Trust in Baldrick
In its struggle for survival in the face of successive and impending legal aid cuts, Hackney Community Law Centre has some stalwart allies. It hosted a reception in the House of Lords last week to thank its supporters. Two of its patrons, Lord Low of Dalston and the MP for Hackney, Diane Abbott, spoke about the damaging impact the cuts will have on the ability of law centres to help the estimated 650,000 people who will no longer be entitled to civil legal aid, and even on its ability to stay afloat.
Its chairman Ian Rathbone advised the justice secretary Ken Clarke (who was not present) - or Lord Hush Puppy, as he called him - to look to Scotland for a workable legal aid system. In the meantime, the law centre has come up with a scheme more cunning than a Tutorial in Cunning by Professor Cunning Fox of Cunning College, Cambridge. It has appointed Hackney-born actor and presenter Tony Robinson, aka Baldrick, the scruffy sidekick to BBC’s Edmund Blackadder, as one of its trustees. The good people of Hackney should not give up hope.