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Mayoral Result: Lawyers 1; Old Etonians 0

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Sadiq Khan nicks a goal back for the profession in centuries old battle with the privileged as to who should run country

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Sadiq Khan’s landslide victory over Old Etonian Zac Goldsmith as to who should replace Old Etonian Boris Johnson as Mayor of London provided a welcome respite for the lawyers who have been having a thin time of it of late in this who-sits-at-the-top-of-the-table fixture.

The glory days of the Blair years, when not only was the PM a lawyer but so was his wife (Cherie) and his mentor (Derry — or The Lord Irvine of Lairg, if you must) and half his cabinet, have long gone.

The Old Etonians — who had been considered, if not quite dead and buried, certainly missing in action, when Thatcher, a lawyer, of course, merrily culled them in favour of Etonians — have made a remarkable recovery. They now fill the roles of PM, Archbishop of Canterbury, Heir to the Throne and Reigning Channel 4 Celebrity Chef of the Year. The lawyers, in contrast, have Bob Mortimer and Gerard Butler who doesn’t really count as he was fired for a series of drink-related incidents weeks before the end of his TC.

Cue Khan. To prove once again the lesson rammed home by Thatcher and Blair that if you want to win an election by a large margin field a lawyer. Admittedly, the contest was merely for Mayor, not PM, but who would bet against the 2020 election being between Johnson and Khan in an OE v lawyer shoot-out for the ages.

At present, the OEs have 19 PMs against the lawyers 12 (the magic dozen being Wilmington, Bute, George Grenville, Addington, Perceval, Canning, Melbourne, Asquith, Lloyd George, Attlee, Thatcher, Blair). Twelve is none too shabby, certainly in comparison to banking with two and accountancy with a big fat zero (has an accountant ever won an election, any where, in any field?). But it is not that great either when you factor in Harrow with seven and people called William with eight. When a whole profession is only 50% more successful than a single Christian name then questions should be asked.

Principally, who invented democracy? In the pre election age lawyers thrived, During Tudor times — and have there ever been better times? — it was Thomas More this and Thomas Cromwell that and they were just the lawyers called Thomas.

Then elections began to be held, and the Old Etonians, who spend most of their schooldays electing each other, oiled their way back on to the public stage. While the lawyers were stunned to discover that the general populace seemed strangely reluctant to vote for lawyers.

Battle was soon joined and has been raging ever since between the privileged elite, who feel they had been born and schooled to rule, and the profession, who best understanding the laws consider themselves best placed to administer them. Separation of powers being all well and good but surely working best when the judiciary are lawyers (a lock-in) and the executive are also lawyers.

With luck, Khan’s victory will herald the start of the profession’s resurgence and put an end to the current ridiculous state of affairs where there are more bankers than lawyers in the cabinet. And no Williams.

30 Comments

Not Amused

It was a choice between two shit candidates.

(15)(11)

The Trumpster

Hear hear.

(1)(4)

Anon

Given the reputation LC commentators have for being intellectual snobs (of which I am admittedly one), this attitude is not unexpected. How do we choose between a man who didn’t even go to University and a man who went to a former polytechnic?

Personally, I preferred Boris. Maybe that’s because I don’t study or live in London, but the man is just so humorous and likeable.

(5)(8)

Anonymous

What a load of lefty twaddle.

(9)(3)

Anonymous

*Gerard, not Gerald Butler

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Irvine, not Irving. Come on LC.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

What does his school have to do with anything. At least he wouldn’t write this particularly incoherent babble:
“The Old Etonians — who had been considered, if not quite dead and buried, certainly missing in action, when Thatcher, a lawyer, of course, merrily culled them in favour of Etonians ”
This country is fuelled by bitterness and envy and it does nothing to advance the cause of fairness. And this is coming from an old etonian who doesn’t want the school you attended to be determinant of anything.

(6)(9)

Grammar School Boy

Diddums!

(3)(0)

Anonymous

u ok hun?

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Aside from the obvious and quite distasteful reverse snobbery in this article (and no, I didn’t go to Eton, I went to a comprehensive), your writing style is really irritating.

(12)(3)

Anonymous

This is a truly terrible article.

(13)(1)

Anonymous

Nice to see LC’s impartiality, as always.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

What is the point of this article? Is the author *genuinely* making the point that, in politics, lawyers have been unfairly maligned and are the underdogs in parliament?

What twaddle.

The world and his dog knows that for wannabe politicians, the law is sometimes seen as a waiting-room profession pending their elevation to PPC.

A proper discussion might be why there is a disproportionately high number of people in the cabinent who went to lofty public schools (except George Osborne, who apparently is nicknamed, “Oik”, as he went to St Pauls), were mates at Oxford and were all parachuted into safe tory seats. It’s got b**ger all to do with being a lawyer, mate.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Pretty meaningless article considering the huge amount of overlap between the two teams.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

You beat me to it

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Surely, the Heir to the Throne went to Gordonstoun, not Eton

(3)(0)

Certainly not a University of Southampton grad

Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story

(0)(0)

Katie's wannabe lover

Not sure Eton would be keen on you referring to Goldsmith as an old Etonian considering they expelled him. If my school is anything to go by you get refused entry to the old boys association if you get expelled (which is nice as it means I don’t have to deal with the knobs who got expelled when it comes to reunions)

(0)(1)

ey you what?

Awful writing style. Now we know why you failed to get a TC/pupillage and have to write on legal check

(2)(1)

Pantman

I cannot make any sense of this sentence:

“The Old Etonians — who had been considered, if not quite dead and buried, certainly missing in action, when Thatcher, a lawyer, of course, merrily culled them in favour of Etonians — have made a remarkable recovery. ”

The Old Etonians were culled in favour of Etonians!? Thatcher put school boys in her cabinet rather than wait for them to mature a little?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

That sentence is awful. I had to read it several times. I think it should mean Thatcher favoured Old Etonians over lawyers even though she was a lawyer herself.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I thought it was a typo and actually intended to be a reference to MacMillan’s jibe about Thatcher’s cabinet having more Estonians (which was a coded reference to Jews) than Etonians.

(0)(0)

Zaki

John Major was an accountant actually.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

But how do you feel about Etonian Lawyers?

(1)(0)

Danger Mouser Chief Agitator & Rabble Rouser

The Law is greater than all these meaningless trifles. The law comes before all machinations of man and as long as you know your place before it, I got no problem with who or what you were born.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

“who had been considered, if not quite dead and buried, certainly missing in action, when Thatcher, a lawyer, of course, merrily culled them in favour of Etonians”

Far too many commas.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

In the interests of accuracy (not always a strong point on LC, I know) I should point out that 4 of your lawyer PMs were also Old Etonians (Bute, Grenville, Canning and Melbourne)…..

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Actually accountants have won elections…the deputy PM of Australia Barnaby Joyce is an accountant. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnaby_Joyce

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What the fuck is this shit and why is it on Legal Cheek?

(0)(0)

Anon

Let’s not forget that two of the present Supreme Court bench are old Etonians (Carnwath and Sumpers). Top stuff.

(0)(0)

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