Issue 4: Tuesday, 9th April 2013 – Special Souvenir BVT Green Paper Edition
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NOTThe Monday Message*

Motto: All the criminal Bar news that’s fit to print…..and then some!

(*not to be confused with The Monday Message © The Criminal Bar Association, prop: M. Turner QC)

Welcome to issue 4 of NOT the Monday Message, the irreverent, irrelevant, sometimes scurrilous, always witty (Get on with it: Ed.) fanzine of the criminal Bar. And definitely NOT to be associated with the Official Merchandise product of the CBA: The Monday Message, prop: M. Turner QC (issued on, er, Mondays).

Although issue 3 was only published yesterday, the big news today is the publication of the BVT Green Paper. This issue is entirely devoted to that document.

The Author and Editor, looking leaner*, fitter and extremely learned….

Well, would you Adaam and Eve it? No sooner has issue 3 of NTMM hit the newsstands, than the Dark Lord, Gray-Ling publishes his long-awaited Green Paper on Best Value Tendering. And without getting the Daily Mail to publish the ‘top ten legal aid earners’ first! Such is the contempt in which he holds the Bar.

In this SPECIAL issue of NTMM, we take a quick look at the GP, and consider what it means for the crimnal Bar. Of course, a more measured response will follow in due course, but for now, lets just vent our collective spleen at the wretched man’s impudence.

* thanks to ‘Lard-Be-Gone’** the wonder cure for obesity, exclusively marketed by West Fraudulent Medicinal Products Inc. (a company registered in Andorra, home of the finest medical research laboratories laundered money can buy).

** TM, patent pending.
The Green Paper – those facts in full.

This is it. What all this ranting has been about. NTMM urges all of its Readers to follow the link, and read the digest the whole of the Green Paper, here:


However, if you are a busy criminal barrister (really?) and simply don’t have time, or the inclination, to read umpteen pages of ministerial gobbledygook, here is the NTMM executive summary of the GP:

– I only ‘need’ £142m to buy off the Chancellor, but because I’m such an ambitious creep, I want to give him £220m;

– I’m going to shaft the solicitors first by introducing BVT in the MC only (for now);

– I’m going to shaft the ‘fat-cats’ making money out of VHCCs:,

– I’m going to shaft QCs in particular;

– er, have I forgotten anyone? Oh yes, as soon as I’ve got rid of High Street solicitors, I’m going to extend BVT to Crown Court work, and get rid of the independent Bar, in a year or two – just as soon as they’ve signed up to QASA., that is

– Oh yes, before I forget, I’m going to hit particularly hard barristers from Middlesbrough, whose names begin with ‘Ian’ and end with ‘West’.

– Just one more thing – I haven’t finished shafting the civil Bar, either.

signed C. Grayling.

Having read the paper, please feel free to email me with your thoughts. A selection of the most insightful, and least libellous, will be published in Issue 5.

Now read on…..
That Green Paper – ‘We’re All Doomed’*

Whilst ordinary, law-abiding folk were relaxing during Easter week, deep in the bowels of the Death Star, anchored at its moorings in Petty France, the Dark Lord’s evil BVT pixies have been working tirelessly in their pursuit of the saving of a ha’porth of tar (and the promotion to greater things of their Master).

The Dark Lord has obviously seen which way the wind is blowing at the criminal Bar, and has decided to try and buy off a boycott of QASA and the derailment of BVT by barristers by throwing the solicitors’ profession to the wolves first, in the hope that barristers will issue two cheers, thank the stars that they are not going to be eaten (yet) and will dutifully sign up to QASA (a.k.a. their own death warrants) on the promise that BVT will only extend to the Magistrates’ Court – at least initially. In the meantime, barristers will not escape the axe, suffering swingeing cuts to VHCC rates, to GFS rates. In addition, there will be a clampdown on ‘two-counsel’ certificates and choice of solicitor (for the time being?) in multi-handed cases.

Is there any good news? Er, not that I could see, but I have only given the Paper the most cursory once-over. Obviously, I will have digested it properly before next week’s NTMM. In the meantime, I would urge everyone to read it – at least those parts that impinge upon criminal legal aid – and let me, and the CBA, know what you think:


* with acknowledgement to Pte James Frazer, Dads’ Army (c) BBC Enterprises Ltd

The lookey-likey for this issue is a tricky one. See if you can tell which is which…

Lord Darth Vader Lord Chancellor
Master of the Dark Universe

Contributions of all types (other than the libellous type) from readers are always welcome: Letters to the Editor, articles, funnies, links to stuff of interest – all will be considered, and, if selected, plagiarised, and published as original work by the editor (so no copyright stuff, OK?). The usual cash reward – a post October 2011 GFS sentence fee (geddit?) – for all contributions selected for publication.

Pip pip.

Ian ‘Wat Tyler’ West.

PS. Feel free to cascade this missive to any passing criminal barrister. Then get them to send me their email address, so they can ‘buy’ their own copy in future. Points mean prizes! IW

Follow my musings on Twitter: @ianswest. Pure unadulterated vitriol in 140 characters or less!



  1. Well done, if nothing else it made me laugh out loud, and brightened up a dull unemployed afternoon.

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