The failure of justice will let corruption proceed unchecked

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Many have reported the failure of a major fraud trial because no barristers were available to defend four of the six in the dock because fees have been reduced to such a level by the government that those with appropriate qualification cannot afford to undertake the work as a personal dispute between the prime minister and his brother, who made the application to bring the trial to an end.

Well, so it might be, but it's also very much more significant than that. Fraud trials, and tax trials come to that, or often complex and expensive and require legal representation of pretty high calibre. And if that representation is not going to be available then the prospects for bringing such cases to court will be decidely limited. The consequnce is obvious. Fraud will carry no risk of penalty and the tax gap will increase.

Removing funding from justice is not just about making the government's books balance. It is about the operation of the rule of law that makes the reality of government possible. But no doubt that has never occurred to Osborne, Cameron, Clegg and Alexander. Please despair, noisily, preferably.