The lamentable affair of the Minister who got his wife to lie so she would attract his penalty points for a speeding offence came to its sorry end yesterday, as the guilty parties were each sentenced to eight months in gaol. We have learned a number of things from this business:
- Whereas working class people commit crimes, middle class people just make terrible mistakes.
- Newspaper journalists will always protect their sources, unless there’s a tasty story involving lesbian sex involved, in which case, whey-hay, it’s open season.
- A judge can describe a woman as “controlling, manipulative and devious”, even though he would never use these words for a controlling, manipulative and devious man. (Other female only adjectives include “bossy”).
- Broadsheet newspapers will not consider the worth of jailing people who are no danger to the public and who will not re-offend, until it affects someone they know.
- Smug policemen will appear at press calls on the court-room steps to read a sententious statement about how good is preferable to evil, and how their hard work will put offenders bang to rights, even if they took no part in the detection of the crime at all.
The offence was only discovered when the Huhne/Pryce marriage broke up, and Vicky Pryce told all to a Sunday Times journalist to get back at her errant husband. This reminds me of when I was a college Principal, and my Finance Committee Chairman attended a training event about audit which revealed that more wrong-doing was revealed by jilted lovers than by trained accountants. “What’s your advice, then, Brian ?” I asked. “Well, I suppose you’d better put yourself around a bit” he replied.