CROSS-POSTED AT HARRY’S PLACE.
On his Twitter feed ChrisBryantMP has opined that “Chris huhne deserves privacy”. In general, I think Huhne deserves ridicule, but this refers explicitly to his announcement that he has separated from his wife of 25 years, with whom he has had five children and one grandchild; and moved in Carina Trimingham, who had acted as Brian Paddick’s press officer during the 2008 London Mayoral campaign.
Even though they have willingly placed themselves in the public sphere, politicians should still have their personal lives treated with respect. Yet, increasingly, weighty politicians are intertwining their public images with their personal lives: which they presumably seek to present as wholesome.
Off the top of my head, I do not know to what extent, during the General Election campaign, Huhne used his marriage as a campaign tool; but his Party leader did, as did his Party leader’s new best friend. From reports, however, Huhne has been involved with Trimingham for a year now.
As far as I am concerned, married couples can get divorced if they wish, but whilst they are married – with any lovely associated tax and legal perks – it remains some sort of gesture of trust. As I write this missive, the televisual device is showing a highly Scottish-sounding David Tennant on The Chatterly Affair reclaim the word puritanical as representing an awareness of and responsibility for their own morality.
So, at the very least, Huhne is not being puritanical. It is like Christopher Timothy and Carol Drinkwater all over again.