interestingly, when he consulted on what was wrong with him, "the Commons doctor recommended antidepressants". In this instance David Blunkett turned the offer down, but how many other ministers are using antidepressants at any time? How many MPs? Depression is a terrible illness and people who suffer from it deserve our utmost sympathy, but should they be running the country? Should they be making important decisions about whether we go to war?

Blunkett states that "I was barely sleeping, and yet I was being asked to sign government warrants in the middle of the night." This is an outrage. Who is watching these people if our elected representatives are incapable of reviewing the important documents put in front of them? Blunkett also claims that on Iraq "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." Was this linked to the illness?

The points raised by Blunkett should be pounced on by the mainstream press. It is vitally important that our government ministers, Cabinet or not, should be physically and emotionally fit.


Sexy Sadie said...

Problem is, having to go public with depression, which can be very embarrassing, leads to two unfortunate outcomes:
1) Loss of privacy on yet another issue will continue to drive our best and brightest away from parliament
2) Those in office may be less likely to seek treatment for depression if they must then disclose it.

Anonymous said...

So what he is really saying is that the office was running him, not the other way round, as described in Yes, Minister all those years ago.