Huhne—defenestrated!


I am delighted to hear of the resignation of the former energy secretary, Chris Huhne, one of the most repulsive creatures in British politics. His allegedly “green” policies have already led to a large rise in fuel bills for all households. How is it right for the government to be adopting policies designed to push up our basic living costs? I cannot see that as anything other than an abuse of power.

The Daily Mail reported in November that each household pays £89 a year for the shift to wind and solar energy, and that this would rise to £280 a year by 2010. However, Huhne claimed this would lead to a large reduction in energy bills on the assumption that households would be afraid to turn the electricity or gas on!

His policies also included plans to spend £11bn on smart meters that would allow consumers to monitor their electricity use. But £11bn could fuel a hefty tax cut—it could halve the council tax bill—and I would like to switch on the light and the heating whenever I need them, without checking my smart meter to monitor my usage.

Chris Huhne also claimed that people were responsible for their own soaring energy bills, as they failed to shop round for cheaper energy supplies. More energy was spent, he said, in comparing prices for a £25 toaster. Yet there is little difference between the prices offered by energy suppliers—we are talking about a marginal difference, at best—as wholesale prices of oil and gas are the key determinant of energy prices, and so the best way to keep bills down is to stop levying green taxes—and in particular to stop giving vast sums to landowners who disfigure their properties by allowing the installation of unsightly windfarms producing expensive energy.

The environmental nonsense has not been quashed, but few libertarians will shed a tear for the likes of Huhne. We are in an economic downturn, and this is really not the ideal time to be introducing higher taxes on energy: Huhne’s policies threatened to stall any recovery of the British economy.

Curiously enough, however, Huhne has a large carbon “footprint”. What genuine environmentalist would need eight homes? In January 2012, he bought his eighth home, in London, for £1.3m. Ironically, Huhne’s party, the badly named Liberal Democrats, want a “mansion tax” on homes over £2m. Clearly, Huhne’s latest property purchase would escape any such tax, and his party is not calling for the tax to be levied on property portfolios as a whole, such as Huhne’s string of homes. His new home is close to Farringdon Station in London, where property values are expected to rise in line with progress on the Crossrail transport project. This man clearly lives a luxurious lifestyle, funded by the £80,000 a year in rental income from his properties. True, he will lose his ministerial salary, but will get an outrageous £17,207 “severance payment”. The existence of severance payments for ministers, under a law passed by the Conservatives in 1991, is a national scandal, as it makes the possession of a ministerial career a right and not a privilege. I would like to see the receipt of such severance payments outlawed, and all living recipients prosecuted retrospectively for embezzling state funds.

Finally, there is the matter of Huhne’s private life. It is his private life that has brought him down, after his former wife told the media that he had made her falsely claim to have been behind the wheel of a speeding car so that he did not get points on his driving licence. As his wife was in central London, miles away from where the speeding car was at the time, I think there is little likelihood that Huhne’s attempt to prove his “innocence” of charges of perverting the course of justice will be successful, although I am more than a little surprised that the Crown Prosecution Service has allowed the charges to go ahead, as the CPS has a record of politically influenced decisions that could themselves be seen as administrative decisions that pervert the course of justice!

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! I applaud the decision of Mrs Huhne (aka Vicky Pryce) to bring her husband to book. After 26 years of marriage and three children, he left his wife for a bisexual colleague working in his office, a woman of such supreme ugliness that she looks like a walking advert for transsexualism. It is often claimed that politics and morality have nothing in common with each other and should not influence each other. I disagree. Had Huhne simply lived with Vicky Pryce and owed her nothing, never having married her or fathered children by her, I would agree that his private life was his own business. But I would also like to see the old culture back, where it was simply unacceptable to announce that a marriage “was being dissolved”. Dissolved by whom? Marriage is “till death do us part”, and no judge can remove the solemnity of the marriage vow. Once the vow is made, it is irrevocable. And unmarried couples who have children together can be considered to be in a common-law marriage, under the arrangements that obtained in England before the Reformation.

I am sure many libertarians will carp that Huhne should be free to conduct his private life as he sees fit. Yet marriage, as a lifelong contract, is a decision that a man is free to enter into or not, as he sees fit. There are many business contracts, investments or even property purchases the terms of which are later seen as suboptimal, but which cannot be opted out of. Why should marriage be any different? If you don’t wish to be bound to someone for life, why get married? A vow cannot be nullified by anyone, not even a judge. It is worth noting that J S Mill was reluctant to publicly call for the right to divorce, although he is believed to have privately supported divorce—but he lived in an age where cohabitation without marriage was frowned upon. In the modern age, a failed marriage, or no marriage at all, is no barrier to moving on and living with someone else, and so the decision to enter into a specific lifelong marriage vow need not be one that a libertarian should seek to unpick, any more than any other contractual relationship.

There is no way that I, as prime minister, would allow a minister to remain in his job while leaving or divorcing his wife, or behaving in a manner that leads to a divorce suit from the other side. We have become a demoralised society, where bad behaviour is now standard. Vicky Pryce, after having endured this creep for 26 years of marriage, and having borne three children to this creep, deserves a good pay-off, although the Independent noted recently that details of the divorce settlement were not known. It is incredibly demeaning after years of marriage to see her husband show her the door and take up with an ugly bisexual woman, and as a supporter of the lifelong, indissoluble bond of marriage I can only hope she has taken more her pound of flesh.

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16 responses to “Huhne—defenestrated!

  1. I agree with the above but must remind you that marriage is firstly the estate of Holy Matrimony – I too believe it is for life but having been cheated on my wife of 28 years left me (and the children) and the only reason I divorced her was because adultery is the only reason Christ allowed divorce. All other reasons are not good enough. Huhne is obviously insane and reminds me of Blackadder but is singularly unfunny.

  2. I wonder why we have a special word for falling out of a window, but not for falling out of or off other things. For instance, somebody who falls off a battlement could be “defortificated”.

  3. I was thinking more along the lines of his being slung out of a window, not accidentally falling…

  4. Chopped up by windmill is the only suitable fate for him.

  5. Defenestration was made up to describe the events in P)rague in 1618 that are said to have started the Thirty Year War.

  6. I agree with Peter, but overall would like to congratulate you on a fine article.

    “It is incredibly demeaning after years of marriage to see her husband show her the door and take up with an ugly bisexual woman” – demeaning, yes; but it’s also worth re-emphasising your point that his act would have been no less a breach of the vows of marriage, and therefore no less a resigning matter, had Mr. Huhne thrown her over for a younger, more physically attractive woman.

  7. What a bizarre article ! I hold no brief for Huhne and certainly none for his insane policies, but being charged with a crime is not exactly the same as being guilty of one. The way the media is going on it appears to be a done and dusted deal. With this sort of character asassination and blanket coverage pronouncing his ‘guilt’ his defence can rightly argue he is unlikely to get a fair trial and succeed.
    Lets not forget that Keir Starmer (named after Keir Hardie, check his wiki entry) was a political appointee of one Baroness Scotland who had her own difficulties with breaking the Law.

    Starmer was more than happy to front the charges for this episode, but less forthcoming about bring charges against the Police over the Ian Tomlinson affair, where a man died.

    Defenestration is correct, this is a political act of throwing a political representative out of the window to the mob below. The original victims of defenestration survived by landing in a muck heap, Huhne appears not to have that benefit.

  8. Withers, as you say, only the court case will determine Huhne’s guilt or otherwise, but the facts of the case are so damning, we can all reach our own views in advance. There is a phrase “innocent until found guilty”, but really that is untrue – a murderer is guilty of his crime all along, even before he is apprehended. So it should be “held to be innocent until formally found guilty”. In law, he is considered to innocent – whether that is true or that – until the court finds him guilty. If he is found innocent I shall no doubt be blogging about a “political” verdict, so pleased am I to see him go down. He is an enemy of a free society, and this particularly way of his exiting from politics is not the best, as his political views have not been defeated, but it is still nice to see him squirm!

    I see your website, libertarian party, is run by Zohr Uddin – what country is he from and why is he in England? He writes about himself, “In addition to his role as Commissioning Editor for the Party, he is a member of the Young Professionals Network of the United Nations Association of the UK, where he supports a stronger voice for individuals and communities within the multilateral UN framework.” Sounds like a determined multi-culturalist to me, aka a supporter of the state.

    • Mr Webb, I shall extend that courtesy to you, if you will not extend that to me.

      Mr Huhne is an innocent man under English Common Law and by virtue of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights that this country signed in 1952.

      As a Libertarian our party belives in the free movement of people unfettered by the State as long as they do not seek support from the state. The Libertarian Party does not seek to keep records of ethnicity, country of origin or other requirements of the state. Therefore I do not know or care.

      Multiculturism does not equate to being a supporter of the State

      Your support of the the institution of marriage is a social construct of the police state that was prevelant under Elizabeth the First and was to ensure state control over the individual and his religious views.

      Your argument presuppose a superior knowledge of the evidence that has yet to come before the courts, and unconcealed racism and a support for statist measures introduced in the sixteenth century.

      I thank my personalGod you are not on the jury with your prejudicial views, and that we no longer have the death penalty.

  9. What do you mean “as a libertarian” your party agrees with the invasion of the country by multicultural hordes? Read J S Mill on the difficult of establishing liberty in a culturally divided state. Your party is not libertarian at all, but a spouter of state ideology.

    Multiculturalism is exactly support for the state – as other cultures could not sustain themselves in our country – did you get that phrase “OUR country” – without the support of the state, which punishes those who don’t agree with what is happening. If Zohir Uddin is a libertarian, I suggest he propagandise for his views in Bangladesh, which is desperately in need of some political change.

    No – I did not say that I supported marriage as a social construct of the state under Elizabeth I. In fact, I said the opposite. Firstly, I implied that the Tudor laws requiring marriages to be in churches and not “common-law marriages” overturned the original doctrine of the church, which assumed that consummated relationships were “marriages” regardless of any ceremony. Secondly, I pointed out that divorce actually makes marriage a social construct of the state..

    I can no longer interact with you, as it would be wasting my time, knocking myself out talking to a supporter of state ideology. Yes, I would like the death penalty – not for making one’s wife take one’s driving licence points, but for treason – a crime Chris Huhne and everyone else in government, from Cameron down, is guilty of.

    • Mr Webb, as a supporter of the death penalty by the state you are no libertarian.
      ‘your party agrees with the invasion of the country by multicultural hordes? ‘ no doubt raping white women as they go.
      You have not asked me what country or race I am as yet, is that because you assume I am white and English ? It is sad that you feel unable to interact with my arguments and the facts of Law, but unsurprising. Enjoy your weekend.

  10. Just to be picky, historically marriage was not a matter for the Church. It is a virtually ubiquitous human institution, regardless of religion, in cultures throughout the world. Originally in England it was simply a matter for individuals, and it only gradually and with much resistance was turned into a religious ceremony. Our ancestors were getting married when they were pagans worshipping trees and rocks and streams and had never heard of Christ or His church.

    As a Libertarian, I believe it should be again a matter for individuals. In terms of Huhne and adulterers in general, I think it’s too simplistic to say marriage is for life, anyone who breaks their vows is automatically a Bad person. The problem with marriage is that it is a very ill-defined, but binding contract. You are signing away your whole future, on very poorly defined terms. Being monogamous is a promise that you will never have sex with anybody else. However, there is no corresponding clause guaranteeing sexual services from the person with which you contracted. There used to at least be a hegemonic “non-consummation” clause, which sort of applied there, but that is now a dead letter.

    Most men enter into romantic relationships with an expectation of sexual availability of the partner. Frequently, they end up in a situation where they have promised to have sex only with that partner, but the partner is not willing to provide sex. It is thus a rather flawed contract in this regard, and it is understandable why a male may break his vows in these circumstances.

    It would be interesting to see what would happen in marriage and divorce if obligatory sexual services were a recognised clause in the marital contract, would it not?

  11. Tut, tut, DJW! Mr Uddin may be a questionable libertarian on account of his belief in the United Nations. But it is uncharitable and irrelevant to draw attention to any other of his qualities.

    Now, I do notice that the LPUK is back in business. I really am interested to see for how long this will be, and in what directions it will be taken.

  12. Chris Huhne has accepted his £17K severance payment.

    If he were dirt poor I might understand that this was a sum not to be turned down, but multimillionaires – do they even notice £17K?

    Why is he behaving like this?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9112378/Chris-Huhne-accepts-17000-severance-payment.html

  13. Yes, the more fool we!