It is becoming crystal clear that the distinctive quality of this government is that they are sanctimonious humbugs – simple, if not pure.
Our stern unbending puritanical feminist ‘two-homes’ Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, is reported to be “furious and mortified” at the disclosure that she paid a video hire bill on her parliamentary expenses that included two ‘adult content’ movies which were allegedly watched by her lonely and doubtless frustrated husband at their ‘second’ [main] home in her Redditch constituency whilst Jacqui - who, like Pooh-Bah, wasn’t there at the time - was residing at her ‘main’ London pied-a-terre home busying herself with her official duties.
This is the woman who is currently pushing legislation through parliament which will make it a criminal offence to have sex, even unknowingly, with a prostitute who has been ‘trafficked’ under the very wide definition of that term in the Bill.
Presumably many women who are paid to perform sex acts in pornographic movies fall into the category of being ‘trafficked’ one way or another. How is the viewer to know? Ms Smith’s husband may well have committed an equivalent moral offence [if not a criminal one], albeit unintentionally, through watching these films.
It should be obvious by now, even to the myopic tin-eared Gordon Brown, that Ms Smith is a walking disaster. Not only is she inept at her job; she has no sense of propriety in the conduct of her personal affairs.
So a little additional mortification in the shape of swift removal from office would not come amiss. And if Ms Smith still does not feel sufficiently mortified, her erstwhile colleague Ruth Kelly no doubt has a range of suitable cilices she can borrow. Or she can obtain one – though not, alas, on parliamentary expenses, but bargain offers available during Lent – from those on view here.