So farewell then, Jacqui Smith. Only, not.

Late on this, as I spent much of yesterday lounging around in the sun and chucking back cheap Pinot. And so it was that when the news reached me I was already fairly well oiled and quite cheerful and I was further pleased by the departure of this awful woman.

But a more sober look at the story makes me less sanguine. For a start she isn’t actually going anywhere.

Jacqui Smith is to stand down as home secretary in the cabinet reshuffle, sources close to her have told the BBC.

A reshuffle in which she was going to loose here job anyway. So this is just a case of “You can’t sack me, I resign”. This is the Labour party at it’s childish best.

Then we’re told

The source said she was stepping down for her family, who had been “at the forefront” of a row over her expenses.

Huh ? Her husband gave one press statement. I’ve never seen her children. I’d hardly call that ‘at the forefront’. And frankly this “for the family” stuff is starting to get irritating.

As long as I can remember “for my family” or “to spend more time with my family” has been the departing cry of politicians caught with their hands in the till, their pants down, or otherwise engaged in whatever the scandal de jour happened to be.

Nobody has ever believed it. Not once. Not ever. It is the last refuge of the condemned scoundrel, one final act of willpower aimed at deceiving themselves they are leaving with some dignity when nothing could be further from the truth. It is the hollowest of hollow platitudes.

Perhaps unsurprising then, that this harpy manages to make it look even less convincing :

It is understood Ms Smith, the first woman home secretary, intends to defend her Redditch seat at the next election.

So, not even “stepping down at the next election”. True, for practical purposes those two statements are equivalent. Smith has been expected to loose her seat even before the expenses row broke. Semantically though, they’re worlds apart. Despite the fact that she’s been caught lying abut her second home and making the sort of expense claims that have seen senior Tories thrown over the side, this awful convener of the fascist state still feels that she has a right to stand as an MP. Was it because she “did nothing wrong”, was she “all within the rules”. Oddly enough no

she felt “vindicated” in her overall approach to claims, now those of other MPs had been published.

It’s because everyone else was doing it, and that makes it OK.

How sadly unsurprising that Smith is as disgusting in her departure as she was in office.

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