Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Ken Clarke QC MP, one of the ‘big beasts’ in the Tory party, has been in politics for a long time – a former Chancellor of The Exchequer – and (until recently?) regarded as one of the more liberal and informed members of the current government.
It was therefore a surprise to watch him express the extraordinary view on a YouTube film briefing a group of backbench peers in the House of Lords (I paraphrase) that an “army of lawyers were advancing behind a line of women and children…not concerned with the income of the profession.. but are only concerned that these vulnerable clients will be adversely affected if they are not paid at the rate they currently are.”
I don’t practise law and, therefore, I am not open to the disingenuous charge of ‘cowardice’ implicit in the ‘advancing behind a line of women and children’ metaphor.
We live in difficult times. Money is tight. We also live in a country proud to assist the vulnerable and poor overseas. The overseas development aid budget is protected. The cynical may see this Tory policy to be part of a strategy to project ‘soft power’ abroad and to ‘facilitate’ enthusiastic commercial involvement with Britain. We live in a country where charity thrives, where provision is made for the vulnerable not by government but by the people. We live in a country where lawyers like the author of the Pink Tape blog – thankfully – are prepared to write in detail about the erosion of access to justice through the pillage of the legal aid budget.
Barrister Lucy Reed, author of Pink Tape, does the biz with this most interesting blog post. I don’t really need to comment further, save to say.. using the old cliche… “I concur”.
Above is a working draft / construct for one of the paintings I shall be doing in December as part of F*ckART Returns.. I shall do some law blogging, of course… but I fancy taking a break from the daily grind and return to the more surreal side of law and life…. there is no shortage of material to comment on.. be sure. I have the first paint down on the canvas for the painting above. Francis Bacon aficionados will, of course, recognise the inspiration and derivation of the ‘style and setting’. I am toying with the idea of calling the painting…. Disingenuous 2011..
The original F*ckArt series may be viewed here... this year it may well be darker? We shall see…. I may find that I get the Christmas spirit…and change my mind, of course!
Best for the coming Advent..