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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The Prince was right to be livid
Rarely does anyone have a good wordfor Prince Andrew, but Peter Hitchenswas right to defend him in The Mailon Sunday over the "intruder incident"at Buckingham Palace. How could thearmed police at the Palace havefailed to recognise the princeand treat him as a suspect? Hewas strolling in the garden "inbroad daylight". His features,as Hitchens says, "should beimprinted on their minds sincethey are being paid to protecthim... It is ridiculous to accusethe Duke of York of having aself-important Don't you knowwho I am?' moment or of beinginsufferable or pompous." Hewas "right to be livid, and weshould be livid on his behalf".
Dubai: a mega-Lego-set ofWestern decadence
Dubai has never been high onmy list of places to visit, anddidn't move any higher after readingDavid Tang's view of it in the FT. Neverin the history of human endeavours,wrote the paper's agony uncle', "haveso few in so short a time managed tobuild such an ostentatious mega-Legosetof Western decadence, gone slightlywrong. The Jumeirah Beach Hotelpainted in gold paint that attempts topass off as gold leaf, is a nugget of goldenkitsch. I can never help bursting intolaughter whenever I stay there out ofsheer bemusement... over the eyesightof the designer, who might well be amedical phenomenon at Moorfields, thatpantheon of ophthalmologists."
Tabloid money: Suzi Quattro's advice for the Bank of England
"Have we rebalanced the economy? There's been abit of growth, yes, but nothing to write home about,"says Dermot Murnaghan in the Sunday Mirror. "Insome areas outside London, it's the first moveupwards for years. But everyone can see part ofthe growing economic optimism is coming fromthe housing market." Estate agents are hiringstaff "hand over fist", but all estate agents do is"help us sell boxes of air (houses and flats) toeach other. That's no substitute for makingitems people need and want to buy."
"One of the posh morning papers had astinging attack on the governor of the Bank ofEngland by a financial expert," writes Rod Liddlein The Sun. "He should raise the interest rates rightnow, this economic titan insisted, because thecurrent low rates stink'. Who hadThe Daily Telegraph turned tofor this analysis? None other than minxy leather-clad singer SuziQuatro. All together now: Make a stand for your man,honey raise the interest rates now.' Next week Alvin Starduston the Syrian crisis and Showaddywaddy reform the NHS."
"Former BBC director-general MarkThompson's assertion that his old mateMark Byford was given almost double hispay-off entitlement so he would focus properly on his jobduring the final months is as ridiculous as a builder asking formore money than agreed as an incentive for finishing off yourextension," says Jane Moore inThe Sun. "As for Thompson'sprevious claim that salaries were so high because, otherwise,they would all take their skill sets to the commercial sector, well,on [last week's] evidence to [the] Public Accounts Committee,most of them would struggle to run a whelk stall."
Why you need a £1 million pension for a comfortable retirement
Feature Research suggests younger savers need to put more into their pension to account for inflation and housing costs ahead of retirement. We explain how to build a £1 million pension pot
By Marc Shoffman Published
Faulty coins worth up to £1,000 – do you own one?
A recent auction fetched £1,000 for a £2 coin with a ‘rare’ error on it. How can you spot these coins and how much could you get for them?
By Vaishali Varu Published