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Monday, October 29, 2007

Huhne's Just Like You And Me

I hate to admit it, but Chris Huhne is just an ordinary chap like you and me. The LibDems' Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury (remote shadows on the far distant horizon) was educated privately just like me, except in his case it was Westminster School and the Sorbonne, leading to him taking a First in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Magdalen College, Oxford.

Chris busking to help pay his university top-up feesHuhne has been quite unfairly accused of being a raving hypocrite. Now I mean, apart from Nelson Mandela and the Pope, who doesn't tell the odd white lie or say one thing and do the complete opposite? I know I do. Mind you, back in the 1940s the Pope... no, I'll leave that one for later.

Just because Huhne vociferously attacked the surveillance state", I can't see any hypocrisy in his having a declared shareholding in IRISYS which "specialises in security, monitoring and surveillance integration technology". You may be opposed to Big Brother, but it doesn't stop you keeping a careful watch through the curtains to see if any chavs are lurking about outside your house.

Chris is subject to the typical problems of old age that affect all men in their fifties, such as failing memory. It's quite unfair of the press to expect a man to remember advocating tolerance of LSD and opium all those years ago. And nobody but nobody would expect a man with as little understanding of economics as Chris Huhne to be able to sort out the complexities associated with alleged illegal use of European Parliament expenses.

"You're my very best mate, you know"Another area where the media has been totally unfair to Huhne involves his green credentials. Just because his registered shareholdings used to include a few non-ethicals - three mining firms, several oil companies, one arms company and seven tax avoidance schemes - doesn't mean he can't change his mind now, dispose of the shares and become a model environmentalist. I eat foie gras, but it doesn't make me a butcher!

And finally, the fact that Chris Huhne owns seven houses – five that are let as rental properties, one in his constituency of Eastleigh and a town house in Clapham - doesn't make him any different from the average Joe. I may only own one little flat right now, but later on I expect to improve my own property portfolio. And you can hardly call seven houses "an extensive property portfolio". Ask Michael Meacher. Now, that's an extensive property portfolio!

To attack Chris Huhne for any of these interesting aspects of his life and personality would be just plain stupid.

Only by culling the old and incapable can the tribe surviveAs would attacking him just because his mate Vince Cable stuck the knife into Ming. After all, some of my mates tried to stick the knife into Tony. It's just what you do in politics.

Equally stupid would be attacking him for promising to scrap Trident if elected, despite having served in a shadow cabinet whose policy is to defer any decision until 2014 and having quit the Labour Party to become founder member of the SDP in 1981 on a pro-nuclear platform. I mean to say, nobody in their right mind would believe that he's changed his views - even if the Soviet Union collapsed and the world become a totally different place since 1981. I've also lived through these events, and it certainly didn't change my views on Trident.

No, it's obvious to anyone with a brain cell that Huhne is taking up a left-wing posture in a crude attempt to outflank the leadership favourite, Nick Clegg. Typical LibDem behaviour. Not something you'd ever see in the Labour Party.


Anonymous said...

"ordinary chap like you and me" Your avin a larf Akehurst! You went to Public School you chinless wonder

Luke Akehurst said...

Certainly (although only a minor one). Didn't you?