Radio silence for the last month, I know, but life has overtaken me, and, if I’m honest, all has gone quiet (well, relatively so) on the MOJ front.
Not really surprising since we have just had an election however, and all the new incumbents have of course retired to the “Plotting Room” to hack out their battle plans.
Did I say “Plotting Room”?
I meant “Cabinet Room”.
It’s now old news that Cameron has appointed Michael Gove as Lord Chancellor. It’s also old news that Mr Gove is the second LC appointed by Mr Cameron (in a row) to be missing a professional legal qualification. To be fair to Mr Gove, he hasn’t had a chance to make his presence felt yet, and it’s only fair that we give him that chance. I’m talking of course about his role as LC. Obviously he’s had his fair share of headlines to date:
- Was accused of misleading Parliament over claims of bullying by his staff;
- Wanted to bring back the death penalty (so Ken Clarke’s comment that the Tories were “too right wing to win the general election” was half right).
- Was the subject of votes of no confidence by:
- the National Association of Head Teachers,
- the Association of Teachers and Lecturers,
- the National Union of Teachers, and
- the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers,
…due to his education policies. Tim Gallagher, who proposed the motion for the NAHT, said: “This motion’s intention is to send the strongest message possible to this government that many of their education policies are failing our children, their parents and the very fabric of our school communities.” His education policies were considered by highly experienced Head Teachers as “devoid of meaningful consultation” and “lacking in understanding”.
Interestingly, Chris Grayling, his predecessor as Lord Chancellor, was accused by the legal profession of skimping on his consultations and of having no understanding of his role – the more observant readers may have spotted a theme developing at this point (as will the less observant).
But, the purpose of this brief missive (for those used to my blogs who are currently uncorking the bottled oxygen, I promise, this one is brief) is not to discuss Mr Gove’s record at the MOJ. Time enough for that later.
The purpose of this article is simply to float a question, which I am surprised I have not seen raised since the election.
What possible reason could there be for Cameron appointing two non-lawyer Lord Chancellors?
The first? Possibly coincidence, on a good day, if you were feeling in a generous mood, downhill, with a following wind (and possibly afterburners) etc, etc.
The second? Coincidence again? Not a chance.
The only rational explanation for appointing two non-lawyers to the position of Lord Chancellor, having already run the five year gauntlet of beatings from the judiciary, can only be to ensure that justice does not get in the way of cost cutting.
After all, if you were demolishing a house, you wouldn’t use a builder. Would you.