Monday, 17 June 2013

Tory Trifecta on Legal Aid

The government's legal aid 'reforms' - i.e. effective destruction of the system as a public service - represent a triumph of rightist thought. The Tories have seldom been so blatant in their contempt for this 'society' nonsense. Even Thatcher wouldn't have tried this.

Firstly, they'll channel legal aid cash away from small, local law firms to huge corporations, a standard righty thing to do. They talk about personal freedom and the plucky little shopkeeper, inventor etc., but in fact these guys are all about the money, and we know where the biggest of the big money is. Multinational corporations are the future, and the Tories are their willing bumsuckers allies.

Secondly, they'll clobber the poor, and much of the middle class. Clobbering the poor goes without saying - they're Tories, it's what they do. The point is that the papers won't tell white, professional Middle Englanders that the Tories are clobbering them too till after it happens. When the unholy row finally breaks out it will all be declared a fait accompli that can only be tinkered with, not reversed. Bear in mind that anyone with a disposable income of more than £37,500 a year will be ineligible for any legal aid subsidy, at all. That's not a huge income.

Thirdly, it will further discredit the legal system, because providing shitty bargain-basement representation means a lot more people will be found guilty. Indeed, since a 'one fee fits all' approach is being introduced, it's in the interests of the big McLawfirms to urge clients to plead guilty, get it over quickly, and move on to the next human cashpoint British citizen accused of a criminal offence. Some verdicts will be so blatant an affront to reason and morality that there'll be appeals, leading to acquittals, though many will inevitably take years to get justice and some innocents will die in jail. A system that often jails the innocent cannot be held in high esteem. It's far worse than letting the guilty go free.

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