Friday, 3 February 2012

Cover ups, conspiracies and speeding tickets

The news that the oily Lib Dem Chris Huhne is being charged along with his ex-wife with perverting the course of justice raised a small cheer this morning. But the real question is why politicians don't learn from the experiences of others. A mixture of arrogance and brass neck I suppose.

If Huhne is found guilty, he faces a couple of years in prison. If he had just taken the points for speeding, he would have lost his licence for a few months. At the time of the offence he was a MEP, with expenses even more generous than those of MP's, and could easily afforded to take taxis from the airport when he flew in from Brussels or Strasbourg.

Similarly, if Jeffrey Archer and Tommy Sheridan had responded to tabloid allegations, of paying off a prostitute and swinging trips to Swinton respectively, with a short denial or no comment rather than launching libel actions, neither of them would have swapped their political careers for stints in HM Prisons. As Richard "no whitewash at the White House" Nixon learnt with Watergate, it is the attempt to cover things up that brings you down in the end.

Someone who believed in conspiracy theories might link Huhne's confrontations with Tory colleagues in Cabinet with his impending trial and possible imprisonment.  But that's just too far-fetched, isn't it?

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