Hell hath no Fury…like a woman scorned. Vicky Pryce does a passable imitation of bunny boiler Glenn Close. Chris Huhne is no Michael Douglas. By common consent, it is a tragedy….of their own making.
Nobody can possibly enjoy the spectacle. Nor can anybody (usually a man) say it was just a traffic offence. Nor can anybody (usually a woman) claim that Pryce is some kinda victim. They are intelligent people who conspired together to pervert the course of Justice.
Seemingly the original offence is not that big. Huhne was speeding and the resulting three points on his driving licence would have meant a period of disqualification. The (then) married couple agreed (Pryce claimed marital coercion…an ancient defence rejected by the second Jury after her first trial had collapsed)….to state that Pryce was driving the car at the time of the offence.
This happened fully ten years ago. Huhne, a high profile Financial Journalist went on to secure the Liberal Democrat nomination for the winnable seat of Eastleigh. He became MP in 2007. He almost became Leader of the Lib Dems, narrowly losing to Nick Clegg. In the Coalition Government, he became Secretary of State for Energy before resigning to deal with the scandal…he had broken up acrimoniously with his wife of twenty seven years.
She…herself one of Britains top economists, advisor to Lib Dem Minister Vince Cable…had access to Britains top political journalists. Inevitably the Police became involved. Inevitably charges were laid. Huhne resigned from the Government to fight these charges before pleading guilty some weeks ago, resigning his seat in the House of Commons.
And inevitably …yesterday…Huhne and Pryce were sent to eight months in prison for perverting the course of Justice.
Apparently “switching points” is not that uncommon. I see the point. Husband and Wife usually work in tandem. Whats good for Hubby is good for Wifey and good for the family unit. We can all think of examples of Husband and Wife, who have agreed that one (usually but not always the Husband) is the careerist and the other is “supportive”.
Many people NEED a car for work. Indeeda clean licence is often a condition of employment. And I suspect that if a travelling salesman/woman was in danger of disqualification from driving, it is more than likely that a supportive spouse would step forward and say “it was me wot did it”. Best for the family. A little white lie…lesser of two evils…or as the Law has it “perverting the course of Justice”.
All of this goes swimmingly until there is a fall out. Wives know stuff. They are the book-keepers who file a self-employed husbands invoices…the ones the Bank sees and the ones the Inland Revenue sees. Of course some wives satisfy themselves by cutting up an errant husbands clothes, or distributing the expensive bottles of wine in his wine cellar around the village. And some phone the Police.
Now heres the thing. Is that an unfortunate side effect of a bad break up….or is it peculiar to …WOMEN. Not to be sexist but if one man boasts to another man “I am working AND claiming benefit” or “the Taxman knows nothing” I expect the correct response is “fair play”. But if a wife boasts about this to another woman….there is a disproportionate possibility that the woman who hears this will phone the authorities.
So I am intrigued by the response of high profile women ….journalists….to the Huhne-Pryce Case. Seemingly some journalists were rather close to Vicky Pryce. On the other hand, many Glenda Slags (Alpha Females) took the view that Huhne was an Alpha Male and Pryce was letting Feminism down by playing the little woman “marital coercion” card.
Yet Yasmin Alibhai-Brown of the Independent chides her fellow Glendas for supporting Huhne and not realising the devastating effect on the family.
Either way….neither Huhne or Pryce could have foreseen this ten years ago. Whether Pryce would have been satisfied with sabotaging Huhnes career…I dont know. But I suspect she never thought of him ending up in jail. And I am pretty certain that she never thought that she would be in jail.
Personal tragedy? Certainly. But there is a marked lack of support for Huhne in the Westminster village. He was we are told…”not clubbable”, “anti-social”, “arrogant”. There might have been more support for a “nice” politician. Or as my Auntie Sheila would have put it “if you have a reputation for getting up early…you can lie in bed all day”.
But what is it with Liberal Democrats? Arent they nice people?
Jeremy Thorpe. Cyril Smith. Paddy Ashdown. David Laws. Chris Huhne.