Chris Huhne will today be sentenced for perverting the course of justice, as will his then-wife Vicky Pryce, after she agreed to accept his speeding points a decade ago.
He is part of a Liberal tradition of both being arrested for speeding and helping to abolish ID cards. The instigator of this is someone who (I think) was quoted yesterday at the Liberal Democrat spring conference in dramatic circumstances.
In December 1950, Clarence Willcock, twice an unsuccessful Liberal candidate for Parliament, was stopped for speeding in Finchley. The police constable asked to see his ID card: the wartime identity card scheme had been retained and expanded by the post-war Labour government. Mr Willcock replied: “I am a Liberal, and I am against this sort of thing.”
Yesterday, Jo Shaw resigned from the Liberal Democrats over the party’s support for secret courts, saying: “I am a liberal and I am a democrat and we are against this sort of thing.” It would be surprising if she wasn’t remembering him.
Mr Willcock took his case through the legal system, eventually reaching the High Court – as you can read in Card declined, my new book on the history of identity cards in Britain: Continue reading “Chris Huhne meet Clarence Willcock: speeding Liberals against ID cards”