Playboy TV offers 'Jacq off' special package
Home Office says adult movies were 'vanilla' flavoured
Comment The ultimate demotion of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, from grim-faced scourge of individual liberty to national joke, came one step closer last night with the launch of Playboy TV’s Jacqui Smith VIP package.
Responding to the press furore over the nocturnal viewing habits of Jacqui Smith’s little helper, Richard Timney, they write: "We at Playboy don’t mind what he does with his package and we’d like to offer all MPs and their husbands a special VIP subscription to Playboy known as the ‘Jacq off special’.
"After a hard days voting on legislation, lunching and talking to Gordon Brown what better way is there to relax than a quality adult film on the Playboy channel? The Cabinet isn’t the only thing that benefits from a shuffle every now and then. There is also valuable family research the Smiths can conduct on Playboy, including what their second cousin Anna Nicole got up to in her fascinating life."
In a further dig at the government’s puritan agenda, they add: "It’s about time MPs and their partners stopped thinking adult channels are a ‘mistake’ or being ‘humiliated’ (well, that is catered for in a different way); they should celebrate the adult entertainment we provide! We’ll make MPs subscriptions cheaper and even bill them under the title of ‘entertainment’ or ‘personal trainer.’"
Meanwhile, the latest pastime to sweep the country is "guess that film". Speculation was kicked off by the Telegraph, with the 'discovery' that anyone turning on to one of the nine channels available on Virgin Media on the dates and times identified on Jacqui Smith’s leaked expenses could have been watching Raw Meat 3, a hitherto unheralded Gay flick, featuring the masculine delights of Emilio, Valentino, Duncan and Tigers Wood.
This assumes that the channel watched was Television X – but this is just one of nine available on Virgin Media, along with Playboy TV, the Adult Channel, Red Hot TV and five more.
It also assumes that Mr Timney tuned in for a specific film.
Last night, Virgin Media were staying schtum as to which channel he watched. However, they did explain that viewers of the adult service get not just one film – but up to twelve hours viewing from the moment they log on.
If the fare was not to his liking, Mr Timney could have switched off after no more than a minute. Or, as his wife appears to have been on her way out of the country the very next day on at least one of the occasions in question – on a visit to Pakistan – there was nothing to stop him staying up all night to continue his research.
But does it really matter what he was watching? When we spoke to the Home Office at the weekend, they were scathing: The question was not relevant and the only relevant issue was the misuse of public funds. That is an interesting point of view – and one that probably will not wash.
In interviews since, Jacqui Smith has attempted to play the sexism card: people are only focussing on her and her home arrangements because she is a woman. This is an odd observation to make in a week when the arrangements of other well-known female MPs, most notably Tony McNulty and Harry Cohen, are also in the spotlight.
What cannot be overlooked is her serious crusade against the adult industry and all its works. Along the way, she has not been shy to attack the presumed consequences of pornography and links between porn and the acting out of sexual fantasy.
We asked the Home Office if Mr Timney had been watching material on Red Hot TV, including "Just 18", which some of the anti-porn brigade might interpret as seriously worrying. They strenuously denied that he was watching that channel or anything other than "vanilla" material.
This latest revelation in respect of the Virgin package suggests that such a denial is not worth the paper it is written on. Television X also has a Teen offering – as well as sado-masochistic programmes. We haven’t delved into what might be viewed on other channels. The only thing that we can know with certainty, if Mr Timney is prepared to come clean as to which channel he was watching, is which shows he MIGHT have tuned into on the nights in question.
In the final analysis, political pundits at the weekend were guessing that the Home Secretary would tough it out and survive this latest crisis. The only risk, they argued, was the matter dragging on and her becoming a laughing stock. That process is now well under way. ®