Posts Tagged ‘bank of england’

Funeral For Legal Aid And A Pig

Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Funeral For Legal Aid And A Pig

I don’t think the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association organise many protests, but they did a good job on Wednesday 22nd May 2013, with a mock funeral and rally at Parliament against government proposals for justice on the cheap, restricting legal aid and ending the right of clients to chose their solicitor with work going to the cheapest bid.

Funeral For Legal Aid And A Pig

The introduction of price-competitive tendering (PCT) would have the effect of bankrupting smaller law firms, while opening up provision of legal aid to large non-legal companies, including Eddie Stobart and Tesco. It would also prevent those eligible for legal aid from being able to choose appropriate specialists in the legal area involved in their cases.

Funeral For Legal Aid And A Pig

It was a protest that brought together a wide range of organisations an interests, with many speakers from the legal professions, from political parties and some who had been involved in cases of injustice including Gerry Conlan from the Guildford 4, a member of the family of Jean Charles De Menzes, Susan Matthews, mother of Alfie Meadows and Breda Power, the daughter of Billy Power, one of the Birmingham 6. Solicitors who spoke included Clive Stafford Smith, the founder of Reprieve, and Blur drummer Dave Rowntree, and notable among the QCs, Helena Kennedy.

Clive Stafford Smith

Some, including those from Women Against Rape, Winvisble, Women of Colour in The Global Womens Strike and other groups had come because the proposed changes would have drastic effects on women involved in domestic violence and rape cases, and immigrants fighting for asylum.

Gerry Conlan – the Guildford 4 only got justice when they could get the right lawyers on legal aid

The event had begun with a funeral procession led by a marching jazz band with robed and wigged figures carrying the coffin of Legal Aid, followed by a woman dressed as the Scales of Justice. After the speeches there was a summary by leading barrister John Cooper QC and then the whole assembly delivered its verdict on the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Grayling, ‘guilty as charged’.

Jeremy Corbyn, MP

Not for nothing did Grayling become widely known as ‘Failing Grayling‘ for his was a consistent record of incompetency and blunders in various ministerial roles in both Coalition and Tory governments conveniently summarised in the i‘s article 10 disasters that have happened under his watch.

As well as the cuts to legal aid which led to many victims of domestic violence in the courts and family courts facing their abusers without a lawyer, Grayling’s attempt to end legal aid to those in prison was ruled unlawful in 2017. His introduction of high fees for employment tribunals in discrimination cases was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court – and the government had to refund £27 million. He made an agreement with Saudi Arabia for training in their jails which had to be dropped when other ministers pointed out their abysmal human rights record. Then there was the prison book ban, again found unlawful. And his 2014 overhauling and privatisation of Probation services was a disaster that forced its later reversal.

Emily Thornberry, MP

Grayling then moved to Transport, worsening the Southern Rail fiasco, costing us £2bn over Virgin East Coast, contributing to chaos over rail timetabling and awwarding a firm with no ferries a no-deal Brexit contract. And although the i article stopped at 10, Grayling didn’t.

More pictures at Lawyers Funeral for Legal Aid


Daddy’s Pig heads for the Trough – Downing St to Bank

The legal aid protest at Parliament meant I had missed the start of the three mile marathon by artist taxi-driver Mark McGowan on his knees pushing his Daddy’s Pig, accompanied by another protester pushing a fire engine, from Downing St to the Bank of England.

I met them outside the Royal Courts of Justice, where the two had taken a rest before starting off on the second half of their gruelling journey, accompanied by a group of supporters, some of whom were carrying pigs.

While the country suffers from the effects of the various cuts, bankers, private equity companies, oligarchs and other friends of the Tories were having a feeding frenzy, snouts in the trough as the government privatised much of the NHS and other services and the City of London entrenched its position as the money laundering capital of the world.

More pictures at Daddy’s Pig heads for the Trough.


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Bank refuses Venezuela its gold

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

It’s always difficult for photographers when events more or less repeat themselves, and this was the third protest I’d covered in just a few weeks about the US attempt to engineer a regime change in Venezuela, and the second outside the Bank of England, with many of the same people taking part, and it was all too easy to produce more or less the same images. As the great Yogi Berra said, ” It’s deja vu all over again”, though he also said ” I never said most of the things I said.”

Ken Livingstone was also a figure with a second coming, having run the Greater London Council and begun to bring the capital up to date in the 1980s, his success so enraged Margaret Thatcher that she abolished the council and sold off its palatial headquarters just downstream across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

Livingstone returned as elected mayor of the new Greater London Authority after 14 years in which London had largely stagnated, acheiving office despite determined opposition from Thatcher’s successor (following the brief interregnum of John Major), Tony Blair. Although Livingstone was the choice of Labour members and affiliates, the votes of Blairite MPs, MEPS and GLA candidates made Frank Dobson the Labour candidate, and Livingstone stood as an Independent. In the first round of voting he came out on top, with three times the vote of the official Labour candidate who was eliminated, and was elected in the second round with a vote of almost 58% .

Four years later, Livingstone was re-admitted to the Labour Party and re-elected as London’s Mayor. Despite two largely successful terms in office, he lost the 2008 mayoral election to Boris Johnson, who set out to establish himself as London’s worst mayor despite often rapturous media coverage.

Of course Livingstone was not the only speaker, but he was the major speaker at the event. He had been in the crowd at the previous protest outside the Bank of England, but this time he spoke, reminding us of his relationship with the former President of Venezuela and the contribution made by Venezuela to enable him to provide half-price bus fares for lone parents, sick and disabled Londoners. Recently after an earlier protest calling for the Bank of England to return Venezuela’s gold I wrote more on Livingstone with some pictures I’ve taken.

Stop Trump’s Venezuela gold & oil grab


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Livingstone

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Bank of England return Venezuela’s Gold

I’ve several times been interviewed by journalists who have asked to name my most important photographic accessory and my answers have varied according to mood and the kind of photographs we are talking about. A good pair of shoes is one of my favourites, but the thing that really made much of my photograph of London possible was the Travelcard, introduced when Ken Livingstone was in charge of the Greater London Council before Mrs Thatcher put London Government back thirty years in a fit of pique by abolishing the GLC and selling off its building.

The picture above was taken a few days before the election when he knew from the opinion polls he was almost certain to lose to Boris Johnson. I’d photographed him speaking at an event and we just happened to catch the same train. Just after I took this picture, several people came and asked if they could take ‘selfies’ with him, and he smiled at them and told them of course they could.

I’ve always been impressed when I’ve watched Ken talking to strangers. Here’s a picture from a few years earlier with him holding an umbrella in an April shower as he shares a moment with a well-wisher at an event at Gabriel’s wharf, Southwark.

Again a few days before he lost the election, here he is with George Galloway who also spoke at an event in Altab Ali Park in Whitechapel.

As Mayor of London in 2002 he bgan the official celebrations of St Patrick’s Day and I photographed him five years later at the event.

Ken did a great deal fro gay rights and also for all of London’s ethnic minorities. Here he is marching at Pride with Peter Tatchell in 2011 three years after losing the mayoral election; security let photographers approach the marchers for a few seconds and I made this picture.

Ken Livingstone was certainly the most interesting of the speakers at the protest outside the Bank of England calling on it to return the 14 tons of Venezuelan gold to the Venezuelan government of President Maduro.  He recalled the visit to London of Hugo Chávez, and how money from Venezuela’s state oil company enabled him to give half price bus fares to lone parents and sick and disabled Londoners in return for teaching planning and traffic management skills to Venezuelan officials.

More at Bank of England return Venezuela’s Goldhttp://mylondondiary.co.uk/2019/02/feb.htm#gold


There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

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All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images