Further to my previous post I see New Zealand solicitor Rob Moodie is up to it again. Now he has officially changed his name to ‘Miss Alice’, ‘Miss’ being his new christian name. I’ve got to say the man has balls (or not, as the case may be).
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall that proper reform of the House of Lords was one of this Labour government’s promises before it was originally elected in 1997. Now, some nine years later, it seems something is actually going to be done. In a ‘leaked’ document, Jack Straw is proposing that the House should be half elected and half appointed. Excuse me? Only half elected? How can we call ourselves a democracy if one of our two chambers of government is not fully elected? Whatever happened to ‘government by the people’?
Another proposal is that there will be quotas for ethnic minorities. This sort of nonsense is all too prevalent these days, and to me smacks of finding a solution without solving the problem. Surely, in government more than anywhere else it is vital that members of both houses are chosen by merit rather than any other criterion? (Whether the electorate can spot merit is another question.) If Jack Straw’s logic is followed then why not quotas for gays, the disabled and other minority groups?
Lastly, and following on from a previous theme here, isn’t it about time we discarded the archaic terms ‘Lords’ and ‘Commons’ that just perpetuate the class system in this country? I propose ‘Nobs’ and ‘Plebs’.
So, the government has said it will put back the introduction of fixed fees for civil and family legal aid work and reconsider fixed fee rates. It just shows what can be achieved when, for once, this profession stands united. However, gratifying though the government’s climb-down is, Falconer made it perfectly clear that there will be no more money made available, so all that has been won is a delay to the inevitable.
The best advice for solicitors I’ve seen came from Law Society Council member Michael Orton-Jones, who said that he gave up smoking and legal aid years ago and has been feeling much better ever since.
Well, I said at the outset that this would be an occasional rant. It’s not that I haven’t got anything to rant about, quite the contrary. It’s just that sometimes doing this job leaves you brain dead. Normal service will … oh what the fuck, this is my blog and I’ll post to it whenever the hell I like.