Shortly after he’d been caught by the papers having it off with an American socialite, the Blairite cabinet minister David Blunkett was forced to resign over the allegation that he had used his position as Home Secretary to fast-track a visa application for his nanny.
He quit in the hope that he could resurrect his career.
Blunkett would have noticed, had he been properly paying attention and not distracted trying to spin to save his skin, that not one of his cabinet colleagues had appeared on TV or radio in the days prior to his departure to plead his case.
That may have had something to do with the damning comments he had made about some of them, and which had likewise made the papers.
On the night he resigned, he threw a “party” at his grace and favour home, and it was attended by all the cabinet members he had stabbed in the back and who had failed to speak up in his defence.
Blunkett had provided some sheet music as entertainment, and to the bafflement and embarrassment of some of the guests, he sat in front of the piano and started to play a downbeat version of Dorothy Field’s famous “Pick Yourself Up”.
Blunkett reached the chorus, expecting everyone to sing along; “I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again …”
Instead, one grinning MP scribbled a quick note on the back of his copy of the lyrics and held it up to great amusement.
“In Sheffield,” it said. Which turned out to be more or less accurate.
I thought about that today when I saw the options Ryan Christie’s genius agent (and father) had secured for him after a year of looking for a top club, and having been able to sign a pre-contract deal with one for more than three months.
Bournemouth and Burnley, on the last day, battling for his signature. Wow. And all the while a deal with Celtic sits on the table, considered and rejected.
There will be more money for him in England, of course, but the only real credit Charlie Christie should get for that is if he’s able to keep a straight face when he tells the press that he advised his son to make the move “for footballing reasons.”
It’s a career step backwards. It’s a dreadful move, against what I suspect is the player’s own better judgement, and is motivated solely by money.
I understood Christie wanting to leave the club under Lennon.
We were going nowhere fast, and he was in decline as a footballer.
But his dad wanted him to leave when Rodgers was at the club.
I remember watching him give an interview where he boasted about “Ryan” being a match for any player in the Premiership, and how he could shine there.
I thought, seeing that, “he’s thinking like an agent advertising his player.”
I knew that guy had smelled money on the air and from there on in, I thought Christie’s departure started to look more certain, especially as time went on and no new deal materialised.
Last season, Christie was so poor that few of us would have cared that a day like this had come.
His performances since this season began have been better, edging towards the old Ryan Christie again, but at the back of our minds was that this is where we might end up, with him rushing for the door on the last day of the window, with the clock ticking down.
And so we pick ourselves up, and dust ourselves off and he starts all over again.
In Burnley, the home of the Nigel Farage fan club, or in Bournemouth, land of blue rinse Tories and bed and breakfasts; Blackpool without a tower.
I wish him all the best.
Big things are waiting for him.
Relegation battles and Championship football.
He’ll have the money though, and his dad will get the sweet ride he always wanted.
We, on the other hand, have a title race and battles in Europe to win.