Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Jacqui Smith Falls on Her Sword

Whether Gordon Brown intended to hold a reshuffle or not, Jacqui Smith has just given him no choice, by letting it be known she will be resigning as Home Secretary at the end of the week. Tom Watson has made a similar decision.

The fact is that Jacqui Smith should never have been appointed to the position in the first place. To go into that job with no other Cabinet experience would be a tough ask on anyone, and despite a bright start in the job, she soon got bogged down in crisis after crisis. Labour MPs never really gave her unconditional support when things got rough, and too often she was undermined by the Prime Minister. Her final humiliation came at the hands of her husband (if that's not an unfortunate turn of phrase) and frankly, there was no way back for her after that.

I shall now again risk being flamed by my readers, but I have always thought Jacqui Smith is a thoroughly nice woman who was overwhelmed by the job. She allowed the authoritarian instincts of her department, instilled by her predecessors, to dominate her political agenda and she allowed herself to be dictated to by Number Ten. Whatever her failings may have been, and there many, she will always be able to say that she was the first woman Home Secretary - and that is an achievement in itself.

UPDATE: I wasn't wrong about your reaction... I love it when y'all talk dirty.


Dungeekin said...

It puts a very song in my heart!

This one, specifically.

'Hoon, Smith and Darling'

(With apologies to Doris Day)

Oliver Drew said...

I've no doubt she was/is a nice person Iain.

However she was, as you said, out of her depth, and she also played the expenses system mercilessly.

This is another skittle that has fallen in the governments arsenal. I wonder whether the expenses scandal will be the equivalent of a strike in 10-pin bowling for Gordon Brown.

Newmania said...

Not at all Iain ,I agree with your summary.She has no chance of retaining her seat anyway

Caro said...

No no no, she will only be able to say that she was a RUBBISH female Home Sec - thus tarnishing prospects for truly able candidates in the future.

Having said that, I'm thoroughly pleased she's going.

Julian the Wonderhorse said...

Baroness Smith of Raw Meat3 - here we come!

Is this the first resignation an MP has made to spend more time with their porn?

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth I thought she was OK as Home secretary. Gordon should never have got her to take 42 days detention before parliament, it stood no chance.

If she hadn't shacked up with her sis and had provided Mr Timmy with his marital rights then she would not be stepping down today.

Anonymous said...

She was left with no alternative. When can we have the same announcement from Hoon?

Siberian Tory said...

Bloody hell Iain. Good luck with this one.

realbrogan said...

Yes, she was fragrant. Pity she oversaw the disaster that is SOCA, whilst steadily and determinedly undermining our freedoms and rights of privacy. Let's pray that the wrong workmen one day do not pick up the tools she has provided. If that happens, and it's more likely than not, perhaps you won't look back upon her as fondly.

Savonarola said...

Thoroughly nice - Yes

Thoroughly corrupt - Surely
Thoroughly incompetent - Defnitely
Thoroughly competent at milking the expense system - Undoubtedly

Good riddance to another rotten NuLab Ministerial Appointment

another runner said...

I enjoy reading your blog Iain but am baffled as to why you keep backing women who are corrupt. It's just mindboggling.
Jacqui Smith was living in her sisters spare room and calling it her main residence so that she could claim full allowances for her real home in Redditch. While we spent £100K on security for her other grace and favour home.
As usual she was just following the rules. What happened to integrity ?
As soon as a petition is set up by real people in her constituency and she might have to face her constituents she does a runner like Kirkbride et al.

Will said...

Nice? Nice?
The woman was pure stalinist authoritarian!

simon davis said...

"but I have always thought Jacqui Smith is a thoroughly nice woman"

You really do talk (and write) absolute crap at times. Anyone who has the temerity to claim that a bedroom in a house is a first home in order to claim substantial goodies on her so called second home is NOT a nice person.

Jon Harvey said...

Will this mean Blunkett's return?

Anonymous said...

So Brown doesnt get to sack her, smart woman, she's made Gordon out to be a do nothing, she's gone of her own volition.

How humiliating for Brown.

Brown is going to have a hrd time getting anyone to take these positions. This weekend is going to be very very interesting.

Seriously who in their right mind would want to take on the Chancellor's job now, they must be mental.

Alex said...

"The fact is that Jacqui Smith should never have been appointed to the position in the first place."

Maybe, but she was better than all the other candidates, which tells you all you need to know about the calibre of New Labour.

Philipa said...

Yes twas her husband what done her in. I do hope he knows this, and gives a damn.

Incidentally, we don't pay people to be 'nice', we pay them to do a good job. Sadly very few of them do.

Perry Neeham said...

You aren't half a soppy date Iain!

Fausty said...


She might be a 'nice' person but it is because she "allowed the authoritarian instincts of her department" that she was despised as Home Secretary.

It is one of the major factors in the public's perception of "them and us" because ministers exempted themselves from the most draconian of measures. The expenses issue merely underlines that fissure.

Recall, John Major was considered to be a 'nice' person - he who took us into the ERM and buried the Conservatives for a generation.

Backbench Warrior said...

This step down is a token gesture. If it's too much, why can't she do the honourable thing and step down as an MP?

Anonymous said...

What was that about Tom Watson??

Sir Lancelot de Boyle said...

So much pus is oozing that I'm running out of dressings!

Polly Toynbee's Hairdresser said...

The reality for these political nomarks is that simply NeoLabour chose to promote wimmin no matter how inept they were.
Smiff was useless, but Blair and McDoom had no interest in that small detail.

How apt that she resigns before she's sacked.

beagleslovefags said...

She may have been a nice person but she was vastly overpromoted. In life she should have been at most a school headmistress.

She'll be remembered as a hectoring, authoritarian who wanted to spy and record our every movement and communication and for bringing one of the "great offices of state" into disrepute by her troughing.

Stepney said...

Incompetent - yes. Inept - yes. Blinkered - yes.


In a sort of Damian Green, child database, DNA database, CCTV, surveillance, 96 days detention, bathplug, main-home-is-a-box room, nice sort of way?

Pure snowflakes on cherry blossom.

By their actions shall ye know them.

Anonymous said...

Jacqui Smith must be scared because when she steps down, she's no longer the polices boss and she screwed them over royally, they may be quite happy to investigate her.

colin said...

Ex school teacher who thought she could boss us all around as if we are 12-year-olds.

I too don't understand your insistence on giving women more benefit of the doubt than you would men. It makes you look very patronising. She deserves to be slated because she is rubbish and bent.

Women should only be promoted on merit. I hope Cameron knows this and doesn't let Dorries anywhere near the heart of government.

Anonymous said...

Iain if for one agree 100% with you she probably is a nice woman she would have to be to put up with her husbands night time occupations.

Also its another nail in the coffin of this government.

Wyrdtimes said...

Result! here's hoping the good English folk of Redditch give the boot the boot as well.

Tom Dexter said...

There is one sobering thought in all this chaos;-

Ed Balls could end up as the Chancellor, Home Secretary, Leader of the Commons, Mr. Speaker etc. etc.

Thomas Rossetti said...

Like Oliver Drew, above, I'm in no doubt that she was a nice woman.

I don't want my politicians to be "nice", though, I want them to be competent and stand up for Britain's interests. I personally think Mrs Thatcher was horrible, but she was the best Prime Minister Britain has had since Churchill.

(If you support a football team, do you care whether the players buy their wives flowers and help old ladies across the street, or do you care whether they win football matches?)

Iain, why is there no opportunity to "recommend" these comments as there is on the Guardian's website? I doubt that anyone would recommend this, but it serves as a great indicator of what people think.

Tom Dexter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Nice my arse.
That's the problem with women only lists and ensuring that ethnic minorities are represented etc etc.
Whatever happened to ability regardless of gender/race/sexuality?
The fact is that all the women politicians in the current government are useless at their jobs. The fact is most if not all of the muslim and black MPs and policemen are useless at their job, corrupt and cry foul when they don't get their threatening way.
And as for Lord Mandlebum.......

Your heroine Mrs T succeeded because she was more of a man than the wimps around her. I'm sure that if you suggested that she got where she did by virtue of women only lists or other anti-male discrimination she'd give you a good handbagging!

End positive discrimination now!

acadman said...

I couldn't be called much of a feminist but i think this stuff about 'first woman home secretary' is quite frankly rather patronising to women. We have long got past the stage where women had to prove that they could do certain jobs, or needed trailblazing role models.

You do recall that we have had a female Prime Minister don't you Iain? Not to mention some formidable warrior Queens (Elizabeth I, Bodicea) in ages past.

Smith was corrupt and authoritarian. If she was only following the instincts of her department then that showed her to be weak, and not acting out of conviction. So that then begs the question why she was doing the job in the first place, apart from the seizing the opportunity for an even fatter salary to go with her expenses...surely not!

Oldrightie said...

falling on their swords? They're all diving into a money pit.
When the going gets tough socialists just slope off.

Anonymous said...

Nice or not, she was no bloody good, and we don't (or shouldn't, more to the point) pay good money for failures. Beyond belief word verification SACKMA

AEG said...

You're right, she should never have been given the appointment in the first place.

However, she was a dismal failure, and becoming the first woman to be a dismal failure is hardly an achievement in itself. I I was Jacqui Smith (and I thank God, Allah, Vishnu and Chuck Norris that I'm not) I'd keep quiet about that 'achievement'...

DMC said...


I dont think anybody can be a good Home Secretary, It too big of a department.

As for Smith, She was very nice, able and the first woman to become Home Secretary. She has some good decisions under her belt.

Apparently the rumor on Sky news and BBC is that Alister Darling will replace her.

East Midlander said...

I would like to hear her views on us buying her a patio heater when the European Commission has banned the sale of them.
Why was that payment made, did she claim that it was needed so she could sit outside to do her correspondence.

cjcjc said...

It's always entertaining to watch the comments texted in to Question Time at the bottom of the screen during the show.

One time when Smith was on someone texted "PM material?"

Moments later came a reply: "Not even PA material!".

Jonathan Cook said...

Re-shuffle speculation........

Home Secretary = Keith Vaz

Foreign Secretary = Dennis Skinner

Chancellor = Ed Balls

....... Brown could conjure up some terrifying ministerial combos.....

Shamik said...

Nice person or not, she was blaaaady useless! You can forgive her for being crap, but not for being corrupt!!

Still, at least she'll get to spend more time with her husband, and he'll be able to spend less time watching porn! :P

I imagine her sister will be pleased though, she's got her spare room back!

ps. What's the news about Fatty Watson? Is he really standing down??

That would be the icing on the f***ing cake!

Boo said...

What would happen if nobody wants to take her place.

With all these people gearing up for a leadership bids, who would accept this poison chalice.

I fear(hope) this resuffle will blow up in his face.

JamesW said...

If you're the kind of person who thinks it would be a great idea to intercept, and store, the entire population's e-mails and telephone calls, then you are not a nice person. You are the kind of person who would fit in just fine at the KGB, Stasi, Ingsoc, or indeed Zanu-Lab.

The only saving grace is that she was too incompetent to realise that her grand scheme would never work. But that's not much of a legacy is it: too stupid to implement her evil plan.

Regardless of her politics, I don't think too highly of people who help themselves to public money. She was the epitome of shameless troughing. If someone on housing benefit had come up with a scheme as absurd as her tale of her sisters box room as a main residence, then they would be hauled before the beak.


Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!

orientalsage said...

Jacqui Smith is a prime example of what happens when you allow too many 'ordinary' people to become MPs. A nice idea in principle, and she was probably well equipped to deal with constituency affairs.

But what part of her CV or experience qualified her for holding one of the great Offices of State? Her track record in office says it all.

Sorry, but government by FE lecturer and local government functionary doesn't work. In most cases the talent simply isn't up to the task.

We need a pool of extraordinary talent backed up by real achievement. Unfortunately most qualified candidates aren't attracted to the role of constituency MP and won't seek election on the offchance that they might one day make it in to the cabinet.

We need to allow outside appointments to cabinet, freeing MPs to be absolutely clear about their role of holding the Executive to account, not getting distracted by the greasy pole of high office.

Dr Snuggles said...

Unfortunately being 'nice' does not qualify one to be Home Secretary and is rather weak mitigation of a truly disastrous tenure, which reflects as badly on the appointer as the appointee.

Whitehall Whispers said...

I hear that Susan Boyle has been offered Home Secretary. A few million voted for her on BGT so she passes the 'nice' test. Should be a big improvement on Jacqui, she's got more brains anyway.

Anonymous said...

She is a very nice control phreak dunce authoritarian surveilance society while new labour snout in the trough usless politician and lazy wife.

MikeyP said...

She may or not be a nice person, I am not qualified to say, but everything she did as Home Secretary was pure evil!

talwin said...

If the commentariat have been right, Brown has been wanting to get rid of Smith for months now. The logical conclusion must be that Brown has, yet again, dithered his way into this particular denouement.

disillusioned Dale blog reader said...

There seems to be a contagious reaction spreading throughout the English speaking world of describing people as "very nice people" as if somehow that excuses their actions.

Simon Cowell might have started it(?).

"I'm sure you're a very nice person, you're a great guy, you're quite entertaining but you're absolutely rubbish at what you do." Aren't we all nice people ultimately?

I'm sure that murderers, thieves, rapists, armed robbers, paedophiles and double agents are "really nice guys" also who have many good points. But unfortunately, that doesn't let you off the hook if you are in the dock at the Old Bailey charged with a serious criminal offence, does it? I've met one guy who murdered his wife and he was a really nice guy too.

These MP's should face multiple charges of fraud and theft. When they are sentenced, the judge should take into account two predominant factors when passing sentence. Firstly, that they had a good income so they had no necessity to steal and, secondly, that they created the laws which put their fellow citizens in prison. They acted in a premeditated fashion.

I look forward to the day when Jacqui Smith is serving 5 years for conspiracy to commit fraud, theft and obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception at one of Her Majesty's Hotels that she used to be in charge of.

She has always commented how criminals should be punished. Let the games begin.

Anonymous said...

Many people are over-promoted. Most grow into their new job. Smith didn't, which isn't a crime.

But not recognising you are out-of-your-depth; that's just dim. And not realising that being Home Secretary would require you to be 'whiter than white', that's either half-witted, or criminal.

Liz said...

A "thoroughly nice woman" who seems intent on raping my civil liberties and lining her own pockets at my expense, Iain. I think I'll pass on the empathy, if you don't mind.

BrianSJ said...

Well, no Howe-type resignation speech that might have done some good, unless she proposes to make one later this week.

I'm with Bigpond; the Tom Watson story sounds a lot more interesting, given his complete exonaration and blamelessness with McBride.

Jonathan Cook said...

I hope that Jacqui is going to continue to provide us entertainment with her forthcoming legal battle with US Shock Jock - Michael Savage?!

Thomas Rossetti said...

Since I am denied the opportunity to "recommend" other comments, I will leave another comment of my own, to say that simon davis's comment that

"You really do talk (and write) absolute crap at times."

really made me laugh.

It's nothing against you, Iain, we all write crap at times. He's just right about this one. Jacqui Smith's "niceness" is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

"a thoroughly nice woman "...

Iain, what colour is the sky on your planet?

Remember those words when you next get stopped for no reason and your ID demanded.

Bugledog said...

Iain she was a pathetic Home Secretary. Totally out of her depth and should have resigned weeks ago. A footnote in New Labour's dying days.

Paul_D said...

To think this overpromoted schoolmistress took over the seat once occupied by Churchill and RAB Butler.

You're right, Iain she was never cut out for a great office of state.

There is still on YouTube a clip of her introducing herself as "Hello, I'm Jacqui Smith, Labour's (sic) new Home Secretary and I take the job very seriously..."

That's what happens in NuLab's "modern" culture where everything is about gettin down wiv da kidz. It always was going to end in tears.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I know I'm late to the party, but:

"I have always thought Jacqui Smith is a thoroughly nice woman who was overwhelmed by the job. She allowed the authoritarian instincts of her department, instilled by her predecessors, to dominate her political agenda and she allowed herself to be dictated to by Number Ten."

In other words, society is to blame?

Come on, Iain, get a freaking grip! The woman is a classic primary school teacher with a major control-freakery problem. Nobody bullied her into her Stasi-like attitude.

Toilet Duck said...


Make room for the next great steaming turd, the Chancellor


And then the great big Brown jobbie himself


Oh Christ that one is clinging to the sides! Keep flushing!

Obnoxio The Clown said...

PS It wasn't a pork sword she fell on, was it? :o)

wv: tackl


Bill Quango MP said...

We must see what Inspector gadget and friends will have to say about this woman's many failures.

But she will always be remembered. Remembered for setting the case for more senior female politicians back a few years.

Peter North said...

Perhaps she should have fallen on her husband's sword and then none of this would have happened?

It doesn't add up... said...

Jacqui is the embodiment of the Nastiest Party we've had in power

Plato said...

Ms Smith was responsible for:

42 days
Police pay fiasco
ID card implementation
Gurkhas u-turn
Troughing of second home piggery
Banning weird Dutchman and US shock-jockster on PC basis

And that took 20 seconds of thought.

She may be female but PLEASE do not use this as some sort of PC sop or reason why women will not get on in the future.

She was useless, authoritarian and well crap for 99% of her tenure.

talwin said...

It occurs to me that the timing of Smith's and others' departures may not be especially propitious vis-a-vis Thursday's elections.

Might the voters not think 'If Labour MPs have had enough (of Labour) and can't hack it, why should we bother voting for them.

Not a notion I would choose to argue with.

insert-coin-here said...


As I understood it Adolph Hitler could be charming company as well.

Why are you being such an apologist Iain?Nobody likes a hack.

And as for being remebered as the first woman to hold the post...

She is a prime example of why promoting on the basis of gender or ethnic backgroud is so laughably flawed.


Jules said...

Sorry Iain. She was a bag o'shite from top to bottom and start to finish. Good riddance to a corrupt, authoritarian and incompetent disaster area.

Keep the bodybags coming.

Anonymous said...

"June is busting out all over". Oh I feel wonderful, coming from Redditch I have been aching for months to see the day Smith is ousted. Leaving the Cabinet is just the first step, she must also be deselected from her seat.

Look at it this way Iain - the Home Secretary, our Home Secretary, the British Home Secretary, was claiming a second home allowance and all those white goods goodies, plus antique fireplace, kitchen sink (and plugs) plus home entertainment for hubby on the taxpayer - she was claiming a second home allowance when she did not have a second home. But she did have the offer of a wonderful grace and favour home for the use thereof.

Jacqui Smith was bang to rights and rightfully, she should have been sacked months ago when this story first broke. But then, Brown knew he would have to sack more than half his Cabinet and himself as well in that case!

Sorry, no excuses are possible for Jackboots!

VotR said...

Happiest news of the week. She should not have been given that job, it has destroyed her and was a bad decision by her boss. The curse of Jonah has struck again.

Now if the government will scrap the ID card facism, getting a passport was hassle enough, then they might actually make a decision where their very judgment isn't called into question on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Michael J said...

Lovely reading this blog today - such fun.

She has managed one thing in her incompetence. By falling on her sword she had certainly forced GB hand and made him look foolish (again)

Disco Biscuit said...

Wasn't it her husband's sword she fell on? The pork one?

First time in a long time...

Anonymous said...

"Thoroughly nice" people don't rip off the taxpayer and refurbish their home at our expense! Add on her policies (ID cards, Ghurkas, 42 day detention, support for Sir Ian Blair) and not only does she stink, more importantly she is incompetent and dangerous.

Catosays said...

In the country of the blind, the one eyed man is King..and she was certainly living in the country of the blind.

She may have been 'nice' as you put it Iain, but as a Home Secretary she was as much use as a soiled Kleenex.

Dimoto said...

Alan Johnson for Home Secretary (that'll teach 'im !)
Keep him out of mischief, well inside the (collapsing) tent.

Whiffler said...

I am on record as saying to colleagues that JS had a fairly strong start. She spoke sense, used plain language rather than technobabble, and seemed attuned to Joe Public.

That, of course, is the easy part. You become much more defensive when the mistakes are far enough into your tenure to be (at least in part) your fault. This is exacerbated by having a managerial deviant like Godon who will do as Gordon does - and sod everyone else (including his own).

If she'd had any balls she would have gone a lot earlier and might have got some respect.

If there's one group of people lower than those who have served in Gordon's Cabinet, it's the rest of the PLP who have gone along with both he & Bliar breaking manifesto commitments.

Anonymous said...

Once again Iain pandering to his 'beloved' political classes. Iain, all MPs are crap - it goes with the territory. I challenge you to name a couple and what their achievements in politics have been: let's say over the last 20 years?

Martin said...

5 bellies is a typical female politician. Over promoted beyoned her ability to simply get a 'skirt' into senior positions.

I could list a few more


None of them have any ability what so ever either as Ministers or politicians.

Nigel said...

>>a thoroughly nice woman...<<

Is that in the same way that you are a thoroughly good judge of character in politicians ?

What next ?

Ed Balls a man of great personal charm ?

Gordon Brown notably empathetic ?

Geoff Hoon uncommonly principled ?

Anonymous said...

Many criminals are charming Iain, that's how they get away with it for so long. Especially true of fraudsters

Praguetory said...

There were cheers in my office. Nice. Lol.

Geo said...

It is a relief she is going. You can only hope the next (longer term) occupant of the Department for spying on the UK Population starts PROTECTING our civil liberties rather than tearing them up.
Smith is definitely the type who would have us all barcoded and branded "Property of G Brown". And when the inevitable backlash came her defence would have been "I was only following orders".
The Stazi would have loved her.

Anonymous said...

And you can add to her list of qualities Benefits-in-kind Cheat

The Penguin said...

She is an incompetent corrupt trough-pig, good riddance.

And despite Tugger Timney's best letter writing efforts, I suspect the voters of Redditch will ensure she spends much more time with her family after the next election.

The Penguin

Dino Fancellu said...

As someone said on Popbitch,

"she's a victim of the shuffle" (cue pic of her hubby).

Anonymous said...

Get a grip Iain she was/is bloody awful.

Yak40 said...

So when does Cyclops fall on his sword and call a GE ?

WV: trehoona LOL

Sue said...

I do believe she was purposely put in the job because Brown thought he could manipulate her.

She wasn't up to it at all, but don't feel too sorry for her.

It was a nice little earner, wasn't it?

Paul Halsall said...


If there have been rumours about this for weeks, why haven't they been on this or other blogs?

After all, isn't that what blogs are, in part, for?

A38 Man said...

I do rather agree with you Iain. But why does anybody ever agree to become Home Secretary? It's a political graveyard. (Remember Henry Brooke, anyone?)

Anonymous said...

She may well be a thoroughly nice woman Ian (I haven't met her so can't comment), but she was promoted above her capabilities, then fiddled the expenses system.
She should have fallen on her sword weeks ago.

Steve Horgan said...

When it comes to the office of Home Secretary we don't need nice, we need effective. Jacqui Smith certainly was not effective at dealing with the multiplicity of problems in her portfolio area, and given that this includes crime and terrorism this has been very serious for the country. On a personal level her use of parliamentary expenses and the employment of her husband as her 'assistant' simply do not bear scrutiny. That she is going is good news, but the scandal is that she was ever employed in the first place.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

For some reason, you always give women the benefit of the doubt.

"she will always be able to say that she was the first woman Home Secretary - and that is an achievement in itself." is probably the most twattish thing you have said in weeks.

But, if it is true, and Mr Blobby, aka Tom Watson has waddled onto his sword, I am deeply unhappy.

Mr Watson has been a fine addition to this Government. Just read the comments on his blog to see that they are overwhelmingly favourable to him.

He is also notoriously innocent of anything, and Messrs Carter Ruck will back him on this and besides, nobody in the papers or on the BBC is talking about him, so he must be very innocent indeed.

How is Jeffery Archer these days? Does he meet Jonathan Aitken for a drink occasionally and reminisce about the good old days when Robert Maxwell owned the Mirror (after the bad old days when Liberace sued them for suggesting he was gay)?

Flemingcrag said...

How will Jacqui Smith's sister react to a new Home Secretary moving into her spare bedroom?

Anonymous said...

Achievement is defined as "something that has been accomplished by hard work, ability or heroism"

Political correctness combined with the appalling judgement of the PM resulted in Ms Smith getting the job. That is not an "achievement".

Anonymous said...

C'mon Iain tell us where you got this story about Tom Watson.

Constantly Furious said...

Rejoice, just rejoice.

I'm hoping This is the start of the avalanche.But surely even she realises that she's got to go properly, completely, not just back a few feet to a lesser bench? Her majority in Redditch is so slim that she's only delaying the inevitable. Give it up altogether, love. Get out of politics. There's Chocolate Crunch for pudding, and that custard won't serve itself.

Flemingcrag said...

Iain you really need to read " The Triumph of the Political Class" by, Peter Oborne.
Sympathy for Nadine now Jacqui, it just emphasises the central theme of the book, there is no difference between the Political parties, just a bunch of elitists who cannot abide any of their number falling at the whim of the little people.

Plenty said...

Just been listening to Harriet Harman on a news radio programme who seems in denial about what is happening at top of government. She reminds me of the Mayor of Amity in the 1970s film Jaws who refuses to accept there is a Shark on the loose.


The Purpleline said...

Now she has resigned as Home Secretary and, the ultimate boss of the Police, I do believe she can now be prosecuted for her dodgy ACA dealings.

Hot off the press, Susan Boyle has offered to step in as the next Home Secretary after meeting Gordon at the Priory's Tuesday, mental health, outpatient clinic, before she was released from custody.

As a sign of her full recovery,she
gave 'Godron of the mansfield' a map of how to get to Beachy head.

Anonymous said...

Smith to spend more time with her pornos. She should step down as an MP as well - immediately. Along with all the corrupt Nu Lab & Blue Labour rabble.

Dick the Prick said...

Iain - Tom Watson??????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Anonymous said...

good riddance, jackboot.

had to laugh at keith vaz on sky -
"she has been an exceptional home secretary"

in what universe does vaz inhabit?

no Labour minister has been able to get to grips with the home office - they are simply not intelligent enough. that's the Left for you.

darling next I presume - another contemptible failure.

this shower need arresting and charging with criminal negligence.

neil craig said...

Having already hinted that Darling is due for a change & with Jacqui going that is 2 of the top 4cabinet jobs changed. Add the hint that If Mandelson will take over the FO from Milibland who is clearly not competent that would be 3. With Blears position untenable & Watson going the place is haemoraging.

To paraphrase Lady Bracknell to lose one major minister may be an accident, to lose 2 looks like carelessness & to lose that many looks like the last act in Hamlet.

Anonymous said...

Trying to be nice I can only describe her as hapless.

She came she saw she shat on us all.

Anonymous said...

It all depends on what any individual means when someone is described as "nice". Hitler started off perfectly charming socially and was very fond of (and protective towards)animals. Sorry Iain but you risk being called not only nice but also wet.

denverthen said...

How very decent of you, Mr Dale.

Mind you, I don't really give two hoots what anyone says about her, nice or otherwise, now that she's gone.

This is one instance where the saying 'better the devil you know' could not be more wrong.

Stuart Dickson said...

Iain, you get a namecheck in this Guardian piece:


Cynic said...

Oh that they would all do this

Anonymous said...

Re Neil Craigs point -- surely the decision of Tom Watson to resign/stand down is even more seismic??

SKY are picking up on this just now.

jailhouselawyer said...

I think this calls for a celebration. Let us hope that this does not signal the return of David Blunkett.

Now, who could replace her? Who isn't dishonest?

Anonymous said...

Good riddance...finally! It was long overdue. Nice? What about the nice British public she tormented?

The only people who will be sorry to see her go are the immigrants - specifically the illegal ones.

Anonymous said...

Tom Watson Cabinet Office Minister resigning

seebag said...

Iain - have you not stopped to consider what calling her "nice" says about you?.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Just goes to show what a good education can do for you. It allows you to read the writing on the wall!!....good riddance, she was weak and incompetant and put there by Broon so that he could control the HO agenda as well as not having anyone, in either of the 3 great offices of State, that could pose a threat to him.

Going to spend more time with the family ,really means finding out where the Redditch Job centre is...

Grumpy Old Sod said...

Nice she might have been, but dishonest, greedy and incompetent she is. Good riddance.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

@Neil Craig

"To paraphrase Lady Bracknell to lose one major minister may be an accident, to lose 2 looks like carelessness & to lose that many looks like the last act in Hamlet."

Literary references are lost on this lot, Neil. As far as Iain is concerned, The Dane could have made it up with his step father and not let Polonious have it behind the arras.

nb Fortinbras are not made by La Senza.

Anonymous said...

"To go into that job with no other Cabinet experience would be a tough ask on anyone".

Quite, Which is why she served as Chief Whip first.

East Midlander said...

Future employment for J.Smith after losing her seat. The local authority could employ her as a school dinner lady so that this bullying harriden will frighten the pupils into eating their Jamie Oliver inspired balanced meals.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Iain You need to be tougher than this is you want to be an MP.

Its how people do the job not if they are 'nice'

Natalie said...

24% (-) think I am too fair to political opponents...Iain you are letting down 1/4 of your audience with that tripe! As a human she maybe a thoroughly nice troffer, but as a Home Sec she's been a Stalinistic Nightmare for free speech, free thinking, and free living!!!

Victor, NW Kent said...

I can only see her as a Home Secretary with unbroken run of failures and errors of judgement.

The outright cynicism of the spare room as her primary residence still beats most of the disclosures so far.

Thomas Rossetti said...

To be fair to Iain, "niceness" is very much Le Mot de Jour. Most people here in America are getting frightfully giggly and excited about Obama taking his wife on a date to New York on Saturday. "What a nice man!" they all say, "Bush would never have done that."

To be fair to them, I'm sure he is a nice man, but is this trait really an important thing in the leader of the free world? I just want him to focus on the issues and show some leadership.

It's fair to say this has little to do with Jacqui Smith but is, I feel relevant to the issue of personality in politics.

(In an attempt to make more friends -- and thus feel better about myself as a person -- I am advertising my twitter page here. I think I spelled it wrongly yesterday! http://twitter.com/thomasrossetti )

Scott said...

Worst Home Secretary ever.
Absolutley dreadful. Completely lacking in all historical awareness and understanding, oblivious to the delicate balance of freedoms and responsibilities that holds our system together, she allowed the worst instincts of the illiberal, knee-jerk authoritarians at the Home Office free reign to wreak havok with our constitution.

An awful woman promoted way above her competence who showed complete disregard for constitutional niceties, riding roughshod over longstanding constitutional protocols.

An absolute disaster and horror Show of a Home Secretary, it'll be some time before we recover from the damage wrought by her woeful mismanagement of her brief.

disillusioned Dale blog reader said...

Iain, however desperate Mr Broon gets, he's never going to offer you a job in his Cabinet so no need to suck up......

BTW, after your article concerning the Young Tory Chairman who urged his readers to vote UKIP, can I, as your reader, just say how *gobsmacked* I am that you should in any way whatsoever offer support to Jacqui Smith. Have you been sitting in the sun for too long today?

Anonymous said...

I must disagree. A quite appalling Home Secretary, who lacked both the ability to function competantly in her office, and the humility to accept as much.

I couldn't care less whether she was a "nice" woman; her authoritarian policies, and repeated misreading of public mood, have rendered her a thoroughly unpleasant joke.

Rebel Saint said...

Now she's gone can we have our liberties back please?

Anonymous said...

Sorry a bit off topic but big news..

MPs to get chance to call early general election next week

MPs will be given an unexpected opportunity next week to dissolve parliament and call an early general election.
The leaders of Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National party are to use their allotted time in parliament to force a dissolution debate on Wednesday.

It aims to put David Cameron, the Tory leader, and Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, on the spot on whether they want to go to the polls.

The timing, just three days after Labour is expected to take a drubbing in the European and county council elections, is difficult to say the least for the prime minister. The move will also put pressure on Cameron, who has repeatedly called for a general election, to show his hand. He will have to decide either to support the move by the nationalist parties or abstain on the grounds that he is not going to let minority parties dictate the pace. Clegg would be in a similar position.


happyuk07 said...

Bollocks to her.

Allow me to be a bit controversial. It is my observation that the biggest bloody trouble makers and pains-in-ass in the workplace are almost ALWAYS women.

Anonymous said...

Iain, Iain, Iain. When will you stop blaming the system and start holding your friends accountable for their own actions?

Jacqui Smith was not the victim of her department's authoritarian tendencies. Jacqui Smith was stuffed to the gills with authoritarian tendencies long before she came near the Home Office. From day one as an MP, she has pursued a dogmatic ideological agenda that is anti-liberty in every particular; she has never in her life come across a problem that she didn't think could be legislated away.

It is not the system which is authoritarian. It is your friends in parliament.

Word verification "hookin" which, given Jacqui's husbands interests and Jacqui's own determination to harass prostitutes, is oddly appropriate.

Anonymous said...

You are very kind to her Iain.Too kind.

As a health worker I see every day the results of the derating of some drugs by Smith et al eg cannabis.
Widespread aimlessness,longterm severe depression, personality disorder, frequent acute schizophrenia- basically people going mad wrecked lives.

all this not confined to the usual fringe group of society but well into the band of what could be considered "ordinary " people.

Modern cannabis is not a mild drug. It is highly addictive and brain damaging and these bastards, including Smith encouraged it basically.

Not even mentioned classic hard drugs.

No mercy.

Paul Linford said...

You are right about her Iain.

The reason she was appointed had nothing to do with ability, and everything to do with the deal under which the Blairites agreed to give Gordon a free run at the leadership.

Magic_2010 said...

See ya, Spliff.
I never met the woman personally but 'nice' is not a word I would choose to describe her.
Something that stays in my memory is the Damien Green fiasco. She went on Marr at the time and refused several times to apologise to Green's family over the terror tactics used on his family. She kept on using the term "And frankly..." indignantly like she was the victim.
Disgusting woman. Begone.

Mind something good came from it eh Iain.....

Anonymous said...

Listen, you are being too hard on her. She is obviously a highly trained and intelligent person - she was a teacher, and I saw an advert for teacher recruitment on TV the other day showing how clever they are. The teacher (female and black)actually said " and sometimes you get to think on your feet" - FFS surely that is a basic requirement I would think (sitting or standing).

Oh, on second thoughts, I think (both sitting and standing) Smudger is a thick, authoritarian, bum licking waste of space. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...


What is the opposite of a fag-hag, for I believe you are one.

andanotherthing said...

She was hopeless and didnt inspire confidence. Quentin Letts got it right when he said she should never have got the job and always had an air of disbelief that anyone should question her. How can you hold such an important office of state and have that attitude?

Anonymous said...

So a thief and liar is allowed to resign with her fat taxpayer funded pensions to return to her husband who prefers kleenex.

She has sought, with malice aforethought and with some success, to undermine the civil liberties of the people.

She is NICE!!!

Just what type of person would you consider not nice, based on this you must think mugabe is nice.

Bath plugs for the many, not the few said...

A thoroughly nice woman overwhelmed ...?

A truly incompetent woman who would have struggled to manage a school crossing patrol consistently well.h

Uncle Bob said...

Yes, just blogged about this one myself. Of course Cameron will support the motion. It won't win, only a few Labour backbenchers would have the bottle to stick their head above the parapet. I could send an email to my local MP asking him to support the motion but as it's Chris Bryant, another cabinet lickspittle, it wouldn't be worth the effort.
Still, what's the maths exactly now. How many labour MP's would be required for the motion to pass?

Anonymous said...

You really are going to make a big name in politics, Iain.

'I liked her.. she's a nice woman'.

I don't want 'nice', I want 'effective'. No one could call Thatcher 'nice' but no one could say she wasn't 'effective'.

That's what's missing right now - nasty effective. It might sort out the maelstrom that is slowly engulfing the UK and everyone in it.

Not a sheep said...

"Jacqui Smith is a thoroughly nice woman" - NO

"who was overwhelmed by the job" - YES

WV = ingelati - too many jokes...

English First said...

Ian, in England we are, at the moment, allowed to have our own opinions on anything. I have fought for that right on two occasions. (I am ex Forces).

However, some of your opinions leave a lot to be desired lately and the assessments you have made in connection with several varied subjects recently have made me question your judgement.

I say get stuffed Smith! Having used public money, my money, to fund private houses, purchase porn and of great importance, and behind the scenes, has promoted an organisation that uses KGB psychiatric tactics to intimidate the population.

The Police State, which accelerated under Nu Laber, attempts to brand those individuals daring to challenge the government elite as mentally unstable or ill. This woman was without doubt, one of the most dangerous, nasty Ministers ever to be elected to Westminster!!
The responsible for this intimidation? The Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC), comprising 9 Police Officers, 5 Mental health professionals including psychiatric nurses. (Hansard 2007). It purpose is two fold:-

"to assess and manage the risks posed by those who engage in inappropriate or threatening forms of contact topwards people in public life, and in doing so, to direct severely mentally ill people, who are identified through such contacts, to the care that they so desperately need."!!

The tactic of committing political dissenters to mental hospitals and psychiatric clinics is of course an old KGB, and East German Stasi tactic.

Thoroughly nice person? Don`t make me laugh!!

Another public hanging would be appropriate!!

Roger Thornhill said...

Saying Jacqui was "a nice person" is like saying that a gangster "loves kids".

She was NOT a nice person as she, AFAICT, stole from the taxpayer. She was also stupid enough to stay in a job she was clearly not up to. She was happy to let all manner of disgusting legislation through and to even DEFEND IT IN PUBLIC. No "nice person" does this, Iain.

Housing Hubba Bubba said...

'she will always be able to say that she was the first woman Home Secretary - and that is an achievement in itself'

An achievement is something you earn. Jacqui Smith was there because she was a political stooge.
She lacked the intellect and experience to do the job. The same can be said for most of the current government.

Fausty said...

More good news - Plaid Cymru & SNP are to hold a dissolution of parliament debate tomorrow after PMQs!

Anonymous said...

Out of her depth,but happy enough to claim £141,000 per year,let alone all the bathplugs and the claim re houses which is VERY serious.
My God - you people seem to live in another world - hands up if any of you softies actually earn LESS than £25K per year!!!
I would lick the roads clean for £141K per year - maybe lick some other things too.
Get real - welcome to the normal world where a month's pay runs out by the 25th of each month.

Anonymous said...

So, who will face the music with the Michael Savage's lawsuit?

She can't escape that easily, surely?

Anonymous said...

Presumably the next Home Secretary will be English?

BTW - are you trying to rival PB.com for the number of comments on a thread?

Anonymous said...

It isn't enough to be nice. To hold a cabinet or a board position you also have to be tough and to know where your "red lines" are. If the boss oushes you to go beyond where you are willing to go, then you have to call his or her bluff and walk. That much hasn't changed since Robert Townsend wrote "Up The Organisation" in the 1960's.

But, if you are married and not legally separated, your main residence must be the same as your husband's main residence. Surely it should be the same for MP's and their expenses, so how often did Dick "Raw Meat" Timney spend the night at his sister-in-law's spare room?

Pay Less UK Tax

Paul Halsall said...

@Anonymous 5:04

I see you have a truly uneducated poster on Smith's actions on drugs, Iain.

Smith, of course, against scientific advice, raised the level of illegality of Cannabis.

Personally, I think the personal possession of all drugs should be legal, and "brown cafes" be allowed all over the country.

Anonymous said...

I feel so sorry for Jacqui that I thought that she deserved a fitting tribute.

Reed said...

This government is coming apart before our eyes, with a quickening pace. Great! Can't wait to see what things look like for them after polling day.

Just seen that ghastly twit Eddie Izzard doing a Labour Party Election Broadcast, telling us all that he would be voting Labour and we should too. The man lives in Los Angeles, so he can bugger off.
Presumably they couldn't find anyone who actually lives in the disaster zone that is NuLabour's Britain to front their campaign. (they're certainly not going to use Gordon Brown)
Where are all those once eager and enthusiastic Luvvy types, who used to gush at every opportunity about the hope & optimism that New Labour was bringing to the country?

Anonymous said...

Ian Gibson de-selected by Labour

Dave Arbuthnot said...

Nice arse, though

Anonymous said...

How sweet! So many commenters assuming that GB selects ministers for their competence! You don't think that maybe especially when he is dealing with women (who he appears to dislike) he might choose "no ideas of their own, will do what they are told" over "principled, effective, experienced in the area concerned".

Come to that, which of our party leaders put "principled" high on their list?

Anonymous said...


You really should give up all thought of becoming an MP. You will not survive 5 minutes with this level of naivity. Whatever you think, there are things that you need to say and things that you don't. You have no need to find any good words for Jacqui Smith or any other lying politician, particularly at this time. I know you will call it honest and admire you for it as a person but in the circumstances it was a (politically) suicidal remark that will gain you nothing. She was a pinnochio of Politics and we will be well rid of her. She just needs to resign as an MP now, then sell her second home in Redditch - pay back the profit, and move her family into her main home in London - should be cosy in that room, and wll put paid to Mr Smith's nocturnal activities.

David said...

How bad does it get when someone as stupid as Jacqui can trip the Prime Minister of Great Britain up like this? A Home Secretary leaking her departure 2 days before a critical (for GB at least) set of elections? As they say in the great "Mississippi Burning" the rattlesnakes are biting!

Twig said...

She's was just another GB sockpuppet ticking the feminist box like Blears.
Gordon only appoints people who do as their told. As soon as they step out of line - they're toast.
If they any integrity they would have refused to work for him in the first place.

Does any really believe Alistair does the budgeting? He can't even fill out a self assessment form!

Scotia said...

She may go down in history as the first female Home Secretary, but unfortunately she has probably also been the worse in living memory, bar perhaps Roy Jenkins.

Anonymous said...

"...a thoroughly nice woman...". I might have had a little sympathy with that comment until I watched Channel 4 news, and saw her digusting reaction to Chris Gayling's response to her decision to stand down. Typically Labour ungracious attitude, and though it embarrassed me that she was Home Secretary of my country, for the clip I saw on C4 she can go with good riddance!

Anonymous said...

Nice? If this wasn't coming from you Iain, I'd assume the only logical explanation for that comment would be that it was euphemism for "has big jugs"...

Scrobs... said...

"She may go down in history as the first female Home Secretary, but unfortunately she has probably also been the worse in living memory, bar perhaps Roy Jenkins."

Agreed Scotia - he was an absolute disaster.

Unsworth said...

We don't pay these people (and their various kith and kin) and their extraordinary 'allowances' to be 'nice', do we? What we should expect is some ability, honesty, independence of thought, personal integrity and plain commonsense. Did she ever display any of these virtues?

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm not the first to wish her a fond farewell then?

Boucicaut said...

'Jackie Smith falls on her pork sword' ... is that the film her husband rented?

Idle Pen Pusher said...


She is utterly loathesome! Though Caroline Flint and Harperson are annoying me more, lately.

Idle Pen Pusher

Anonymous said...

Five surgeons are discussing who the best patients to operate on were.

The first surgeon says, 'I like to see Accountants on my operating table because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.'

The second responds, 'Yeah, but you should try Electricians! Everything inside them is colour-coded.'

The third surgeon says, 'No, I really think Librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order.'

The fourth surgeon chimes in, 'You know I like Construction Workers. Those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and when the job takes longer than you said it would.'

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed, 'You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains, and no spine, and there are only two moving parts - the mouth and the arshole and they are interchangeable'

frenchfried said...

well yes I don't like her and she should never have been appointed. But that's not why I writing. Iain refers to Jacqui as a woman, however the grauniad refers to her as the first female home secretary. Sounds silly to me - is this some sort of PC rule that I don't understand? Surely it's more obvious and straightforward to say woman. Am I the only person who has this sort of problem?

Unemployable FE Teacher looking for any job said...

Mr Tinmey is about to unsheath his pork sword to welcome his Jacqui back home for good. The thought of that coupling leaves me very queasy.
(In a hammock under a patio heater...Ed)

Thatsnews said...

I shall now again risk being flamed by my readers, but I have always thought Jacqui Smith is a thoroughly nice woman who was overwhelmed by the job.I agree, Iain. I have to add that I find her attractive in a woman next door kind of a way...

janner said...

I agree with your view. Yet another example of a Labour politician proving to be living proof of the Peter principle.
See: Blair, ACL; Prescott, J; Beckett, Mrs M; Darling, A; Brown, G; Martin, M. etc

TomTom said...

she was the first woman Home Secretary - and that is an achievement in itself.

I am incompetent but I am a woman !

Really patronising Iain, no doubt we will say when Obama fails that he was black, so that's okay ?