Do we blame the Fishface at the top? Or is this just another élite cover-up?
An intellectual stickleback engages in introspection
The constitutional braindeath at the heart of the Conservative Party gets more depressing with every month that passes. Labour under Blair and Brown were no better – and I have no doubt at all that the ‘advisers’ in the Ed Miller Band are just as thick – but it is the Tory Party that’s in power, and as right now they’re the ones vandalising the Rule of Law and Equality before the Law, they are obviously the people to fire at. With these clowns in charge, one simply couldn’t miss.
The man at the top of the ironically named Ministry of Justice these days is Christopher Grayling. He is a bloke who recently said,”Britain’s reoffending rates are shameful” and then went on to ignore every successful voluntary sector experiment about it in his proposals to “help Britain’s criminals go straight
to the nearest Cash Dispenser and hack it“. He is a bloke keen on introducing the idea of criminals paying towards the cost of Court cases, when half the buggers don’t even turn up….and he has the experience of the CSA disaster to guide him.
He is also the half-baked river-fish who wants more cautions to be issued to rape suspects if the case doesn’t proceed. You can’t caution a rapist when matters don’t proceed unless he’s admitted the crime. But Chris is keen to wave that little factor aside in order to get potentially innocent accused people onto computer records. The man is an idiot.
Some of you may have seen the Evening Standard report by Paul Cheston two days ago on Chris’s ‘ideas’ for privatising the Courts. The Secretary of State for Justice hilariously observed in the Commons on Monday that “I stand behind the rule of law, but we need to look at the way we deliver services to provide a more efficient service that delivers access to justice quickly and effectively while delivering value for money for the taxpayer.”
Dear oh dear oh dear. Mr Grayling sir, there is no “but” allowed anywhere in the vicinity of the phrase “Rule of Law”. However, as the Minister has the IQ of grayling roe, it is left to former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer to observe, “I am not in favour of privatising the courts. They should not be beholden to any private provider because the courts have to be independent of every interest.” Yes your Lordship – even those of the Republican Party and senior Saudi families. But regardless of Falconer’s patchy track record on this dimension, the bloke is right: as indeed the tens of thousands of well-educated folks up and down this island are right when they shake their heads in disbelief at this triumph of ideology over civilisation. Sadly, those in the Justice Ministry never shake their heads when asked to do something irrefutably stupid, and I can understand why: the sawdust flying out of both ears would be a bit of a giveaway.
Describing the Fishbrained plan, Chairman of the Bar Council Maura McGowan QC called it “extraordinary” – and it wasn’t a compliment: “Courts are so much part of the justice system that they ought, in a proper society, to be administered by government as a public institution,” she confirmed. Quite. We might as well get Hunt to talk Newscorp into taking over our spanking-new Supreme Court.
You may wonder why those opening paragraphs sit under a Slogpost headed The Paedofile; you won’t be wondering for long: stay with me on this one. The Legal Aid Commission was abolished under Ken Clarke before he migrated to being Minister without Purpose last year, and although some legal beagles keep denying it, this effectively means the end of legal aid as fair-minded English folks once knew it. Certainly – and this is the segue into my main point here – it has been entirely abolished in the Family Courts: you can still bring legally aided actions against the Police, Mental Health, and Prison authorities…but not the very shower who need a shorter leash than anyone, followed by a damn good thrashing with that leash.
Now I know perfectly well that ‘mental health’ and ‘prison’ can overlap into the FCs, but what we need to do here is look at what the vulnerable citizen needs from the horribly perverted and secret system of Family Courts justice…not what Draper Osborne thinks can save him a billion quid a year. What form of justice in a decent nation State can be more important than that designed to protect children in pain through an accident of birth? Well, according to the Coalition, pretty much every one. Recently, we got a clear insight into this when the Law Society Gazette wrote about Family Court ‘reforms’ earlier this month. As usual with this government, the only criteria appear to be speed and money. Taking your time to think about justice, it seems, is just so yesterday.
The ‘plans’ for the Family Courts introduced by Minister of State Lord MacNally stress the need to reduce the £52m spent on experts, and speed up the family justice system. His Lordship’s proposals will save less than RBS lost in an average month last year, and yet the sole idea is that fewer wankers giving fantasy-theory evidence to place kids in the ‘care’ of buggers will save time. Except that it won’t even increase the quality – or reduce the charlatan count – because the Ministry’s draft Bill gives no indication whatsoever of how such things are to be better policed.
Instead, what we are going to get is some ‘new standards’. “They are intended to help experts and the courts alike, to ensure that they are delivering the relevant and high-quality opinions based on the best possible evidence which the family courts need to help them make decisions,” waffled Dr Heather Payne, chair of the Family Justice Council’s experts working group. Experts whose evidence is ‘not up to scratch’ will be driven out of the family courts, say the proposals: evidence provided in a family court will, in future, only be given by ‘qualified, experienced and recognised professionals’. Whereas previously, of course, it was given by gulls’ eggs.
Dear God, I know you don’t exist, but please can somebody with some decency and sound ideas give me some strength here? The foregoing bilge is going to do absolutely nothing to change the Secret Family Courts except employ more experts to adjudicate on the experts. Why are they even remotely likely to show any more sanity than the ones beneath them? Will they be any less open to turf-war bribery by social workers than the previous mob? Will there be any investigation of previous cases where Judges, social workers, shrinks and other assorted lowlife delivered at best suspicious and at worst obscenely criminal judgements condemning the children of dysfunctional families to abuse and – in many cases – death at the hands of people wearing nice shoes?
Regulars here know my views about conspiracy theories in general: but I am beginning to wonder whether the Coalition’s actions in dealing with this country’s very real child-trafficking problem are down to (a) stupidity alone (b) cunning people at the top handing the job to useful idiots or (c) a carefully constructed plan by senior police, security services and terrified Ministers to stay engaged in legal deckchair rearrangement…in the hope that our blind-eye-to-telescope tendency as a culture will continue to keep foul sadists safely in the shadows.
Previously – under Ken ‘Fags for the Fuzzy-Wuzzies’ Clarke – the playing field on which frolics privileged money sloped even further in its favour. The Government has delivered nothing here beyond a system designed to speed up the raw flesh available for those who traffick in the desecration of infant sexual innocence. I would shout “shame” at Chris Grayling, but he is such an unmitigated dickhead, I might just as well go down the local fishmonger and scream at an unfilleted trout.
Cue Dan Hannan wittering on about the rudeness of radicals.
Related: Mega-money and missing care system children…why isn’t it a massive national scandal?
See also Needleblog’s highly intelligent piece about Elm House