So Cherie Blair has finally ‘broken her silence’ and dealt with the whole Bristol flats episode. A storm in a teacup affair of course but as Jonathan Freedland points out in his guide to handling a scandal, the actual content doesn’t really matter.

It is the attempt to cover-up which is always what sticks from these episodes and if Mrs Blair had come out with her afternoon chat show stuff right at the start the thing might have blown over rather more quickly.

But the attempt by some to portray a Q.C and part-time judge, wife of a Prime Minister and a woman with half a million quid to spend on student flats (or speculate on the property market?) as some working class hero is a bit rich. I am sure she is a busy lady but I suspect those single mothers who had their benefits cut by Mr.Blair’s government have a few more headaches other than needing friends to help with fashion tips.

Those who say she should now stay out of public life though are out of order. We have no need for a first-lady in British politics that is true (we spend enough on the woman who is actually head of state) but there really is nothing wrong with Mrs Blair helping out charities nor helping her husband out at functions – indeed if all she did was focus on her career she would be accused by some of showing no interest in the disadvantaged and just looking after number-one.

Just one thing though – that cheesy smile really does my head in – oh yes and she is a scouser.