The media are treating the rules Blunkett has now broken as trivial. In fact they are not.
Blunkett took a directorship of, and shares in, a DNA technology firm. The biggest customer in the UK for DNA technology is ‘ the Home Office. This is not primarily in the glamorous world of Police and crime detection, though that is very important and what first comes to the popular mind. An even bigger, and exponentially growing, field for DNA testing is immigration control.
Every day immigration sections in Embassies and High Commissions around the World are overseeing thousands of DNA tests to prove relationships of visa applicants to relatives they wish to join in the UK. This usage expanded massively while Blumkett was Home Secretary ‘ and directly responsible for immigration. The Home Office does not actually pay for the test ‘ the applicant does that ‘ but does supervise the process, including the taking of samples.
So Blunkett is entering a field that is set to benefit directly from his ministerial activities. Few doubt that the government ultimately intends its War on Terror and ID card drive to result in the building of a national DNA ID bank. Again while Blunkett was Home Office Minister, the decision was taken that DNA samples taken from crime suspects will be retained on file, even if the suspect was completely innocent, perhaps one of thousands sampled in a widely spread net in a murder investigation.
DNA is the chosen weapon of Big Brother. That the most enthusiastic enemy of civil liberties should choose to invest in it, should worry us.
It is of course ironic that the other high profile use of DNA testing is paternity suits. It was DNA testing that proved that the right wing American society adulteress that Blunkett chose as his lover, was not carrying his baby. I have nothing at all against illegitimate people ‘ I am not married to my present partner. But maybe God decided Blunkett was enough of a bastard already.
Pressure on Blunkett continues today with fresh evidence emerging of ignored warnings and doubts about the accreditation status of the company