17 APRIL 2004, Page 29

Blair's bungling toadies

From R.E. Bland Sir: Peter Oborne's account of Tony Blair's ever increasing list of personal failures makes sickening reading (Politics. 10 April). He also touches on Jack Straw's history of 'carrying out sordid little favours for Labour prime ministers' in the past. But the bungling extends far beyond this unattractive pair.

Some weeks ago you published a letter from Lord Tebbit, in which he described the wholesale passage of power from the comparatively benign 'Establishment to the new, totally self-serving 'political class': quangoists, MEPs, poly lecturers, lawyers, etc. Lord Tebbit did not explain how this change had occurred — an issue which has long intrigued me. Surely, as Comrade Straw greased his way up the pole, somebody in authority should have recognised the devious toady's true spots, and consigned him to well-deserved obscurity?

The same is true for most of Blair's motley band. I suspect that the answer lies somewhere in the Sixties and Seventies, when large sections of the 'Establishment' lost their nerve and, seeking to be 'modern', failed to halt the advance to power of today's treacherous bunglers. R.E. Bland

London SW6