In the week which has seen the the Prime Minister endorsing the call by the Archbishop of Canterbury for a wider adherence to Christian values and teachings, the Government has chosen to publish its document announcing further restrictions on legal aid for the less than wealthy, entitled Striking the Balance. To judge from its contents, it could more properly be called Creating Imbalance: Injustice for the Majority.
The essence of Striking the Balance is that if you are poor, you must put up with injustice, but if you are wealthy, it is yours for the asking. The intention is to drive most people back to the pre-war days when it was said by a High Court judge that the courts were open to all like the Ritz Hotel.
If the results of a refusal of justice, the butchering of the National Health Service (which those in the NHS fear will be the outcome of present policies) and the failure to educate children – at home and at school – compounded by continuing mass unemployment, is to lead to civil disorder then the police, no doubt, will be expected to suppress it by force.
If this happened in a communist country or under other oppressive regimes the Government would condemn it. Yet in this country they plot and plan for exactly the situation which could lead to a complete breakdown of society.
The British Legal Association, which is strictly non-party political and caters for lawyers whose clients are most affected by the proposals contained in this specious document, which dishonestly pretends to cure the minor disadvantages of legal aid while withdrawing justice from the many, deplores the Government's humbugging attitude and demands a reversal of policy.
Chair of the BLA.