Newspaper review: Papers reflect on Huhne jailing


The jailing of Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce was, the Times says, the climax of some of the most dramatic and tragic legal proceedings of recent years.

For the Independent, it was the payback after months of lies, denials and defiance. The papers make much of the frostiness between the two, as they sat only feet apart in the dock.

The Daily Mirror says that if the temperature on the streets outside the court was Siberian, inside the dock it was bordering on Arctic.

There was one consolation, the Sun points out. They won't have to share the same cell. In the view of the Times, at least one goal of the stiff custodial sentences was that of setting an example.

For the Daily Mirror, the disgrace of Huhne and Pryce will hopefully make others think before playing fast and loose with an offence that can lead to dangerous drivers escaping bans and going on to maim or kill.

Few get caught for passing on their speeding points to other motorists, the Sun says, but they deserve stiff sentences if they do.

'Calm down dears'

A number of political commentators and leader writers reflect on the mood of the Conservatives, reeling from their third place defeat in Eastleigh nearly two weeks ago.

Benedict Brogan in the Daily Telegraph says more and more people believe they are doomed to defeat in 2015, and might, just might, eject the prime minister in a spasm of unintended madness beforehand.

In the Independent, Steve Richards writes that at the ConservativeHome conference at the weekend, he didn't speak to a single person who thought the Tories would win an overall majority.

But the Daily Mail has three words of advice: "calm down, dears". The truth is, it says, there is no realistic chance of a change of tenant at Number Ten before the election.

In its view, no potential candidate for David Cameron's job commands enough respect to replace him and the Tories should stop the plotting and rally behind the only leader they have got.

White smoke

The papers look ahead to the prospect of a new Pope, with what the Independent describes as one of the world's most ancient elections getting under way.

The paper says there is no favourite this time, like there was when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger emerged at the fourth ballot as Pope Benedict in 2005. But the list of favourites has slimmed down to half a dozen or so.

One thing is sure, the Daily Telegraph says: no one knows who will win. It could take a long time for the white smoke to emerge, the Guardian says.

Finally, here is a story that will strike a chord with many commuters. A train driver, probably acting on a complaint, made a special announcement on the intercom about the behaviour of a passenger, half-way through a journey from London to Milton Keynes.

He said: "This is a special message to the lady travelling in first class in the middle of the train. Please refrain from shouting on the phone, as you are annoying other passengers".

According to the Daily Mirror the embarrassed woman promptly ended her call, to the delight of the others on board.

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