Sunday, March 29, 2009
A Politician Married to a Really Stupid Man
The British press doesn't have anything better to do these days now that Tony Blair is out of office??? From The New York Times, The Lede Blog March 29, 2009, 3:13 pm — Updated: 3:49 pm --> British Minister Promises to Pay for Porn By Robert Mackey Jacqui Smith, the British home secretary, was forced to issue a statement on Sunday saying that she would repay British taxpayers £21 ($30) after a newspaper revealed that expenses she claimed last year for home internet service also included four pay-per-view movies, two of which were adult films. The newspaper that first reported the embarrassing expense report, The Sunday Express, wrote on Sunday that “A source close to Ms Smith, 46, said last night that she had not been at the family home in Redditch, Worcestershire, on April 1 and April 6 last year when the adult films were viewed.” Ms. Smith, who lives in London with her sister during the week and spends weekends at home with her family, has recently come under fire for suggestions that she has taken advantage of government allowances to claim £116,000 ($166,000) in living expenses since 2001 to subsidize her two residences. Last month Michael White, The Guardian’s former political editor, wrote a blog post headlined: “Jacqui Smith’s use of housing allowance is within the rules – but it doesn’t feel right.” According to The Times of London, Ms. Smith, who said that she had “mistakenly claimed for a television package” which was bundled in to a charge for Internet service from the same company, Virgin Media, is not happy with her husband, Richard Timney: A friend said the Home Secretary knew there was “no excuse” for the error but added: “To say she’s angry with her husband is an understatement. Jacqui was not there when these films were watched. She’s furious and mortified.” Mr. Timney, who is himself paid £40,000 ($57,000) a year by the British government to advise his wife [can I get work like this???], spent what might well have been the least comfortable 26 seconds of his life outside the family home on Sunday reading this statement of apology to the assembled press (published on the Web site of Channel 4 News). Then again, perhaps Mr. Timney is making a bid to take the unofficial title of most embarrassing British husband away from Prince Philip, the Queens’s spouse, who has made a well-catalogued series of outrageous statements, mainly about people from other countries, over the years. In December, Mr. Timney was caught writing a letter in support of his wife’s policies, under his own name but without disclosing their relationship, to their local newspaper. Matters are not made better by the fact that Ms. Smith, who leads the British government department overseeing immigration, drugs policy, counter-terrorism and the police, recently announced plans to change the law on prostitution in Britain to punish men who pay for sex, in an attempt to cut down on demand. As The Guardian reported in November: Ms. Smith that in the past the government has concentrated on addressing the “supply side” issues relating to prostitution. Now the government wanted to curtail the demand. “At the end what we also need to recognise is that if there is no demand for sex with women, there will be less trafficking,” she said.