Online Archive  
Issue 12 - May 1972
Straight From The Parrot's Mouth

Now that the New Legal Aid scheme has started there is every chance that duty solicitors, before long, will be available to help unrepresented defendants in magistrates courts. However, not so in Durham City. Mr Goodwin, deputy clerk of the Magistrates Court Committee, said that there was no plans to have duty solicitors available, though it would be possible for magistrates to offer any solicitor who happened to be there on another case to the defendant for his defence. Though is this enough?

Three cheers for the Government! They've managed to reduce the numbers of unemployed in the country to below 700,000. By creating jobs, of course. Er ... what was that about the devil finding work for idle hands?

We are delighted to hear that Durham Prison workshops have won a contract to supply chair seats for a Danish furniture firm, in the teeth, one is given to understand, of fierce competition. In fact, prison workshops are becoming increasingly prosperous these days which, with a work force that has no union and an average weekly wage of 75p is hardly surprising. These lucky workers, who must perforce do exactly what their employers want them to do, are ensuring that the prison service stays in the black; which must serve as a vast inducement for former inmates not to return to a life of crime.

80% of hospital ancillary workers have a basic wage of under £20 a week. A quarter are on the lowest scales of £17.48p for men and £15.28p for women (before deductions). The National Union of Public Employees wants a £4 rise. Really the workers could do with £10. However, the Government will not, at this phase, consider more than one pound plus four percent. Meanwhile, the financial year is coming to an end and the hospitals are frantically using all the spending money allocated to them. They're spending very wisely of course; buying new office furniture to replace the old office furniture they bought this time last year. Aren't you glad that your public money and mine is being put to such good use rather than paying all those nasty workers?