Huhne in trouble

Huhne in trouble

Chris Huhne has always appeared to be an intelligent, slick operator, and it’s served him well. A first-class degree from Oxford was followed by a lucrative career in the City and a meteoric rise through the Lib Dem ranks. He entered parliament in 2005 and only narrowly lost the leadership election to Nick Clegg just two years later.

But politicians can be too slick, smooth and controlled. Sometimes they need to ‘lose it’, and never more so than when protesting their innocence in the face of career-threatening allegations.

Huhne is accused of asking his former wife to take his penalty points for a speeding offence back in 2003. On Friday, the Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed that Huhne is to be charged with perverting the course of justice.

When the allegation was first made, Huhne made a series of denials.

In any broadcast interview, the viewing public judges you both on what you say and how you say it. In this clip Huhne remains calm – almost unnaturally so – with only the slightest tremble in his voice an indication of the pressure, along with a rather abrupt end. His words appear carefully chosen: “These allegations are simply incorrect. They’ve been made before and they’ve been shown to be untrue.”

But assuming, as we must, that he’s innocent, I believe Huhne would have been better served to let his outrage at such an allegation show, even if it meant losing that cool, scripted composure. If he had his time again, he should surely have angrily proclaimed: “The suggestion that I would ask anyone, let alone my wife, to take penalty points on my behalf is outrageous, offensive and absurd. I am completely and utterly innocent. My wife was driving that car, not me, and I will prove it. I have no idea who is behind these completely absurd allegations, and I can only assume their motivation is either political or spiteful.”

Of course, hindsight is 20/20.

Article date

February 6th, 2012

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer

@RT_MediaTrainer

My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.

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