Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Humiliated Huhnes deserve our pity

I may be on my own in this. But I feel truly sorry for the Huhnes. All the Huhnes.

Her, him, the offspring, the mistress and almost, even, Nick Clegg. What an utter, utter mess. And all over three poxy points on a driving licence. The couple at the centre brought it on themselves, of course. He with his arrogance and contempt for the law. She with her crazed determination to exact revenge on her ex and his new love.

He has been portrayed as a callous bully. Atilla the Huhne. She as the hellish fury of the mad woman scorned. Yet maybe neither was as bad as all that.

There is, you can't help but feel, some sad truth in that comment by the journalist who dealt with Vicky Pryce, that she still loved Chris Huhne even as she set out to destroy him. That she may even love him still. And he undoubtedly loves his now estranged children. All that is surely reason for pity.

Even more pitiful is that the Huhne/Pryce battle is not unique. It is played out with only slightly less drama in divorce courts all over the land. And tragically, as in the Huhne/Pryce saga, the only real winners in these cases are the lawyers.

Dirty linen is washed in public, slights real or invented are aired. And, as in this case, the children are brought into it as weapons to be turned on the other side. This case will hopefully be an eye-opener for some who might still be able to pull back from costly (in every sense) mud-slinging.

It has certainly been a bit of an eye-opener for anyone who has ever, even momentarily, contemplated taking a partner's speeding points.

Eight months? Gulp! You get less for rioting.

All round, no wonder the grim quote of the week has been that old wisdom from Confucius. "When you embark on a journey of revenge – dig two graves."

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