05 March 2007

The Attorney General of England and Wales 1315-2007

An attorney generalLegal and constitutional experts are lowering their wigs and closing up their dusty tomes this morning following the announcement by As A Dodo that the office of Attorney General of England and Wales has passed away, after an attempt to advise itself on the decision to advise itself about advising the government of which it was a member on the legality of a member of the government of which it was a member advising the government of which it was a member about its decision to take out of injunctions which might be seen to be to the advantage of the government of which it was a member resulted in a rip in the fabric of reality, not to mention assorted conflicts of interest.

The office of Attorney General was born in 1315, when Edward II took time out from being defeated at Bannockburn and avoiding pointed fire irons (especially the heated ones) to appoint an individual (ideally someone who worked out a lot and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the latest madrigals) to prosecute his business in the Court of Common Pleas.

Over the following centuries the office of Attorney General went happily about its business of advising the Crown (and whoever happened to be wearing it) without anyone ever questioning its role. Soon it was deciding who could and could not bring cases in the courts, handing out injunctions, being responsible for the criminal law and representing the public interest.

Early signs of future disaster began to appear in the late 17th century and early 18th century when the gradual spread of a phenomenon experts have identified as "democracy" first began to appear in the British constitution. By the 20th century definite questions had begun to arise over whether, as a government minister, the Attorney General could really safeguard the public interest when the government kept doing things that the public weren't interested in at all like having wars and buggering up the National Health Service.

It was in the early 21st century that the Attorney General embarked on the course which was to lead to his office's doom. The first sign of the disaster awaiting humanity came in 2003 when Lord Goldsmith was asked to advise his cabinet colleagues on the legality of war with Iraq and, when he indicated that he wasn't one hundred per cent sure it was legal was told to go away and think again until he came up with the answer Tony wanted. With the fabric of reality already beginning to twist as the Attorney General engaged in a novel form of quantum superposition, being at one and the same time a loyal member of the government and also an impartial law officer, many experts were already issuing dire warnings that "the constitution cannae take it captain".

Undeterred, the Attorney General ploughed on with his experimentation, insisting that the British constitution itself required him to test the public's tolerance by being the final arbiter of whether his cabinet friends and colleagues, including the Prime Minister that appointed him could ever be prosecuted should the police decide that they had been offering passing billionaires a "touch of the old ermine" for a loan of a spare million or two. Matters came to a head when, acting on a request from the police, the Attorney General attempted to obtain injunctions to prevent the public from finding out anything about the police's investigation and to prevent them from knowing he'd asked for an injunction in the first place. The attempt to act "completely independently of government" whilst at the same time being a member of that government caused the public's belief in reality to explode, irrevocably destroying the Attorney General's office.

The office of Attorney General will be buried under a vast selection of constitutional hats at the Heisenberg Church of Quantum Uncertainty. It is survived by the equally confused offices of Solicitor General and Lord Chancellor as well as being both survived and not survived at the same time by Schrödinger’s cat.

1 Comment:

Jungle VIP said...

Oh! the steaming heap of imorality and predujice. Of less import there was that stuff about Derry Irving and the wallpaper of course