As the BBC has reported, “Fees for those bringing employment tribunal claims have been ruled unlawful, and the government will now have to repay up to £32m to claimants … The government introduced fees of up to £1,200 in 2013, which it said would cut the number of malicious and weak cases”. The Supreme Court “ruled the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees”.
What's so f***ing wrong with kicking the little people, c***? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
This was a victory for all those little people, those at the bottom of the pile, who cannot readily raise the lump sum to start an employment tribunal action. As Dave Prentis of Unison wrote in the Staggers, “Justice that comes at a cost is all too often justice denied. Cases involving sex discrimination and unfair dismissal were not brought because of the high fees involved. People don’t choose to go to tribunals, they go because they have to”.
But for the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail, this was an affront to Himself which could not be allowed to go uncriticised. So today’s Mail has passed severely adverse comment on the judgment, led by the screaming front page headline “Furious bosses warn of a tide of claims as Supreme Court makes it much easier to go an an employment tribunal … QUEUE HERE FOR THE GRAVY TRAIN”.
This mean-spirited and hypocritical outburst is backed up by an article telling readers “Judges were last night accused of encouraging spurious litigation by ripping up employment tribunal reforms … Charlie Mullins, who founded Pimlico Plumbers in London, said: ‘This is a charter for litigants which will fuel Britain’s compensation culture’”. Mullins is a millionaire who has been caught avoiding paying PAYE and National Insurance contributions … by the Daily Mail. You couldn’t make this up.
Mullins has also been in trouble for using the word “twat” in an interview on the BBC’s World At One yesterday, and swearing is something the Mail publicly abhors, even though its editor effs and blinds freely behind the scenes. The Mail also tells “The Institute of Directors, which represents 30,000 small and medium sized businesses, predicted the decision would ‘open the door to a spike in malicious or vexatious claims’”.
The IoD gave a grovelling reception to the deeply unpleasant Travis Kalanick, then head man at Uber. We know whose side they are on, thanks. But on plough the Dacre doggies: “The IoD is particularly worried that new gender pay reporting requirements and the ‘immigration skills charge’ could lead to a surge in claims from women and workers from outside the European Union”. Gender pay reporting requirements, eh?
That’s the same gender pay controversy where the Mail was, last week, happily playing the other side of the field when it was the hated BBC on the receiving end. Could they manage any more hypocrisy? They certainly could: “The Supreme Court ruling is a boon to solicitors”. Ah, lawyers, those people whom the Mail finds so useful when it has to defend all those libel actions - or threaten them against others.
But enough. The Mail’s ridiculous and spiteful stance is put in its place by Paragraph 68 of the Supreme Court’s judgment, which is given here in full. This is what it says.
“At the heart of the concept of the rule of law is the idea that society is governed by law. Parliament exists primarily in order to make laws for society in this country. Democratic procedures exist primarily in order to ensure that the Parliament which makes those laws includes Members of Parliament who are chosen by the people of this country and are accountable to them. Courts exist in order to ensure that the laws made by Parliament, and the common law created by the courts themselves, are applied and enforced”.
“That role includes ensuring that the executive branch of government carries out its functions in accordance with the law. In order for the courts to perform that role, people must in principle have unimpeded access to them. Without such access, laws are liable to become a dead letter, the work done by Parliament may be rendered nugatory, and the democratic election of Members of Parliament may become a meaningless charade. That is why the courts do not merely provide a public service like any other”.
The idea that al those hardworking ordinary people should somehow be denied access to the law is truly shameful. Paul Dacre’s snobbish, dismissive and hypocritical stance shows how out of touch he and his retinue of obscenely overpaid hacks and pundits really are.
It also shows that the press establishment is, once again, shown to be utterly devoid of the most basic humanity. Dacre should have retired when he turned 65.