Fifteen Shades of Grayling

I have been sent this and, as usual, am happy to post this to my blog. As far as Fifty Shades of Grey is concerned I am not, surprise, surprise, much of an aficionado. However they have been times when I have felt like I have become a little obsessed with Grayling. Which is odd because, before he became Lord Chancellor, he had never hoved into my political viewpoint. But ever since he was foist upon the lawyers it has been like the worst of blind dates. As we near the solicitors’ moment of truth on Wednesday, anyone who has a heart would want to see Chris Grayling come a cropper. If the Court of Appeal does not do it then we have to hope the electorate do.

This piece is posted anonymously. Clearly the author does not wish you to know, given what it’s all about, that they are fans of this genre…..

Christian Grey and Chris Grayling have more in common than just the similarities of their name. Both are controlling risk takers with little regard for consequences. Fifty Shades of Grey is a twisted love story that leaves viewers slightly uncomfortable at the relationship between Christian and Anastasia. In much the same way the relationship that exists between The Lord Chancellor and criminal legal aid lawyers is one that has been uncomfortable to observe for the last two years.

Fifty Shades tells the story of Christian Grey a powerful and domineering business man who takes advantage of others. In the same way Chris Grayling, a man who should feel passionate about protecting the rule of law has a controlling and tortuous attitude towards legal aid lawyers.

Like Grey, Grayling is a man who finds it difficult to engage. Grayling will say he has “listened to lawyers”. What he doesn’t understand is that sitting in a room on the pretence of listening is not engaging. Grayling has no real relationship with criminal legal aid lawyers. He struggles to deal with them because he can’t control them.

Grayling is a man intent on inflicting unnecessary suffering, just like Grey. Grayling has had his savings and more. He’s been told his plans won’t work. He’s been told why they won’t work. Will he listen? No. Will he change his mind? No. He must now understand the suffering that will follow two tier, he’s been told often enough. He must understand that there are alternatives, he’s been told often enough.

Christian Grey is a man who thrives on taking risks without having regard to the consequences. Chris Grayling? You guessed it, he’s much the same. The two tier proposals can’t be tested and there is every indication that they will cause a collapse to the market but Grayling isn’t interested. He wants to make his mark, he wants his own way. He’s been given every opportunity to do things differently and to minimise the risk. He won’t. Once firms collapse they have gone for good. The desperate ones who bid might succeed in limping on for a year through two tier, they might have enough money in the bank to see them through. Their money won’t last forever. The volume of work isn’t guaranteed but their increase in overheads is. The big cases aren’t guaranteed but the second 8.75% cut is. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that it will be an unsustainable market. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that firms can’t operate with a 1% profit. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that firms can’t operate without a profit.

The twist to the plot of Fifty Shades is the role reversal, the fact that Christian Grey is actually a victim. In much the same way for as long as Grayling continues to bulldoze on with his ill-conceived plans he too will become the victim… Well maybe not him directly because by the time the damage is done Grayling will be long gone in a post elsewhere leaving someone else to pick up the pieces. The real victims of course are the justice system, the victims of crime and those too vulnerable to defend themselves. The real victims are the public.

Unfortunately for legal aid and the justice system Chris Grayling, just like Christian Grey is a savvy business man. Every time there is a story about the legal aid campaign about to hit the press Grayling calls up a favour from his old media contacts. He clicks his fingers and as if by magic stories appear about convicted criminals abusing the legal aid system and wasting thousands of pounds of tax payers money. No one gets to read about how legal aid prevented a victim from having to give evidence or helped get a mentally ill person the treatment that they needed. The public have been blindsided into thinking that they shouldn’t care, into thinking that legal aid doesn’t concern them. They think it’s a waste that should be stopped and all because they trust what Grayling says.

With a general election coming up Chris Grayling is one of the biggest reasons for wanting the Conservatives out of power because a bit like Christian Grey, he is a dangerous man to fall for.

There is a moral to this story and it’s this; unlike Anastasia legal aid lawyers refuse to be the submissive. Unlike Anastasia legal aid lawyers are not prepared to allow Grayling to be the dominant. Just like Anastasia legal aid lawyers have a “safe word”. Just like Anastasia that safe word is “red” but in our case the safe word means Labour and unlike Anastasia we are prepared to use it.

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