23 May 2011

Thinking Paper # 8: Prison reform - The Chris Huhne factor

By Ron Ford-Golightly


Chris “Murray” Huhne, our beloved Energy Secretary, may or may not drive cars, he may or may not have been driving a car too fast and he may or may not have been behind the wheel of the speeding car in question. We do know however, that Chris Huhne’s memory seems to be returning to him.

We also know that England imprisons more people than any other country in Western Europe and marginally less per 100,000 of the population than China (and they really enjoy punishing their people). Finally, we know that there is room for more people in our prisons. The prison population in this country currently stands at 85,000 with a maximum capacity of around 100,000. In the opinion of the IIPBA this leaves plenty of room for Chris Huhne and all of his relevant hair products.

The Context

Chris Huhne has a lovely head of hair. He has a bisexual partner and a very disgruntled ex-wife. His middle name is Murray.

His ex-wife said that in 2003 he “pressurised” someone into taking his driving licence penalty points. Essex Police said that they were “investigating” but that they couldn’t wait to charge the “floppy haired prick”.

Investigators here at the IIPBA looked into these matters as a priority issue. After a lengthy internet trawl of Chris Huhne’s Wikipedia page, they found that there was no reference to Murray’s like of cars, let alone whether he can drive them fast enough to be considered speeding. In fact, according to Wikipedia, his personal interests include “Electoral reform, European single currency, economics, third world debt and development.” Our investigators found this humorous.

David Cameron recently said that he had “confidence” in Chris Huhne. Followers of the Prime Minister’s rhetoric know that this translates to: “he can stay for now but once he begins to damage my reputation I will drop him quicker than a Conservative election manifesto commitment”.

Prisoners and wardens: How would they respond?

Our social researchers showed 400 fairly aggressive and sexually promiscuous prisoners in England a picture of Chris Huhne to gauge reactions to his face. 87% of those surveyed said that he would make a “wonderful wife” and the remaining 13% said that he had lovely hair.

Furthermore, we interviewed 69 prison wardens who face job cuts and below inflation pay rises under the government’s programme of cuts (too far, too fast!). Those interviewed responded “extremely positively” to news that a multi-millionaire politician who works for the Coalition government could face time in their prison. One warden from Somerset told our researchers that “with new fish, they like to leave the meting out of punishment to the bulls”. He went on to explain that bulls are a specific type of prisoner who specialise in “a rather unpleasant form of love making”.


In a trial conducted in the Royal Court of the Daily Mail comments page, the British public unanimously found him guilty. Furthermore, they think that climate change isn’t real and therefore none of this will matter. In fact, more people are angrier about Chris Huhne's work to prevent climate change than they are about his speeding. Our researchers found this humorous.

Policy Recommendations

1. Prisons should be reformed as a matter of urgency to ensure that Chris Huhne gets to maintain his high quality hair cut whilst incarcerated.

2. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) should be disbanded following his incarceration and each member of staff should be able to roam free in St James’s Park alongside the ducks and the homeless.

3. Chris Huhne’s ex-wife should be given an award at a ceremony attended by Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and Kofi Annan. Other invitees should include the Spice Girls, Simon Hoggart and Ryan Giggs.

4. All of the above should be implemented without any unnecessary bureaucracy in line with the IIPBA’s manifesto commitments.

^Picture from DECCgovuk under Creative Commons^

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