Archive for June 18th, 2009

Downing Street announced today, as MP expenses were published on a government website, that a telephone help line was available for anxious MPs.  Lawyers are, apparently, standing by.  Britain in 2009!

See Guardian story | BBC:  MP expenses online | Hat Tip to @infobunny for one of her tweets which inspired my caption pic above!

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A trip to Simon Myerson QC’s blog, Pupillage And How To Get It,  threw up this gem from regular commenter Bar Boy “The bloggers don’t get tenancies line has certainly been trucked out at Inner. I do not recall anyone present thinking this was alarming, but that was only because the message was in keeping with the lack of transparency and accountability etc., which students quickly come to understand as being the norm at the bottom of the Bar pyramid. I remember the occasion well. One bencher, three students. Three students falling over themselves to agree with bencher that bloggers were the wrong sort for the Bar. Bencher walks off, and the three students then start discussing what they had blogged about recently.”

Laughable really. What has the profession got lurking away that they don’t want to see parodied or disclosed in a more serious way?  Probably nothing, so why the fear of bloggers?  It is highly unlikely that any barrister would do anything to prejudice a case, reveal details about his or her clients or be abusive to individuals.

Is the profession frightened of the wider public knowing about the difficulties the Bar is facing? I can’t imagine they are for one minute – just read Bar Chairman Desmond Browne QC’s annual report, available here, and you will get a pretty clear view about what ther Bar is facing currently.

Anyway… as Simon Myerson says… ” In a profession dedicated to representing anyone and everyone, denying a blogger anonymity to comment on the legal world as viewed from the bottom of the pyramid seems to me to be a retrograde step. I am not in a position to make a legal difference, but this blog will continue to respect the anonymity of those of you I know, and to allow anonymous comments. People may factor in anonymity when they assess the value to be given to a contribution, but sometimes it is helpful to hear every view – even the scurrilous, the aggravating and the just plain bonkers.”

I wonder who Simon Myerson QC  has in mind when he talks about the scurrilous and just plain bonker?   Can’t be me… I don’t practise law… I’m just an academic and a git who blogs.

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