Stevenage's MP Barbara Follett, 'one of the few other women Labour MPs who probably wouldn't notice if £350,000 dropped in her joint bank account' defends Ms Offshore Banking on the Today Programme (RealAudio).
There's a wonderful hypocrisy in the air as the sisters circle the wagons. Apparently, the spin goes, Tessa's getting rougher treatment than a man would.
What ? Just imagine a male Minister signing the offshore mortgage deeds at wifey's behest than playing the 'I know nothing' card. He'd have gone already. But if Ms Gender Equality reckons that "I leave all that money stuff to hubby" is a workable survival strategy you have to wonder what the alternative options were.
"You could tell yesterday, from the way that Patricia Hewitt and Margaret Hodge nestled supportively next to Miss Jowell during her Commons performance, with assorted female backbenchers protectively behind, that this was a demonstration of gender solidarity."
Or as I'd put it, as the wealthy diplomat's daughter and the millionaire heiress nestled supportively. Bessie Braddock those two ain't.
As Melanie McDonagh points out in the Telegraph, "Most of Labour's financial scandals involved men who were far less pretty than Miss Jowell but their treatment was, if anything, much more robust. The row about, say, Peter Mandelson's loan from Geoffrey Robinson for a house was rather more trivial than this scandal but the pursuit of Mr Mandelson by "sections of the media" was more fierce, and successful."
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