Martin Kettle says perverting the course of justice is a \”minor crime\”

What a complete scumbag.

Even accepting, for the case of argument, that Huhne committed a speeding offence eight years ago and then persuaded his wife to take the points on his licence, is it a serious enough matter to require Essex police to conduct an investigation now? If you take an absolutely fundamentalist position that every infringement must be thoroughly investigated in every case, and every possible offence arising from it turned into a prosecution, then you will say yes. But not in my view. This isn\’t rape, or robbery or assault or serious fraud.

In many ways it is worse than those crimes. For it\’s perverting the course of justice. And the law cannot work if people pervert it.

Further, that he is a Cabinet Minister, a politician, is even more, not less, reason to prosecute, if there is indeed anything to prosecute. For he claims the right to make the laws that the rest of us live under. And it\’s a part of, heck, we invented the damn concept, the English system that no man is above the law. Be they ever so high.

Perverting the course of justice not a serious crime? Tell that to both Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken….they served time for exactly that.

24 comments on “Martin Kettle says perverting the course of justice is a \”minor crime\”

  1. And mysteriously the Guardian’s attitude towards those two was remarkably different to Huhne. Surely not because of political expediency?

  2. Different rules apply because he’s a leftish figure . Rather like the Ancien Regime aristocracy.

  3. Of course, Huhne is reliably left-wing, so that’s alright then.
    As you say, Tim, he’s an MP who actually makes the Law, so if he can’t be bothered to obey, why should anyone else?

  4. It’s remarkable, isn’t it, that commentators only start to feel these laws are wrong or insignificant when they start affecting powerful people.

  5. Too true. But the problem with the accusation is that, if true, his wronged wife is a confessed liar. If she was lying then, why aren’t we sure she’s lying now, and with motive?

    I can’t stand Huhne, and I think his environmental policies are bonkers, and staggeringly expensively so.

  6. The point however is fundamental. That there shall be no divine rights, be they kings, presidents or clergy.

    We had to fight a war and behead a king to force this principle into action. I’d rather we didn’t have to do this again as Her Maj is not a bad old mare all things considered.

    If we are going to do this, can we wait until that wazzock Chuck is on the throne? We can have a separate beheading for each of his ears.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a republican, but an Anti-Monarchist. If you’re wondering what the difference is, it’s fear of 3 little words “President Tony Blair” (shudder).

    Him and Gordon will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

  7. “Too true. But the problem with the accusation is that, if true, his wronged wife is a confessed liar. If she was lying then, why aren’t we sure she’s lying now, and with motive?”

    Well if she was lying in 2003, then she isn’t lying now. It’s a bit of a paradox.

  8. @Matthew – well, at least Kettle is claiming that we all speed, which is both more accurate and less contentious, than claiming we all conspire to pervert the course of justice.

    I’ll readily admit to occasionally exceeding the speed limit and, unfortunately, have an SP30 on my licence to confirm it.

  9. To be clearer. The wronged wife is now a self-confessed liar. She might not be lying now. But why is her testimony today worthwhile, when she’s got a motive to be a liar?

  10. Isn’t it actually a conspiracy to ptcoj*, which I think makes it more serious still?

    *and possibly x2 if the papers are to be believed

  11. In fact, the writer perhaps has it the wrong way round.

    As the state is the authority in which the (primary) right to prosecute crime resides, interference with that process, or an attempt to avoid it is arguably a very serious crime indeed. It is a crime against the state and that is much more serious that a crime against an individual member of that state, such as murder.

  12. [9] I meant more the bit about knowing friends who have got others to take points for them, which seems likely to me to be code for himself.

  13. Re: Richard // May 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    But Cretans are always liars.
    What we have here is someone who has fessed up to her earlier crime, and seemingly can call on witnesses that she did perpertrate it.

    Is this not Luke 15:10 (King James)?

  14. consider the Lady Archer paradox…her testimony got her husband off one count of perjury thanks to a randy judge. But he is at a later date, nonetheless a perjurer, despite her evidence. She is still in situ at Cambridge. How does that fit together?

  15. BraveFart – “It is a crime against the state and that is much more serious that a crime against an individual member of that state, such as murder.”

    I could not disagree more if you tarred and feathered me before shoving a handful of ferrets down my trousers. I dispute there can even be a concept of a crime against the State. Even if there is, crimes against the public good are trivial compared to serious crimes against the individual like murder. Hulne is an idiot who ought to be kicked out of Parliament. But what he is supposed to have done is nothing like murder.

  16. Tim, agreed. I have severe doubts about the allegations due to the circumstances and the source. But if it’s true, he’s toast and his career’s over.

    If it’s true. It was his leadership bid that got me back into the party, y’know what they say about those betrayed, right?

  17. Have you suddenly become a solicitor in your spare time?
    Anybody who says ducking a speeding ticket is worse than rape, robbery, assault or serious fraud deserves to be tarred and feathered.
    For avoidance of doubt I have never had a speeding ticket, so I can say that speeding which does not involve dangerous driving or driving without sufficient care and attention is a victimless “crime” – any suffering is covered by other laws. The others have victims, some of whose lives are utterly ruined.
    There are plenty of things with regard to Huhne to complain about, so why waste time on attempts by tabloid journalists (and Guido, who wants to get rid of Huhne to assist his political aims) to make a mountain out of a molehill?

  18. John77, no-one really cares about the speeding. It’s the perversion of justice allegations (lying about who was driving) that’ll do for him, as well they should, if true.

  19. Here in NSW we had a Supreme Court Judge (Marcus Einfeld) jailed for perjury and perverting the course of justice for trying to dodge a speed camera fine (he nominated a dead person as the driver of the vehicle).

  20. View from the Solent: Paul’s letter to Titus, I think you’ll find. You can tell because no-one (well, pretty much no-one) who appears in Luke’s gospel would have been widely-read or widely-travelled to know about Cretans or their poets.

    John77: as JuliaM says, perversion of the course of justice really is serious, even over a minor offence. It gets worse as the offence gets worse, but it’s always very bad because the rule of law is so fundamental to a liberal state.

    And when people start to say that it doesn’t matter so much, you know that liberty is dying a death.

  21. @JuliaM
    I quite accept what you say – it is the suggestion that ducking a speeding ticket is worse than rape to which I was objecting.

  22. Pingback: Why, Mr. Kettle, you grotty little fascist

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