Today's Sunday Post column in full
Vicky Pryce and Chris Huhne – what are they like? Unless you've been on another planet you'll know all the trials and tribulations of the disgraced, speeding politician and his estranged, "points-accepting" wife. The latest instalment was played out in court last week, when Vicky's jury was dismissed for asking questions so daft they undermined the whole concept of jury trial. On BBC Question Time, right-wing columnist Peter Hitchens suggested it was time to show "ordinary folk" the door and introduce an intelligence test for jurors instead.
Actually, the strongest arguments against that are Vicky and Chris themselves. She got a BSc in Economics and an MSc in Monetary Economics at the London School of Economics before becoming Chief Economist at Williams and Glyn's Bank, KPMG and Exxon and the first woman ever appointed as Chief Economic Adviser to the Government. He was educated at posh Westminster School, the Sorbonne in Paris and got a first at Oxford University before becoming a City entrepreneur, a financial journalist and finally an MP. The former husband and wife have four degrees … and yet not one single ounce of common sense between them. If any couple proves education isn't enough to guarantee good judgement – it's Vicky and Chris. A jury full of such "clever" folk … well it doesn't even bear thinking about. As my mother who left school at 15 might say "they don't have the sense they were born with." Correct.
Now admittedly the jury's questions to the judge were bizarre. What is reasonable doubt? Um -- doubt that is reasonable. Can we come to a decision based on no evidence? Er--- no. But then the legal language itself was clear as mud. What is "marital coercion?" For a Kung Fu movie generation it probably sounds like a martial art – or worse. The jury was "discharged" last week – a term most folk associate with health problems (to put it politely).