Finally the Lord Chancellor has agreed to meet with the chairman of the CBA…..
MTQC …enters room… Thank you for finally meeting me Lord Chancellor…err Lord Chancellor?!? …MTQC goes back door to the door… Felicity, it is Felicity isn’t it?
Felicity Yes, Mr Turner …Felicity enters room and then stops abruptly… Oh!
MTQC I thought the Lord Chancellor was waiting in here for me.
F So did I! …Felicity walks around the desk and looks quizzically at the empty chair behind the desk… He was just here, I came in and told him you were here and he muttered something about “and she now makes it 10,001” before telling me to bring you in….
Lord McNally …suddenly enters room, looking a little flustered… Michael, Michael great to see you. How can I help?
MTQC Lord McNally, I am sorry, I thought I was seeing the Lord Chancellor.
LM …looks around the room as he walks to the desk… Nope, nope, always me, never ducked a debate before and not starting now.
MTQC I appreciate that but this IS the Lord Chancellor’s office?
LM Yes it is. …sits down at the desk…
MTQC And Felicity is the Lord Chancellor’s secretary?
LM Errr…yes…non-executive secretary. …glances beneath desk… But your meeting is with me….err…decorating my office at the moment…so he and I are kind of hot desking …looks over shoulder… and my secretary is on holiday so Felicity is doing a bit for me. So let’s get down to brass tacks. No need to pussyfoot around when dealing with a wage negotiation.
MTQC But we don’t view this as a wage negotiation. We view this as a fight to save justice.
LM There you go, getting all hysterical. Why don’t you just admit that it is fat cat lawyer self interest and we can have a sensible negotiation over your fees.
MTQC This is not just about fees. This is dismantling the system and moving us rapidly to a public defender system. A system that will just increase costs throughout the system over time.
LM Well I am sure that during the consultation the Ministry will consider such matters …Lord McNally’s phone pings and he glances at a text… although the Lord Chancellor would no doubt want me to tell you that he is not going to buckle.
MTQC The system you are proposing will limit entry to the profession, limiting it to only the independently wealthy. Diversity will take a huge step backwards.
LM Well that is a legitimate concern …Lord McNally’s phone pings again, he reads the text… although the Lord Chancellor would, if he was here, remind you that it is not his problem how you structure your profession.
MTQC It will be everyone’s concern when we don’t have diverse judiciary in the future.
LM The focus must be by the profession to guarantee diversity. Our only concern has to be cost. It’s not as if the Lord Chancellor has any duty to protect the system or to guard against adverse impact to certain sectors of society.
MTQC I am afraid that is exactly what will lead to Judicial Review of these proposals.
…a disembodied voice… Bollocks.
…Lord McNally and MTQC look at each other for a moment…
LM That will be Felicity. Always gets a bit agricultural in her language when the typing goes wrong.
MTQC Sounded like a man’s voice….
LM Definitely Felicity. A martyr to hay fever. Always makes her sound a bit more…masculine.
MTQC There are also questions about the impact on quality. One of your officials at the consultation roadshow said “if quality falls, so be it”.
…a disembodied voice… Bastard.
LM Felicity. Man trouble.
MTQC It sounded like it came from behind you.
LM Nonsense. Who would be behind me? The point you have made about quality and choice is a valid one….
…a disembodied voice… Shut up man!
MTQC Is there someone in the cupboard?
LM Of course not. …Lord McNally gets up and walks towards the stationary cupboard…
MTQC The Lord Chancellor isn’t hiding from me in the cupboard is he?
LM Don’t be silly Lord McNally turns the small key in the cupboard door… No, if the Lord Chancellor was here speaks very loudly and taps door with his foot HE WOULD SIT VERY QUIETLY AND LISTEN TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY.
MTQC The problem is whether he really is listening.
LM I can assure you looks for a moment at the cupboard door that he is listening to every word you say…..
Force the Lord Chancellor out in to the open to debate the issues. Sign the e-petition.