Outrage obscures the real issue once again.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith is a bit embarrassed because someone has leaked an expenses claim for her home broadband.

The main embarrassment, and source of the outrage, being two "additional features" which is apparently a euphemism for adult films.

MPs are entitled to claim for cable TV and broadband packages, if they are of benefit to the carrying out of their duties.  While the basic package, including news channels, could be argued to be within this remit, pay-per-view films are not. Ocean’s 13 is no more relevant to Mrs Smith’s duties than the two controversial features. The claim for the two "additional features" are in my mind no more controversial than the other 3 films on that claim.

Yes, I can understand that to Jacqui, her husband’s choice of viewing may be, to put it mildly, deeply unpopular.  But that should be a matter for them.

Sadly, I find it all too plausible that this claim was as a result of Jacqui Smith bungling her expenses paperwork, rather than an attempt to cynically cream money through expenses.  And to be honest that lack of attention to detail in a home secretary is much more worrying than getting someone to pay for your PPV films.

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One comment

  1. Anonymous

    If I were to submit an expense claim for diesel for a work journey, and accidentally tried to claim for a mars bar which was on the same recipt, then my claim would not be paid!

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