A Rebellious Nation
The recent riots are not an organised armed resistence to the established government but they do show that some people do not fear the application of the criminal law as much as being without trainers, mobile phones, gadgets of any kind and other material items.
“No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself” said William Penn so it is perhaps unsurprising that some people in this country do not abide by the law which is laid down by Parliament following the prolonged expenses debacle which discredited many parliamentarians.
The riots showed how out of touch our MPs are with the lot of the man on the street. It may seem strange to suggest that lawyers on the whole are closer to the man on the Clapham omnibus than some people in authority but certainly those who work for private clients, particularly those who work in Advice Centres or undertake Legal Aid are well aware of some of the difficulties.
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Aristole said “Everybody can get angry – that’s easy. But getting angry at the right person, with the right intensity, at the right time, for the right reason and in the right way – that’s hard.” I am sure that it is appropriate to deal quickly and firmly with those involved in the riots but it is also important for our parliamentarians to listen to those who try and act in the public interest both in the aftermath of such a terrible situation and at other times when London or Birmingham or Manchester is not burning but simply simmering with a feeling of discontent.
I applaud the Law Society for its Sound off for Justice campaign and I hope that its voice continues to be heard above the anger of the moment.
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