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What a laugh – Jacqui Smith’s husband has been watching porn movies at the taxpayer’s expense!!!! The red-tops are in a frenzy and poor Jacqui is both angry and embarrassed and there have been the usual mutterings of  “We will of course pay it back.” 

“Schadenfreude” was invented for this situation.

The fact is that the type of film that he has been watching is irrelevant. The real argument is about MP’s expenses. How many of us have never watched a porn movie? Admittedly, the fact that on this occasion, films “with an adult content” have been watched does add a certain piquancy but once again we are in a very British situation.   The sin is not in the act but in getting caught.

Men enjoy watching porn movies but most men do not watch them with a box of Kleenex,  “spanking  the monkey”,  whilst drooling  down their grubby shirt fronts. Most XXX movies are   ridiculous and funny  – not seedy.  Sometimes the watching of porn is a social event. I have been to many “gentlemens’ evenings” where at some stage in the evening, after a skin-full, we have sat down and spent the odd hour watching filth with a nudge-nudge and a wink-wink. Great fun – and harmless and a bonding-session “par excellence”.

I have attended these functions in the company of bank managers, solicitors, barristers, policemen, businessmen, high-ranking executives and all manner of “respectables”. Are we perverts? Not all of us.

Womens’ attitude towards filthy movies is a bit different. There is a joke which asks ” Why do women watch porn movies right to the end?” Answer:  “To see if the couple gets married.”

Let’s face it – a “Chick Flick” is all about romance, love, passion and fantasy. A “Boy flick” is about sex and violence . (I am only bracketing “sex” and “violence” together because that is the British convention.)

Today, a certain Fleet Street Grande Dame has written that Ms Smith has been “betrayed” by her husband because the watching of porn is tantamount to unfaithfulness. No it isn’t.

Several years ago, my secretary phoned me and told me in a hushed and embarrassed tone that a bill had arrived for a week-long stay at a hotel and she wanted to know what she should do about “the extras”. The “extras” consisted of a list of about twenty porn films which (apparently) I had been watching in my hotel room.  I told her to phone the hotel and ask them to “lose” the items from the bill. I then phoned the hotel myself and was pleased to discover that when I scrolled through the films (as you do) – every film that I scrolled through registered on their system and through a system fault, it looked as if I had spent the entire week watching porn. An attractive proposition but untrue.

The point of the story is that at no stage did I feel that I should go onto the back foot and be defensive. There is no way that I would put on my slacks, shirt and pullover (the weekend politico-casual look), read a prepared apology from a piece of paper, apologise again and look terrified or ashamed.

Richard Timney has apologised for embarrassing his wife but otherwise, he has nothing to apologise about. Neither should he feel embarrassed about watching porn – although, quite understandably he is –  but that is only to appease the pruriently frustrated over-50 females and the God Squad. 

Jacqui Smith is as good a Home Secretary as there has been in the last few years so it would be a pity if (yet again) a perfectly respectable lady were to be forced-out by the lubricious hounds of Planet Media. No need to force her out – next May’s General Election will do that.

Currently, the Labour government is on the run and of course anything that we can throw at them seems deserved but let’s please keep it in perspective.

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