The Curmudgeon


Friday, November 01, 2013

Not All Crime Should Pay

Chris Graybeing, the Minister for Justice and Heterosexual Hostelry, who apparently wants to privatise the probation service just to see what will happen, has taken the trouble to launch a consultation about his planned attack on legal aid. Given the meaning of "consultation" in this context, namely a taxpayer-funded method of ignoring professional advice, it will surprise nobody that the objections of mere lawyers have been blithely brushed aside. The London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association has warned that the Government's undermining ("reform", in Modern English) of legal aid will result in financial incentives for lawyers to induce their clients to plead guilty; pleas of not guilty could result in lawyers losing up to three-quarters of their fees in legal aid cases. "The only conclusion to draw from these figures is the sad truth that the new fee structure is ideological," blasphemed one solicitor, who has clearly failed to internalise the happy truth that the poor are always culpable. Fortunately, the Ministry of Justice has dismissed the whole problem with the wave of a spokesbeing: the Ministry does not believe that a professional lawyer would refuse to put in a client's not-guilty plea just because the lawyer couldn't afford it. However odd this may sound from a government obsessed with the financial bottom line, it is the word of Chris Graybeing, the Minister for Justice and Heterosexual Hostelry; so I suppose that settles that.


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