In praise of: a nice quiet time
This is the time of year for the TV Christmas special. A favourite of mine first aired 20 years ago. Father Ted related the mishaps of the titular priest, sent to the remote Craggy Island by his bishop as punishment for an incident involving ‘money resting in his account’. Early in the 1996 Christmas special, Ted expresses his hopes for ‘a nice quiet Christmas with no unusual incidents or strange people turning up’. Of course, the audience knows that what’s going to happen is precisely the opposite.
The past year has seen a couple of ‘unusual incidents’ in the political world. Chief among these has been the Brexit vote and its aftermath. At its heart was the then justice secretary, Michael Gove, who instigated a very unusual incident in the legal aid world – a complete U-turn on dual contracts and a cut in fees (see page 5) – that received numerous plaudits, including from LAG.
Perhaps the strangest person to turn up was Donald Trump. From former reality TV star to seemingly unelectable candidate to president elect in the course of the past 12 months.
In the festive season, publications sometimes like to predict what will happen over the coming months, but based on the unlikely events of this year we could end up with Nigel Farage in a diplomatic post and Boris Johnson as justice secretary. The latter move would have two advantages for Theresa May: he’d stop upsetting those with whom he is supposed to strike deals over Brexit and it would upset Gove, whom she seems to rather dislike.
So, to hark back to Ted, hoping for a nice quiet time might be the safest bet; however, next year promises to be anything but.
Happy New Year from all at LAG.

About the author(s)

Description: Steve Hynes
Steve Hynes is a freelance consultant and writer. He was previously director of LAG. He is a well-known commentator in the written and broadcast media...