Today Margaret Thatcher was buried. I didn’t listen to the wall to wall coverage as I was in court, on a legal aid brief in the kind of case that would probably not attract legal aid if it commenced now (in fact there were dv issues, but I’m doubtful my client could have jumped the evidential hoops).
It is said that the cost of the funeral will be around £10 million. As I write, George Osborne’s tear is selling on ebay for £10 million – a mere drop in the ocean compared to the recent cuts to legal aid and the level of savings the government hopes it will make (£350 million).
Actually, I can’t tell you how much legal advice and representation £10 million would get you at legal aid rates. I had hoped to be able to give you a snappy stat. But the LSC is now the LAA, and the old labyrinthine but familiar website is gone and replaced with the labyrinthine and sterile justice.gov.uk where I can find even less useful information than even on the horrific LSC website. It’s like looking for a needle in a blindingly white haystack. And it’s late.
But I can tell you this. The same amount of money we’ve spent on affording respect and dignity to the importance of one person on this one day could cover the cost of representation on many days for many people : making sure fathers are remembered, victims of violence get their dignity back, and that the rights of all are respected.
Today many mourn Thatcher. Others mourn different losses.