Cheap lie, expensively told.
The original offence committed by Chris Huhne might have been embarrassing and could have impeded his rise to prominence.
But it would not have brought his career to a shaming end.
Now, his lies have surely earned him time in prison. There's also a humiliation of such severity that this obviously proud man quite probably never imagined suffering anything like it. Huhne's lies have also cast a cloud over a Government he helped create and set its parties at odds over the seat he has vacated. How cheap his speeding fine must seem today.