Friday 2 May 2014

Opinion: The Very Ugly Fall of Constance Briscoe

An ugly fall
It gives me no pleasure to write about Constance Briscoe today who from her position of influence and personal allegiance has become of casualty of a dispute that has taken too many people to gaol.
Just over 5 years ago, I wrote about her when her mother took her to court for libel, because in a book she published titled Ugly, she wrote of presumed abuse and cruelty she suffered at the hands of her mother.
A vengeful plot
What makes Constance Briscoe’s case one of great personal tragedy was she had become an establishment figure and by that would have been a great role model to have been one of the first black female recorders when she was appointed in 1996.
However, she got entangled in the acrimonious divorce of Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce, the latter who in the quest to make her ex-husband pay for his infidelity, got ensnared, and in the process suffered basically a similar fate as her husband, they both went to jail.
Constance Briscoe as a part-time judge should have known better, but as a friend of Vicky Pryce joined in the scorned fury of a deserted wife attempting to pervert the course of justice, providing false statements and much else to take Chris Huhne down.
Positional hubris
Obviously, Constance Briscoe must have thought her elevated position would isolate her from suspicion of impropriety and abuse, but the story reads like a Greek tragedy and possibly a telling tale of consequence in relation to what retribution might obtain from making a public show of our parents.
She would be going to jail for twice the time the person she helped, that's Vicky Pryce, went to jail for. For all the brilliance and ability of Constance Briscoe until she entered into that vengeful pact with Vicky Pryce, there is probably a character flaw in both women that they exploited to the full, and with it came shame and disgrace.
A salutary lesson
No one ends up the better for pursuing a vendetta, neither is there real satisfaction in seeking revenge. All participants get hurt and when that is looked at in the bigger story of life and some memories we bring to the fore that could possibly falsely accuse our parents of abuses they never committed – what comes around does eventually go around.
Apparently, the libel case brought on by the mother is still in court and because of this conviction, every other area where the integrity and honour of Constance Briscoe mattered, is now put to question, including the claims that she was abused by her mother.
It is a tragedy, a great one at that, and I am so sorry for all that have suffered, just because some people could not walk away from their irreconcilable differences without seeking to ruin others first.
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