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article imageOp-Ed: Chris Huhne — A sad but familiar tale

By Alexander Baron     Feb 7, 2013 in Crime
London - Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne threw away his career and his honour; he is now facing a gaol sentence. Sadly, this is nothing new.
All over the Internet you will find conspiracy garbage about how everyone from the CIA to the Illuminati murdered JFK, were behind the 9/11 attacks, AIDS, global warming, the global warming hoax, the Arab Spring, you name it. To credit half this junk - and who does? - you'd have to believe our masters had almost magical powers. Although there are indeed big scams - like the bankers' conspiracy - when politicians especially are caught out, it is almost invariably for stupid, petty, trivial, inconsequential things that no one in his right mind would bat an eyelid at.
Jeffrey Archer had sex with a prostitute. He could have admitted it, and six months later the only person who would have remembered would have been his wife, certainly in the England of the 1980s. He could have simply lied and then refused to comment further. Instead he lied AND sued for libel. The rest is history.
David Mellor's political career was torpedoed by a dalliance with a floozy; Bill Clinton was caught with his trousers down - well, with his fly unzipped - and probably escaped impeachment only because most of his persecutors realised that perjury aside, the only person who had a right to take Mr Clinton to task was Mrs Clinton. Chris Huhne has not been so lucky though. The crime he committed initially - if it can be called that - was driving marginally too fast way back in 2003.
That is not a hanging offence even in Saudi Arabia, but like the Australian judge Marcus Einfeld, rather than fess up, he decided to wriggle out of it. The former judge ended up serving 2 years behind bars for the want of paying a fine that would have cost him less than a night at the opera. What Chris Huhne did was far more serious because he dragged in his wife to take the rap for him while the judge had simply lied (and lied and lied and lied) solo. Two people lying to the courts in unison constitutes not simply perverting the course of justice but a conspiracy, and that is always more serious.
He would have got away with it, but his wife Vicky Pryce is now his ex-wife - the clue is in the surname. Huhne was to stand trial this week, but at the last moment changed his plea to guilty. Miss Pryce has admitted the offence but is pleading not guilty on the grounds of duress. Huhne is currently on bail but has been told he faces gaol, probably as soon as the Pryce trial finishes. He has in the meantime lost his political career, his honour, and apparently his family. Soon he will lose his freedom; he won't receive a long sentence, but although he appears to have plenty of money in the bank, he has lost everything else, and for what?
This is the reality of political conspiracy and intrigue, not worldwide networks of wire-pullers and global manipulators but sordid, grubby little affairs for trivial or even no financial gain. Most of the time the conspirators get away with it, but the biggest fish on Full Tilt Poker could have told Mr Huhhe that the stakes were far too high and the returns far too low for such an outrageous bluff.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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