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The Wasteland*


April is the cruellest month, breeding
LASPO out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and despair, stirring
Dull anger in its train.
Winter left us bare, covering
Estates in fears and so, feeding
An edge of life with dread of worse.
Summer no surprise for us, coming with lack of agency
With Court time drained; we watch the LiPs arrayed,
Armed with Bar Guidance, into the bear garden,
While in the Rolls Building, they talk for hours.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we are funded, staying hearings as our work’s
Main concern, for those out, due to a bed,
We are frightened. They said, denied,
Denied, funds are tight. And down we went.
In the Tribunals, there is no fee.
I read, scope and limit, and must watch aid splinter.

*With profuse apologies to T S Eliot

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. Kenneth Mayo

    tis true, tis true, the legal profession does hue,
    it is all for naught that we ensue, except that said,
    I’ll do it all for a fat fee or be dead.

    no apologies to anyone.

    • NL

      Ah Kenneth, you really have no idea at all about legal aid, do you? But thanks for stopping by. I’ve removed the link to your site.

      And I don’t think you know what ensue means, by the way.

      • Kenneth Mayo

        ah, that is the trouble with you people, all fact and no creativity – sad but true. Try thinking outside the box for a while. Ensue – to follow, occur as a consequence.

        The legal aid has been cut because of greed. From whence it commeth. The law and supposed justice is only for the rich as it always has been – it has been engineered to favour those already in power.

        • NL

          ‘We’ can’t ‘occur as a consequence’ in the context of your doggerel, but never mind. I’d also suggest that anyone who uses the phrase ‘thinking outside the box’ has no claim to any creativity at all…

          Legal aid cut because of greed? Really? Then why was the cheapest, most efficient part of it cut? And legal aid could and did present real challenges to power, from the lowest Tribunal to the Supreme Court. That might be a more plausible reason for it being cut.

          Bye now.

        • Kenneth Mayo

          since when could you get legal aid for really important legal argument against the all powerful~?
          If you want to talk to a barrister of, say one of the top six in London like CYK, they want 25k up front? now, for a couple of hours work, that is a little excessive. If you go to a local lawyer they want £185.00 an hour. The basic minimum wage is £6 odd so how can that individual ever get proper legal representation and achieve a standard of justice. The answer is they can’t and have to swallow the bitter pill!

        • NL

          Kenneth, you really don’t understand how legal aid worked. Big challenges, from challenges to benefit changes to treatment of detainees in Iraq, were funded, all the way to the Supreme Court.

          You are talking about private costs, not legal aid rates. But solicitors and barristers, including QCs, did (and do) work for legal aid rates, despite them being a fraction of what they could get on private rates. For what it is worth, I agree that without legal aid, or viable no win no fee agreements, it is very hard for someone to get adequate representation.

    • simplywondered

      what about ‘it’s all for naught that we issue’? see what i did there?

      that said, mr mayo states a view that is all too widely held that lawyers are fat cats. this is the same fallacy that allows city solicitor dominic raab to say he knows all about legal aid and get away with it. we have allowed the argument to be lost before it even began. probably too busy counting the loot.
      right, must dash, i’m off to oppose a possession claim pro bono. again.

  2. sue

    We’re not a nation of Prufrocks just yet I hope; not daring to disturb the universe. I certainly have great faith that the Law remains one of the best ways to challenge this Government; hence their eagerness to emasculate it. People really ought to be more shocked at what’s going on.


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