The Gazette lays claim to this week’s Mystic Meg award for idle speculation that turned out to be not as idle as a reader might have supposed. An editor’s blog last month fingered HM Courts & Tribunals Service as ripe for privatisation, what with its (largely) ramshackle estate, odd plum asset (the Rolls Building?) and bellicose trade union (the PCS).
The lord chancellor must have read it, for last Monday The Times reported that the Ministry of Justice was lining up hedge funds and private investors to come in and strip an asset or two. So, if it happens, it’s down to us. Or do we have a mole in Petty France? Not telling.
Obiter’s mind boggles at the sponsorship opportunities that could come from commercialising the courts: the Greggs Sausage Rolls Building? Southwark Crown Paints Court? The Old Spice Bailey? Or perhaps we will see High Court judges adorned with corporate logos, like Formula One drivers: ‘Please be upstanding for Lord Justice Bloggs, brought to you in association with Vodafone.’