When the justice system fails you need to worry for democracy

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This morning there is widespread coverage of the strike by lawyers and solicitors.

I am not surprised by this first strike by lawyers since 1466. I spoke to an experienced criminal lawyer late last year. Four things worried him. The first was pay for lawyers. The second was the quality of lawyer that alleged criminals were getting as a result. The third was the failure within the penal system to provide criminals with the courses and other training they need to earn parole - which he thought would lead to mass rioting (which is happening, today). The fourth was cuts to the probation service.

What worried him most of all was that they were all happening at once. One could, perhaps, be handled. Put them together and he thought the system was near to collapse.

I think he's right. And when justice collapses so too does democracy: the two go hand in hand.

Osborne is promising us more cuts. I hope he has no sinister motive. I hope that's not wishful thinking on my part.