Tripped by insufferable arrogance: Huhne gets 8 months

One suspects that release from prison will only be the beginning of the downfall, such is the scale of the damage done by one man's insufferable arrogance

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Jonathan Bracey Gibbon
On 11 March 2013 17:46

So Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce are this evening guests of Her Majesty. Alas, not the sort of guests they may have envisaged a decade ago, when the ambitious MEP gunned his vulgarly-number-plated BMW past a 50mph speeding camera at 69mph. The subsequent fall from grace of the former Energy and Climate Change Secretary has been a joy to behold for most of those who have followed Huhne's career and who viewed the former member for Eastleigh's rise with increasing despair.

But in receiving an eight month sentence, Huhne has actually got off lightly; the average term for perverting the course of justice being 10 months. A brief stay in Wandsworth will doubtless be followed by transfer to an open prison somewhere relatively leafy before a home detention curfew, in as little as, say, 12 weeks.

The eight months for Vicky Pryce looks altogether tougher. Holloway is particularly grim, suffering as it does from chronic overcrowding and a high proportion of violent female inmates. Indeed, Justice Sweeney's line – "ultimately, the good sense of the jury saw through you, and you were convicted" – is pretty devastating, painting Ms Pryce, a highly respected economist, as not only complicit, but duplicitous, deceptive, and deranged through vengeance.

Some might say the pair should have had eight months community service being only a danger to themselves, but this was never going to happen, given the charge.

Besides, slotting in behind those other notable hubristic egotists, Gerald Ronson, Jonathan Aitken, and Jeffery Archer, it is predictable that Huhne will emerge chastened and in some way 're-invented', having gained something positive from his experience.

One suspects that release from prison will only be the beginning of the downfall, such is the scale of the damage done by one man's insufferable arrogance.

Jonathan Bracey-Gibbon is a freelance journalist who over the past 15 years has written for The Times, the Financial Times, The Sunday Times and Sunday Express

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