A spokesperson for David Blunkett has denied that the former Home Secretary has become a member of pressure group ‘Fathers4Justice’, after the MP was detained by police having been caught scaling a London office block, whilst dressed as Marvel superhero Daredevil. “Mr Blunkett is currently following the correct legal procedures to gain access to his son, and would never resort to such unlawful methods of protest as dressing up in ridiculous costumes and chaining himself to public buildings,” his Parliamentary Private Secretary, Annabelle Sketter, told the press. “This unfortunate incident – which is all a mistake on the part of the police – is simply part of his attempts to forge a new career. He feels that it would be a shame to allow all those years of crime fighting expertise he built up in the Home Office to go to waste, and believes that working as a freelance superhero is the best way he can now serve the public.” Indeed, it is not unusual for politicians to take on a secret persona and fight crime after they leave high office. Former Prime Minister John Major, of course, became the Invisible Man for several years after his 1997 election defeat, whilst current Tory leader Michael Howard became Batman during his wilderness years. In his nocturnal guise, Howard gained plaudits from the Daily Mail for his tireless efforts to protect Britain’s shores from the evil threat of illegal immigrants, frequently driving whole families of asylum seekers back into the sea at Dover and ensuring their safe return to such friendly regimes as Angola, China and Afghanistan.

Blunkett sees becoming a masked crime fighter as an opportunity to continue the work he started at the Home Office. “Now that I’m free from the constraints of public office, I can go after those bastards who always managed to evade me when I was Home Secretary – the football thugs, the nuisance neighbours, school truants and liberals,” he recently told The Spectator. “Those namby-pamby pinko judges might let them off on technicalities such as lack of evidence, but they needn’t think they’ll be able to avoid my kind of justice!” He doesn’t believe that his lack of sight will be a handicap in the fight against crime. “Like the comic book Daredevil, my other senses are all highly developed to compensate for my blindness,” he explains. “Besides, with my faithful side kick and guide dog to sniff out wrongdoers, I can’t go wrong!”

In spite of Blunkett’s optimism, his crime-fighting career has so far got off to a rocky start. Officials from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) are still waiting to speak to Mr Blunkett about injuries sustained by his guide dog when the two of them attempted to leap between two tall buildings in central London earlier this week. “According to eyewitnesses, the dog appeared very reluctant to leap, and ‘Daredevil’ simply dragged him off the roof with his lead as he leapt,” says RSPCA Inspector Melanie Wicket. “Whilst ‘Daredevil’ reached the other roof safely, the poor dog – legs flailing wildly and howling with fear – came in several feet too low! The terrified animal’s lead caught on a protruding flag pole, which it spun around several times before crashing through an adjoining window.” Whilst Wicket admits that the RSPCA cannot prove for sure that the ‘Daredevil’ and guide dog seen in this incident actually were Mr Blunkett and his dog, it is notable that the former Minister’s sidekick has had both of it’s front legs in plaster for the past few days. “He’s been spotted using an extra-long white stick to try and judge the distance before he leaps across rooftops,” she notes. “Consequently, he’s been confining himself to nothing taller than a three-storey building. Even so, he’s still crashed through three windows and fallen into four skips over the last two days.”

In another embarrassing incident, Blunkett came to grief during a rooftop fight with two escaping burglars (later found to be air-conditioning maintenance men, fleeing in terror at the sight of a lycra-clad middle-aged bloke with a beard) – he performed a perfect back-flip to evade one of them and promptly fell through a skylight he hadn’t seen, landing in the middle of a dinner party. “I can’t explain it,” he commented later. “I can usually spot such things through my super-radar sense – I emit a high pitched squeal like a bat, which gives me an accurate mental picture of the landscape!” The former Home Secretary’s super-senses had already landed him in trouble a few days earlier. After his super-hearing led him to believe that he had heard money being demanded with menaces, he attacked a group of Salvation Army charity collectors in a busy shopping centre. “He was completely wide of the mark with the first three punches he swung, ” recalls a witness to the incident. “The fourth punch felled a small girl, after which he executed a flying drop kick which took out a passing pensioner and her shopping trolley.” Shortly afterwards, declaring that he could “smell evil”, Blunkett stormed into a town centre pub and assaulted a local drunk who had just shit himself.

Blunkett’s former cabinet colleagues are less than amused by his private crime-fighting initiative. “Illegal immigrants, international terrorism, the identity card controversy – the last thing I need is that twat prancing around in his underwear,” sighs Blunkett’s Home Office successor, Charles Clarke. “I just hope it doesn’t encourage anyone else in the cabinet to try it – the thought of that fat git John Prescott wobbling around in lycra and a mask is more than I can bear!” Clarke also has advice for any member of the public who encounters Mr Blunkett in his Daredevil guise, demanding to see their ID card: “Just show him any bit of card the right size – bus season tickets, credit cards even cigarette cards, he’ll never know the difference. Hell, it’s what they used to do when he was a Minister, he’d sign any bit of paper put in front of him – how else do you think half that anti-terror legislation got through?”

Despite his obvious antipathy toward his predecessor’s current activities, Clarke denies that either he or his department have had anything to do with lurid stories concerning Mr Blunkett’s private life which have recently appeared in the press. “We would never try and discredit a former colleague in such a sordid manner. What David does with his white stick in his own home is entirely his own business, provided, of course, that it is between consenting adults,” he says, referring to claims made by a Miss Felicity Cobbold, who claims to be one of Blunkett’s former mistresses. “Mind you, if his guide dog really did stick it’s cold wet nose where she claims it did, she should consider making a formal complaint to the Royal National Institute for the Blind, as this would be clearly contrary to the purposes for which the animal was trained.” Mr Blunkett has denied Miss Cobbold’s allegations completely, stating that he has never met her, and that the dog was present merely in its proper capacity as a set of ‘seeing eyes’ to guide him through an unfamiliar environment.