As Chris Huhn and his former wife Vicky Pryce begin their prison sentences of eight months respectively for perverting the course of justice, they have been provided with plenty of time to painfully reflect on their own behaviours and attitudes. What began some years ago with a relatively trivial speeding offence should have been concluded with a fine and three penalty points. Instead, Huhn persuaded his wife to take the points, enabling him to keep his driving licence......job done !!
Years later, by which time Huhn was a high flying politician and Pryce a prominent economist, their marriage came to an abrupt and painful end. After more than two decades together, Huhn rang Pryce and told her their marriage was over while she was at a football match with their son. I cannot imagine the emotions that must have beset Pryce at that moment .....anger, wrath, outrage...the list is endless. Publically humiliated, deeply hurt and thirsting for vengeance, Pryce later hit out by accusing her Cabinet Secretary former husband of forcing her to take his speeding points. Her plan was supposed to bring Huhn’s career to an end, while she would continue on her own upward path.
Unfortunately, the plan went disastrously wrong. While Huhn protested his innocence up until the last minute, the whole poisonous affair drew in family, friends and colleagues as the lives of Huhn and Pryce were painfully laid bare during the court proceedings.
So what led two intelligent, ‘media savvy’, powerful people to behave in such a way. For me, blind ambition led Chris Huhn to behave dishonestly on a number of different levels. One lie led to another, until it all unravelled, with disastrous consequences for his family, reputation and career. If only he had taken the speeding points himself !!! Could he make a political comeback.......? I doubt it.
I must admit to having more than a little sympathy for Vicky Pryce. Given her circumstances I think that I would have been overcome, and as she did, abandon the normal cool, reflective and analytical perspective which most people take on life. Vicky Pryce succumbed to wrath.
The dictionary defines wrath as "rage"....... inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger, leading to a desire for retribution. Can Vicky Pryce regain a balanced approach to life and recover her career ?...Perhaps.
In a recent Independent article, the novelist Lucy Cavendish wrote, “don’t we all understand this madness? Isn’t this what makes Pryce human? What’s amazing – reassuring, even – is that we, as humans, can act in this way. It is about exactly those incredible human qualities Shakespeare wrote of; love, hate, passion, loathing, anger, malice, order vs chaos.
None of us is above any of them and none of us best forget that, ever.”
Cavendish is absolutely right about human behaviour. The root cause is sin. However, we need not be helplessly trapped by its often disastrous consequences. The Bible tells us that Jesus died on a cross to free humans from the power of sin. It is my fervent prayer that while in prison both will reach out to Jesus and find the peace and forgiveness in Him so that they can have real freedom when released.