Getting off the tube at Holborn I see a small cart in the middle of the pavement and a couple of young men casually handing out bottles of sludge coloured fruit juice to passers-by. I pass by and am given a bottle.
Last week, in almost the same place I was given a free bar of chocolate.
The chocolate was nice – bit sweet. The drink was nice – bit sweet. But it occurs to me to ask – what is going on? All this free stuff being handed out? Could it possibly be a new political movement? A new form of redistribution of wealth? Is this communism for the 21st century?
Or is it just the first stage in an advertising campaign for a gym?
The challenging task of moving to new chambers is eased by finding a local cafe that not only has abundant seating but also serves good coffee. On top of that, City Lit is across the road and the bank is around the corner. This is perfection.
Meanwhile, in Crouch End, there is a poetry evening at the local Oddbins. It is rumoured that John Hegley will attend. In the interim, fortified by a small glass of red wine, we listen to various poems and pieces of music, one particularly interesting song is called Tax the Dead.
Sadly, pressure of work means that we cannot stay. Later reports indicate that John Hegley came and was very good.
A close adviser to the Education Secretary Michael Gove, says that genes are more important than teaching. Rather than the teaching a child receives, performance is due to genetics. So presumably, he would say, all those struggles for workers’ education were pointless, the fight for women’s education unnecessary. The man who dictates what happens in our schools is advised by an unelected person who believes this tosh. What conclusions can we draw from this?
Moving to a new set of chambers is a daunting task.
Writing to the bank, emailing the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure my data protection registration is correct, ringing the Bar Council to ensure my Practising Certificate reflects my new address. Saying goodbye to well loved colleagues and clerks. Emptying my shelves, throwing out ten year old copies of Counsel Magazine, shredding papers for cases that have an air of never having been paid, dumping old tins of shoe polish carefully purchased for those last minute dashes to the Court of Appeal, where it’s probably true that not much time is wasted on studying advocates’ footwear. Although once, in Wimbledon Juvenile Court, a colleague was reprimanded by the bench for the ultra-sensibleness of her shoes – smart Doc Marten lace-ups.
And now a short walk to the new set.
What is Mr Grayling really thinking when he makes his decisions about Legal Aid cuts?