My first post; bitter already.
Beyond the damage each case is inflicting on the government, one other fact links Jacqui Smith's Husband to Damien Mcbride. Both were public servants, yet neither were appointed through any kind of public, open recruitment process.
The vast majority of MPs appear to recruit their assistants without any kind of application procedure, let alone advertising the vacancy. Many of these jobs simply go to family members, from Jacqui Smith's husband to Derek Conway's son.
Similarly, special advisers are recruited privately from small cohorts of loyal wonks. An industrial tribunal case ruling warned against the discriminatory effect of 'word of mouth' recruitment, but did not rule that these posts needed to be brought within normal civil service standards.
Politicians talk the language of opportunity and social mobility but, given the rare chances to put their principles into practice, they retreat into nepotism. Political or not, any job paid for by public money should go through a public recruitment process.