Jacqui Smith, latest offender in expenses scandal
In the British parliament expenses scandal, we’ve heard about “flipping,” the practice whereby an MP reverses the status of his two homes, so that his second home, in London, the home for which the expenses are intended so as to enable him to attend parliament, is designated as his “first” home, and he spends the money earmarked for his London residence on his real home.
The latest MP to have been caught flipping is none other than Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, of whom I said when she was appointed to her post in 2007 that “the spelling of her name produces in me a feeling of great confidence that she is really on top of her job of enforcing Britain’s laws.” And, indeed, Jacqui’s no average, ordinary flipper: her second home in London that she falsely designated as her “first” home was not even a home, but a room in her sister’s London house. What’s the English equivalent for chutzpah?
Here I think is the deeper meaning of the scandal. These MP’s have had exactly the concern for the responsible use of tax payer monies as they have had for the conduct of the nation as a whole. When they’ve left Britain open to insane immigration; when they’ve sided with Islam against Britain; when they’ve given terrorists asylum status and put them up in state subsidized homes; when they’ve allowed savage crime to become normal and go unpunished; when they’ve criminalized normal political speech; when they did these things and so much more, it was because they have no regard for their country. All they care about is themselves, and their favored minority constituencies, because it is through their identification with those minorities that they express their contempt for their own country. Their behavior in the expenses scandal reveals the same self-centeredness and the same contempt, and that’s why the scandal is of such great significance.
Then consider Jacqui Smith in particular. Not only, as Thucydides points out below, did she prevent Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament who had been invited to address a group of British parliament members, from entering Britain. She’s the one who released a list of names of people she has barred from Britain, including American radio host Michael Savage (who hadn’t even been trying to enter Britain), because they don’t represent British “values” (Smith doesn’t believe in defending Britain, but in defending British “values,” i.e., cultural leftism). She’s the one who, in the spirit of a true totalitarian as I described it, sought to punish people for belonging to the BNP even as she mocked them for not wanting their names to be made public. And she’s the one who declared that Islamic terrorism should henceforth be referred to as “anti-Islamic actitivty.” (On a lighter note, here is an early mention of her in which I correctly guessed the year of her birth, based on her name.)
Here is a story on the resignation of UK cabinet minister, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who was the official who denied Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian, carrying a diplomatic passport, admission to the UK to address as invitee a group of legislators on the Muslim issue. (She was reportedly responding to the complaints of one “Lord Ahmed,” one of the “New Labor” persons used by Tony Blair to pack the House of Lords.)
For those who want to catch up on this remarkable story, the Telegraph lists its main articles on the scandal:
MPs’ expenses in depthMark P. writes:
This expense scandal is really interesting because it reveals something about liberalism I don’t believe has been noticed before, namely, is this really all it takes? Is it really that simple to get rid of liberals by targeting all of their financial improprieties and other dealings destined to rankle the public? Allowing violations of the rules is also a form of control. People get hooked on the illicit perks and the illicitness of the activity can be held against them by higher-ups (read: Rod Blagojevich.) Might this be used against them?LA replies:
That’s an original thought.Mark replies:
Of course, if the opposition party does the same thing, then they open themselves up to the same hanging.
It think it would be worth while to reproduce here my entry on Jacqui Smith from July 2007, the first time I wrote about her, and consider it in the context of her subsequent career as Home Secretary:
I am the very model of a postmodern government ministerSo, in July 2007, based on nothing but Smith’s statement that her mission would be to defend Britain’s “shared values,” I predicted that under her Secretaryship “what the government is going to defend from terrorism is the Muslims in the UK—defend them from any possible intolerance or suspicion that the British people may direct at them as a result of the terrorism.” Or, rather, since that’s what they had been doing all along, to do it in an even more audacious and insane way than before.
And six months later, that’s exactly what they—she—did. Here is the initial entry I wrote on this in January 2008:
PC to the nth powerSo, just to bring this together again, this top government minister who went to the most extreme, can’t-be-parodied degree of PC, calling Islamic terrorism “anti-Islamic activity,” thus siding with Britain’s enemy by making it impossible to identify the enemy as an enemy, was also the government minister who declared the room in her sister’s London house that she occasionally slept in to be her “primary” residence, so that she could direct gonverment funds intended for the maintenance of her secondary residence to the maintenance of her actual primary residence, outside London.