i Editor's Letter: In the Huhne-Pryce saga, as with many recent falls from grace, it is not the original offence that proves fatal, but the lying


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The Independent Online


First up, some housekeeping: “Never mess with the crosswords, weather or horoscopes.” All newspaper people know that. Although we don't have a horoscope – speaking as a Scorpio, I don't believe in them – we do now have a codeword, which we introduced due to “popular demand”. It brought in ex-Times readers, in particular. We changed its font and size via a new supplier recently. Cue very angry emails. Happily, normal service is resumed today. We do listen. Honest.

For me, one joy of i since launch has been the mailbox, and discovering what really gets you agitated (other than puzzles). Certain columnists bring in a greater volume, than others: yours truly, obviously, because I appear every day and I'm the editor, so you should feel able to have a good moan at me. Elsewhere, Owen Jones, Amol Rajan, James Lawton, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Matthew Norman, Dominic Lawson and Deborah Ross generate the most feedback – not all of it positive, of course. But it's news stories, not i's journalists that usually get you going.

This weekend, we received a torrent of emails about the sorry Huhne-Pryce saga, many of them disagreeing with Christina Patterson's defence of the latter. I have to concur. Many of us might have heard of a n other couple who have swapped “love points”. It is not the most heinous offence – though still a crime. But, as with many recent falls from grace, it is not the original offence that proves fatal, it is this strange law of contemporary public life: when in a hole, keep digging; cover up, dissemble, lie.

I don't really care about the unappealing Huhne and Pryce as individuals, but I'm staggered and saddened that they could not put their arrogance, hubris, spite and selfishness aside in order to protect their children from such public humiliation. Pryce as well as Huhne. They will have to live with that for far longer than whatever sentences they receive today.