This blog stays carefully clear of politics unless politicians who influence justice start to drift off into crowd-pleasing and damaging demagoguery.
Today the 'Telegraph' (formerly the house journal of the Tory Party) runs this spendid profile of Her Majesty's Secretary of State For Justice, who is, in his spare time, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, a successor to Sir Thomas More (who was a man for all seasons and died for his faith).
He is also my boss, after HM the Queen, so I hope, Your Lordship, that the article amused you too.
Musings and Snippets from a recently retired JP. I served for 31 years, mostly in west London. I was Chairman of my Bench for some years, and a member of the National Bench Chairmen's Forum All cases are based on real ones, but anonymised and composited. All opinions are those of one or more individuals. JPs swear to enforce the law of the land, whether or not they approve of it. Nothing on here constitutes legal advice.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
A Non-Political Bit
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Take a look at this video:ReplyDelete
Chris Grayling being interviewed constantly unclasps his hands, raises them (or one) up and reclasps them - 40 times in a three minute interview. That's a rate of once every 4.5 seconds.
Was that a reference to V for Vendetta or does that office actually exist?ReplyDelete
I don't often find much to argue with in TM'sB but I must take issue with your implied encomium to Thomas More. Don't be overly influenced by Robert Bolt's bizarrely uncritical portrayal in A Man For All Seasons. More was a miserable fanatic's fanatic, arguably a singular disgrace to judicial office and not a good role model for a pluralist society. Dismal plasticky twerp he may be, but at least Chris Grayling doesn't have a home torture chamber so he can spend his evenings and weekends in aggressive doctrinal debate home with those he disagrees with. At least, so far as we know he doesn't. These Tories and their private lives . . .ReplyDelete
A bit of healthy relativism, s'il vous plait. Tudor England, or for that matter, XVI century Europe altogether, is an odd choice of a place to search for -a good role model for a pluralistic society.-Delete
Might as well search their present day versions for a role model of something like More's integrity and sheer unadulterated brains. Seems to me sometimes this is, more than anything else, the era of Disingenuous Moroseness Triumphant, who very characteristically nitpicks their better for not being perfect.
P.S. I don't mean this as a reflection on your own good self, so please do not take it as one. Others have inspired me this musing, you just offered the occasion to express it.
No offence taken certainly. I admit to a particular dislake for More ever since I wriggled free of my catholic schooling. Too narrow, joyless, humourless. self-righteous and disingenuous for my taste - particularly given the vibrancy of the Tudor age. And he was on the wrong side of an important schism between curiosity and intellectual adventure - and unquestioning acceptance of received authority. However - other views are available and holding those other views doesn't make anyone a bad person.Delete
As a long time fan of Richard III,who gave the English, happy people, bail and something like legal aid, I have reservations of my own on More. But precisely in that respect I have lately come across the new, and really fascinating theory, that his account of Richard's reign might have been meant tongue in cheek, as a lampoon of sorts to Henry VII, of whom More was notoriously no admirer. There's a chance the patron saint of worthy politicians (will he ever be forgiven getting in the calendar, d'you think?) had more humour than meets the eye. At least, the eye of a bedevilled catholic school boy, if you'll pardon the freedom.Delete
Was it the wrong side? Still , it was the side of a rift between the unquestionable authority of a faraway old priest and that of Henry VIII. The curiosity and intellectual adventure were quite unintended consequences. More may well have thought he was siding for the lesser enslavement and the greater freedom of conscience.
To be fair, More always denied torturing prisoners, although he did enjoy heretic roasting. Some of the language in his Response to Luther is unworthy of a judicial officer, to put it mildly !ReplyDelete
What a joy to have such highly knowledgeable and cultured comments instead of the usual trolls. I am off to learn more about Sir Thomas, I already know too much about Mr Grayling.ReplyDelete
Perhaps if More had admitted his guilt at the earliest opportunity and shown remorse he would have spent less time in purgatory.ReplyDelete
He's not in purgatory. They canonized him in 1935.Delete
Awuku at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/3298.html
is intriguing, most particularly the last remark made by Sir John Thomas. Which blog, one wonders? Naturally the court was not going to be influenced in any way by what was there said.
It is difficult to see how anything on this blog would likely impact on anything the court was saying in a legal field miles away from the Magistrates Court. The excellent Freedom of Movement Blog is a better suspect, but I haven't looked to see if it's them.Delete
More is less, surely?ReplyDelete
Many laws yet little justice.ReplyDelete
As a corrective to the Telegraph piece try watching Chris Grayling being interviewed by the Lords Constitution Committee - a very sensible and measured performanceReplyDelete
A tiny point of detail, of interest only to those who attach importance to such arcane matters; Chris Grayling's correct "style" is "Rt Hon" (as a Privy Councillor) and NOT "Your Lordship". He may well hold the title of Lord Chancellor, but is not, and has not, as a result of his elevation to this position, been made a "peer of the realm".ReplyDelete
The TS Pedant