The Clerk in Court 3 had just called on the case. The defendant’s barrister, Mr X, rose to his feet majestically, hauling his black robes up over his shoulders, ready to make what he doubtless thought was going to be an eloquent and irresistible application on behalf of his client in the dock. The following is a transcript of the events which then took place.
Mr X [to Judge]:”Your Honour, as unfortunate as it may be….”
Judge [interrupting]: “I’m sorry Mr X, but I can’t hear you.”
Mr X: “I’m terribly sorry, Your Honour, I’ll try and speak a little…”
Judge [now leaning back into his high backed leather chair and throwing his pen onto the bench in front of him]: “No, Mr X. I can’t hear you.”
Mr X [now clearing his throat and taking a sip of water]: “Your Honour, is that any…”
Judge [now swivelling his chair sideways and looking towards the windows in the courtroom]: “Mr X, I’m not able to hear you.”
By this time, Mr X was clearly beginning to wonder what the f**k was going on. Who knows what was going through his head at that moment. The judge had apparently not had any problem in hearing anyone else addressing him in the preceding cases that morning. Maybe he was wondering if his voice had somehow been stolen by his client, who had an impressive record for offences of dishonesty. Mr X began to look at one or two of the barristers sat alongside him who were waiting for their cases to be called on, as if seeking some inspiration as to what the f**k to do. He looked across at Mr Y, who was prosecuting the case. Mr Y looked back at him, and after a couple of moments lifted his fingers to his bands [those rectangular white tabs worn by barristers, which are tied around collars so highly starched they could double as bondage accessories in Mistress Whiphard’s ‘Dungeon of Delight’] and played with them, like a demented Oliver Hardy. Another fine f**king mess. Mr X looked puzzled, turned to the judge who looked over to Mr Y, who was still playing with his bands. After several more moments the barrister next to him tugged on his robe and said “You’ve not got your bands on.” Mr X looked down, several of his chins instantly combining to give him the appearance of a toad on legs with its vocal pouch fully inflated. From the look on his face, anyone would have thought he had just realised he had forgotten to put his trousers on and his less than impressive wanger was now poking out of a pair of soiled Y-fronts. No bands, no audience. Cue a hurried exit to get to the ‘Robing Room’ and rectify his heinous mistake.
This isn’t a scene from a farce currently being staged at The Todmorden Little Theatre, but real-life theatre played out at a Crown Court in the north of England a while ago. Who needs to pay over-inflated prices to see a pantomime, when you can slip into your local Combined Court Centre five days a week and watch this sh*t for free! You could take a picnic and make a day of it.
There are around 15,500 practising barristers in England and Wales, according to the governing body, the Bar Council (although it would be more appropriate to rename it the Bra Council, bearing in mind it is a profession heaving with tits). I wager that most people in the country consider all barristers to be overpaid, greedy, money-obsessed, privileged narcissists who could give less than a sh*t about anyone who isn’t them. This, of course, is untrue. In responding to a recent survey, at least one of them said that there was no way on earth he would sell ever his grandmother; at least, not for less than £75 and two free 45 minute sessions with Mistress Whiphard.
Barristers have recently tried to convince the known universe (contrary to all reason and historical evidence) that they really do value justice, and are prepared to take ‘industrial action’ to ensure that liberty, freedom and access to justice are secured. Anyone else picturing a bunch of largely middle-class tw*ts standing around a brazier, wearing donkey jackets and holding placards which read ‘Honk if you support the barristers!’? I don’t know, but I think every hardened f**king sceptic needs to suspend disbelief every now and then and at least accept the possibility that people can change their ways, and begin the process of bonding with the remainder of humanity. Maybe barristers have truly begun to understand that access to justice for all is a crucial part of any caring society.
Normal service was, however, resumed today with the news that the Criminal Bar Association have agreed with the ‘Secretary of State for Injustice’, Chris Grayling, to call off their proposed walkout in relation to legal aid cuts. What a f**king shock. It seems that a deal has been struck that makes sure that the earnings of baby barristers are padded sufficiently to allow them to get to that stage of their careers when they really can begin to milk the cash cow for all it’s worth. It looks, folks, like justice can go f**k itself, as long as people wearing wigs are happy they are getting paid enough. During a press conference given this morning a spokesperson for the Criminal Bra Association quoted that famous esteemed jurist, Groucho Marx, in explaining the decision her members had arrived at, and reflected the views of each and every one of them: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…………..well, I have others.”