I can’t believe I’m defending Jacqui Smith, but, well, I am. But only a little.
I don’t think she should be hounded from office because the expense claim she submitted contained a couple of charges for adult movies that her husband had watched on cable TV.
Watching porn (at least, the kind that you can buy on cable TV) isn’t illegal. I’m certainly not outraged. But it is embarrassing. And that’s why privacy matters. You don’t have to be doing something wrong to have something to hide. That’s why we have curtains, and envelopes, and doors on our lavatories. It would be ironic if a draconian Home Secretary who’s done so much to curtail the privacy of the British people was unseated because of a private matter. Or would it? Irony would imply that there’s something contrary to expectation, and everyone has something to hide—especially those who want to take away our privacy to fight terrorists or for the children.
I want to see Jacqui Smith sacked for what she’s done in her public role as Home Secretary. Not because an oversight in her expenses makes for great salacious outraged headlines.