Yet the dominant feeling in the wake of her resignation is not one of relief, but of sympathy. How can one muster sympathy for someone who claimed nearly the maximum "second home allowance" for the constituency home lived in by her husband, whom she employed as a constituency worker - perfectly legal, but uncomfortable on the moral scale - and who railed against the "vogue of police-bashing" following the G20 Summit where, it may be recalled, police literally bashed an innocent passer-by to death? Yet sympathy is what's left once those bursts of outrage pass. Thanks to a receipt carelessly submitted as part of an expenses claim, which confessed that her husband had watched two blue movies, subsequently funded by the taxpayer.
Once the wave of prurient ecstacy of Torygraph readership had subsided, and sanity seeped slowly back, a national cringe was evident. It was a revelation too far. Duck islands, moat cleaning and huge gardening expenses were fair game; peeping through the curtains into a middle-aged bedroom was, well, just not British.
And so, because her husband passed quite nights with a bit of visual distraction, we're deprived of the benefit of righteous anger at the horrors of a Labour minister pushing an agenda that would have felt comfortable under the Apartheid SA state, because we want to distance ourselves from the moral outrage of the rightwingers at the viewing of adult videos and can't trust the Rest Of Them to distinguish our outrage from that.
So Jacqui Smith gets a free pass. Though I'm sure she'd prefer the outrage to the sympathetic stares and sniggers.