“One thing that seems to have been lost in the media blizzard surrounding the Home Secretary’s dodgy expenses claims is the nature of the ‘entertainment’ that was charged by Richard Timney – Jacqui Smith’s husband – to the taxpayers’ account. A whole slew of commentators – including feminists one might have expected to be in the van – have backed off from outright accusations of sexual immorality. There seems to be a large dose of ‘what you do in the privacy of your own home’ in circulation.
“I suspect that for women – whatever their attitude towards Smith as a politician – something feels disloyal about harping on about her husband’s use of pornography. Few women like the idea of their partner paying to view women performing sexual acts, whether in the privacy of their own homes or at a so-called lap-dancing club. But more than that, the sheer ubiquity of pornography in contemporary Britain makes it extremely unlikely that the male partners of any potential critics haven’t also done a Timney. To get at Smith and her husband involves picking away at their own private sores.”
Read the rest of Will Self’s Evening Standard column here.