How are the mighty fallen.
In the case of Chris Huhne, at great public expense and probably to very little purpose. At the beginning, there was nothing more than a piddling motoring offence ( speeding on a motorway in an area where a speed restriction had been applied). But that got caught up in marital breakdown and as we all know that can become very expensive - in this case, expensive to the public purse and not (as it usually is ) merely lucrative to the lawyers.
Dressed up as "Perverting the course of Justice" it sounds like the sort of thing which should be pursued whatever the cost. I disagree. He did the speeding, she took the penalty points and, but for the marital breakdown, there things would have rested. I doubt there would have been any harm to the Public and pursuing the matter has simply resulted in losses all round. Well, maybe not for the newspapers.
We pay a high price for the newspapers' insatiable demand to cut down the mighty, by foul means if necessary but fair means if it's cheaper.
On balance, if I was the Public Prosecutor, I simply would not have taken this one to Court.
(This section has been modified 25 February 2013 both to take account of O'Brien's resignation and the fact that it seems that the complaints against him were lodged prior to the Pope's resignation but after the Pope had accepted O'Brien's intention to retire).
I have written quite a few hostile Blogs about the BBCs poster boy, Cardinal Keith O'Brien. This morning I feel some sympathy for him. He is on all the front pages (including the BBCs).
In a few weeks, he will be 75 and was due to retire. Before then, he would have qualified to take part in the unexpected Conclave to elect the next Pope. But three priests and an ex-priest have successfully demanded his resignation. They claim that this public enemy of homosexuality (Stonewall's recent "Bigot of the Year") has in the past seduced young men (themselves) who were possibly confused about their own sexuality and certainly rather in awe of the man who subsequently became a Cardinal. I should be rejoicing, but I'm not.
It seems that the events complained of date back as long ago as 1980 and that they involved no one who was younger than 20 at the time. I want to say, It's just too long ago, but I know that's not good enough. So let me say, It's just too long ago relative to the fact that the accusations made seem quite minor both on the general scale of things and certainly minor on the scale of things which have been alleged and proven against the Roman Catholic Church but have not deterred three of the complainants from sticking with it as priests and colleagues of the Cardinal.
I wonder what kind of confidence they have in the remaining bunch of Cardinals who will now elect the new Pope. Do they imagine none of them as worse than Cardinal O'Brien? And what kind of Pope do they think will emerge from the Conclave? The only sure thing is that a bunch of reactionary Cardinals (some gay, some not) will elect a reactionary Pope (maybe gay, maybe not; maybe someone who has seduced seminarians, maybe not).
And if, in their minds, O'Brien is too evil to take part in the election of a Pope, why wasn't he too evil to run the Catholic outfit in Scotland for the past couple of decades? It seems they don't give much of a fuck about Scotland only about the Pope. The retort to that should be obvious.