Monday, 30 March 2009

JArthurgate: further (hopefully final) thoughts

1. Jacqui Smith has two children, a ten year old and a fifteen year old. Dickie Timney has the majority of childcare duties because of the demands of his wife's job, and we know from Smith's comments that she was not at home (sorry, not at second home) when the 'adult' films were watched. So presumably Dickie was looking after the children at the time. How lovely: bouffant Dickie downstairs, bashing the old bishop, while Smith minors were upstairs. Classy.

2. If you're claiming benefits, and you mistakenly claim more than you're allowed, saying that it is a mistake is no defence. Offering to pay back the sum improperly claimed might be enough to satisfy the authorities, or you might be prosecuted in any event. Meanwhile, with MP's expenses, the fact that a claim was made 'inadvertently or 'by mistake', with the extra being repaid, is the end of the matter. In other words, apart from the risk of your fiddle being publicised, there is no incentive not to attempt to defraud the system. Why not?

And the risk of your fiddle being publicised is decreasing: the Government's response to reporting of fraudulent expenses claim is to let it be known that a search is on for a mole in the Fees Office. We shouldn't be surprised. When the whistle is blown on improper behaviour, this Government's response is always to hunt and bully the whistle-blower.

3. Love the fact that Jacqui's website says that 'she still lives in Redditch'. I thought she lived in her sister's boxroom?

4. Had to love this from comedian Liam Mullone's blog:

Despite his poor choice of wife, you have to feel sorry for Richard Timney. But it’s embarrasing for us, too. The entire nation feels like it has walked into Richard’s bedroom to find him in session with his honorable friend. And collectively we’ve put his cup of tea down on the bedside table and said “We’ll talk about this in the morning”. BBC political correspondent Gary O’Donoghue said that “Jacqui plans to give her husband a real ear-bashing when she gets home”. So at least they’ll match his cock.


dNo said...

He is employed by his wife at £40k per annum. This surely by any non-new Labour definition is gross misconduct (its gross conduct anyway). Will he resign or will she sack him? If i tried to falsify my expenses by claiming hotel porn channels i would be sacked the minute my manager saw my claim...

polly peachum said...

Re item 1
There is an alternative scenario which no-one mentions for obvious reasons.
The parental grape-vine reveals that in some circles an 'adult' movie is the 'sine qua non' of the adolescent male sleepover party, regardless the policies of the host's family.
I do not, of course, suggest any wrongdoing on the part of Smith/Timney jr., but it may be that, after some Easter holiday high-jinks, someone is doing 'a far, far better thing...' and taking the rap.

Jonny Mac said...

dNo - what, and lose £40k household income? Incidentally, presumably the appointment of Dickie was the result of an open and transparent process that complied with...Etc.

polly - ooh, that hadn't occurred to me. I can't believe it myself. The embarrassment of Dickie taking matters in hand is excruciating; a 15 year old doing what all 15 year olds do much much less so (unless there was some issue about his having underage access to naughty films). I can't see that jackboot Jacqui and Bouffant Dickie would have any compunction in throwing Smith minor to the wolves if he was in the frame...

polly peachum said...

Good point, JM, but surely underage viewing, with all its associated implications for parental supervision, would be more than just 'some issue' in the household of the Home Secretary (especially given the current furore over rent for her Harry Potter-like broom cupboard residence in London). It might just be the last straw and the end of the gravy train.

Perhaps £40k is the going rate for a fall-guy these days.