Jacqui Smith has become something of a favourite on this blog what with her inimical skill in raising one's blood pressure with every utterance and all. So one has to acknowledge her selfless commitment to her work where she is prepared to rough it round at her sister's rather than claim a large Parliamentary allowance for some spurious second 'home' like so many of her colleagues would do.
You know that an MP is unashamedly on the make as soon as they start claiming that they've 'broken no rules'. Ms Smith goes down that route adding the (somewhat ironic given the context)comment that her claim is "above board". She goes further though, claiming to have longstanding approval for her highly unconventional domestic arrangements. Well that's what she likes to imply, although the reality is somewhat different, "I have always been very clear with the authorities about the arrangements that I made. I specifically asked whether or not the home where my children live had to be my main home. I received assurances it didn't have."
It doesn't matter whether Ms Smith's allowances claim is within the rules; morally it is utterly corrupt. It is difficult to know why she should need a second home at all given that Redditch is within easy commuting distance of London anyway. It is MPs like our sleazy Home Secretary who lend the most strength to the argument that all MPs allowances should be ended, they're paid more than enough without them. Hopefully the voters of Redditch will take account of the stench of greed Ms Smith trails in her wake come the next election.