I have long been of the view that ministers of the crown should be made to read one Greek tragedy a month. It would improve their knowledge of history and remind them of their political mortality. For Chris Huhne it may have been his salvation. If he had not humiliated his Greek born wife we may never have known of his dishonesty. But thank heavens we do now. The Lib Dems were a whisker away from electing him as their leader. He could have been Deputy Prime Minister. This would have been not just a catastrophe for the Coalition but for politics.
It is hardly a revelation that the public treat the political classes with contempt. They think that they are lying, cheating, charlatans who abuse our trust to gain power. Huhne has lied to his family, his friends, his party and his Leader. After months of legal wrangling and deceit he now “takes responsibility” for his actions. When I heard him utter those weasel words on the steps of Southwark Crown Court my stomach churned with revulsion. The trouble with self made men is that they so often worship their creator.
I am not here to gloat. For years before this scandal I, like many others, reported his total disregard for Cabinet responsibility. He would brief against Clegg, lie about May and generally make Alan B’Stard look like a shining beacon of truth and principle. He was despised by his Cabinet colleagues of all parties simply because he was regarded by his peers as the worst word in the political lexicon, a shit. If my old mate Alan Clark were alive he would have gone further. “The bloody man’s not just a shit, but a shit’s shit”, he would have drawled with an expensive glass of claret in one hand and a shapely thigh being stroked by the other.
Yet let us be really honest. Can you imagine any other senior politician behaving like Huhne has? Cameron? Clegg? The brothers grim? Even the man that represents everything that is repulsive in politics, Ed Balls? No. It would be unthinkable. But when Huhne is shipped off to prison for a few months, the public will just shrug their shoulders and mutter that that’s where most of them belong. That is untrue, unfair and utterly depressing. But that is how low the political classes have sunk in public esteem.
However I do have a word of advice for his son Peter, whose frank texts scuppered his father. It is this. Your dad may have hurt you deeply by the way your mother was treated and you have every right to be confused, bitter and angry. But he is still your dad and those texts and letters show that he loves you. In time be at peace with him. If you travel through life full of hatred it will gnaw into your soul and humanity. Don’t go to your grave with unfinished business.
As you will have seen I have never had any time for Huhne. But not even he deserves to be separated from his son for the rest of his life.
And finally a word to those who are considering voting against the Gay Marriage legislation tonight. Read Peter Kelner, the president of YouGov. His opinion poll is fascinating. 55% of people in favour, 36% against. Of the most important matters to people, the economy 56%, immigration 42%, NHS 26%. And Gay Marriage? 7%. Most interestingly 4/3 say that they would be more likely to vote for a party that supports it than less likely.
Bit of a no brainer really. But brains don’t seem to be apparent in this debate. I might just pop into the Strangers bar tonight and bayonet the wounded.