Vicky Pryce on prison, pushing on and the healing power of football

June 25, 2020. Series 1. Episode 4

Vicky Pryce is a whirlwind of positivity, productivity and energy – economist, academic, author and mother of five. But in 2013 her high-powered life took an unexpected and damaging twist when she was found guilty of accepting her ex-husband’s driving licence penalty points and was jailed for Perverting the Course of Justice. Vicky gives us a startlingly human account of her high-profile crisis. She talks of the lessons learned in prison and details the strategy she undertook to steer her life towards a successful recovery.

Vicky’s Crisis Cures:

1. Football: “I support Chelsea, I’m a season ticket holder, I go with my kids and that’s a great release from tension – although of course you substitute one type of tension with another.”

2. Books: Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene. “It’s a book about greed and it shows that the richer you are the greedier you are and the more risks you’ll be prepared to take to make more money. It’s an incredible book that I’ve read and re-read.”

3. The sea: “When I want to relax, I think of swimming and looking at the horizon on a beach in Greece.”

Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/realVickyPryce

Pro Bono Economics: https://www.probonoeconomics.com

Women in Prison: https://www.womeninprison.org.uk

Working Chance: https://workingchance.org

Women vs Capitalism – Why We Can’t Have It All in a Free Market Economy: https://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/women-vs-capitalism

Episode Notes:

Economists pride themselves as planners and forecasters. But Vicky Pryce is a woman who found herself in the midst of an extraordinary life experience that no-one could have predicted. Or as she puts it: “What I learnt about life is that things can just happen, just like that and you can’t control it”. How does someone whose successful career has been anchored in logic and data, cope when a chain of events lead to a prison cell in Holloway?

Vicky leant heavily on her analytical skills – deciding to research and write her book whilst in prison. As she says: “I just decided in my mind to consider this as going off for a while to do a particular job… The way I survived was by almost becoming an observer, I found it fascinating, something I could learn from, you’ve got to avoid thinking of yourself as a victim right in the middle of it all.”

But the fierce independence that led Vicky to leave Greece at 17 and pursue a career in London also played a key part in her recovery. For me, the most revealing moment of our conversation came when I asked Vicky if she still saw herself as that 12-year-old, riding a motorbike through the streets of Athens. “Yes,” she replied instantly, “You don’t change and I’m very much the same person .. I know more and through the process one has made loads of mistakes .. but one remains like that.” So, remember who you are, drive forward, don’t look back – the Vicky Pryce method of crisis recovery.

Stream/Buy ‘Allies’ by Some Velvet Morning – https://ampl.ink/qp6bm

Some Velvet Morning Website: www.somevelvetmorning.co.uk