Legal Aid Reform

What is going on?

The Pastime Lawyer

Access to legal aid is one of the fundamentals of the British legal system. An essential right afforded to all those who find themselves, whether through fault of their own or fault of another, in a vulnerable situation. Professional representation and expert advice, from someone you are contented to represent you, and whom you trust, is essential in these circumstances.

Chris Grayling in line with the cuts from George Osborne has proposed reforms that will ‘revolutionise’ the criminal justice system.  The reforms intend to, amongst other aspects; deprive the defendant the selection of a lawyer of their choice, and introduce Price Competitive Tendering (PCT) for legal aid contracts. In not just my opinion, but that of the Bar Standards Board, (BSB) Law Society and senior QC’s, it will undermine Britain’s international reputation for upholding justice.

The first aspect of the new system is that it will adversely affect access to…

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International Voices Day. A selection of voices from Deptford Market in South East London.

This is a short piece about the voices of Deptford Market. I have always been intrigued by snatches of conversations I hear whilst walking in crowed places. It starts at the top of the market, voices include Albainian, English, African, a child and father, topics included earrings, Westfield, Old men talking about??and the biggest shouting market man ever.
#internationalvoicesday #deptford #lewisham #marketdeptford-market1

Don’t start moaning when you don’t see me or I don’t contact you.

I have a FRIEND who decided that for some reason I had annoyed her and she un-friended and that wasn’t the first time. After a year or two she said “oh you know what I’m like” Well actually I don’t know what your like and if you decide that I know what Your like, then you are wrong.  I have another FRIEND who is always too busy to come my house and after 9 years of being busy she decides that she WILL come to my house, but at the last minute she gets her husband to tell me that they wont be coming after all because they are busy. 

I think that they have damaged our relationships and our friendships. I feel really sad about it but I have to move on. I have relished having friendships and the support I had after losing my son. But if the price I have to pay is being told, Well you know what I’m like, or I’m too busy then don’t be surprised if I decided you don’t know what I’m like and I have decided to move on. 


I want this cake, and I shall have it

Meg's Everyday Indulgence

Chocolate Cake with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

When Tina from Mom’s Crazy Cooking informed us that this month’s challenge was chocolate cake, I was a tad concerned. This will be shocking and slightly disheartening to many of you but I am not a chocolate cake fan. Please hold back your judgement, disgust and gasps. It’s just too rich for me. But I didn’t want to miss out on the fun so I decided to bite the bullet and see if I could find a chocolate cake that we would truly enjoy. I thought the frosting could really make a difference for us so I went for one that I knew we would love.

After lots of searching, I came across this chocolate cake made by Aimee at Shugary Sweets and I knew I had found it! After reading that the frosting tasted like mint chocolate chip ice cream I thought I might die. That’s my favorite flavor…

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great blog from Exploring London

Exploring London

While the Greenwich foot tunnel may these days be more well-known due to the fact it is still open to pedestrians, London’s oldest under-Thames tunnel (also credited as the oldest underwater tunnel in the world) actually runs between Rotherhithe on the river’s southern bank and Wapping on the northern.

Thames_Tunnel-in-2010First opened in 1843, the Thames Tunnel (pictured left during a brief reopening to pedestrians in 2010) was the first major project of star Victorian engineer (and delightfully named) Isambard Kingdom Brunel (who, at the age of just 19 started work on the job with his father, a French engineer named Marc Isambard Brunel) and was known for a time as the eighth Wonder of the World.

It was constructed after demand grew for a way to transport goods across the crowded Port of London to the east of London Bridge. Given the height of the masts of larger ships, a bridge…

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I knew there was something wrong with me and mother lived an East End nightmare.

I said it over and over again. I dreamt it regularly a recurring dream. I was in school I was enjoying my lessons I was learning and then I would wake up. Poor, no prospects, getting older and I can admit it now trapped by the children I had when I was a child myself. There was something wrong with me.

My daughter will understand what I mean she is young enough to me to get what I mean. I was too young to be a fantastic mother. I look at young girls 16 and sometimes it makes me take a deep intake of air, my heart beats fast as I get a glimpse back to the past and see myself a terribly unhappy child-woman. A reluctant mother and grieving for my education that was snatched away from me by my hellish parents. I forgive them by the way.

My parents immigrated to my fathers Island Grenada as soon as I was out of school. I had a lot of trouble at home and was under the care of social services at the time they left England. Within weeks of them leaving I was pregnant by the most violent man in the world. Or one of them.

Being forced out of school and then getting pregnant stopped me maturing properly, it stopped me learning social skills. I didn’t know how to properly integrate with people and as I was a clever child I didn’t really want to go partying, not that I could any way I had the children. I missed out on precious things, if only I had parents who had protected me and wanted the best for me, they were always going on about my cousins in Ireland and how clever they were and what universities they were going to and then would look at me as if I was a child from the devil himself. I suppose I made their lives as hard as I could because they were cruel and I have a streak in me that has always hated injustice and I knew they were unjust to me and my brother.

She should not have had any more children she already had 11 by her first catholic husband and she suffered an East End nightmare, it wasn’t all hunky dory being an East End Lady with a million children looking out for each other, that only happens on the telly not in real life.

This is not a great ramble on about the past because today I draw a line under my past. I graduated and I got the qualifications, I have friends from University,

Holly Powell Jones, friends until death and beyond.
I have a great job, I at last love my home and want to stay in and not be out every minute of the day. People have said over the years “You’re never home.” I have never ever felt I had a home to call my own.


When Richie died he got some compensation money as did I for our pain and suffering in the days leading up to his death, I used the money to buy my property, Richie would often say “Mummy when I grow up I’m going to buy you a house and he did.

I finally can enjoy it. I’m going to decorate and love it, fill it with love and then move on just like a girl who has finally graduated and now steps out into the big wide world.

Thank God it’s my birthday, oh yea it’s my birthday

Why do I love my birthday so much?

It’s not as if I have ever been overwhelmed with gifts and cards, no cars wrapped up in bows, no special key for my 21st with loving parents having a party for me. No they had sodded off to the West Indies by then and had no intention of ever coming back.

“Out of school”, she demanded, she being Margaret my mother. We were not particularly close I wanted her love and attention but I soon learnt that that would never happen. Got over it.

When I turned 21 I dumped the person who used to kick and bite the hell out of me. I don’t want to call him a partner because he was no partner of mine.

I heard he had a heart attack the other day I’m not shocked or surprised I wonder it didn’t happen sooner all that shouting and hitting. When I eventually got rid of the maniac he carried on beating every other woman who unfortunately ended up with it. yes IT.

Well today I wont get any presents or large boxes wrapped in ribbons. I have a great present already, my new education, my new job and people who think I’m good at my job. I wont allow anyone to tell me I’m stupid, mad or worthless I’m not any of those things.

When I was a waitress I wouldn’t take the job as team leader because I thought that I was stupid and worthless, it’s been a long time coming but at last I know the only person that held me back was me not my parents, children or any one else.

I cant believe that it took me so long to get it together but at the same time looking at it properly I could not have got to this place any sooner I was not ready but I am now.

I’m confident and happy and in love

with life.