Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has admitted for the first time that while she was a student she committed burglary. "I tried it a few times, but didn't like it very much, so I stopped. I never targeted elderly people's houses and, though I took a crowbar with me, I never used it on anyone."
Smith isn't the only politician to "come clean". Several members of the Shadow Cabinet have admitted to a string of offences, ranging from pickpocketing to grievous bodily harm. More worryingly, several other high-ranking Government Ministers have admitted a criminal past.
The Education Secretary has admitted to cheating in his A-Levels by stealing the papers before the exams, the Secretary of State for the Environment has admitted dumping large quantities of radioactive waste in the River Thames and the Health Secretary has admitted spreading infectious diseases with a string of sex partners in the 1980s.
Surprisingly, most members of the public don't seem to care. A straw poll indicated that over two-thirds of adults questioned said that what politicians did in their past at school or college was a private matter. One interviewee, who discovered that his house had been burgled by Jacqui Smith twenty years ago, said "I don't mind. It is in the past. Okay, she took irreplaceable pictures of my dead wife, but as far as I'm concerned, it was a student lark".
Similar sentiments were echoed by other victims of politician crime. An elderly woman who was kidnapped and held hostage at knifepoint by the Shadow Minister for Crime, said "They were just teenagers, I'm sure that they put my husband's life savings which were paid as ransom moneys to good use. Booze, I'll expect, but we were all young once".