IQ Woman’s heart goes out to the ex-cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce today. The nitty gritty of the disintegration of their marriage was broadcast to the nation via recordings made of telephone calls discussing whether Ms Pryce had really taken the infamous three speeding points which were rightfully his.
Mr Huhne pleaded guilty earlier in the week to perverting the course of justice. Even though this has led to him resigning as an MP and will probably lead to a prison sentence – it is looking like the more sensible option to the one Ms Pryce has taken, pleading not guilty to perverting the course of justice over the same issue. The ‘not guilty’ plea is resulting in a trial where their dirty laundry is being held up for the world to see.
Today as well as the publication of telephone calls that record arguments and swearing, Ms Pryce also referred to an abortion she had in the 1990s under pressure from Mr Huhne and details of how the marriage ended with Mr Huhne’s admission of an 18 month affair.
We’ve all had arguments, said things we’re not proud of, and done things we’ve regretted. But to hear those things repeated in court and broadcast to the nation must be very hard. It seems that this issue, which arose from a casual (but admittedly bitter) remark to a journalist, has blown completely out of control. It must be incredibly difficult to end a marriage without any bitterness or acrimony but to take things to this level can’t be beneficial to anyone, let alone the three children from their marriage (can you imagine your own parents wranglings being aired and discussed in this way?).
These trials were always going to be in the public eye and yes as voters we have a right to see our MPs being treated the same as everyone else. But who benefits from the publication of such private information? Why could this trial have not taken place in privacy?
Maybe there is a lesson for us all there somewhere in that whilst revenge is sweet, it can sometimes backfire horrendously and end up harming the very people you care about most.