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03/11/2013 02:34 pm ET Updated May 11, 2013

Hallelujah! The World's Sleaziest Politician Goes to Jail!

No Minister! Senior UK Cabinet Member Out-Disgraces America's Sleaziest Politicians

Here in the USA, we're all used to the downfall of sleazy, ethics-free politicians. And the low depths they reach in demeaning themselves and besmirching their families. Be it by sex, theft or just every-day scumminess.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the generous "help" he gave to his help.

Senator David Vitter the self-appointed "family values" moralist who spent his funds on hookers

Senator John Edwards who was fathering a child with his mistress/"videographer" under the nose of his cancer-stricken dying wife as she was working to get him elected president

Speaker Newt Gingrich who generously helped one of his wives take her mind off her cancer by giving her the distracting news (in her hospital bed) that he was dumping her for a younger model.

But -- no disrespect to American politicians -- they have all met their match in terms of plumbing the depths of human sludge compared to the loathsome British politician who has just been sentenced to jail for "perverting the course of justice." Incidentally, that English crime isn't the equivalent of the American charge of "obstructing justice." It doesn't mean just blocking the course of justice. It means what it says. Full-blooded, premeditated, pro-active malevolent criminality.

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Chris Huhne - the disgraced UK government minister convicted and jailed

Meet The Right Dis-Honourable Christopher Murray Paul-Huhne. Known widely by the chummy, truncated version of his birth name that he chose for himself in 1970 to try and sound "regular guy" -- Chris Huhne. (Pronounced "hewn.")

On becoming a member of the UK government cabinet in May 2010, he was appointed to Her Majesty's "Privy Council" -- a conclave of senior UK politicians who, once inducted, keep that role for life -- thus landing the prefix he'd long craved of "The Right Honorable". But having pleaded guilty to a serious felony and been sent "down river" to jail, he is now one of only four members ever to be forced to resign in disgrace from the Queen's Council. The other three were also discovered to be out-and-out criminals. Though none that can compare in tawdriness to the deeply-loathed Huhne who is in a putrid league of his own. And with that forced resignation he he is no longer "The Right Honourable." He's officially Dis-Honoured for the rest of his life. For posterity. And all renewable extensions thereupon.

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The royal emblem of Her Majesty's Privy Council. The English translation of the motto starts with the words "Shamed be he..." Very apt for the disgraced, expelled Huhne...

Huhne has just been sentenced to jail time after having admitted his guilt in a ten-year saga of perverting justice that has not only wrecked his political career as a top government minister but also guaranteed that he had to resign from parliament and be stripped of his titles, salary and considerable perks. Given the attitude of Britain's prison population towards white-collar criminals, it may see him stripped of more... Certainly his trademark smirk may be a little changed after he's spent a few months with fellow convicts inside...

In the post-Watergate decades, we're all accustomed to the fact that it's often not the crime that causes the real problem, but the cover-up. And we've also learned that sometimes it's not the import of the original crime that really matters, nor even the cover-up. What is pertinent is what the crime -- however petty -- reveals about the true nature of the person who committed the felony. And the way that the criminal treats those closest to him/her (family and friends). And it's in those two categories that Huhne surpasses all other pretenders to the title of The World's Sleaziest Politician.

Huhne, 58, finally pleaded guilty to a comparatively petty crime he inflicted on his long-suffering wife (who has now divorced him) exactly ten years ago. At the time, in March 2003, Huhne was a member of the European Parliament. A notoriously bad driver with a reputation for speeding, he had accumulated numerous penalty points on his driving license and if he received just three more penalty points he would automatically lose his driving license.

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He had also sleazed himself into multi-millionaire status having used his wife's wealth to parlay his connections as a finance reporter into a lucrative career as a financial operator offering insider "tips" on how to exploit small European economies to the barracudas on London's equivalent of Wall Street. He was Gordon "Greed Is Good" Gekko -- cunningly covered with a veneer of environmental do-gooderism as a rising member of Britain's Liberal-Democrats -- a third political party (of no fixed moral compass) in Britain's two-party system.

But because of the wealth he'd accumulated in a surprisingly short time (from "dodgy investments" his wife admitted last week under oath) -- and his portfolio of nine homes (several of which were generating indecent amounts of rental income) he could certainly afford a chauffeur-driven car, or at the very least a taxi service. So he could have lost his driving license for a year and survived life. Many have before...

But Huhne also had an air of ultra-smug entitlement. So he continued to drive himself. One night he drove himself to one of his London homes from an Essex airport after returning from a trip to the European Parliament. The speed limit was 50 mph. But Huhne ignored it and his car was tagged by a speed camera driving at 69 mph. It probably didn't help him that he had decorated his car with vanity license plates "HII H N E."

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With a squinted eye -- the two letter "I"s looked like the letter "U". i.e. the plate looked like his name. Huhne's vanity was such that he always wanted people to know his name. In this case his vanity plates helped him hand his identity on a plate to the police. Something he will regret for the rest of his life...

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When he received the speeding notification it meant the automatic loss of his driving license. But only if HE had been driving at the time... So he did the only thing that a decent, honorable married politician in a hurry would do. He coerced his wife of 19 years into perjuring herself and claiming that SHE had been driving his car at the moment that the speed camera caught his car. She had actually been attending an alumni dinner in London over 60 miles away from the speed camera at the exact same time -- but as long as his wife perjured herself and kept her mouth shut -- what could go possibly go wrong?

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Chris Huhne and his "designated driver" - his wife Vicky "Patsy" Pryce

Well of course it all went wrong eventually. And not only has Huhne just gone to jail but his long-suffering, now ex-wife has also been jailed because of the perjury he forced her to commit. She tried claiming the archaic defense of "marital coercion" in her trial -- but the fact that she had played Lady Macbeth, enabler and financier to him for nearly 30 years out of her own desire to see him advance politically and socially rather undercut her claim to be an overwhelmed little housewifey.

Like the smug character "Tony Wendice" that Ray Milland plays in the Hitchcock movie "Dial M For Murder" -- Huhne was brought down by his hubris, arrogance, ambition and an insufferable belief that he could get away with murder. (Like Tony Wendice, Huhne married a wealthy woman - and then decided to get rid of her...)

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Ray Milland - "Dial M For Murder" Chris Huhne - "Dial H For Hubris"

In the years immediately after he forced his wife to take the speeding bullet for him, it seemed that nothing could go wrong for him. In the UK General Election of 2005 he won election to the British Parliament. And a scant few months later he made clear how ambitious and ruthless he was. The leader of his party Charles Kennedy suddenly resigned after a whispering campaign that he had a "drinking problem." Though the source of the "sauce campaign" has never been confirmed -- the more you learn about Huhne, the less surprised you will be as to who orchestrated the whispers. The obvious next-in-line -- a party elder named Sir Menzies Campbell was assured a clear victory in the internal party election when Huhne suddenly threw down a gauntlet and challenged him (having of course first assured Campbell that he wouldn't run against him.) Despite Huhne coming close to winning, in the end the party sensed something of the slick arriviste about Huhne and he was defeated in the poll by Campbell.

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Charles Kennedy and Sir Menzies Campbell. Successive party leaders of the UK's Liberal-Democrats. Both leaders were forced out by anonymous whispering campaigns. After each leader resigned, the first person to declare his candidacy to be the replacement was... Huhne. It's almost as if he knew each of them was going to resign. What prescience!

It shouldn't have been a surprise that barely 18 months later, it became Campbell's turn to be victim of a whispering campaign that pressurized HIM into resigning. This time the meme was that he was "too old." And guess who immediately stepped into the ring to campaign for the leader's position?! Despite his ruthless ambition, Huhne failed yet again and he was beaten by his new rival Nick Clegg -- a fresher face without the overt smirk of superiority that exuded from Huhne.

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Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg. Their leadership election race was nearly a tie. But it was eventually won by the man who knew what a tie should look like...

However Huhne came very close to winning. The margin between Clegg and Huhne was just 511 votes. Interestingly, what may have contributed to Huhne's failure to win was a whispering campaign against Huhne himself by those whose seemed to know him best.

A blog called the Anti-Chris! started to draw the attention of the party members due to vote in the election to some of his very questionable behavior including financial dealings that his wife subsequently confirmed were "dodgy" (a British colloquialism for underhand); his bizarre claim in a national newspaper interview that his mother (an amateur actress in neighborhood dramatic societies) had appeared in Hollywood movies as Superman's mother (she hadn't of course -- and she refuted her son publicly), and some very distressing reports about what had transpired between him and his two step-daughters (by his wife's first marriage) to cause them to be so appalled by him. Huhne -- an avowed free-speech advocate -- personally threatened to sue a prominent respected blogger who dared to link to the Anti-Chris blog. Obviously a raw nerve had been touched. It later became apparent that the source of many of the whispers on the Anti-Chris blog emanated from his own family members, who were very aware of just who and what Huhne really was.

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But no one except his wife knew just how raw that nerve was. And how uncontaminated by ethics or morals he was. It transpired that Huhne, as the great British parliamentarian Michael Foot once said of a political foe, had all the integrity of a semi house-trained polecat.

Despite losing the party leadership for the second time, Huhne got busy preparing for what he told friends was his inevitable rise to the very top. De facto the second most powerful man in his party, when the Liberal Democrats parlayed the "hung parliament" after the 2010 general election into an opportunity to get near the wheels of power by becoming "coalition partners" (read: enablers) to the right-wing Conservative Party - Huhne thrust himself higher. He wheeled and dealed his way into the new Cabinet as Energy Secretary. In Huhne's mind he would eventually succeed his rival Clegg - and then find a way to slither even higher.

But now the hubris was about to hit the fan.

Huhne had married well. In fact, not so much well as wealthy. In the late 1970s and early 1980s he was a reporter on the finance and banking beat for the UK newspaper the Guardian earning a rather modest salary. But he glommed onto an upwardly mobile and rather wealthy Greek economist named Vasiliki Courmouzis who he met on the economy wonk circuit. That she was married with two small daughters didn't matter much to Huhne who had an oleaginous charm that probably seemed appealing to an earnest math-swat young mum from the land of Aristotle Onassis. Her genteel Welsh husband, who had mentored his young Greek immigrant protege through the London School of Economics, where he was an academic, and nurtured her as she Anglo-metamorphosed into "Vicky Pryce" was rapidly dumped and Huhne insinuated himself into the marital home. So much nicer than the "digs" he'd been living in on his one-step-above-cub-reporter pay.

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Shortly afterwards he married Vicky Pryce. (When she left her mentor/husband she kept his name. Also their two daughters and a rather well-used slide rule.) So much for Professor Higgins aka Pryce. He was gone and Huhne was on the rise with the Professor's rich Aegean Eliza Doolittle to fund his planned elevation. The Pryce was right...

It was a very savvy move by Huhne. A marriage of convenience. He had ambition. She had money. That was very convenient. Subsidized with the fat salary she was soon drawing working for bluechip companies such as accounting behemoth KPMG and Exxon Europe, Huhne continued to write for the Guardian and then the Independent -- earning a reputation for being despised by his colleagues for his ruthless ambition and utter lack of charm, warmth or decency. When he first ran for parliament in 1983, his election campaign was sabotaged by some of his colleagues at the Guardian -- a fact gleefully reported by Britain's Private Eye magazine.

After using her money to start a financial tipster business about Euro-trash investments where he could exploit the inside information and contacts he'd accrued while working as a reporter -- he accumulated a small fortune in the Michael Milken-Ivan Boesky wild frontier times of London's financial markets in the mid-late 90s. But his eyes were always on the prize of political power and prestige. After failing twice to win election to the UK Parliament, he ran for the European Parliament and finally managed to win a seat there in 1999. A tried and tested gateway to the UK Parliament, it offers yuppies who fail at winning British elections an alternative track to getting a political resume. And Huhne was definitely in a hurry.

After twice being rejected by the UK voters, he now had his eye on a much more winnable constituency for the English Parliament. This one was primed for his party so all he had to do was to run a moderately competent campaign at the next general election (likely to be in 2005). Eastleigh, the town designated as a suitable vehicle for his political ambitions was a couple of hours drive from London. Only 75 minutes for Huhne - who was well-known for speeding. Not just past older economics professors and established journalistic ethics. But also on the streets of London. And he had the penalties on his driving license to prove it.

So when an automatic camera caught his car breaking the speed limit and a speeding ticket was received in respect of whoever was driving his car that night -- Huhne saw his world crumbling. Instead of simply shrugging his shoulders and being grateful that between his wife's money and his own suspiciously-arrived-at stash, he could afford a car service or a chauffeur -- he instead decided to perjure himself and force his wife to do the same. She had a clean license with no penalty points on it. If his wife perjured herself and claimed that SHE had been driving his car that night -- he could get off scott-free. After all, why should England's roads be deprived of such an important man as he?! It was a fateful decision.

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The previously "clean" driving license of Huhne's wife Vicky Pryce after Huhne forced her to perjure herself and claim that she had been the speeding motorist caught on camera. Even though she'd been 60 miles away at a dinner at the time the camera snapped the speeding car.

He would have got away with it too. Except for that hubris. During his election campaign in 2010 he had issued an election leaflet that was saccharine by any standards. Photos of him cradling his youngest baby (the one who during her recent trial his ex-wife revealed that he'd begged her to abort because another child would get in the way of his career) and gushing prose about how much he loved his wife and children and how he'd do anything for them. You'd have thought he was a conservative Republican with a penchant for something young and butch on the side judging from all that blather and bullshit.

But it turns out you'd have been not far off the mark...

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Images from Huhne's 2010 election campaign literature touting his deep family values and his strong marriage. It was created by Huhne and his bisexual publicist. With whom Huhne had been having a torrid affair for the preceding two and a half years.

Because no sooner than the election was won and Huhne had wormed his way into the cabinet - he was discovered to be having an affair. And not just any affair. His paramour was a bisexual woman married to a lesbian. Moreover this was his publicist - the very person who had helped him put together the gushing election flyer selling Huhne as The Family Man!

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Huhne was caught red-handed with his by-the-by pal by a tabloid newspaper and it was going to break the story on a Sunday. The preceding Saturday there was a World Cup soccer game on TV. Huhne watched the first half of the game with his wife -- then during the 15 minutes "half-time" casually turned to his wife and told her that their 26-year marriage was over because he was in love with his bisexual publicist.

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Chris Huhne with "Trim" as his new honey Carina Trimingham is known by her most intimate chums.

Furthermore he told his wife that she had just 15 minutes -- before the second half of the soccer game -- to agree to signing a benign statement about the end of her marriage so that he could give it to the tabloid paper that had busted him -- in an attempt to spin the story to his benefit and save his cabinet job. She also had to do it in a hurry because he wanted to go the gym! And with that he walked out of her life. In retrospect, about 26 years too late...

Now no one in the world can help his or her appearance but the fact that Huhne's new paramour, Carina Trimingham, had what his wife described as a striking resemblance to Noel Gallagher of Oasis (no -- not the one who sang and was married to Patsy Kensit -- but his brother... you know, the guitarist with the unibrow) did not help matters. During the court case, audio tapes between Huhne and his wife were played (she had surreptitiously recorded him) and in speaking to Huhne about his his bisexual girlfriend she constantly referred to Trimingham as "your fucking man". Ouch. How's that for a story, Morning Glory?!

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Carina "Trim" "Trimingham has become the sole oasis for Chris Huhne as he has plunged from being a champagne supernova to being a jailbird behind a prison (wonder)wall

Miraculously, Huhne survived the scandal and he kept his cabinet position. And having dumped with wife and five kids (two step and three his -- but stepped on) he carried onwards and upwards in his quest to reach the very top.
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Finally Vicky Pryce could take no more. Angry and vengeful about being dumped for someone she thought looked like the less attractive brother in a Brit-pop band from Manchester with a penchant for plagiarizing Rubber Soul -- and subsumed with guilt about the callow, shallow man she had helped launch into politics -- she decided to repent. She told the story of how Huhne had screwed the system to try and dodge the speeding bullet of losing his license and how she and Huhne had both perjured themselves. She told it all. Nothing was trimmed.

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The story hit the British press and Huhne did what any self-respecting weasel would do. He trashed his ex-wife and publicly called her a liar. Even though his children -- his own and the ones he'd poached from her first husband -- knew that it was he who was the liar and criminal. What that did to his children can be imagined. But Huhne was desperate.

To admit that he had perverted the course of justice would obviously be a no-no. So he arrogantly denied everything and forced his politcal colleagues -- including UK Prime Minister David Cameron -- to defend him.

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Huhne seen with UK Premier David Cameron after he had flat-out lied to the famously incurious Prime Minister and secured from him a public statement of support for the man now in prison for perverting the course of justice. Huhne told his friends he would one day be in the same position as Cameron. (Depending on what beans are spilled by Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks at their criminal trials, that could still happen...)

He would have got away with it too except for a courageous Labour Party parliamentarian, Simon Danczukm MP who called on the police to investigate. Huhne fumed and snarled but the British police did their job. They investigated and found that what Vicky Pryce had revealed was the truth. Despite this, Huhne then lied to the police. That was really dumb. You can be a viper... a sneak... a rat... a humbug... a hypocrite... a vagabond... . a scrounger... a parasite... a pervert... a worm... a chicken strangler... a piece of slimy refuse... a loathsome spotted reptile... even a secret player of the pink oboe... Anything. But you can't lie to the police.

Finally, when in January of 2012 he was charged with the crime of perverting the course of justice, Huhne was forced to resign from the British cabinet. The first Cabinet Minister in the entire history of Britain to ever achieve that accolade. Naturally he vowed to return an soon as, what he claimed as the baseless charges against him, were either withdrawn or proved in a court of law to be utterly false.

For another 13 months, Huhne continued as a Member of Parliament -- bad-mouthing his ex-wife at every opportunity. Forcing Britain's taxpayer-funded Crown Prosecution Service to spend vast amounts of badly-needed money to combat the barrage of legal tricks his lawyers were throwing at the case to try and derail it before it started. And telling everyone how he would soon be cleared and resume his natural position near the top of the British government.

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Huhne finally surrenders and admits that he broke the law, perjured himself and spent years lying to everyone from the Prime Minister up...

But on February 4th, approximately 30 seconds into the first day of the trial he failed to derail, Huhne finally came clean. Faced with overwhelming evidence that he was guilty and knowing that a trial would be deeply embarrassing and likely to result in a longer jail term than if he pleaded guilty -- Huhne changed his plea and admitted that he'd been publicly lying ever since the story emerged. Sentencing was postponed while his wife's trial on the same charge proceeded.

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She gambled everything on a very unusual and anti-feminist defense. She was claiming that she had been a defenseless little housefrau who was coerced into her criminal action. Unfortunately for her, the jury came in with a unanimous verdict that she had been guilty plain and simple. As described by everyone in the court, and captured by the court sketch artists, the look on her face when the verdict was read, was like the mystified howl of Ann Thorn (played by Lee Grant) the Babylonian step-aunt of Damien in The Omen II (the best flick of that trashy canon) when the devil discards her after she's outlived her usefulness. After all, she had merely been trying to help her little satanic nephew in his quest to rule the Universe! It wasn't fair that she should be punished. But punished she will be. She's going to jail.

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Enablers who get discarded by their Master are usually somewhat pissed off...

Meanwhile, the real victims of this tragedy are the five children. From a very young age, Pryce's two daughters by her first husband had tellingly refused to take Huhne's name. They smelled the rat long before their mother. While she was still gaga from his early 80s smarm-charm offensive, these young girls had seen through the oil slick. To them he was like the character in the movie The Stepfather. ("Who AM I here?!") They knew it. But alas their mother didn't see who Huhne really was until it was far too late.

And what of the three children that Huhne and Pryce had together? Lydia, Nico and Peter. None has suffered more than the youngest -- Oxford University student Peter. He watched as his own father repeatedly trashed his mother publically and branded her a liar. When he knew first-hand that his father was lying. It's nothing unusual for children in their teens and early twenties to get into heated battles with their parents. It happens. Words are shouted. Feelings are hurt. it happens in the best of families.

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Peter Huhne with his mother and father in happier days. Before Huhne's double life and crimes were exposed. Poor kid. You can't pick your parents...

But what Chris Huhne did to his own son Peter is beyond despicable. Once Peter realized that his father's lying and criminal behavior was going to result in his mother being prosecuted -- and as it transpires found guity and sent to prison -- he wrote a series of texts to his father begging him to come clean and not ruin his mother's life. But even though he knew his son was aware that he'd committed the crime -- Huhne continued lying to his own son.

It reached the point where his son could not bear to hear from his "scum-bag" father again.

These are some of the verified texts between father and son that Huhne desperately tried to have suppressed but that eventually emerged during the court proceedings. Had he not pleaded guilty, they would have been prime evidence against him.

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Peter Huhne - a courageous son standing up for his mother against his bullying, lying father. His brother Nico has already disowned his father and taken his mother's maiden name so that he doesn't have any connection with his father

Son: "So nice to see our entire relationship reduced to lies and pleasantries in that letter. Do you take me for an idiot? The fact you said your parents were happier as a result of their divorce was disgusting... when you were having affairs makes me sick. You are the most ghastly man I have ever known. Does it give you pleasure that you have lost most of your friends?"

Chris Huhne: "I understand that I have really offended you but I hope that the passage of time will provide some perspective... I love you and I will be there to support you if you ever need it."

Son: "You are right - the perspective involves me getting angrier with every day that goes by. You just don't get it."

Son: "We all know that you were driving and you put pressure on Mum. Accept it or face the consequences. You've told me that was the case. Or will this be another lie? "

Chris Huhne: "I have no intention of sending Mum to Holloway Prison for three months. Dad"

Son: "Are you going to accept your responsibility or do I have to contact the police and tell them what you told me?"

Son: "I don't want to speak to you, you disgust me. Fuck off."

Chris Huhne: "Peter, just to say, I'm thinking of you and I love you very much. It would be great to talk to you, Dad."

Son: "Fuck off."

Chris Huhne: "I do hope your exams are going okay, despite everything over the last few weeks. Thinking of you, love you, Dad. PS It's grandad's birthday today."

Son: "Don't text me you fat piece of shit"

Chris Huhne: "Happy Christmas. Love you, Dad."

Son: "Well I hate you, so fuck off."

Chris Huhne: "Well I'm proud and I love you, Dad."

Son: "Leave me alone, you have no place in my life and no right to be proud. It's irritating that you don't seem to take the point. You are such an autistic piece of shit. Don't contact me again, you make me feel sick."

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And all of those texts were sent by Peter Huhne BEFORE it emerged in court last week that his father had tried very hard to bully his mother into having him aborted. Fortunately for Peter, having gone through one abortion just to please her husband, Vicky Pryce had drawn the line at his next demand that she abort her child.

Could this dreadful tragedy, that has devastated these children -- especially his youngest child Peter -- have been avoided?

Sadly, it could have been.

For just as Richard Nixon's crimes during Watergate were only the latest manifestations of his sick, flawed character that had been in sight for all to see from the late 1940s and especially in his 1950 smear campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas, so was Huhne's behavior and eventual downfall entirely predictable. It was all about his ruthless ambition and deeply shallow character. His utter amorality. His willingness to do anything, hurt anybody in his relentless quest to achieve self-glory.

In the early 1980s, while working for The Guardian newspaper, Huhne had lied and fabricated details in a story that maligned several people and a major organization. His purpose was simple. To advance his career by appearing to break what appeared on the surface to be a juicy scandal. But the facts didn't remotely support the story Huhne had pre-sold his editor. So -- like any Jayson Blair in a hurry -- Huhne simply distorted the facts to suit the narrative in his story pitch. The organization, the maligned people and many other luminaries protested the lies in Huhne's fabrication to The Guardian.

But the Guardian didn't want to admit that its staff member was a flagrant liar and that it had been duped by its rising reporter. The exposure of Huhne's opportunistic mendacity and tissue of odious lies was swept under the carpet. So at a point when Huhne could have been exposed for who and what he really was, he was instead coddled and protected. Which is perhaps why to this day the Guardian continues to print sympathetic pieces about the now jailed felon who once worked for the paper.

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Among the many people who wish that the real Huhne had been exposed and stopped back then are his ex-wife Vicky Pryce -- nee Vasiliki Courmouzis -- (now in jail); his long-suffering step-daughters Georgina and Alexandra; and his children Lydia, Nico and Peter who will forever have to bear the shame of their disgraced, sleazy father - the Dishonourable Chris Huhne.

His name was Christopher

Like in the Bible.

They call him Lucifer

Because he gambled...

CONTEXTUAL NOTE ABOUT UK PRISONS & SENTENCING

Britain's prisons are currently so over-crowded that wealthy, middle-class, white-collar criminals on a first conviction can reliably expect to get sentences that are a fraction of the recommended terms of imprisonment. That helps keep the jails clear for working class convicts and minor drug offenders so much preferred by prison administrators. In recent years, those convicted of "perverting the course of justice" have received sentences of six months and less. Notwithstanding that, the judge in the trial was scathing in his condemnation of Huhne for his crime.

The judge said: "Offending of this sort strikes at the heart of the criminal justice system. It amounts to the serious criminal offence of doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice."

Accordingly he sentenced Huhne to a sterner 9 months imprisonment (with a 10% reduction because of Huhne's last-minute guilty plea). Huhne's wife Vicky Pryce was equally lambasted for her "serious and flagrant offence." She was handed a sentence of 8 months.

Both are likely to have to reimburse the Crown for the substantial and needless costs of the investigation and prosecution.

Though the over-crowding in Britain's prisons may have saved Huhne from the lengthy imprisonment his crime deserves, he will for the rest of his life carry a scarlet "C" branded on his forehead. It stands for "Criminal". But it also stands for another word beginning with "C" - and that is as apposite as it gets...

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The Right Dis-Honourable Christopher Murray Paul-Huhne - The World's Sleaziest Politician - unrepentant and on his way into court to be sentenced to jail

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