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Legal Aid And Chris Grayling

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An good article from Jerry Hayes about the continuing cuts to legal aid, and the lies emanating from Grayling (who Hayes considers to be a sociopath).

IS CHRIS GRAYLING A SOCIOPATH?

I was having a drink with an eminent psychiatrist. I asked him what the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath was. He explained that the latter had boundaries and tended to be achievers with qualifications and status. He gave an example of some consultant surgeons. Then he started talking about politicians. He told me of one particular subject he had been studying with interest. ‘Pure text book. What gives it away is the fluency of repetitive lying’.

I asked who it was.

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An good article from Jerry Hayes about the continuing cuts to legal aid, and the lies emanating from Grayling (who Hayes considers to be a sociopath).

IS CHRIS GRAYLING A SOCIOPATH?

"How on earth are we expected to live?" asks the squealing trougher.

The average income for a barrister from legal-aid is £72,000, and that figure includes many working part-time. Some are making more than £500,000 a year. No one on the public payroll needs to be making £500,000, however many names they call people who point this out.

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"How on earth are we expected to live?" asks the squealing trougher.

The average income for a barrister from legal-aid is £72,000, and that figure includes many working part-time. Some are making more than £500,000 a year. No one on the public payroll needs to be making £500,000, however many names they call people who point this out.

Yup Universal Credit for lawyers is starting to bite.

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"How on earth are we expected to live?" asks the squealing trougher.

The average income for a barrister from legal-aid is £72,000, and that figure includes many working part-time. Some are making more than £500,000 a year. No one on the public payroll needs to be making £500,000, however many names they call people who point this out.

You are Chris Grayling and I claim my £10.

Did you read the article?

Let me deal with the lies.

Grayling has consistently told both the press and more seriously, the Commons that the criminal legal aid budget is out of control. Yet he knows that it has been radically reduced since 2008. From £1.2bn to just over £800 million today.

Grayling has told the press and the Commons that barristers are fat cats slurping the taxpayers cream. Yet he knows that our fees have been reduced by over 40% before the new tranche of cuts. My income has been cut by half.

Grayling has told the press and the Commons that the VHCC fees are too high and have to be cut by 30%. Yet he knows the amount spent on the most complicated and costly cases has been falling over the last few years.

Grayling has told the press and the Commons that we have the most expensive criminal legal aid system in Europe. Yet he knows that we are ranked at number ten out of fourteen.

If they are overpaid, fine, let it be discussed, but lies, lies and more lies from Grayling is a more damning problem.

At least the legal profession requires genuine and hard-earned qualifications. Politicians, AFAICT, just need a small dick and a big head.

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You are Chris Grayling and I claim my £10.

Did you read the article?

If they are overpaid, fine, let it be discussed, but lies, lies and more lies from Grayling is a more damning problem.

At least the legal profession requires genuine and hard-earned qualifications. Politicians, AFAICT, just need a small dick and a big head.

I might have slightly more sympathy for his argument if he didn't frame the whole thing as a petty, personal attack. It just comes across as whinging from the over-entitled. Also, it's not like the author isn't a politician too.

Honestly, I stopped reading the article after the "how are we expected to live" line, which the author rolls out to complain that the government sometimes waits 12 weeks (12 WEEKS!!!) to pay him after he submits an invoice. Try being a contractor in the private sector when a corporate client waits 6 months to pay you. At a barrister's level of income, they should be able to practice a bit of cash management and deal with an occasional 12 week delay in payment.

Edited by richc

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I might have slightly more sympathy for his argument if he didn't frame the whole thing as a petty, personal attack.

I'm not quite sure how calling out a politician on his lies when that politician is directly involved counts as petty. I'll give you a pass for personal, although that doesn't make it false.

That aside, I'm not particularly concerned about barristers and lawyers salaries, but I am concerned about the attrition of the whole ethos of legal aid. Whether Grayling is a sociopath or not is a side-issue, but he's certainly been quite clever to divert concerns about removing legal aid for the poor to a "fat-cat lawyers" side-show.

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You are Chris Grayling and I claim my £10.

Did you read the article?

If they are overpaid, fine, let it be discussed, but lies, lies and more lies from Grayling is a more damning problem.

At least the legal profession requires genuine and hard-earned qualifications. Politicians, AFAICT, just need a small dick and a big head.

Professional Liar throws his toys out of the pram? These are the scumbags who make BTL benefits slumlords look like chickenfeed.

Of course there's a sense of Entitlement. It's hereditary. Like the remains of the old aristocracy, it's a profession with barriers to entry that (at least until the coming of student loans) absolutely excluded any ordinary grammar school kid. In my comprehensive it was explained: anyone who fancied the legal profession could qualify as a solicitor by the normal route (a degree followed by an apprenticeship) but the barrister's route was unfunded, and thus only accessible to the independently wealthy. Nor were there half so many of those independently wealthy when he was studying!

Politicians certainly require a thick skin and an ego, but at least they get where they are through hard work in a field that's open to anyone with the requisite determination and personal qualities.

FWIW, I could be neither a politician nor a lawyer of any kind. I couldn't live with the guilt of what I'd have to do to get anywhere in those occupations.

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Article from 2010: Taking On the Rich and Powerful. The fact the government hasn't (yet) wholly caved in to these bullies is one of the few remaining Good Things we can credit them with:

It’s too early to tell whether they’ll have any success where previous governments have failed. But the current government’s announcements have once again impressed me. They’re taking on some of our richest and most powerful lobbies. More specifically, those who enrich themselves at great cost to the taxpayer and society. What’s more, they’re tackling sacred cows: money gifted to the parasitic rich in the name of good causes – “the poor”, and “access to justice”.

First came landlords, with the announcement that housing benefit will no longer rise without limit. This is a huge benefit to society at large. Most obviously the genuinely poor who are stuck with having to pay artificially inflated rents and who cannot reasonably compete with housing benefit in the market. But also first-time housebuyers who will in future face a little less competition from property pimps propped up by the public purse.

As against that, benefits reform looks far too limited. The principle that work should pay is good, so why will the lowest-paid still lose (apparently) 65% of their earnings through loss of benefit? Admittedly it’s a big improvement on what happened to me in 2003 when my effective tax rate compared to benefits was close to 300%[1], but it’s still hardly a great incentive to work.

This week they’ve impressed again, taking on an even more sacred cow, the bloated legal profession and the spiraling burden of legal aid. This is a more ‘respectable’ and long-established class than landlords (the old aristocracy being now secondary to a nouveau-riche spiv class in the open market), and if the government can tackle their taxpayer-trough I’ll be all the more impressed. Though having said that, if they really valued justice over ritual they’d disband the entire court system as we know it, and dispense entirely with the grossly overpaid adversarial advocates in its replacement.

At the same time, some of the government’s plans are alarming. I find the rising cost of higher education deeply disturbing. Not just because of the conflicting signals being sent to our young people and the terrible burden of debt for some, but also because the complexity of the new terms surrounding student finance look nightmareish (up with the worst of ex-chancellor Brown’s creations), full of perverse incentives, and designed to put social engineering ahead of academic excellence. Ugh.

[1] That’s due to cascading benefits. Earn £60/week, and lose not only income support (about £54/week), but also a host of other benefits given to those on income support – most notably ~£100/week in housing and council tax benefit.

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