Liz Truss has been given an unfair monstering. Give her a chance.

21 Jul 2016 at 20:12

Now that I have had time to calm down after the reshuffle and reflect, I am far more optimistic. David Davis as a former minister for Europe under John Major is a sensible choice to lead us out of the EU. He will work well with Liam Fox who fought an honourable Brexit war. And Bozo? I still can’t make up my mind whether this was a clever ruse to destroy him or an act of criminal insanity. I doubt whether he will last a year. Leadsom had to be given something and Defra, with farmers terrified about their incomes, is really in the hands of Hammond at the Treasury. She is just the window dressing. A sensible move Hammond. It was always thought that he would do a job swap with Osborne. But things have moved on. In politics dullness coupled with a safe pair of hands is an advantage.

But what does Brexit really mean? We are going to have to be grown up about this. The awkward squad will scream for purity and they won’t get it. May, Davis and Fox will face them down. We are a trading nation and deals have to be done. The Commission may squeal that they can be no pre article 50 negotiations but their power is evaporating. It is the Council of Ministers that call the shots. And there is a very arguable case that the Commission should be relegated to what they should really be, namely not a law commissioning body, but a secretariat. It is in the interests of Europe and stability that the Council of Ministers take over that role.

But back to more parochial thoughts. Liz Truss is rather unfairly getting a hard time. She has a lot of reading in to do. Yet Lord Faulks, a Minister at the MOJ since 2014 resigned because he is worried that she won’t stand up for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. What rank hypocrisy. This bloody man, whose second name is ‘Lawless’ (honest), served under Chris Grayling, the most dangerous, appalling destroyer of all that that is good in our justice system. Did Faulks resign? Did he stand up for the rule of law? Did he support the beleaguered judiciary? Did he try and stop the destruction of the independent bar and high street solicitors? Did he fuck. Best he spends more time with his very well paid briefs.

My view about Truss is exactly the same as it was with the appointment of Gove. Give her a chance. Speak to the judges, the bar and solicitors. Spend a day a week in courts. See how the system is creaking. Listen. We can tell you how to save money and make the system work. She will be horrified at what she sees. CPS lawyers have 150 cases in their charge. Each. Review hardly exists. Not through incompetence; just lack of time and resources. The real heroes are the case workers. They work unsociable hours just to get the show on the road. But most of the time the scenery either wobbles or just falls apart. The only way the system has even a pretence of working is through the goodwill of the bar and judges. And solicitors? Working on an almost impossibly tight budget. Some firms have just given up. This is not a scream for an increase in fees. That won’t happen. But justice must be served. And done. Legal aid has all but disappeared in family matters. Who has contact with the children and how? Litigants in person, whey faced, distraught with no legal advice. Who could lose their kids. It is bordering on a national disgrace. Truss needs time to get to grips with this. And we should give her a chance.