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One of the pleasures of writing the Legal Costs Blog is the comments that readers add to posts. These are usually informative and thoughtful. Sometimes they are critical of the contents of something I have written. Sometimes these are outright (anonymous) personal attacks. I take the view that if one wishes to engage in this type of social media then one has to allow for this type of response. My policy is that so long as comments are not obscene or crude SEO spam, then I allow it in.
Over then to the Sound Off for Justice website. The very name of this campaign suggests it is all about free speech. They have a blog and the blog has a section for readers to add their comments.
The other day, in response to a post headed “Do you support the government’s ripping up of Magna Carta?”- dealing with proposed cuts to the legal aid budget – I tried to post a comment saying I was not aware legal aid had been around in 1215. Admittedly, this was rather an easy target but what do they expect from making comments suggesting that access to the free services of a lawyer has always been the God given right of every Englishman? (Legal aid was first established in this country in 1949.) As it was, the comment was not approved.
I tried again in response to their post headed: “Jackson Reforms Part One: The Compensation culture is a myth”. This consisted of the typical selective use of statistics. So I tried again with the following comment:
“Yes. Let’s look at the truth.
The BRTF’s conclusion that the compensation culture was a myth was based on the fact the total number of claims between 2000 and 2003 were broadly flat and then went down in 2003/2004. A reasonable conclusion based on the evidence.
The Young Report only commented on EL injuries, which have shown a long term decline (probably due to changes in the numbers employed in heavy manufacturing and changes to asbestos disease law).
Now look at CRU figures for registered RTA claims:
2006/07 – 518,821
2007-08 – 551,905
2008/09 – 625,072
2009/10 – 674,997
2010/11 – 790,999
A 52% increase over the period.
CRU figures for clinical negligence:
2006/07 – 8,575
2007-08 – 8,876
2008/09 – 9,880
2009/10 – 10,308
2010/11 – 13,022
A 52% increase.
CRU figures for total claims registered:
2006/07 – 710,784
2007-08 – 732,750
2008/09 – 812,348
2009/10 – 861,325
2010/11 – 987,381
A 39% increase
Damn that ‘compensation myth’.”
Again, it didn’t make it past the censors.
If you’re not prepared to allow criticism, turn off the comments option.