Over the coming weeks officers from the CBA will sit down with the new Lord Chancellor and will attempt to persuade him to halt a series of damaging changes to the Criminal Justice System. A process of negotiation.
And that is why members of the CBA need to vote “Yes” to further direct action.
It is only right that the CBA should seek to persuade the Lord Chancellor (and the LCCSA and CLSA as well, should they get the opportunity) that the system cannot withstand further cuts and that the Two-Tier system should not be introduced.
Is it ridiculously optimistic to hope that such negotiations would succeed? Just remember that 18 months ago we faced Price Competitive Tendering, tapering to daily rate and cuts to the graduated fee scheme. All of them have been seen off in one way or another. We can achieve positive outcomes.
However there is still much that has to be defeated. And it can be defeated. A new Lord Chancellor may provide fertile ground upon which to sow our compelling arguments.
And the threat of direct action is rain, fertiliser and sunshine.
If the Bar vote “No” then we are Bob Crowe without the ability to bring the Tube system to a halt. We are the SNP without 56 seats out of 59. We do not demand attention.
If the Bar vote “No” then we undermine the good work the CLSA and LCCSA have done by raising thousands of pounds to find the Judicial Review and by spending hundreds of hours highlighting the iniquity of the process and the changes.
If the Bar vote “No” then we ignore the progress made by organisations such as the Justice Alliance in making the public take note of the value of those undertaking public funded work.
By voting “Yes” it does not mean we will be donning donkey jackets and forming picket lines tomorrow. But by voting “No” it will mean our negotiators enter the fray with no threat. And who would take them seriously in that situation?
This is a new situation. These are new threats. The CBA Executive would not have put this question to the Bar at this time unless they appreciated the tactical necessity of it. And there is no advantage in a “No”.
Please vote. So few people voted in relation to the Deal. Now is the time give muscle to our voice by voting here.