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« Revkin does low climate sensitivity | Main | Huhne cartuhne - Josh 200 »

Dellers on Huhne

Really good piece by James Delingpole on the Huhne case:

I feel about Huhne as I feel about all politicians: I really don't give a damn how many rent boys they sleep with or whether they're heavily into heroin or oranges or how serially unfaithful they are or how often they break the speed limit. Not even whether or not they beat their dogs.

What I do care about, very much, is the immense damage their ill-judged, ill-considered policies are doing to this country. Sometimes – especially in the field of environmentalism, for some reason – their incompetence borders on the criminal. Sometimes – naming no names, but I think we know exactly who we mean – their corruption and sleaze goes beyond it.

There are some very bad dangerous people in politics right now. But it's their policies I want them nailed on, not their personalities.

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    Interesting site.

Reader Comments (64)

All very well, but isn't being an environmentalist and being a hypocritical sanctimonious it's-your-emissions-that-matter-whereas-mine-are-necessary creep essentially a single state of mind?

It's like saying you want burglars jailed because they're criminals, not because they're nasty. In fact they are nasty for the same reason they are criminals.

Two cheeks of the same arse, as these young people say.

Feb 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

and so say all of us

Feb 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

I think Dellers' advice sound. When I was hiring managers, i used to ask applicants if they had any reports in their current assignment whom they really did not like.

Why did they keep them on if they did? I preferred people who had one or two people fitting the question who kept them on because, like them or not, they were damned effective, could do things no-one else could. Huhne's transgression seems more than a personality defect though.

Feb 4, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

A man who bases his electoral campaiogn on family values, and then leaves his wife for a homosexual lover, who tells the electorate that his climate policies will leave them with LOWER bills without mentioning the much more significant escalation in prices that he has already signed us up to, and someone who can only 4 weeks ago look his leader in the eye and convince him that he is generally a good guy and still a potential future leader of the party is clearly a pathological liar.

He has not been nailed on his personality - he has been nailed on his inability to tell the truth.

Feb 4, 2013 at 4:48 PM | Registered Commentermatthu

Meanwhile The Evening Standard published the evidence that Huhne wanted to avoid having read out in court:

In 2011 Peter texted: “We all know that you were driving and you put pressure on Mum. Accept it or face the consequences. You’ve told me that was the case. Or will this be another lie?”

Huhne replied: “I have no intention of sending Mum to Holloway Prison for three months. Dad”

But his son responded: “Are you going to accept your responsibility or do I have to contact the police and tell them what you told me?”

Peter sent his father a stream of foul-mouthed obscenities in the wake of the marriage split and the speeding points row. In one text he tells his father: “I don’t want to speak to you, you disgust me, f**k off.” Huhne then tried to write to his son because he would not speak to him.

The son replied: “You are the most ghastly man I’ve ever known. Does it give you pleasure that you have lost almost all of your friends?” adding: “You just don’t get it.” On Christmas Day, Huhne wished his son “Happy Christmas. I love you” and received the reply “I hate you so f**k off.”

Huhne texted him wishing him good luck with his exams, how much he loved him and later, how proud he was about getting a place in college.

The replies came: “Leave me alone. You have no place in my life and no right to be proud”, then: “It’s irritating you don’t take the hint. You are an autistic piece of s**t. You make me feel sick.” He added: “You don’t think about anyone but yourself. You are a pathetic loser and a joke” and finally: “Don’t text me you fat piece of s**t.”

Feb 4, 2013 at 4:52 PM | Registered Commentermatthu

Excellent Dellers piece but I also agree with J4R as well.

Did anyone catch Sir David A on Jonathan Ross this weekend - telling us about all the places he has been flying around to, making programmes for the BBC. Oh but that is OK, but I shouldn't fly for my holidays at all as we need to cut our carbon footprint to save Polar Bears. Typical hypocrisy.

Feb 4, 2013 at 4:52 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave


Feb 4, 2013 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterNick

At this point AlecM needs to chime in pointing out that Huhne has it all wrong on black body radiation.

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Narcissist personalities attract narcissist policies and vice versa.

IIRC what set the ball rolling with people looking closely at Huhne was an election campaign dependent on his family man image while he was carrying on with his mistress who was also working for him. He misled voters. It speaks volumes about his character.

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

I think Dellers is being too nice. To me, Annan's unnamed climate scientist lying to increase the effect of his results, Al Gore's inconvenient lies, Gasland's fake shots and Huhne's behaviour are all part of the same syndrome. It starts with noble cause corruption and ends up with corruption pure and simple.
Once lying is viewed as acceptable for the greater good, it is very easy to conflate one's personal interest with that of the public.

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

matthu -

I don't think he went off to bat for the other side - did he?? Everything else you say is spot on and in fact understated.

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:08 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

So, Dellers says that he would perhaps lie and cheat about a speeding offence, doesn't care if politicians beat their pets and thinks it is OK for politicians to pervert the course of justice if it is 'just' over a speeding offence?

Doesn't say much about Dellers (I've suspected for some time that he is high-function autistic) or about his abillity to judge politicians! Can we really accept that a politician should not be SEVERELY punished for a significant breach of the Law of the Land (laws that they contribute to)?

No, I'm not impressed by Dellers' article - actually I am appalled!!!

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

@ matthu

But that's my point. Those who are sanctimonious, hypocritical, arrogant, preachy, self-regarding and narcissistic are highly likely to be environment whackjobs, because the personality traits are synonymous.

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Ian E

I don't think he is saying these things are OK, just that they are trivia compared to the policy decisions they inflict on us.

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


Precisely. Think Michael Mann for starters. To say nothing of the properly nasty and self-regarding Stephan

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts


His girlfriend was the homosexual, not Huhne.

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterEd Moran

The twitters from his son are devastating. Can someone point me an objective up-to-date biographical article on Huhne? It sounds like he is as creepy and hypocritical as Al Gore.

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie


His girlfriend was the homosexual, not Huhne.

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:33 PM | Ed Moran

Oh! What a tangled web!....

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Girlfriend was surely bisexual! Not much fun for him if she was homosexual!

Feb 4, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Justice4Rinka 5.10,pm. Huhne's not the only one.....:o)

Feb 4, 2013 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM


Devastating indeed. And remarkably shrewd for one of his tender years. I'd say he had his dad exactly nailed. Small wonder Huhne senior was so anxious not to have them made public.

Feb 4, 2013 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

"Small wonder Huhne senior was so anxious not to have them made public."

And small wonder that the police pursued the case once they'd seen them. Few of us here expected this to make trial (I don't think CH did either) but that is prima facie evidence and pretty hard to spin, even for one of his mendacity.

Feb 4, 2013 at 6:23 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Indeed Alec.

I often think somebody should have another look at the radiation physics. I wonder if they're quite right. It would be pretty funny if basic mistakes had been made.

Huhne junior sounds as nasty as his dad. What a repellent clan.

Feb 4, 2013 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

And which, Bernie, exactly explains why, in the truest traditions of the New Establishment, Huhne in turn did everything he could to impose reporting restrictions on the trial.

As you say, there was no way these could be spun.

Feb 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Feb 4, 2013 at 4:52 PM | matthu

Wow. That's not the sort of message exchange between father and son that I'd wish on anyone. Mr Huhne must have had a - shall we say, way with words, to elicit such a response from his own son. And to think we had such a charmer in control of one of the UK government's most important departments.

Feb 4, 2013 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

cue vangel to give us more wisdom on peak oil and how shale gas is worthless...

Feb 4, 2013 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes


Greg Barker (Con. Bexhill, Minster at DECC) left his wife for a homosxeual lover.

BUT that's not the point. Ex-Mrs Barker is heiress to Charles Wells brewery.
Any man who does something that foolish doesn't deserve to be in public office.

Feb 4, 2013 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Barrett


Precisely. Think Michael Mann for starters. To say nothing of the properly nasty and self-regarding Stephan
Feb 4, 2013 at 5:29 PM Agouts

Nastiness seems widespread in the CAGW crowd.

One or two BH posters (often described by other posters as "trolls") come across often as rather bitter and twisted people.

Realclimate posters often come across as a rather nasty bunch.

I tend to regard Freudian psychology as a bunch of balony but its tempting to trawl it for explanations as to why this should be.

Feb 4, 2013 at 7:07 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I am still interested in reliable articles that provide detailed background on Huhne.

Feb 4, 2013 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie

There is, as far as I can see, a complete dearth of admirable characters in prominent roles pushing alarm over carbon dioxide. I suspect the harm they have done to the mental and physical wellbeing of millions of people will never win them retribution - they have broken no laws, they have 'merely' been grossly irresponsible, and for that they may yet harvest a crop of sighs and tuts.

But as we are 'moved on', if indeed that is underway (and that may yet prove to be wishful thinking), the best hope is for deep and wide studies of how we got into this disgraceful position. What kinds of personalities were key. What kind of existing polticial attitudes and power sources were there to exploit the excessive weight given to speculations based on lightweight science? What techniques and strategies did they employ by accident or design, and which worked well and which not so well? How important were the featherbrains in the mass media, and the hard-heads in finance?

I like to think there are at least many dozens of professionals in relevants fields out there gathering ground-truth about events by-standers like me see only at some distance. I do not suppose that heads will roll, but I still hope we shall leave this all behind with an improved understanding of how it came it to pass, and therefore of how to spot and resist the next scam that comes along on this scale.

Feb 4, 2013 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Check this out from 30 seconds in

Feb 4, 2013 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Hollow victory .If could nail Deben and Yeo .Then start celebrating.

Huhne will do his community Service and then hit the Political Chat Show Curcuit wearing an electronic tag ,free to attack his old Nemisis Cameron and Cleggy

No cutting down the Windmills just yet.

Feb 4, 2013 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

I never felt that Huhne cared about the environment or climate change, he just doesn't fit the type. My feeling is that he would fit his colours to any mast that satisfied his ego and his hunger for wealth and power. He saw a gap in the political market for a high profile greenie and adopted that persona. He predicted that climate change would be the vehicle that would speed him to the top, but he bought a Prius. His arrogance, bombast and pomposity was his downfall - he is the first high profile casualty of climate fashion but will not be the last. This years fashion colour is certainly not green.

Feb 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterChairman Al

He predicted that climate change would be the vehicle that would speed him to the top, but he bought a Prius. His arrogance, bombast and pomposity was his downfall - he is the first high profile casualty of climate fashion but will not be the last. This years fashion colour is certainly not green.
Feb 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM Chairman Al

I think you've got him nailed Al.

Before the Prius - he ran around London in a flash BMW 7 Series with the vanity plate Hl.lHNE

Feb 4, 2013 at 8:40 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

The level of institutional corruption amongst our politicians does matter. The bad policies and dishonesty that they are comfortable with follows on naturally. James is a surprising defendant of Huhne at this stage. After these extraordinary lengthy legal proceedings assisted by the best legal representation that money can buy. James may have a point about the law being extreme on drivers, but chooses a bad time to discuss it.
Huhne pleads guilty.....

Feb 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterfenbeagle

So, they got Huhne for lying: wasn't that the problem that we all had with him all along? It wasn't what he did that was the problem so much as the false claims he made such as 'energy bills will reduce' in the face of increasing fuel poverty. Good riddance.

Feb 4, 2013 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Like this scam.

Who gets to carry the can? The tax payer.

Feb 4, 2013 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterNick

Someone has posted this clip on Guido's blog of Huhne pontificating about crime and punishment.

Absolute must see!!!

Feb 4, 2013 at 9:56 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Huhne's son's reaction is in the context of a father splitting up family for younger woman. All politicians and corporate journalists are lying scumbags. Police too. It's a power thing.

Delingpole is a comedy writer who has created his right wing online Alan B@stard persona.

Feb 4, 2013 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Just who might Dellers be referring to?

The odious serial adulterer?
Lord Diparound?

Can you think of other well-connected parasites and con-artists I could add?

Feb 4, 2013 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

If the old beak is looking for a precedent for a custodial sentence he should look no further than the infamous $77 speeding fine perverting the course of justice case in Australia.


Feb 4, 2013 at 11:25 PM | Registered CommenterGrantB

I would put Delingpole's argument in another way. Our politicians have a duty of care towards the people they serve. If there is a real and immense, but potential problem, then any set of policies should have a much better than evens chance of creating a situation better than if the government did nothing. Modern politics makes a strength of "spinning" - accentuating the positives and playing down the negatives of initiatives that will show a party in a good light. For opposing opinions, the emphasis is to get them ignored, often through pejorative statements. However, issues of immense complexity require assumptions and statements to be critically examined, along with taking into account the adverse effects of policy. The very ability to be a modern, effective, politician is a huge disability in assessing climate policy issues.

Feb 4, 2013 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

@GrantB - though to be fair to Huhne (much as it grates), he hasn't perjured himself in addition to the attempt to pervert, like the illustrious Marcus...

Feb 5, 2013 at 12:23 AM | Registered Commenterwoodentop

No one is perfect, but his family and the truth had to share the bronze-medal between them.
It also seems a bit dumb to have extra-marital affairs, but expect your spouse to lie down for you in court.

Feb 5, 2013 at 3:34 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart


it's their policies I want them nailed on, not their personalities
His Grace:
I don't think [Dellers] is saying these things are OK, just that they are trivia compared to the policy decisions they inflict on us.
I agree with IanE. The idea that politicians should be punished for the laws they pass is a dangerous one, even coming from a humorous writer. The only punishment you can inflict on a politician for his political decisions is to vote him out, by voting for the other lot. Which you can’t, because the other lot agree, only more so.
It’ss hard work, believing in democracy.

Feb 5, 2013 at 5:41 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

In deference to His Grace, I decided to read what the Cucumber had to say but I could not get past this paragraph:

...I believe our speeding laws are antiquated and unjust. Whatever road safety campaigners may tell you, speed is a serious contributory factor in remarkably few road traffic accidents. Modern cars are quite capable of performing safely at speeds far in excess of the ones our laws allow. Fast drivers are often good drivers because they are in the habit of reading the road much further ahead than does your typical Sunday-driving mimser. Frankly, there are far too many speed traps around already – and they're mainly just a lazy revenue-raising device cum punishment for the crime of owning a motor car.

I was preparing to unleash on Huhne on the account of his repeated traffic offences but it turns out the Cucumber is on the same page with Huhne on this point. What a shame!

Feb 5, 2013 at 8:27 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Always remember when you a politico, your one mistake away from becoming a commoner.

Although my common had a great newting pond on it, newt racing a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Feb 5, 2013 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

On the A614 near Edwinstowe Nottinghamshire there have been many deaths and numerous accidents, the last killed five individuals, the road is strait but undulating it is now subject to a 50 MPH restriction.
Even though this speed limit is a real pain I believe there is no alternative.

As far as Huhne is concerned, a woman`s scorn and all that.

Feb 5, 2013 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob

Pass the sick bag - apparently Huhne saved the world twice and we should all be eternally grateful.

If only Chris Huhne were remembered for his public achievements
(Amol Rajan, Feb 4th 2013).

In case there was any lingering doubt in your mind about the sagacity and general virtue of Michael McCarthy, our Environment Editor, he sent a bunch of tweets this afternoon which will set you straight. Here they are in full:

@mjpmccarthy: Lest we forget: Huhne saved the international climate change negotiating process virtually single-handed at Cancun in Dec 2010 c next tweet

@mjpmccarthy: tweet 2: Huhne drafted text which bridged seemingly imposs gap btw Japan and radical S Am Alba countries over renewal of Kyoto protocol

@mjpmccarthy: tweet 3 Without Huhne's text, repair of major breach over climate at Copenhagen in Dec 2009 cd nt have happened. The world owes this guy

As so often with Mike, he’s used his vast experience to make sense of events in the news. In the information age, when tweets and blogs and hangouts deluge our senses, the premium we put on this tendency, which we might call the long view, should be high.

Naturally it already seems that, if Chris Huhne were run over by a bus tomorrow, the obituaries would focus on his extraordinary fall from grace in public. They’d presumably make passing reference to the unbearable text message exchange he seems to have had with his traumatised son. It is hard to imagine the pain it must have caused him to type: “I have no intention of sending Mum to Holloway Prison for three months. Dad”.

But Huhne, who must feel like he’s in something like a living hell, ought in the end to be remembered for his public achievements rather than private sins. Exceptionally bright, he took a strong first from Oxford. He was then an acclaimed Business Editor of The Independent, a brilliant entrepreneur in the City, a brave and principled MEP, a diligent and popular MP, and universally recognised as one of the most effective ministers in government. See Mike’s tweets, above.

What public benefit accrues from his downfall, exactly? Not much.

Some argue that if he has lied in public, his exposure will deter other public servants in future from lying. Fat chance.

Others say that he’s probably guilty of a criminal offence, meriting a prison sentence, and criminals ought not to be in Cabinet. Frankly, I don’t buy this. I should think that even among readers of this newspaper, there are hundreds who wouldn’t think twice about transferring “love points”, as they’re widely called, to a less encumbered spouse.

Yes he may have lied, and that’s not to be encouraged. But I still feel an overwhelming sympathy for this brilliant man, who might have been leader of his party had it not been for lost postal votes.

We all know that the adulterers of ages in which text messages and tweets didn’t exist – JFK, Martin Luther King, Gandhi – went on to score great victories for humanity. Chris Huhne may not be in their league, but when reflecting on the terrible drama of his family’s breakdown, we should remember that he’s not the only loser in this saga. Our public life has lost a distinguished servant too.

Feb 5, 2013 at 11:13 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Feb 5, 2013 at 5:41 AM geoffchambers wrote

I agree with IanE. The idea that politicians should be punished for the laws they pass is a dangerous one, even coming from a humorous writer. The only punishment you can inflict on a politician for his political decisions is to vote him out, by voting for the other lot. Which you can’t, because the other lot agree, only more so.
It’s hard work, believing in democracy.

They should not be punished for the laws they pass, but they should be equally subject to those laws. Let me tell you a story...

The state of English Right Of Way legislation is, because it was badly drafted in the first place and has been extended by sloppy case law (judges seem not to be universally intelligent), worthy of Lewis Carroll. It's not something which will worry most people, but it's worth being careful: the guiding principle of 'once a right of way, always a right of way' is so wide-ranging that it threatens everyone's property or land. In my case the Ramblers' tried to open a path behind my house which had literally not been walked for 190 years, and turned out in any case to not exist even under the sloppy standards of ROW case law. Five of us paid out over £5000 each in legal fees ('to reading email £35 plus VAT') and the County Council paid £30,000 overall, £55,000 and the applicant paid for two second-class stamps. The law is written so that you can't reclaim expenses but you can be fined for 'trivial objections'. By the time we got a final final result (immense research because you have to prove the claim doesn't exist, i.e. proving a negative) I was a bit cross, so I kept researching. When that great man of the people Viscount... Sir... Mr Anthony Wedge... Tone found he had one of these Lazarus paths through his estate, it was closed on security grounds because as S of S for DEFRA (i.e. the man who was the final arbiter on ROW law) his security was more important than footpaths for little people. Spitting tacks was by now an understatement.

My first reaction was to find Lazarus paths through the constituencies of various influential MPs. Then I thought I'd shoot all the fish in one barrel and applied to Westminster CC to reopen Watling Street. It runs through the north transept of Westminster Cathedral, through the central lobby of the Houses of Parliament and out through the Members' Dining Room. It was turned down on the grounds that I had no map from the date of its establishment, 43 AD -- you'd not get away with that anywhere but Inner London, but I don't have the resources to appeal through the magistrates' courts as they can sting you for costs ('to an attempt to ridicule Parliament £10 million'). Anyway, I'd made my point -- DEFRA is looking at amending the legislation, or it was until reshuffles and more important things like gay marriage pushed it down the pecking order. The new S of State has a Roman road right through his constituency, so perhaps I'll have to do another show not tell. Or one through Canterbury Cathedral, there's good archaeological evidence for that one.

Allowing the parliamentary bastards to play the 'do you know who I am?' card is fatal to democracy: you end up with a nomenclatura, those above law, above decency, honesty, honour. Nothing is beneath a politician who things he is immune from the law, nothing.

They have no shame. Only the law holds them to human decent standards. Huhne is going to be locked up to encourage the others. Good. I feel pity for him, but he is his own victim and a warning to others.

My my, don't I bang on. You should hear me on the Kriegsmarine Hypothesis....

Feb 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

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