More on Jowell
Margaret Beckett then came on and, in a spirited defence of Jowell, said that there was no proof that anything illegal had happened, and that therefore all of the attention was from the press trying to damage the Government. To those of us with tediously long political memories, this was reminiscent of John Major - 'who decides who should be a minister - the Prime Minister or the editor of the Daily Mail?' - and we all know the answer to that.
But in any case, is this really the standard of behaviour that Ministers of the Crown have to uphold? Don't do anything that is clearly against the law? That it? Looking back to those dark days of the mid-90s when getting on for a score of Tory minsters resigned - how many had done anything illegal? As far as I recall, it was mainly sex - which even this Government haven't managed to ban. In this Government, on the other hand, every scandal since Cook has been about money.
I was reminded this weekend of the ban on advertising smoking, with its Formula 1 exception. Who was the minister who made the ruling that Formula 1 should be exempted? One Tessa Jowell. And can you name the lawyer brought in to advise the Formula 1 team on the best way to obtain this exemption? David Mills. That smell is getting stronger.