English: Chris Huhne, British politician, at the Health Hotel “Health Zone” at the Bournemouth International Centre during the Liberal Democrat Party Conference 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I refer to Dr Alf’s reblog of the Mail article entitled: Disgraced former minister Chris Huhne lands energy job paying £100,000 for just two days a week . Here are my views:
As someone who believes in redemption ,second chances and the occasional Damascene conversion, I have trouble with this because Chris Huhne showed no remorse, is not going to reimburse the taxpayer for the £2 million gbp, it cost him to be finally brought to book, and at 9 weeks, I do not think his sentence was long enough.
A Housing Benefit recipient who falls foul of North Herts. District Council, near where I live , and is convicted of fraud, can expect to be in jail for at least 2 years, plus a fine and a recovery order plus costs.
Huhne and Pryce both lied to the authorities to keep their positions, reputations and money, yet their treatment was so lenient that they did not complete a fraction of their sentences.
Convicted benefit recipients in Noth Herfordshire can expect to have their name emblazoned all over the local paper and be shunned by local employers as if they were lepers.
In North Kesteven, the first poll tax defaulter in the country, was tracked down to Bundeberg in Australia, brought home to the UK,convicted, fined, admonished by the Judge and sent to Lincoln prison. As far as I know, no-one approached that individual at the end of his sentence to offer him a job, even of the most menial kind.
In contrast Huhne, his scorned wife Vicky Pryce, and indeed anyone from the upper echelons of society, are in effect either above the law, or so leniently treated that no matter what they do they are lightly slapped on the wrist and then through their connections and friends put into a position where there mouths are lined with gold.
Next, no doubt we will hear that because Huhne found prison “fascinating”, he will go on to write a book about his experiences and then “find God”, become rehabilitated into society and make even more money.
Politicians who wonder why the voters are disenchanted with them and HMRC officials who wonder why people try to hide what little money they have need to look at cases like this and just for a moment begin to realise that the levels of inequality of treatment in our society are spawning more and more contempt and are turning people who are normally honest into potential crooks and chancers.
Perhaps some of them do but do not care anyway because for them inequality writ large is the way they think it ought to be.