The extraordinary hubris of Chris Huhne

Chris Huhne's 'apologia' has drawn an angry response from the press.

Auberon Waugh used to saythat people who go into politicsare all peculiar in one way oranother. Chris Huhne certainlyfits the bill. It might be thoughtthat a period of silence fromthe disgraced former Lib Demminister would not go amiss,but last week, taking a breakfrom the £100,000-a-year jobas a part-time energy adviserhe walked into, he turned up inThe Guardian with a columnsaying his downfall was largelyRupert Murdoch's fault.

What nonsense, said TerenceBlacker in The Independent.The bruising humiliationsHuhne has suffered "thespeeding points problem, the affairproblem, the 12-months-lying-to-the-public problem, followed by theeight-months-prison-sentence problem" should have been enough, one mightthink, "to bring a person down to earth.After all, a spell in chokey transformedJonathan Aitken from a strutting Torygrandee into a modest, slightly drearychap with a God hang-up."

But Huhne's peculiarity is morestubbornly ingrained. Brushing aside hisown responsibility in an "I'm no saint"manner, he argued that the real threatto our country is not lying politicians,but beastly journalists. His apologia,said Blacker, combined the weasellydeployment of statistics (300,000 peoplehave apparently swapped speedingpoints) with a touch of old-fashionednastiness (describing his ex-wife as"being groomed'" by The SundayTimes). Huhne's lack of contrition is"breathtaking", said Richard Littlejohnin the Daily Mail. "Prison is supposedto rehabilitate as well as punish, andperhaps instil a sense of humility... In thecase of Chris Huhne, it clearly failed."

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