Purnell goes: is it pagra or mirata?

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purnelltennis.jpgSo James Purnell was the Minister planning to leave the Cabinet as the polls close, as per the days rumours. Or he saw the rumours and thought "that makes sense". Perhaps someone else would have resigned if he hadn't, or maybe there's more to come before Newsnight starts.

He wants a debate. Over PR? Health policy? Or the uselessness of Gordon Brown? My money's on the last of those. But one Cabinet Minister resigning per day for three days looks like a coordinated attack for sure.

Let us turn to the Pashtunwali for help with this, the Pashtun code (believed in some quarters to be Tajik slander). 

According to my Afghan specialist, balandra is a word from a cooperative venture, originally meaning a collective attack in which everyone is killed. This fits the bill. But of what sort of attack? Two more terms come up.

"Mirata is such a crime that one side warms up the other side's house and kills all the male members of the family no matter how old or how young. The difference between mirata and pagra is that in the former women are not killed, but in the latter all, including the women, are killed."

The long-delayed endgame must be upon us, and it gets gorier by the day. No-one will be spared. Still, presumably Purnell won't have to pay back his unpaid Capital Gains Tax.

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