Home » Uncategorized » Have your campaigning cake and eat it – a clerk Votes No

Have your campaigning cake and eat it – a clerk Votes No

Have your campaigning cake and eat it – or Beat the LC by Pocketing the Deal and Fighting on.

The argument that follows is probably riddled with imperfections, but it raises a point I’ve not yet read. I am but a clerk – to my sole practitioner wife. Compared to many CBA members, she is very lucky – whilst there is nothing glamorous about her practice, so long as there is any criminal instruction to be had, we will be able to battle on. We will probably need to move to a smaller house, and I may end up doing shifts stacking shelves somewhere, but we are determined to stick things out. I have no idea how she will vote.

Many analogies have come to mind over the last week, but the most recent one is that of Arthur Scargill and Bob Crowe. Scargill lost, Crowe as far as I know never did. Scargill would have loved “Yes”, I suggest that Crowe might well have voted “No”.

So how can voting ‘No” be other than a betrayal of solicitors and the VHCC trailblazers? The answer lies in the fact that by voting “No”, CBA members can outflank Grayling – outflank him on behalf of all. You can support your Instructing Solicitors in their fight and avoid binding the hands of your Executive in the following manner:

Vote No.

Support your Solicitors’ #noreporders campaigns both by declining to take new instructions in cases with representation orders made after whatever date fits the local circumstance, and by encouraging the wavering to join in.

The campaign is run by the Junior “Chimps” at a local level. The HoC and CL “Silverbacks” can remain well clear. As SE Circuit has tweeted: “Whatever the vote result, neither the SEC or CBA can make (or stop) any barrister do anything”.

The CBA leadership will have delivered on the ‘deal’, so the MoJ will have to allow the CBA access and commence proper negotiations. If it does not, the MoJ will be showing public bad faith and giving the CBA the upper hand. As soon as they do so, as SFQC made clear in her most recent letter to the SE Circuit, it’s back to direct action by and in the name of the CBA.

By voting “Yes”, CBA members will enable Grayling to declare in Cabinet and anywhere else he wishes that the CBA is beyond reason. It is of course untrue, but you are dealing with an LC who says “he has no intention to expand further the Public Defenders’ Service beyond recent recruits”. That’s the part of the LAA with a 2014-15 strategic objective to “Grow advocacy capability in the PDS”.

Have your campaigning cake and eat it. We could all do with a laugh at Chris Grayling’s expense.


One thought on “Have your campaigning cake and eat it – a clerk Votes No

  1. The CBA did not force anyone to decline a returned case either.

    The problem is that the “chimps” [which incidentally are a more co-operative and intelligent species than Gorillas] cannot organise such action without breaching the deal. Refusing new work on the current rates because they disapprove of the conduct of a solicitor is potentially more disruptive than No Returns.

    It is an express part of the deal that “in return for the Government’s proposed approach…normal working practices and relationships through the Criminal Justice System should be restored, with no further days of action” This clearly means that days of action are not the only departure from normal working practices that the Government have in mind. See: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/transforming-legal-aid-next-steps/user_uploads/advocacy-note.pdf

    I doubt that CG will regard refusing work at the current rates as a normal working practice. It is not a normal working practice to refuse work because you disapprove of a solicitor’s decision not to support direct action.

    If the majority vote no I cannot see how we can support the solictors’ proposed action without being in breach of the deal.

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