Monday, February 27, 2006

Kiss of Death

The PMOS has said that the PM fully supports Tessa Jowell. He said that "Peter Mandleson, Peter Mandleson, Geoffrey Robinson, Keith Vaz, Stephen Byers, David Blunkett, David Blunkett, Tessa Jowell has said that she believes that she hasn't done anything that conflicts with her interests as secretary of state and she's kept within the ministerial code".

Do you think she screamed "NOOOOOO!" when she heard that?

I truth, I haven't the faintest idea whether she's on her way out. Here's the Sunday Times article. If the allegations are true, it's hard to see how she could survive. In fact, if they are true, my understanding is that she may have committed a criminal offence. I think, under money laundering legislation, you have a responsibility to ensure that you do not handle illegal money. The "I didn't know" defence wouldn't be available because the law explicitly states that you have a duty to make sure you do know. I think. But that is all just speculation at this stage.

Potential scandals aside, is it just me or is it just plain wrong for a Labour minister to be married to an "expert in off-shore tax avoidance vehicles"? I seem to vaguely remember that politicians used to have these things called principles. It's been so long now, and I can't remember exactly what they were for, but I have a feeling that at some point in the past they might have been relevant to this. It just doesn't seem right somehow.

On the other hand, this feeling of "wrongness" might just be another symptom of my refusal to understand the modern world. Who can tell?

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