Chris Huhne blames, wait for it, Rupert Murdoch for his and wife's downfall

It's difficult to know who is shabbier: Huhne for this pathetic attempt to shift the blame for his crime, or the Guardian for giving him the platform to do so

by Yorker on 9 September 2013 06:20

When they release people early from prison, isn't there some sort of requirement that they demonstrate a fully rounded contrition for the crimes they have committed? If so, then how on earth did former Lib-Dem Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne get out after serving so small a portion of his sentence for perverting the course of justice in relation to his and his wife's persistent lies to police over a motoring offence?

In an astonishingly disingenuous piece of writing in the Guardian, Huhne now appears to be arguing that although he shouldn't have done what he did, a significant part of the blame for what happened to him and his wife can be laid at the door of none other than the Guardian's favourite bogeyman, Rupert Murdoch.

Huhne proceeds to argue that his "endgame" began when Murdoch's News of the World got hold of some gossip suggesting he was having an affair.

"Why was News International prepared to invest so much to tail an opposition Liberal Democrat back in 2009? Maybe it was coincidence, but that summer I was the only frontbencher who, with Nick Clegg's brave backing, called for the Metropolitan police to reopen the voicemail hacking inquiry into Rupert Murdoch's empire."

And there we have it: Huhne the Heroic! Sacker of cities! Nemesis to the arch-villain of the Right Wing Press! Yes, he may have erred. But heroes are people too, and prone to human weakness.

In a sense, you could just about have had some sympathy with the man. On a generous reading, he and wife Vicky Pryce committed a minor offence over swapping the penalty points for speeding on their licences, and then it spiralled downwards as they tried to keep it quiet.

Actually, that doesn't work for an MP, a senior one at that. If you're making the laws, you have to be cleaner than clean in upholding them. Hence the jail sentences. Still, he didn't set rabid mastiffs on small children, did he?

This affair mattered primarily because of the contempt that Huhne showed for the people of Britain. His sense of invincibility led him to believe he could present an entirely dishonest picture of himself to the public, and simply get away with it.

Ironically, his article today is pegged around public trust in politicians. And even as he acknowledges that his own behaviour "has not helped", the use of the Murdoch hate-figure to deflect opprobrium away from himself is just another sordid extension of the mindset that got him jailed in the first place.

He even attacks The Sunday Times, "another Murdoch title" he unfailingly adds, which he says "groomed" his ex-wife into telling the truth about the speeding points.

"Four successive weeks as the splash in the Sunday Times ensured our joint prosecution. The Crown Prosecution Service loves a celebrity trial. It was the end of my political career, and it locked up my ex-wife too. She was just another "burned contact" for the Murdoch press."

No she wasn't, she was a crook, like her husband Chris Huhne. And no amount of whining about Rupert Murdoch will ever change that.

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