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It’s a case of sniggers all round at the expense of Jacqui Smith at the moment.

As if it were not bad enough being called ‘Jacquiboots Smith’ or our ‘Second Home’ Secretary, she now has to go through the ritual humiliation of being escorted to her car in the face of the press pack with only the lack of a blanket over her head to differentiate her from the common criminals it is her job to prosecute.

The cause is of course her husband’s taste in late night films.  And the small fact they were bought on taxpayers money.

This is the great irony.  If she had done the right thing and merely claimed for a real second home, a flat near parliament rather than her actual first home in Redditch – why then all this humiliation would never have happened.  The other great irony, not commented upon by most people,  is it is her inept husband – paid 40,000 taxpayer pounds a year to look after her paperwork and avoid these embarrassments – who has dropped her in it.

In so doing let it not hide the fact that she has claimed thousands of pounds including literally the kitchen sink and its plug from the taxpayer to furnish what is in all reality her main home.  A brazen piece of fraud

In Greek mythology it was a case of ‘Whom the Gods destroy, first they make mad’ – well this may still happen for Gordon Brown, but for Smith locked in her ‘Carry On’ world, and playing the part of Joan Simms to her husband’s Peter Butterworth, its a case of national ridicule finally destroying her credibility.

And so it should.

I am not particularly anti politicians.  Its a dirty job and someone has to do it.  But by her scam, and ably supported by fellow minister McNulty, she undermines the whole system.  Yes I know its not perfect but the second home system is not of itself indefensible and its fiercest most voluble and plain bigoted critics have to realise that our MPs are peripatetic.  And the alternative of hotel accommodation – with its other associated allowances – for people who may not be fully in control of their movements is not a realistic option, and not particularly cost effective.

Yes I am in a minority, or so it seems, but as I live say 50 miles from London and if (frightening thought) I were an MP – well I think I would need a flat near Westminster.

I say this as I know my wife has been involved in some serious negotiations in London and could not get there in time to start without hotel accommodation and given that they went on late – she really needed a hotel.  The whole experience was exhausting.

I may be many things but I am not a hypocrite.


Welcome to the Wonderland world so familiar to Alice.

At one particular Prime Minister’s Questions a few months back a our Great Leader laughingly (crises seem to bring out the joker in our Great Leader) admonished our pigmy Leader of the Opposition for having the temerity to worry about inflation.  He does not understand he said, “its deflation” we have to worry about.

Paramedics required to calm Labour backbench hysteria.

Today, as the Bank of England continues in its frenzy of printing money, the rate of inflation as it affects people in the real world – as opposed to the fantasy one our Great Leader is comfortable with – actually goes UP!

And not by the odd point but by two whole points from 3.0 to 3.2. Coffee House touches on the point but does not really press on just when the BoE might have to start raising interest rates.  My uneducated guess is just before June 2010.  Oops!

It is perhaps wholly apposite that on this day the Great Leader, our esteemed Prime Minister, the foremost exponent of political prestigitation we have perhaps ever seen, should set off for a tour of South America, that continent symptomatic of Banana Republics.

March 2009
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