Disgraced former Lib Dem minister Chris Huhne is morally reprehensible in his attempt to blame others.
There was a time when a leading politician forced from office by scandal, or even sent to prison, would recognise that a period of atonement was required. After he admitted lying to Parliament over his affair with Christine Keeler, John Profumo resigned his seat to devote the rest of his life to charitable works. Jonathan Aitken, another former minister, went to jail for perjury, but has subsequently helped many ex-prisoners.
Which brings us to Chris Huhne, the former Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister who was imprisoned earlier this year for transferring his speeding points to his ex-wife Vicky Pryce, and then lying about it repeatedly. Writing in The Guardian yesterday, Huhne blamed his downfall not merely on his own bad behaviour (which he acknowledged almost in passing) but on the hostility of the press towards politicians, and the Murdoch press in particular.
A more self-delusional and morally contemptible article would be hard to imagine. Many people have swapped speeding points, he wrote, as if this made any difference to his breaking the law. Moreover, he claimed that a newspaper investigation into his affair with another woman â€œsparked the end of my marriageâ€. It seems not to have occurred to him that his adultery was responsible for that.
Huhne even implied that he ended up in the dock because â€œthe Crown Prosecution Service loves a celebrity trialâ€. But he was not a celebrity â€“ he was a senior member of Her Majestyâ€™s Government who behaved in a reprehensible manner towards his wife, his children and his constituents. If he hopes that this reverse mea culpa will speed his political rehabilitation, then he really has lost touch with reality. Evidently, redemption and contrition do not interest him. In which case, he should simply shut up.
See â€“ Nick Clegg tells Chris Huhne: Donâ€™t blame the press for your downfall