When a fish is caught and removed from water, its mouth can be seen to open and close which, to the uninitiated, looks as though the fish is breathing through its mouth. Of course, as we keen fishermen know, the fish breathes through its gills. Water is sucked into the mouth and pushed out through the gills and as the water flows out, the gills pick up the oxygen.
But we tend to concentrate on mouths and associate a “gasping” fish as one incapable of breathing.
Here, the analogy with our Learned Justice Secretary would appear to be apposite. His mouth keeps moving but it seems that he is very uncomfortable with life. He gives all the appearance at present at being completely out of his home environment and seems intent on rushing headlong into a variety of controversies that one cannot help but feel will only lead to further trouble for somebody else down the line.
His article “Enough of Justice Pinching the Taxpayer” in the Sunday Times a few weekends ago, is a case in point. In that article, he proclaims, “Access to justice and fair representation are fundamental, non-negotiable.” He continues, “We have a justice system in this country of which we should – in the main – be proud.”
All very laudable, we would agree.
But then the uncomfortable bit. He then went on to complain, “There are a small number of Barristers at the top who receive average Legal Aid payments many times those received by the vast majority of Barristers. That does not feel right.”
And in many respects, a lot of the present mess in which the Ministry of Justice is involved is based on a similar premise: “It doesn’t feel right”.
But since when has a feeling that something is wrong led to laws being changed? Surely he and those at the Ministry of Justice should be interested in the evidence that something is wrong? For example, let us look at barristers at the top of their profession. Are we to live in a world where the very best go unrewarded? It is an interesting philosophical point, but I rather suspect that if you were facing a serious criminal charge, you would want to feel assured that you were being represented by “the very best”.
What is wrong with that?
Furthermore, as a Justice Secretary who discloses that he smacked his children because it “sends a message”, I am not exactly sure about the credentials for this man who is so patently out if his depth that although his mouth is working hard, I am not exactly sure whether it is still connected to his brain.Back to Blog