Tuesday, February 06, 2007

£500,000

In seven months. From the taxpayer. Not bad going.

But be fair - Muslims are taxpayers too.

You can see where some of the money goes here. According to Ms Arani, MI6 "are responsible for overseas assassinations and terror campaigns".

She's full of handy hints.

The other thing is that we have to appreciate the fact that those individuals who are living in this country should where ever its possible obtain status in this country and as soon as possible apply for British citizenship.

18 comments:

Rob said...

I hope MI6 are responsible for overseas assasinations. I wish they'd carry out more.

MI5 could do with doing some domestic ones too.

Ryan said...

She seemed almost reasonable until she started blethering about MI6 "carrying out its own terrorist campaigns".

Dave said...

Strange that these economists only seem to worry about wage inflation when it comes to nurses and electricans but not the wage inflation that mass-immigration has caused for lawyers.


It could be argued that the immigration chaos is just a scam by the upper class lawyers to extort money out of the tax payer.

Fulham Reactionary said...

Dave:

I don't think that immigration tends to be one of the better paid areas of law, although obviously this woman has managed to scam the system for all it's worth, and there are a small number of other lawyers who get obscene amounts from legal aid (Cherie Blair, for example). The richest lawyers work in areas such as tax or commercial law, and have no need of taxpayers' money.

Nonetheless, it is obvious that legal aid is too freely available - there is no way that Abu Hamza should be getting, or needs, £1million of the stuff.

verity said...

This 'legal aid' creep came from the US, where people on Death Row can appeal and appeal and appeal on spurious grounds. Fortunately, most of them meet their 10 year anniversary as corpses.

Sense and responsbility is out the window in Britain. Why should a society that has been assaulted pay for having been assaulted?

Always, always, always return these things to private charities who willingly fight these cases. Not the taxpayers, who don't.

Voyager said...

MI6 "carrying out its own terrorist campaigns".

Sadly it doesn't any more - Macmillan stopped 'SO'

Verity, not everything comes from the USA. Legal Aid was started after WWII to help returning servicemen pay for their divorces from unfaithful spouses.

It has been transmogrified by the 1968 generation into a fund for aspirant lawyers like the Harriet Harmans to push "causes".

The Legal Services Commission usually has local lawyers on its board and many Solicitors only stay in business because of Legal Aid money ie. public subsidy.

At one stage they were even providing seed-capital for Immigration Lawyers as there were not enough to go around.

The best degree for any woman to take is Law - it offers high rewards for little intellectual output and with regional law firms billing a graduate 2 years out at £160/hr in contrast to doctors paid far lower, it shows how Law has simply become the "outsourced Clerical Functions of The State" consisting as it does simply of filing forms or operating a program on the PC full of templates and sample letters

Voyager said...

is just a scam by the upper class lawyers to extort money out of the tax payer.

True. Read Christopher Lasch - The Culture of Narcissism - he argues much of the C20th was about creating sinecures for middle-class graduates in "therapeutic" positions to alter behaviour

Ryan2 said...

"It could be argued that the immigration chaos is just a scam by the upper class lawyers to extort money out of the tax payer. "

I suspect it is more likely to be a scam to undermine the democratic system by bringing in voters from outside who will then consider themselves an oppressed minority and will, of course, vote Labour. NuLabour's rise to power predominantly depends on its appeal to a strange amalgam of minority groups that ordinarily would make very strange bedfellows indeed.

verity said...

Rob - Yes. Of course MI6 should be committing overseas assassinations! What a strange world view this woman has if she doesn't understand that.

Voyager - I didn't say legal aid originated in the US. I said the US was responsible for "legal aid creep". Expansion of the remit. So that indigent prisoners in the US can now get the government to finance 10 years of appeals against their death sentence. The vast majority of these appeals is spurious, of course, but people don't want to see someone put to death if there is the slightest possibility that they are innocent.

As Britain, to its shame, no longer has the death penalty, such fussiness and financing should not apply.

Voyager said...

As Britain, to its shame, no longer has the death penalty, such fussiness and financing should not apply.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the death penalty. Legal Aid is MEANS-TESTED and you need to have

Legal Aid

http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/

The weighting considers whether the applicant has a partner or children.

If an applicant's income is:

* under £11,590, they qualify
* over £20,740, they don't qualify
* between £11,590 and £20,740, the full means test will be applied.

Automatic qualification

Some applicants will automatically qualify financially for criminal legal aid. These include those who:

* receive Income Support, income-based Job Seeker's Allowance or a guaranteed State Pension credit


* are under the age of 16


* are under 18 and in full-time education.

Applying the full means test

The full test is applied if an applicant:

* does not automatically qualify
* fails the simple means test.

The full means test works out an applicant's disposable income. This is done by deducting the following from the gross annual income:

* tax and National Insurance
* annual housing costs
* annual childcare costs
* annual maintenance to former partners and any children
* an adjusted annual living allowance.

To qualify for criminal legal aid, an applicant's annual disposable income needs to be less than £3,156.



So now ask how Kevin Maxwell qualified !

Dave said...

fulham reactionary, yes I'm sure you're right but I didnt just mean immigration lawyers, I mean all the other lawyers that are needed due to mass uncontrolled immigration such as the rise in criminality, terrorism, commercial law to deal with some of the exploited immigrants, various equality legislation etc.
There are a lot of 'hiden' costs to uncontrolled immigration.

Martin said...

Are any of the above commntors actually lawyers themselves?

Fulham Reactionary said...

Martin:

Well, almost. I'm currently in the later stages of becoming a barrister - expecting to be called to the bar later in the year.

Martin said...

Fulham Reactionary,

I did 7 years in the trenches of the Scottish lower courts, so can speak about such matters with a measure of experience.

Firstly, the amount that a particular lawyer is paid for Legal Aid work makes for great headlines in the 'Daily Mail' and 'Daily Express' - otherwise, they are of no value whatsoever.

Such articles never comment upon the particular lawyer's level of skill and experience, but focus instead on bald numbers.

So Abu Hamza's lawyer was paid X amounts totalling a 6 figure sum from the Legal Aid fund? SWTF?

Perhaps the case against him was so complicated and onerous that such payments might actually be justified in terms of the Legal Aid Board's own rules - it's a great pity that the professional bodies do not attack this kind of reporting far more aggressively than they do.

Now, the really revolutionary idea, the one which means that I bear a slight stink amongst my former professional brethren, would be to abolish Legal Aid ALTOGETHER. Legal Aid is a subsidy for the legal profession in the same way that the NHS is a subsidy for doctors - the LA hourly rate might not be fabulous compared to the private scale, but the guarantee of payment indicated by the presence of a Legal Aid certificate is a subsidy nonetheless.

If LA were abolished, consequences might include -

- the consolidation of underperforming practices -

- a spot of creative destruction amongst the street level solicitors, resulting in an improvement in professional standards (the knowledge that the guy in front of you is paying your bill as opposed to it being met by some detached bureaucratic entity entity focusses the mind wonderfully) -

- hey ho, a drop in both the crime and divorce rates! There is no such thing as 'Butcher's Aid' or 'Cobbler's Aid' - anyone using those services should expect to pay for them on the spot. Why should legal services be any different?

Let's get really right wing. The existence of criminal Legal Aid helps perpetuate organised crime. Career criminals capable of having their defences funded by Legal Aid know full well that they will never be required to foot their legal bills personally - as far as they are concerned, this particular business cost just does not exist.

It would be far better to debate Legal Aid's complete abolition rather than fixate on single instances of lawyers, very probably working within the rules, being paid what appear to be very high sums for complex cases.

verity said...

Well said, Martin! I am firmly opposed to legal aid. There is no sane justification for it. It's a boondoggle.

Dave said...

Well I'm no expert on legal Aid but isn't the principle that everyone has access to justice a pretty good one?
Criminals should have to pay their legal costs if found guilty.

The problem is the same as with the NHS and School system in the UK.
They've been opened up to the whole fkin world instead of just being for the British tax payer and the cost has ballooned.

Fulham Reactionary said...

Martin:

I quite agree that legal aid should be abolished. Indeed, I think I've said something to that effect in some other comments thread on this blog. Of course, the Abu Hamza case was probably pretty complex, and there were QCs etc working on it, so, as you say, by the standards of the existing system it was not necessarily unreasonable that he should receive such assistance. The reason I highlighted it was to emphasise that the system itself is unreasonable.

I do sympathise with the very small number of people who are charged with an offence and actually are innocent. Perhaps there could be some form of insurance system, whereby the insurer pays your reasonable legal costs. Obviously, if you were a habitual criminal, your premiums would be much higher, and some people would be simply uninsurable, which would hopefully act as a deterrent. Alternatively just make government funding available retrospectively to those defendants who were acquitted.

I also note that as of October 2006 means testing has been reintroduced for criminal legal aid. Perhaps that will do some good.

Martin said...

Fulham Reactionary,

This may seem unduly cynical, but where there's a means test there's a way round it.

I would be very pleasantly surprised if means testing for criminal legal aid reduces the crime rate over the next five years.

'Legal expenses insurance' is already commonplnaace for civil matters - but criminal? As an idea it's a good idea, but in practice I think it would fail.

If Gangster X runs a £20 million a year empire then a £200,000 annual premium against murder charges with a £50,000 excess isn't exactly going to deter him from running his gang.

You might think such people uninsurable - but that particular leap of faith in the probity of insurers is not one I'm prepared to take.

They have the shareholders to look after, after all...

Your suggestion that acquitted defenandants' costs be covred by the state is the most reasonable (dependent, of course, upon the production of VAT receipts) - but then again absolutely no system of any kind would ever eliminate the twin evils of jury and witness nobbling.