Monday 13 May 2013

Isn't it "aggravating"?

A man (isn’t it usually a man?  That is not a sexist observation, but evidence-based) gets clocked for speeding.  As he has been clocked a few times before, and quite recently too, he fears that he will have his licence suspended which will be practically inconvenient but also terrible PR for his imminent candidature for a parliamentary election – true, his predecessor deceased tragically as a result of a sex-game gone wrong, but that might not make the electorate any warmer to him if he is a convicted speeder – so he suborns his wife to cough for the offence on his behalf.  His relief however is short-lived:  he went on to do it again!  This time he didn’t pass the points on, he got his ban and he was evidently forgiven by the good burghers of Eastleigh.  (You will recall that the good Burghers of Eastleigh got perilously close to electing a UKIP candidate, admittedly a rather more electo-genic one than most, so perhaps that is not altogether surprising)

Now Vicky Pryce is not some down-trodden barefoot-in-the-kitchen hausfrau, but a prominent economist whom I recall as a fellow partner at KPMG, a big 4 accounting firm where I worked at that time, and you don’t get to be one of them by being a shrinking violet.  One has to wonder how she fell so far under the spell as to do something which she must have known, in the highly regulated world of the City and the professions, with their annual “Fit & Proper” interrogations, was career suicide.  Nevertheless, the courts determined that she did.

Today, we learn that Mr Huhne and Ms Pryce, who both entered prisons at much the same time, have both been released, presumably to some form of parole and curfew regime, after a mere two months each of their matching eight month sentences.

In other words, one was sentenced to eight months, and served two months, for a fraud, aggravated by another offence and by a “pattern of behaviour” which indicated a somewhat elastic view of compliance with the law.  The other was sentenced to eight months, and served two months, for participating in the fraud - period.  No evidence was adduced of other motoring offences and as far as I am aware she is otherwise of unimpeachable character.

Isn’t there something terribly wrong here?

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