Starring: Liz Truss as Truss In Boots, Lord McNally as Baron Hardup, Shailesh Vara as Baron Cockup, Sam Gyimah as Baron Ballsup, Michael Gove as Baron Feckup, Theresa May as the Wicked Queen, Chris Grayling as Widow Twankey…
and Crimbarrister as Buttons!
It’s the laugh-a-minute, weep-a-minute capers of the hapless MOJ crew
as they trample over the Rule of Law!
(*Any resemblance to the actual story of Puss In Boots is entirely coincidental…)
(Pic by Wildy)
Once upon a time, there was a poor first Justice Minister who had a gaggle of junior Ministers, all of whom were as au fait with law, and the rule of law, as each other. Which was minimally, since they were only at the Ministry of Justice in order to further their careers.
When the first Justice Minister was moved from his post, eventually being shunted to the Transport Ministry (which the Wicked Queen had decided now needed to be f**ked up even more than the Justice Ministry, in order to teach the unions, and those pesky commuters, a lesson they wouldn’t forget), the next Justice Minister didn’t last long. He made the fatal mistake of thinking he could take over the Kingdom, rather than just the Justice Ministry.
The Wicked Queen decided he had to go. Besides, as everyone knew, the Justice Ministry was the least important of all the Government departments, bearing in mind it only dealt with minor matters such as the rule of law, the liberty of the subject, the security of the prisons, the efficacy of the rehabilitation systems and the concept of open justice. Inter alia.
All of which matters were very inconvenient for the Wicked Queen, as she was determined that the justice system, and all those nasty lawyers working in it, should be destroyed.
“They don’t like it up ’em!”
The Wicked Queen decided that she would have to offer the job of Justice Minister to the office cat. It was surely just a stroke of bad luck that the office cat wasn’t available.
The Wicked Queen wept salty tears of rage. “I had nothing but the cat! I cannot have my plan foiled, but without a totally inept and clueless Justice Minister, my plan to dismantle the justice system of the Kingdom will be foiled!”
Hearing this, an irritating whine began to sound in the Wicked Queen’s ear. “Cheese! Disgrace! Gissa job! Give me a ministerial car and an ermine dressing gown and see what I can do!” It was Truss In Boots, the famously jelly-headed Think Tanker who’d been such a resounding failure at the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs with her own brand of fromagery.
So the Wicked Queen was forced to offer the position to Truss In Boots instead. (So named because wherever she went, she was always putting the boot in, then putting her foot in her mouth afterwards.) She gave Boots all that she asked for.
Boots was delighted to be given such a prestigious post, as she trilled vacuously throughout the Kingdom’s media. Bearing in mind her lack of talent, experience, judgment, common sense or actual knowledge of law, this promotion was beyond her wildest dreams. Or abilities.
“Oh no, it isn’t! Oh yes, it is!”
So Boots set off in the ministerial Jag, and was soon gathering quite a file of ministerial faux pas. She delivered a truly disastrous performance in front of the Justice Select Committee, amply demonstrating her supreme lack of command of her brief (see previous blog All Trussed Up With Nowhere To Go! here).
She failed spectacularly to perform her constitutional duty as Lord Chancellor to support the judiciary when they came under attack from the Kingdom’s right wing press (to one of which tomes she’d cunningly submitted an article in the very same week!).
She fumbled the ball completely in front of the Commons during Justice Questions, when she appeared to propose the barking mad suggestion that dogs could be put onto the Ministry’s payroll, in order to howl at drones when they were flown over prison walls in order to drop drugs down for those pesky prisoners.
And as for getting a handle on the Chokey Riots which were caused by chronic under-staffing due to her own department’s swingeing cuts, well, a total failure to get a grip was a breeze for the hapless Boots! She’d been taking lessons from the Widow Twankey, after all!
The Widow Twankey? (Pic by Wildy)
Boots presented her collection of failures to the Wicked Queen. “Your Majesty, these are my gifts to you. I have almost singlehandedly destroyed the reputation of our justice system, which was once revered and copied throughout all the realms! I have sought to ensure that our mainstream press feel able to personally attack judges for merely doing their jobs, knowing that the judges are constitutionally unable to respond! I have almost completed the wrecking of our prisons, probation and courts!”
The Wicked Queen cackled, thinking of how much money she would save without a functioning justice system to be funded. Not to mention avoiding all those inconvenient moments when the judges would tell her she couldn’t do something because it was against the law.
On her way back to the Justice Ministry, Boots passed by a court building where some poor legal aid lawyers were toiling in the heat. (The air conditioning had broken in 2015, and required a small, simple part costing but £10. However, due to one of the Government’s ludicrous contractual arrangements with a large multinational organisation, the only man in the Kingdom who could supply and fit the part would have to travel from a distant county and would charge the part at £250 plus labour, and the job couldn’t be done until 2018.) Boots commanded the lawyers to work even harder but for even less money, or she would ensure that anyone unqualified could practise in the courts. The lawyers were unimpressed and set up a picket line.
Unfortunately for Boots, the MOJ panto then lost the plot.
Usually the fairytale continues with the Puss doing Something Cunning in order to make his Master happy. However, as all the MOJ panto watchers know, Boots did not have the wherewithal to plan or execute anything cunning; all her chaos had been caused by hapless accident. So she carried on seeking to oppress the lawyers, dismantle the justice system and make herself look ridiculous.
But eventually, she went too far.
The judges she had failed to support, as according to her constitutional duty, turned on Boots. A succession of important decisions went against the MOJ, and then against the wider Government. The appearance of various senior MOJ bureaucrats in the New Year’s Honours list was met with widespread ridicule. Even the Wicked Queen began to see that Boots was a liability, since every time Boots spoke in public or in Parliament her unsuitability for any legal post was more and more apparent. It was painfully obvious that Boots was out of her depth.
“And I am unanimous in this!”
However, the Wicked Queen was not done yet. As if to troll the entire legal profession, she removed Boots, to leave her chirruping about cheese on the back benches in perpetuity. But now that the Kingdom’s transport system had been well and truly ruined, causing the Army to have to come in to run it, the Wicked Queen knew that there was only one thing she had to do to ensure the completion of the destruction of the justice system: she must reinstall Widow Twankey…
Let us hope that this story is a nightmare fiction, an invented panto symptomatic of the performance of the MOJ in 2016, and not the return of my fabled psychic powers, as showcased in my previous blog Crystal Balls! (see link here).
I predict that in 2017, the chaos in the MOJ will continue unabated!
(PS. For those of you who want to read the real Puss In Boots story, see link here.)