Yesterday, ex-senior politician Chris Huhne and his charmingly vengeful ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, were finally sentenced to a term in prison; it seems very unlikely they will be sharing a cell.
What started off as a simple motoring offence, ten years ago, led to public humiliation, the further break up of a family, and a cost to the taxpayer of tens of thousands of pounds in court fees and a police investigation that led to the Huhnes eventually being charged with a more serious offence.
I find it hard to feel any sympathy for their plight.
As expected, their crime is being sanitised by friends, and certain parts of the media, who are trying to convince us that a custodial sentence is a harsh price to pay for just a speeding offence.
Huhne said himself, in an interview before sentencing: “I have to accept responsibility, and I should not have asked my ex-wife to take my speeding points, and I should not have lied on an official form, and I should not have tried to evade the consequences”
Both he, and they, omit to mention his sentence was handed down for the serious crime of perverting the course of justice; it was nothing to do with his speeding offence.
Huhne lied, denied, and then lied some more when he realised he was under threat from a vengeful ex-wife. She was determined to bring about his political downfall by revealing he had lied over who was driving his speeding car. However, she had failed to factor in the consequences to her own liberty.
At a time when public apathy towards politics is at an all time high, Huhne has demonstrated, once again, that many politicians are more concerned about protecting their privileged positions than about demonstrating honesty to the people who have trusted them with the management of their lives.
But, while he has taken a knock, it seems Huhne’s ego will be more bruised than his immediate financial future.
Most MPs who resign their seat (even after wrongdoing) receive a large financial allowance to help ease their way back into ‘everyday life’. Huhne’s friends have revealed he is already planning to write a book whilst serving his time, as a guest of Her Majesty. It seems unlikely, therefore, he will suffer the same financial hardships as those who voted for him to represent them.
Perhaps, he should remember the words of the judge at his sentencing, when penning the final chapters:
“Any element of tragedy is entirely your own fault”
I wholeheartedly agree!