Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce – Why Does Their Crime Matter?

Chris Huhne was, as I am sure readers know, an MP for the Liberal Democrats, who reached the heights of a Cabinet post (an achievement seen as unattainable for the Lib Dems till we ended up with a hung Parliament after the last election).

He now awaits sentencing  on Monday following his plea of guilty to perverting the course of justice by having his now ex-wife Ms Pryce accept a fixed penalty for speeding in 2003 when in fact it was Mr Huhne who was driving.

The “logic” behind the offence was that he was sitting on 9 penalty points at the time and a further 3 for speeding would have led to a “totting-up” disqualification. Whilst a driving ban, especially for collecting penalty points, would not be helpful to a politician’s reputation, I suspect it was the practical effects of a ban which might have concerned him most.

Ironically he was later in 2003 banned anyway, having been caught using his mobile when driving, and the penalty points for that led to a disqualification.

But, back in 2003, he and his wife might have felt that there was nothing to be lost be having her fill in the form – after all, they were both respected people in their fields – Mr Huhne as an MP and his wife as a leading economist. It was just filling in a form. Neither of them was a criminal. In fact, their thought processes might have been, a ban would cause considerable inconvenience to Mr Huhne’s constituents, so a ban would affect his abilities to carry out his public duties.

So the form was filled in declaring that Ms Pryce, and not Mr Huhne, was driving.

She had penalty points imposed and paid the fine.

And then matters sat, and would have stayed, until Mr Huhne left his wife for another woman.

The famous saying by William Congreve in The Mourning Bride – “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” – has rarely seemed so apposite.

When Mr Huhne left his wife, she was furious. She wanted her revenge. How much she wanted revenge is shown if you read through the documents at this link, being emails used by the prosecution.

MAil

They make clear, in a lengthy email correspondence between Ms Pryce and Isabel Oakeshott, Political Editor of the Sunday Times, that she wanted to destroy her ex-husband’s career – to force him to resign as a Minister and as an MP if possible.

Ms Pryce knew that she was in a risky position too. The email trail makes clear that she wanted to drop a bomb on her ex-husband, but without her fingerprints being upon it. There was extensive discussion about the terms of the agreement under which the Sunday Times would write the story.

Early on Ms Pryce and Ms Oakeshott discussed that the story could damage the economist’s chances of being appointed to the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and indeed to the House of Lords. Little did she realise how much damage would be done to her reputation.

The importance of the offence arises from what could be seen, cynically, as a “fiction” about the law.

The law is clear. When responding to a Notice under the Road Traffic Act it is a crime to give a deliberate incorrect answer. But the form itself has no magic powers forcing the person completing it to do so properly.

It is similar to the oath being taken by witnesses in court. There are now, I suspect, few people who view the oath as, in some way, binding them in the eyes of God to tell the truth. However most people who do end up in the witness box will do their best to tell the truth. That is what one does in court.

If you ever have the fortune to see a regular in the criminal courts give evidence (and by “regular” I mean someone who has a frequent seat in the dock) you will see what happens when a witness has no fear of telling lies. After all, if someone is used to prison, then the prospect of an additional sentence for perjury will weigh less in the balance than the prospect of an acquittal, if their story is accepted.

It is also similar to the force of an interdict, or court order preventing a person carrying out a specified action. An interdict works where the recipient, consciously or sub-consciously, is prepared to accept its force.

This, by the way, is NOT an implied suggestion that the “Freeman on the Land” proponents are in any way accurate. You may recall that the “Freemen” argue that law is in fact a contract and as such only binds a person where they have accepted it. Legally that argument is nonsense.

I have spoken in the past to wives who have sought advice fearing violence at the hands of their husbands. Some have asked what effect an interdict would have. As one lady said “But it’s just a bit of paper. It won’t stop a bullet, will it?”

Very true.

The law depends for its force upon people being prepared to accept its consequences (effectively by treating the bit of paper as bullet-proof).

In the same way therefore, there has to be a penalty, and a severe one, for undermining the criminal justice system by the false declaration made by Ms Pryce for Mr Huhne.

If the population of Britain all decided that they would deliberately fill in every Notice sent out under the Road Traffic Act falsely from now on, then this would almost certainly “succeed”. By that I mean that there is no way that the hundreds of thousands of prosecutions which would be needed to prove the offences and then punish the miscreants would hopelessly jam up the system for years!

An offence which brings no fear of prosecution might as well be taken off the statute book. For example, it is a criminal offence, and has been for many years, to serve alcohol in a pub to an intoxicated person. That is an offence committed numerous times every day of the week. No one is ever prosecuted for it.

So the apparently minor bit of paper shuffling – no harm really done – is in fact one that goes to the foundations of the criminal justice system.

It becomes even more serious when done by people as prominent as Mr Huhne and Ms Pryce. The widespread opinion that there is one law for the great and the good and another, more severe, for the common man demands that the matter be treated in an exemplary fashion.

The judge’s comment that the accused should be “under no illusion” as to their sentences indicates that the matter is almost certainly to be treated most severely.

Mr Huhne might have ended up getting his “just desserts” as I heard a journalist on Radio Scotland saying on Friday. His argument for “mitigation” will be, I suspect (a) that he pled guilty (although he waited till the start of the trial to do so, having denied the offence on numerous occasions up to that point) and (b) he has already suffered enough, or substantially. The danger though is that a suspended sentence, or community service, or a fine, would remove the deterrent factor which makes us obey the law.

The late Sheriff John Fitzsimons, who sat for many years at Dumbarton, would sometimes, when about to pass sentence, nod to the reporter from the local paper who was usually in the court to let him know to pay careful attention. As the reporter eagerly jotted down what the Sheriff was saying to the guilty person, the magic phrase would appear. “A message must go out”, the Sheriff would say and the next edition of the Lennox Herald would have its front page lead, whether this related to a deterrent sentence being passed for car theft, knife crime, drunken assaults or whatever.

In this case too Mr Justice Sweeney will send out a message, I suspect.

The Guardian reported:-

According to Crown Prosecution Service guidelines, the usual range of sentence is between four and 36 months, with “the degree of persistence” involved and the “seriousness of the substantive offence” taken into account.

Ms Pryce herself has most definitely been a Pyrrhic victor. Her aim of destroying her ex-husband has been fulfilled. However, it has been at the cost of her own reputation, future and in all likelihood, liberty.

Her defence of “marital coercion” was rejected by the jury, so the judge can pay little attention to such a submission in mitigation. The emails produced, linked to above, make it quite clear that she knew the risks of revealing the story, as can be seen from the efforts she made to have the story out but with herself distanced from it. She cannot claim that she revealed the crime of her husband in a public spirited way which might allow her to claim credit for the disclosure.

It joins the efforts of Jeffery Archer and Jonathan Aitken in putting themselves in the dock as examples of how those in power or prominence can ignore the effects of their actions, with disastrous personal consequences.

So what does this all tell us?

First of all, the lesson is that, if your partner knows a secret that can bring you down, do not dump them and leave on acrimonious terms!

Secondly, and more seriously, it may be that this will emphasise to people that there is a need for truth in filling in official forms like this. After all, if a Cabinet Minister and possible peeress go to prison as a result, then Joe and Jean Bloggs could do so too.

Thirdly, it is a morality tale, to which maybe only Shakespeare could have done justice.

Posted by Paul McConville

 

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84 Comments

Filed under Criminal Law, Politics

84 responses to “Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce – Why Does Their Crime Matter?

  1. Wasp

    Hopefully will get everything they deserve which, to my mind, should be custodial sentences. Thankfully this will have removed another of the “when do you know a politician’s lying; his lips are moving” brigade from Parliament as well ….

    Monti- does everything have to be about the same topic……! Jeezo

  2. gortnamona

    Let’s have the longer version, I have good reason to know it.

    “Heaven has no rage, like love to hatred turned,
    Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorned.”

    • gortnamona

      “The War of the Roses” (1989) with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, has just come to mind. A black, black comedy about the destructive nature of love turned to hate in an intransigent divorce situation. Well worth watching once, no more.

  3. Bill Fraser

    Any one who goes into politics is in it for one thng and that is money and power. Two things! Do I feel a Monty Python moment coming on? Why should we be surprised at the antics of our politicians? They’re just in it for what they can get for themselves and they don’t give a damn about those who vote for them. Unfortunately for them, the occasional one gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar and it makes the rest of us feel good for a while, knowing that those in power are looking after our best interests, while taking away our freedom and increasing our taxes.

    • ecojon

      @Bill Fraser

      ‘Money & Power’ is a very simplistic approach. I have personally known many politicians who didn’t enter politics for money as it’s actually a poorly paid job.

      Many did go for the ‘power’ but with most it was to have the power to do good for others and that actually does transcend political parties up until you start getting into extremist areas where other considerations also come into play.

      I will agree for a whole variety of reasons that many idealistic politicos do fall into the trap of: ‘All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ or something like that.

      That doesn’t actually mean that the politician is corrupted but often they realise the vice-like constraints on the ‘power’ they imagined they would have to do good and therein lies the trap because many feel they have to move up the parliamentary ranks to grasp the power baton and wield it effectively.

      It is of course a chimera and the straight-jacket becomes even tighter until the caring beating heart within the politician is silenced because of the energy in just keeping existing structures ticking over. Most eventually come to realise that senior civil servants are the ones with real power who usually outlive and outmanoeuvre their political ‘Masters’.

      There are some of course like the Beast of Bolsover who remain true to their original convictions but then they are marginalised by being gently mocked by the system and provide living reminders to the new entrants where integrity might take them. Few have the courage to actually follow the path.

      • Bill Fraser

        Unfortunately those who enter politics for the good of others do remain badly paid. Many years ago I was told by my uncles that the only man ever to enter politics for the benefit for others was Willie Gallacher and no-one yet has proved this to be untrue.

        • josephmcgrath112001809

          An old Normandy veteran I met in Dunbar a few years ago told me about the celebrations that had taken place in France to remember D Day. The veterans were presented to the leaders of various countries, France, America, the UK etc. When he met Tony Blair he told him that the only honest man who ever wnt into Parliament was Guy Fawkes.
          The joke did not go down well that time either.

        • ecojon

          @Bill Fraser

          If you get the time you should do a bit of research on the original IPL MPs to go to Westminster and see how the firebrands in many ways were subverted by the system. Doesn’t make them bad people but is more an exercise in how all-pervasive the system can be.

          Willie Gallacher was a working class hero and will always remain so but he was a man for his time and to an extent his geography. He would not have been electable in the current climate although if the financial situation continues to worsen then we will need new working class heroes to stand-up for and rally those whose voice counts for nothing.

  4. I do feel for the woman but she was supposed to be clever. she should have let it go, on looking at him he looks like a proper little bastard anyway
    now he may find his mistress was not a good move after all and
    justice will be done jail time for me.so no more pyjama python for a year

    • ecojon

      @abbaj

      The only thing I would say is that cleverness has never entered the equation or else they would never have broken the law over the signing of the form.

      As to Vicki Pryce I believe she suffered a temporary emotional madness which set her on a path to destroy Huhne and she will at least have the satisfaction of having achieved that.

      She has a price to pay but think of the book to come so her financial future is assured and she’ll make a fortune on the Lecture Circuit. It could all be a new life opening up for her.

      As to Huhne – he is still a millionaire but I’m not so sure about his future as he has lied to many of his closest associates and damaged them and that won’t be forgiven. And I muse over whether he will go for a book in the knowledge that his wife’s will outsell his efforts and that would be so hard for the obviously pompous, nasty little sh*t to swallow.

      • Maggie

        @ecojon
        Where to start with this eco,I will admit that I was fervently hoping
        that Vicky would be exonerated,purely on the basis that Huhne had
        it coming to him big time.Through gritted teeth I will say that had I
        served on the jury,I would have found her guilty on the
        evidence presented,despite my feelings of sisterhood.
        The very fact that a woman of such intelligence and accomplishment
        could be maritally coerced was clearly ludicrous,though what other
        defence could she have called upon?
        In plotting the downfall of a philandering,egotistical husband,Vicky
        Pryce has not only destroyed him,but also herself and her family.
        The wounds will never be healed,it’s truly a tragedy of epic proportions.
        If ever adage ” be careful what you wish for” proved to be true,this
        is it.

        • gortnamona

          “it’s truly a tragedy of epic proportions.”

          Maggie were you on the vino?

          • Maggie

            @gortnamorra
            I might have had a little refreshment and gotten carried away
            a bit 🙂 I do think,between the two of them,they’ve wreaked havoc
            on their children,unforgivable.

            • Vega

              I don’t know. The son comes across as a nasty piece of work, but then should that be a surprise given the parents…

  5. ecojon

    It certainly is a complex tale and I think you may well be right that it would take a Shakespeare to do it justice.

    The end result certainly proves that mighty oaks can grow from small acorns and obviously when the original plot was hatched then there was probably little thought given to the actual criminality involved because its only the lower classes who are actually criminals as we all know.

    The Huhnes were in that rarified ivory tower inhabited by other teflon-coated members of the Establishment whose only dalliance from the path of righteousness were ‘victimless’ white-colour crimes such as rigging financial dealings and collapsing the world’s banking and economic systems.

    It would have been so easy to have signed the form and carried on with their comfortable lives and successful careers without giving it a thought. At the other end of the spectrum those on a low-income often do the same with regard to car issues because they can’t afford to hire someone to drive them for the period of a ban even to keep their job. I don’t defend the practice but it happens and those at the lower levels of society know to expect no mercy if caught and the chances are usually quite high that they will be.

    Chris Huhne was a multi-millionaire at the time and both he and his then wife had highly paid jobs and could have employed a driver from the small change in their housekeeping budget. In my book they aren’t just criminals but mean b*st*rds as well and didn’t believe they could be caught.

    But as many know your past can come back and haunt you or even a totally unforseen event can jump up and bite you on the ass and so it was with Vicky and I don’t automatically accept the woman scorned scenario.

    Rather I see a proud and confident woman who had borne children to Huhne being discarded in a truly shabby way which marked Huhne as a coward of a man. I truly believe she mentally flipped and became consumed with overwhelming hatred and the destruction of Huhne became her mission in life.

    So in many ways I understand why she did what she did but that provides little if any legal mitigation and I believe that both should face the same sentence although I have no idea what the situation is regarding the ages of her children which may just merit some leeway.

    The Judge has a difficult task in determining the sentence as I doubt if either are likely to re-offend and both have paid a terrible price but their actions weren’t accidental or spur-of-the-moment but premeditated and calculated to defeat the ends of justice. It’s one thing after a car chase for a car load of yobbos to try and switch drivers in the heat of the moment when the adrenaline is flowing but another to sit in your million £ home and take a cold and calculated decision to outwit Mr Plod.

    So the sentence will need to be real or else the blogosphere will hammer millions of cyber-nails into the slowly disintegrating corpse of the Establishment who only seem, these days, to retain any power in the minds of some Scottish football fans 🙂

    • Ruckcroft 7

      Humne denied his guilt for over a year( and as a result continued to claim his salary)then pleaded guilty at trial,surely this will influence the sentence passed

  6. There are more lies told in court than anywhere else

  7. mick

    A feel it’s not right 30 days is a fitting sentance due to costs and it being a low level crime it derived from ,nick clegg new about this and other top cabinet ministers you see people every day get charged with that for lying at the end of the the laws the law but wait a minute what about the LNS rePort ,he must hate his wife lol women and crime don’t mix they tell if you up set them lol

    • ecojon

      @ mick

      Bleeding heart liberal 🙂

      Four/Six months would possibly get it home to them what they had actually done wrong and, in any case, anything less would hit the book sales.

  8. ecojon

    @Jerome

    But at least in court everyone knows what the lies are as they are the same ones repeated daily ad nauseum in every court in the land and they seldom are of much actual importance outwith the courtroom.

    The lies told in Parliament and the media may not be more numerous but reach a far wider audience and much mores serious with much greater consequences for society as a whole and many individuals within it.

  9. Steven brennan

    The financial cost to the taxpayer for these trials must be huge, the judge should fine them both the full costs and sentence both to a short 4 month sentence in a mainstream prison.
    The two of them would be hurt more bybthe loss of money than liberty.
    He obviously thought himself above the law right up till the last moment, even telling his son that “he wouldnt let his mother go to jail”
    They have destroyed more than just their own sordid lives

  10. Jim

    A more appropriate quote is.
    ‘Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.’
    Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)

  11. It is a strange question Paul, “Does this crime matter?”. Surely the fact it is a crime, answers its own question! Call me niaive, but the laws of the land, I believe are largely well intentioned in their conception, and poured over by thoughtful process to arrive at a just, impartial definition, with the greater good of society, being the goal
    That, I believe is the intention of Law, whether that law be overly omplicated corporate gobbledegook, or the wisdom of elders in an undiscovered jungle tribe. It is recognised that “rules” are needed for a society to function. The “rules” are intended to settle dispute, and protect the weak from the strong, and sometimes from ourselves, for the greater good. In every society, there are also “rules” protectin the rulemakers and the hierarchical system.
    When the hierarchical “rulers”, abuse or manipulate the trust afforded them, the “rules” if not applied indiscriminately, have lost society’s support, and a backlash/meltdown can occur, to the detriment of the community
    Human nature, dictates that the hierarchy will always be faced with the temptation to ignore these rules when they think they will go unpunished. This has always happened, but was, and is, camouflaged and dealt with “internally” by the hierarchy. Only when these breaches of rules escape the confines of the hierarchy does a “scandal” ensue.
    IMO, the hierarchy are awarded many luxuries in life, denied to the lower echelons. When these luxuries are abused, an additional crime is committed, over and above the rules laid down for Joe Public.
    They have breached the trust, which the society has placed upon them, and has rewarded them extremely well for.
    When this is not done in a manner reflecting this breach of trust, society will lose trust in the rules. When this breach is treated leniently due to their position, society will rightly, in my view, form a “goose and gander” opinion of the laws.
    Laws cannot, and do not function, without the broad agreement amongst the governed, to live within them.
    Regardless of.the protection, that surrounds the hierarchy, when a paople loses trust in the governors, the peoples will reject that governance.
    That is why this crime matters.

  12. josephmcgrath112001809

    Recent events may easily lead us to believe that everything and everyone is corrupt. Politicians have misled us over wars that need never have been fought. Bankers and financiers have misled and even robbed us. Religious leaders have caused many to call into question the basis of their belief.
    Even football clubs test the loyalty of their supporters.
    However, let’s be honest with ourselves. Which driver has never broken the law? I have been known to drive faster than the speed limit or take a chance at a changing traffic light. That’s as far as my confession goes today, but I must admit to being a sinner. We are all sinners and that’s the truth.
    It is a truth we find difficult to admit and when we see wrong doing and lies in others we can be quick to condemn. Chris Huhne would bave been better to bite the bullet, admit his speeding and take the hit. It would have been inconvenient (and possibly humiliating) but it would have passed.
    If he had told the truth he would have avoided all this trouble. The truth can set you free. That’s the lesson we should learn from all of this. Admit we are imperfect in small things and perhaps it will never come to the big things.

    • @Joseph

      “We are all sinners and that’s the truth.
      It is a truth we find difficult to admit and when we see wrong doing and lies in others we can be quick to condemn.”

      While I agree with your principle (and yes, I am very much a sinner!), are we not entitled to hold those elected as “lawmakers” to a higher standard?

  13. Fra

    Jail the pair of them as they thought because of their positions within this corrupt society that they were above the law. Their children would probably be at boarding school or looked after by a nanny most of the time. Laws only apply to the little people and plebs. Ernest Saunders name springs to mind in the way the old school tie network applies in Britain today. Classed as senile to spare him jail time then miraculously cured when he escaped the sentence yet no demonstrations at the absurdity of it all. Britain is one of the most corrupt nations on earth and it appalls me that the majority accept the status quo and do little or nothing to change it. As has been mentioned already, there is a litany of wrongdoings by those in power yet the British public accept it in the false belief that they cannot change the situation. The poll tax being dumped on Scotland first and when individuals started a movement of non-payment, were slated as commies or ridiculed as upstarts. Bankers rigging rates and collecting obscene bonuses for failure. The LABOUR PARTY taking the country into an illegal war for oil. Britain is a busted flush with very little power left on the world stage although to listen to consecutive governments they are at the top of the tree. They are nothing but Americas poodle who do what they are told, when they are told. The elitism ingrained from the royal family down is a curse on the moral fabric of a nation purporting to be democratic and fair.

    • ecojon

      @Fra

      If I lived in what I thought was the most corrupt nation on earth then I would escape asap. Very few people in Britain have any conception of what all-pervading State and societal corruption actually is. And what it actually is amounts to a daily gamble as to whether you live or die.

      Britain has many faults that we should all try and repair and things that need changing but you might find that applying a certain amount of perspective to your views and the cutting-down of sloganising might actually give your message more impact.

      It also helps to identify and target specific areas that you believe should and can be improved/changed rather than the blunderbuss approach that turns everyone off including potential followers who become totally disheartened about even beginning.

      Pick your ground to fight on and make sure that you can achieve even partial victories in small ways and that encourages others to follow and with momentum bigger tasks can be tackled. But that’s the hard bit and many find it much easier to just shout their mouth off and remain concealed in a fog of hot air.

      • Fra

        @ecojon Apologies if my standard of prose is somewhat lacking. I was making a point, not admitting my final dissertation. I gave up on the busted flush (sorry’ sloganising again?) that is the Uk a long time ago. My days of shouting, marching and politicising my beliefs were being wasted on a
        population so disinterested in anything outside of soaps or reality tv shows. Audience figures would probably support my views on this. In my experience the subservient behaviour of my once proud comrades has been the sorriest sight and has only accelerated the behaviour of governments, bankers and major companies.

        • ecojon

          Nothing wrong with your standard of prose was just giving you some campaigning tips as I wish you all the best – I just thought you were spreading your message too thin and needed a bit more focus on a bullseye 🙂

          Still don’t agree Britain is the most corrupt nation on earth though!

    • Grab the grass

      @fra,

      “Britain is the most corrupt nation on earth”. At that point your argument goes into the surreal. In most indices of government and surveys the UK scores very high on non corruption. In nearly all aspects of daily life you do not encounter any level of corruption, bribery or facilitation payments common in asia and Africa and many parts of europe. Yes the UK has a high opinion of itself in the world not matched by its economic weight, but what is your point and what is your proposed action?

      In this particular action the point is that like most of these things the original “crime” is actually quite low level, but its the cover up / lying that causes the issue to elevate itself into jail time. Yes the system doesn’t throw these things up very often so when they do the judiciary see a rare opportunity to grab the public attention normally grabbed by politicians and demonstrate to the general public that they apply the law evenly.

      The level of punishment will almost certainly be of a level “pour encourager les autres”, i.e. the rest of us.

  14. mcfc

    @paul

    Congreve is often shorten for snappiness to “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

    But I think the bit that is usually missed out captures the Huhne / Pryce case more precisely: “no rage like love to hatred turned”.

    Zara says “Thou shalt know, spite of thy past distress, and all those ills which thou so long hast mourned: heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury, like a woman scorned.”

  15. is there a vicki pryce in the rangers closet paul?

  16. Guys get a grip! Half the prison population should not have been given a custodial sentence and now you all want to add 2 more to that number. Let Hulme and Pryce clean our streets , pick up litter , clean graffiti or even help the disadvantaged but prison, no way.

  17. Ed

    Vicky Pryce sought a very public revenge on her husband for his leaving her for a younger woman. Chris Huhne sought to protect his cabinet position by maintaining a lie. Both of them had selfish motives for their actions and should be punished just like everyone else. An equally shocking factor was that neither of these highly educated and professionally successful people was prepared to consider how this case would affect their three children – just reading those texts from Huhne’s son to his father was heartbreaking. I hope father and son can achieve a reconciliation, and who knows, genuine contrition from Huhne might allow him to return to politics – we British believe in forgiveness and redemption for the truly penitent, don’t we?

  18. Ed

    @violet carson
    I know it is seriously off-topic but I was really pleased to read the following on the BBC website:-
    Speaking ahead of the 2013 event (St Patrick festival), Lord Provost Sadie Docherty said: “Scotland and Ireland share a Gaelic culture.
    “Our histories are intertwined and our heritage is something to be celebrated.
    “This event showcases all that is wonderful about Irish literature, music, dance and sport.”

    That means we can wave our tricolours as we listen to Christy Moore and Finbar Furey. Yes the Republic of Ireland is an independent country but surely not a foreign country in the way that you regularly declaim on this blog. Oh, Neil – please put your tracky with the green white and gold collar back on.
    Aagh – Wales have scored again, that makes it 18-28 in the rugby.

  19. I am not aware that I do regularly declaim anything about Eire. However, shared heritage or not Eire is a foreign country. Scotland shares a heritage with N. Ireland, but I would be critical if the flag of Ulster (not wholly in NI) was being worn on the shoulders of RFC fans. I asked before for an example of a team’s supporters regularly wearing and waving the flag of a foreign country (Juve – the flag of England for example) and no one obliged. Of course CFC could really celebrate what they seem to see as their heritage by moving to Dublin. I, for one, wouldn’t miss them.

    You can wave whatever you like and by the way, your conclusion is a non-sequitur, but watching foreign flags being displayed in Turin is not about shared heritage. Though why you bring all this into a thread about a completely different matter is beyond me. Over to mcfc, Maggie and mick for the usual inane insults. Indignation anyone!

    • Violet , again you’ve hit the nail on the head , we have a club who have some fans wanting a move to England for financial reasons when a ” minority ” despise all things English and British ! Their hipocracy knows no bounds .

      • Ed

        @Carson @violet
        I do apologize for introducing the colours issue into this thread – it was an impulse that I should have resisted. But please – you are making assumptions about me that are wrong – like many people in the UK I am proud of my British and Irish lineage. Have a good evening folks.

        • Maggie

          @Ed
          No, no, no Ed,you’ve got it all wrong.We’re not proud of our
          British and Irish heritage,we’re the great unwashed and we should
          “GTF ASAP onto the bus for Stranraer ” and henceforth onto
          the ferry “back” to Ireland, is the reference intended.
          Do not encourage them Ed,by replying to them.

    • Maggie

      @Violet Carson
      I think I asked you previously Violet that if you have anything
      to say to me that you post TO me,not make snide comments or
      assumptions about what I might,or might not,post in reply to
      another commenter.
      FYI the country you refer to as Eire is actually called the Republic
      of Ireland.What part of it’s name offends you Violet? Republic
      perhaps?

      • Maggie

        Sorry, I was only going by past precedent. And, wouldn’t you do better by taking your own advice and ‘not replying to them’. I think you will find that in Irish the country is Eire and it is also known as the Republic of Ireland.

        You really must be trying hard to miss the point so comprehensively. There is nothing about the Republic of Ireland that offends me, though some of their history could be described as less than pro-British, but that is the nature of struggles for independence and unification. It is the fact that CFC supporters wrap themselves in the flag of a foreign country.

        I also notice that you refer to me in posts addressed to others. Please extend to me the courtesy you demand from me.

        • Maggie

          @Violet Carson
          Please point me in the direction of any of my posts where I “refer”
          to you Violet,as I certainly have no recollection of them, for the very
          reason that I have no “issue” with you at all,nor would I need to
          refer TO you, as I have always answered you directly,unlike your
          habit of snidely mentionig ecojon,and now me in your posts to
          others.

          I answered your previous point about the Irish flag,politely and
          mannerly as I make a point of not issuing “the usual inane insults”
          as I believe you accused me ( and mick )of above.
          You may have missed my many posts to mick,advising him of
          the inappropriate nature of his comments on many occasions,
          indeed I defended Adam the other day,from unwarranted abuse
          from mick and Monti.

          You are becoming snide,bitter and guilty of wilful blindness Vi,
          I’m sorry to say,and I find this very out of character for you,or
          for the character I perceived you to be some time ago when I
          first started reading and then posting on this blog.
          What instigated this change? Well,that is YOUR issue Vi,not mine.

          To reiterate what I said before,please post TO me,not about me,
          especially when you use your psychic powers to know what I’m
          going to post*, and I will continue to post TO you as I have done
          in the past.

          * you could make a ton of money with that skill Vi,or so I’m told.

          • Maggie

            Ah! Selective memory. Look back at the number of posts where you refer vicariously and directly to Carson, cam and me as trolls. Even your ‘not replying to them’ is an indirect reference to me. But, it’s a neat tactic to accuse others of one’s own failing and then plead innocence.

            Too much time is taken up on here not addressing points raised, but shouting, if that’s possible in writing, ‘troll’ and supporting those who so shout.

            Almost anything written on here deserves to be addressed with a counter argument or support or just ignored (without of course announcing that it is being ignored). Posts which say only ‘troll’ do no good at all.

            I do not need to psychic I just need a memory.

    • @VC

      What exactly is the problem with Neil Lennon’s tracksuit having a tricolour on the collar (a topic on which you HAVE declaimed)?

      • RBc

        Isn’t CFC a Scottish team playing in a Scottish league in Scotland. And have you any idea what the word declaimed means. I may have mentioned it and I may not agree with it, but declaim I am not so sure. Why does it bother you so much. If a troll like me mentions it, so what. You are cocooned in your beliefs as many on here are. In an ideal world for you, people who do not share your your CFC centric view would be removed from this site so that the remainder could debate whether or not Rangers are the devil’s work or merely the work of one of his pals.

        I will repeat, when I first came to this site I had not the slightest respect for RFC but reading the hate from the so called light side, I now have a grudging respect for them. People like you did that and I thank you for it.

        • Isn’t Neil Lennon an Irishman born & bred with every right to be proud of his heritage? You may have “Mentioned it”? You’re the only person I can recall who’s brought it up. That’s the sort of crap that gets spouted on RangersMedia & its ilk. Why does it upset you so much?

          “In an ideal world for you, people who do not share your your CFC centric view would be removed from this site”. Thought you said you weren’t psychic? Of course I know you aren’t, so don’t tell me what my “ideal world” would be because you haven’t a clue, just your own prejudices (which you deny, but the mask has slipped too many times.)

          As for “reading the hate from the so called light side, I now have a grudging respect for them. People like you did that and I thank you for it”, care to show any “hateful” comments I’ve made? Thought not.

          • Isn’t Mr Lennon from Northern Ireland, Lurgan, I believe.

            • Cheers, that’s me £5 better thanks to your utter predictability.

              Seriously though, you really want to get into when is an Irishman not an Irishman, 32 county cross-border fly the fleg politics? Cos I’m well up for it.

            • Couldn’t help but notice you made no attempt to answer any of the other points. And I’ll ask AGAIN what is your specific problem with Neil Lennon’s tracksuit, ie why does it bother YOU so much?

  20. Ed

    By the way, isn’t the flag Green white and Orange, not gold. And, if CFC supporters are so concerned with symbolism, shouldn’t they be using the flag that predominated when they were founded. Though, I would be concerned about that too.

    • It was indeed Violet. Green for the republicans, orange for the unionists, and white to symbolize peace between the two.

      A noble effort to let bygones be bygones.

      But unionism wasn’t, and still isn’t, ready to give up the hate, rage, and racism they so lovingly nurture.

  21. mick

    a little of topic but surely the council should tell them to run and jump and if any rebate due it should be to bdo for creditors not sevco scotland

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/charlie-and-the-dear-green-place/

  22. Raymilland

    vocabulary

  23. Raymilland

    @clarkeng

    I shall concede that ‘gratuitous alienation’ is a term new to my vocabulary; and I struggle to appreciate the subtleties of the law concerning such.

    When you take into consideration that just a few days prior to the dramatic announcement of the administrators being called in; RFC had sold Nikica Jelavic to Everton for 5.5m.

    How could anyone possibly justify the value of the entire assets of RFC being equal to that of a single player?

  24. It would seem that there is much to be said for the custom of Omerta being introduced into the marriage vows, maybe where the couple could ‘make their bones’ just before signing the registry. This I think may put to rest (amongst the fishes) any fear of telling tales out of school or wedlock for that matter.
    Seriously I hope the book is thrown at them, they were people who had privilege and power, but along with this comes heavy responsibilities, this lack of ethics seems to be ingrained in the professional classes, as has been highlighted in several different ways over the past few years, bank bonuses, the MPs expenses, phone tapping, the pretext for the Iraq war, the lying SFA and too many other things to bring up here ( notice I didn’t mention the cheating blue noses once, oops). And when these pillars of society finish their stardy, the poor creatures will have to go back to the same social environment of privilege that tempted them to break the law in the first place, poor creatures. I blame their education. And the fact they are all self serving, lying, cheating excuses for humanity whose only thoughts are for their bank accounts and their gonads..

    • You are perfectly correct in your post , but let’s not leave it there , let’s look at the benefit cheats , the ” sore ” back brigade , the ” depression ” mob , I have no problem with paying benefits to deserving people , men and women , good honest working class people who have worked all their days and now need help with themselves or their kids , but the other mob who have all the ailments under the sun , but can go pubbing and clubbing every weekend and who have never seen 6 in the morning or done a twelve hour shift or a night or weekend shift ! Let look at this cheating to.

  25. Ed

    @Carson
    I’m glad you take such a hardline view of genuine benefit cheats. I’m sure we all agree with that. What do you feel about a Scottish institution which wraps itself in the Union flag, and which devises a scheme to assist millionaires to avoid meeting their income tax and national insurance obligations? Do you take a similarly hardline view? I know, it’s off-topic again but I couldn’t resist taking your bait – I’m an impulsive guy.

    • Gave you an open goal and you didn’t disappoint ! ! ! RANGERS I believe took advantage of a LEGAL note the word LEGAL tax scheme , was it right ? Well I would love to think how much that mighty Rangers paid in tax since 1899 , note , not 1872 when the football club was born , but how many institutions companies , businesses , high profile people and even churches bend the tax rules ? ? So yes , you are correct in your snide accusation , but let’s have a look into everyone else’s books now , you up for that ? Because ill tell you what I pay my taxes and I would love to know how much the mighty Rangers have paid in taxes since 1899 ! I’ll bet it’s a lot more than some ! SO BRING ON THE INVESTIGATION ! What’s your opinion ?

      • Budweiser

        The Annan anger! lol, lol,lol——–lol
        doncha jus luv it, when the underdog wins– I do–lol,lol,lol
        At Ibrox- in front of 37,000 booing fans. Sing when your winning, you only sing———–

        • Those 37 k fans you talk about were there , unlike the stasi and their manufactured 46k when Stevie wonder could see empty seats ! Pmsl …. lmfao … no need for manufactured attendances at edminston drv , we have nothing to hide or be ashamed about … how about the rotten mob ?

          • Budweiser

            carson, MY team drew with the ‘mighty Dundee Utd’ today.
            YOUR team lost to the MIGHTY Annan Athletic at ibrokes! Where are those incontinence pants? Go on—rage rage rage–lolmlollololol
            ps. Are you still booing? Quite right.

          • You have my utmost admiration.

            Brave laughter in the face of defeat by mighty Annan.

            A wonderful spirit of defiance in the face of adversity.

            I wonder if the Zombies will make it to the end of the season?

  26. Paul,

    Although I never knew that Fitzy, God rest his soul, used to pull that trick, it was no small sense of irony that I read in yesterday’s ‘Daily Mail’ that Huhne’s father made his fortune by manufacturing speed cameras.

  27. Adeste Fideles

    You can tar PMGB with a multitude of brushes, but I don’t think he has ever claimed to be “impartial”. Even a cursory glance at his website will show you his open and upfront dislike of Rangers and Britain in general (mostly tiresome dislike, as it happens).

    However, this has no bearing on him as a journalist. It would take a great fool to claim that (unashamed) Rangers-hater he may be, he was a poor investigative journalist. You may question his motives – and would probably be correct in your assumptions – , but you can’t deny that pretty much everything he wrote on his webpage and in his book (not quite sure what prompted you to put book in inverted commas), came true, and most of the rest yet to be decided.

    By all means have an opinion on the man as a human being, but his reporting on the Rangers downfall (see what I did there?) is beyond reproach.

  28. Fra

    If the klan had listened to Phil, Alex Thomson and the RTC instead of the ramblings of Jabba et al then just maybe you might have been saved from the shame and indignity you are currently suffering. No wait, I wouldn’t have had so much fun and hilarity with the behaviour of the deluded. Hohohohoho my deluded friends. There’s more to come. I cannot wait

  29. dan

    Reminds me of the saying ‘When you set out for revenge, dig two graves before you go.’

  30. dan

    Just noticed Arseon’s rant about the payment, or not, of taxes etc. See Phil McG’s latest post. Apparently Chico is about to apply to Glasgow City Council for a rates rebate—–citing what amounts to ‘reduced circumstances’ as justification. What a turn he is.

  31. ecojon

    @dan

    It’s been a while since I had detailed knowledge of rating issues but with football clubs there is a grading scale on what is payable depending on which football league they are playing in. Obviously Ibrox, like every other football ground in Scotland, comes under this system and are entitled to a reduction through their move from the SPL to SFL3.

    I can’t remember now whether the football reduction scheme operates on the actual rateable value or the rate poundage but whichever one it is it provides a mechanism whereby the amount payable can go up or down depending on the league played in.

    So Rangers are entitled to a reduction and it would be churlish to argue against this as they are perfectly and legally entitled to it.

    Where I do see problems for them is possibly in the area of playing in matches that a ‘normal’ SFL3 club would never be involved but I would expect that to be a fairly minor factor – and that isn’t a dig at Rangers btw.

    Prior to Green’s consortium buying Ibrox and Murray Park the Rateable Value of Ibrox was almost £2 million and was under appeal. The Rateable Value of Ibrox is now around £1 million – I don’t know if that reduction is solely because of the previous appeal. If that is the case then talk of Green applying for a reduction might mean he is appealing against the £1 million valuation but I don’t know the answer to that one.

    But returning to Gratuitous Alienation for those who thought we had escaped it 🙂 I wonder if some of our accountancy people could explain the mechanics of how Rateable Value is arrived at and its connection, if any, to the book valuation of the subjects covered.

    Murray Park I think has a rateable Value of around £600k and that is also I believe subject to appeal and again I think that predates the Green consortium era. I don’t know whether the drop to SFL3 would provide a discount on a separate self-contained training complex in another council area and perhaps someone with more knowledge could provide an answer to that one.

    A separate question is whether TRFCL has paid any rates for last year which could easily amount to £800k and we are just about to go into a new rating year in April. But I’m sure that TRFCL must have been paying its money to Glasgow and Bearsden on a monthly basis so I doubt if they are due to pay £800k but who knows?

  32. You have my utmost admiration.

    Brave laughter in the face of defeat by mighty Annan.

    A wonderful spirit of defiance in the face of adversity.

    I wonder if the Zombies will make it to the end of the season?

  33. Alec McAulay

    Hello Paul:

    Very good and straightforward piece.

    As a long-time reader and admirer, and a professional copy editor, may I point out, entirely in a friendly and supportive spirit, that the “deserts” in “just deserts” are things that you deserve, rather than ice cream, apple pie or any kind of final course. I only mention this minor correction because I would think that someone who writes on legal matters, and sometimes, indeed, on the affairs of Rangers, may find it necessary to apply the phrase again.

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