Jacqui Smith's porn

We all know Jacqui Smith paid for porn with tax-payer money, and that it was supposedly for her husband.

What I’m wondering is, was there any particular reason to believe it to be his porn, or was that just something she put about to get herself out of trouble, like with David Mills?

What I’m asking is, was it conclusively proven that she was just a thief or was she also a sex fiend?

I don’t think we all know that. In fact I’d wager all the money in my savings against versus all the pennies in your charge jar that I was not the only person who had to google Jacqui Smith to discover that you’re talking about a two-year-old scandal involving a British MP.

How would saying that it was her husband’s porn get her out of trouble? It doesn’t matter who the porn (a pay-per-view porn TV channel) was bought for - the problem was that she claimed it on expenses.

I don’t think most of the British public would think that watching porn makes you a ‘sex fiend.’

Isn’t this characterization a little overboard? My understanding was that she submitted some kind of bills (phone/internet/video service?) for reimbursement and the bills included, among legitimate reimbursement claims, four pay-per-view movies, two of which were pornographic. She said that this was a mistake and she would repay the amounts for the portions she shouldn’t have been reimbursed for.

Regardless of whether this was just a mistake or thought that she could slide through some non-reimbursable items that were hidden among legitimately reimbursable item, how does two pay-per-view pornographic movies purchased by a healthy adult amount to any kind of case that she might be a “sex fiend”?

First I heard - who’s Jacqui Smith now?
Off to google…

The only way I can make sense of out of the OP is if she was claiming she didn’t notice because her husband bought the videos, thus trying to make herself seem less morally responsible for putting personal pleasure on a compensation form.

I don’t know why that type of thing would even be necessary, though. She’s not in any sort of moral conservative party, is she?

Well, no party takes a stand for moral deviance. However, the scandal was about her paying for her husband’s porn on expenses, rather than that he watched porn or she watched porn. I believe it was meant to have taken place in a shared hotel room, so I just wondered if it was proven to be his, or just assumed on the wrongful assumption that frumpy old women don’t want hardcore German anal, while bald old men do.

Jacqui Smith was the Home Secretary under the former UK Government.

Porn, if you could really call it that, was always a side issue here (although of course happily seized on by the gutter press). No, her fall from grace was occasioned by the same thing that nobbled several MPs, and sent some of them to prison - the fiddling of expenses.

According to this BBC report:

So, it was not a hotel bill, and it was not merely a bill for pay-per-view movies.

She submitted her home internet bill for reimbursement, which, apparently was reimbursable to the extent that it was used for official purposes. She went ahead and claimed the entire bill as an expense, even the portions of it that constituted her family’s private use. Those items included four pay-per-view movies, two of which were “18-rated.” (I don’t even know whether “18-rated” necessarily means pornographic.)

If it had happened as an isolated event, I don’t think that it would have been notable at all. Sixty-seven pounds? Four pay-per-view movies incorrectly claimed as expenses? She’d have paid back the reimbursement and that would have been the end of it. The only reason it was notable is because it happened along with her other, much more substantial ineligible expenses claims, and those of several other members of parliament.

I think you mean the expensing of fiddling…

Well, what nobbled her wasn’t the expenses thing, that didn’t cost her her job, it was losing the general election. Fiddling expenses was so widespread in an environment where no receipts or anything were needed, where you could just walk up the correct office in Parliament and say “I’ve got a little man who cleans my woods for £15,000 a year” and collect a big wedge of cash to pay for it, that they’d mostly be unemployed and a significant number in prison now if justice had been done.

But I’m more interested in tabloid aspects.

That she was on the public record against porn viewing probably didn’t help. That and the problem that the porn bill was part of £116,000 of expenses of quite dubious validity.

Yeah, the porn was a non-issue, despite the “hur hur” reporting in the media. The blatant attempts to claim vast and unwarranted sums to money for expenses with only the most tenuous links to official work were much more concerning.

And the movies were viewed on a channel owned by Richard Desmond - owner of the Sunday Express (see post #9).

Damn. I clicked into this thread thinking it was about the former Charlie’s Angel.

Oh, well.

Wait, there are no naked Angels coming? Talk about bait and switch.

If you are not American, threads concerning mystifying people and concepts are commonplace, so welcome to the club.

Ooh, Charlie’s Angels porn!

Uh, I’ll be in my bunk.

No one mentioned this at the time, but I always thought it was probably her son. She has a teenage son, who was 15 at the time, and we all know what those little deviants tend to get up to. That would explain why they submitted the pornographic films on expenses - they didn’t realize they were there. If Smith or her husband had been watching porn themselves you’d think they’d be more careful about submitting the expenses claims (“oh shit, don’t submit the TV bill! I have a confession…”) And if you were in their shoes - a married couple who found out, via the newspapers, that your son has been watching PPV porn films - what would your story be? Obviously the husband would take the flack. No point damaging the politician’s reputation needlessly and you’re not going to let the newspapers report that it was your son and have his friends read about it.

On the other hand I suppose it is possible that the husband watched the porn films and then Smith submitted an expenses claim for the BT internet line, and he didn’t click they were same thing. But I have a maxim - when there’s porn and a 15 year old boy involved, the chances they’re not connected are negligible. :slight_smile:

Now this sounds like a much more likely scenario.

We had a local legislator here that got in trouble for unpaid parking tickets, which went unpaid, and notices ignored, until his drivers license was suspended. And that was used against him in the election campaign (rather unsuccessfully; people said “unpaid parking tickets? that’s the worst his opponent could dig up about him? He must be pretty clean!”).

But locally, many people knew that those tickets were from his teenage sons, who had just recently obtained their driving licenses. Who threw away the tickets, and (being home from school before their parents) intercepted the mailed notices about these unpaid tickets. Not exactly a real long-term strategy, but then teen age boys aren’t known for long-term planning.

He could have easily responded to this campaign attack, and blamed the problem on his sons. But he didn’t. Many of us admired him for this. Showing more real concern for his family than his ‘family values’ opponent.