Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Christmas Carol by the High Court

Scene:
Any solicitor’s office in the country (except the Strand).
Solicitor:
So, Ms Peasant you have been sacked because you are pregnant and you have come in for a free interview.  Typical of your sort if I may say so.
Client: 
It’s so unfair.  I want to bring a claim.  You do no win no fee don’t you?
Solicitor: 
WE do. The State doesn’t.  Tribunal fees are £1,200.00 win or lose.
Client: 
I haven’t got that sort of money!  I am unemployed.  I’ve been sacked.
Solicitor: 
Come, come now.  I am an employment lawyer.  I know the minimum wage is £6.50 an hour.  Easy to remember; it is one hundredth of what I charge – 200 hours work and you have the fee, unless we need to appeal.  Cut out the foreign holidays. Sack the nanny – she won’t be able to afford the fee to sue you.  My little joke!
Client:  
My Mum looks after the children.  We only just got by when I was working.
Solicitor: 
There I can help you.  You need to prioritise your spending.  The High Court has said so.  Eat your existing children – Swift said that and he was a clever man, but you peasants don’t read you just watch Sky.
Client: 
We don’t have Sky.  Murdoch is nearly as right wing as the High Court.
Solicitor: 
Go down the library and read Swift.
Client: 
They’ve closed the library.
Solicitor:  
Have an abortion.  Save you money and I might be able to get your job back.
Client: 
I don’t want an abortion.  Anyway they’ve closed the clinic.
Solicitor:
Find a rich man.
Client: 
I am married.  My husband was sacked for complaining about my treatment at work.
Solicitor: 
Oh then he has a claim as well then.  Another £1,200.00 mind.
Client:  
I’ve had enough!
Solicitor: 
I advise on the law; I don’t make it.  I want to read to you what the High Court said:
“The question many potential claimants have to ask themselves is how to prioritise their spending; what priority should they give to paying fees in a possible legal claim as against many competing and pressing demands on their finances?”
It goes on a bit but basically do you want to bring a claim or eat and feed and clothe your children?
Client: 
But no-one should have to make that choice in Britain in 2014.
Solicitor:  
That’s where you are wrong.  The court said:
“The question is not whether it is difficult for someone to be able to pay – there must be many claimants in that position – it is whether it is virtually impossible and excessively difficult for them to do so”.
Client:  
That’s wicked.
Solicitor: 
That’s the High Court. Lord Justice Elias is paid £198,674.00 and Mr Justice Foskett £174,481.00 so they know all about having to count the pennies.
Client:
Surely Labour will change all this.
Solicitor: 
Nope.
Client:  
I think I will vote for the Fascists then.
Solicitor:
They tried that in Germany. Didn’t do them much good. Nice rallies mind.
Client leaves.  Solicitor hums the Horst Wessel.  There is a muffled explosion.  The local court is in ruins.

Hat tip Daniel Barnett and Kerry Underwood

(My lesson number one - if you are in work and want justice at work, join a Union  http://www.tuc.org.uk/about-tuc/union-finder)

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