The Only Winners

Last night I drove home listening to the radio in the aftermath of William Roach’s acquittal. His statement that “in situations like these there are no winner” struck me as particularly measured in the circumstances.

With the soap star understandably unavailable for further comment it fell to his “friends” to provide commentary. One of these, “TV celebrity” Christine Hamilton could not remain quite so magnanimous (I paraphrase from memory)

“He is correct there are no winners – except of course the lawyers”

Now we have all heard this trope a thousand times – greedy, venal lawyers who only ever act out of self-interest, whilst taking delight in picking at the bones of other people’s misery.

It is an opinion one might have formed, if say, a failed high profile case had resulted in your husbands bankruptcy – despite, of course, you having instructed the lawyers in the first place. It is an opinion, one imagines, that her friend Mr Roach does not share this morning. It is also one, which does not stand up to any scrutiny in the context of the Criminal Justice System.

I can think of no other walk of life in which “just doing your job” leads to such approbation:

There are no winners in an A&E department, except of course those mercenary surgeons

Central heating failure – only those dishonest plumbers will benefit

I’ve run out of milk, oh how those supermarket checkout workers will want to get their claws into me now

One presumes she simply regards lawyers as a necessary evil in a modern criminal justice system rather than wanting a return to one without them, say trail by combat, ordeal or the ducking stool. I say this because I doubt she turned up for her much-publicised Police Station interviews without the benefit of a legal representative – though doubtless an avaricious one.

Hamilton is obviously well placed to comment on such matters having honed her skills as she developed her media career (off the back of the disgrace of her husband in the mid 90’s) over the last dozen and a half years. You might not think going to the jungle is too intellectually demanding but Celebrity Masterchef is near as damn it a professional qualification.

This is somewhat less than the 25 years taken by leading defence Counsel to establish her practice – one, however, presumably only motivated by a wish to acquire Mulberry handbags.

As you can probably tell I am quite exercised by this continuous, malicious misrepresentation of the legal profession in the media. It is stupid, lazy, and malevolent and does not stand up to any reasonable consideration. Now what else could that be said about.

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