News

QC at the centre of Brexit legal challenge forced to defend working class background in wake of Twitter abuse

By on
118

Yes my father is an ex-Etonian author, but he denied paternity, says Jolyon Maugham

lead12

Devereux Chambers’ Jolyon Maugham QC has come out swinging against Twitter trolls who doubted his working class background.

The top tax barrister has been faced with an onslaught of online abuse in recent weeks following his involvement in a number of Brexit legal challenges, some examples of which are embedded below.

This week, a number of tweeters rounded in on his claim he is from a working class background. In his blog’s ‘About Me’ section, Durham graduate Maugham said:

I had a difficult time at home and, from the age of 16, supported myself as a cleaner and then a secretary. At 17, I came to England [from New Zealand] initially living with an old family friend in a pit village in the North East where my grandfather’s family had lived. I worked for several years, initially as a clerk, at the BBC where I wrote a play for Radio 4 and a feature for Radio 3, before studying law. I feel keenly the need for more voices in public debate who have experienced poverty, who do not come from privileged backgrounds, and who view public policy as it impacts on people’s real lives.

But it seems the Twitter trolls can’t accept this, particularly Vote Leave’s Scottish “spokesman” Jack Montgomery.

A wave of abuse followed.

Eventually Montgomery asked Maugham whether he is the son of David Benedictus — an Eton-educated author and theatre director, whose most recent work is a Winnie the Pooh novel.

The leading barrister has remained dignified in his silence throughout the Twitter abuse, but it seems Montgomery’s question hit a nerve. Not only did he apparently block the Leave campaigner, he also made a series of tweets in seeming response.

His confessional has been met with a wave of support. One tweeter encouraged Maugham to ignore the “fools”, while another said she “never doubted” him.

118 Comments

Prince Harry

Hang in there buddy, my real daddy doesn’t wanna know either.

(41)(3)

Anonymous

I never understood why people try to justify themselves to absolute uneducated idiotic fools, especially when you’ve already explained your history/story. People love to talk for no reason, don’t feed their attention (to Maugham and anyone else)

(15)(10)

True-Man LJ

I’d imagine it derives from a sense of insecurity. The fact that an Twidiot judges you / your background is wholly irrelevant if you’re comfortable with your self and your knowledge of the truth.

(3)(10)

Anonymous

“An Twidiot” – Great work, champ. You show ’em who the real brainbox is!

(3)(1)

Anonymous

With gutter tabloids blathering on daily about an ‘out-of-touch elite’ in order to sell more copy to dissatisfied Brits (making the out-of-touch, elite billionaire press barons and their editors even richer) people are being taught to despise self-generated success and wealth.

Jo Maugham QC is typical: an elite professional who has cheated the system and become rich by putting in years of gruelling study and hard work. Compare this to the honest toil of Brits who win the national lottery to make their fortune. He is simply a disgrace!

No wonder people are so cross with him. And no wonder he tries to find common ground to communicate what he is about, rather than be instantly dismissed with inane put downs over his uncommon forename or his accent.

Play the ball, not the man. It’s what intelligent people do, once they’ve grown up.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

Hmm, seems to be a recurrence in the fact that the people going against brexit are the rich ones.

(18)(12)

Anonymous The Second

Yeah, funny that. Also seems to be a recurrence that the people insisting on it in as bloody-minded, swivel-eyed and suicidal a manner as possible tend to be the biggest dumbfucks..

(8)(11)

Anonymous the turd

The recurrence is not a difference between rich and poor, but between normal and thick as pig s41t… Anonymous seems to fall in the latter part of my societal venn diagram… with all the other dumbfucks..

(5)(5)

Anonymous

Just because you lost.

(7)(6)

Anonymous

It’s not necessarily that people think the EU is pitch perfect, but more that they oppose the likely consequences of Brexit : an economic meltdown from which we will not recover … a much greater sacrifice of sovereignty to super states like China and the USA in trade deals … and a charmless future of missed opportunity for new generations, growing up in a decaying and isolated nation – a society destroyed by its own stupidity. The grass is only looking greener because it’s Astroturf. Like the Brexit promises, it’s a complete fake.

There were several distinct voting trends linked to educational achievement, age and wealth. It seems mainly the younger, better educated and more successful understood the value of EU membership in supporting the economy, universities, scientific and medical research; and the benefits of sharing effort on, for example, security, European airspace coordination and pharmaceutical clearance. Many activities will have to be pointlessly duplicated after Brexit. Even now the bill is out of control and the NHS will be the first to suffer. The worst is yet to come. Ignorance will not shelter Brexiteers from the fallout.

(6)(5)

Anonymous

As if he is trying to act like he is from a poor background. I was sharing a room with my two brothers and my parents were sleeping on the couch for the first five years of my life. He is posh so stop trying to make excuses for him being undemocratic.

(12)(24)

Anonymous

That last sentence gave me an aneurism.

Ignoring that: there is no centralized standard for what qualifies as a struggle or traumatic experience. Nor does it exist in any relation to you. Your experience was terrible for you, just as his experience was terrible for him and his mother. The fact that you think his upbringing wasn’t as rough as yours does nothing to relieve the stress he faced dealing with it, just as the fact you’re not some kid from Darfur who has survived famine and/or genocide doesn’t mean you didn’t find those first 5 year traumatic. It can always be worse, but that doesn’t belittle our individual view or reaction to our own experiences.

(18)(7)

Anonymous

It just sounds like some rich kid whining because his daddy paid for his first Aston Martin when he wanted a Ferrari.

(11)(9)

Anonymous

You obviously haven’t read anything remotely related to this. No, it sounds like he was abandoned by his father for the first 17 years of his life.

(7)(7)

Anonymous

Fair play to him, he has done well from a hard start in life, but there has not exactly been full disclosure in the About section of his website. The “working class” claims now seem unwise.

(20)(6)

Anonymous

Regardless of whether you’re pro or anti Brexit, I think everyone can agree that Jolyon is incredibly smug and self satisfied.

(43)(12)

Anonymous

I feel sorry for the guy. He may well have had more breaks than many who have experienced poverty. But actually, I do think it makes a huge amount of difference to have experienced poverty at all, and to have known people in under-privileged circumstances well. This guy may have had a different experience from many working class or poor people. But he probably has a better insight into their experience than most of the bar, and he at least recognises that this range of experience exists.

(9)(10)

Anonymous

He has never lived in poverty and he needs to stop talking like he has. I respect your non bias view point, but he has not had a tough life one bit.

(15)(4)

LawNOrder

Let’s be blunt here, people couldn’t lay a glove on his legal arguments regarding brexit, so went for him personally instead. disgraceful

(17)(33)

Anonymous

They went for him because he has no understanding of the people he’s effecting. He doesn’t understand that it’s the big corporations and rich people who don’t want brexit to happen. All he wants is for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer so shut up. You are probably some rich young boy who has been spoon fed your whole life but not everyone is like that. Have a day in the life of someone who is actually poor and let us see if you will still stick up for him.

(10)(20)

LawNOrder

Oh christ, it’s the fifth yorkshireman, defending the right of fuckwit proles to ruin their- and our- lives

(10)(7)

Anonymous

And you are the reason why poor people hate solicitors. You are a smug, self-centred posh man who is upset because not everyone in the uk agrees with him. So what you lost so shut up and stop calling brexiteers uneducated as you know nothing about us.

(10)(9)

LawNOrder

Mate, I had 40 years of obese povvos whinging about losing the first time, the very idea that I’d ‘shut up’ because I ‘lost’ is indicative of your criminally low intellect

(6)(7)

Anonymous

Can confirm, I was obese povvo.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

So you are just going to do the same and whinge then?

(3)(0)

LawNOrder

No, I’m going to get rid of the reason to whinge, and stop this colossal collective tantrum

(1)(6)

Anonymous

And I really hope when you do you get the shit kicked into you.

Master of the bowels...

No whingeing northern boy…. the NHS provides free gastric bands… try getting cheap carb from poundland once we brexit… chav

(3)(1)

Anonymous

You may call me a chav but your grammar is disgraceful. Go get educated.

Dink

Correction:
If you read the article, it’s his father who “has no understanding of the people he’s effecting”. Maugham may have no understanding of the people he’s affecting.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

That is true to a certain extent but it’s also the case that he introduced the issue of his working class background, arguably to give greater effect to some of the arguments he was making. The Twitter trolls targeting him are nasty bunch but Maugham’s opponents are entitled to attack him on the working class point.

(12)(1)

Anonymous

He bought it upon himself by saying he was from a working class background. Like heck was he.

(11)(1)

unpopular opinion puffin

It’s the fact that his twitter bio has a link to his publicist which really grinds my gears.

Shameless self-promotion.

(19)(1)

Anonymous

This reminds me of the video where Donald Trump says “My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars, so no, it has not been easy for me.” This person knows nothing of poverty and the sooner he realises that the better.

(13)(2)

Trumpenkrieg

Yet another posho with a “faux prole” public persona! Similar to Lily Allen, who made a living out of being the avatar of urban council estate “culture” on stage but who was educated at Bedales and who is the daughter of Keith Allen the actor, whose connections gave her her break in the music industry.

(21)(1)

Anonymous

Similar to Donald Trump – see comment above.

(2)(0)

Trumpenkrieg

That’s not really the same kind of ‘pretending to be poor’, is it?

(2)(0)

Interloper

I see you’ve upticked yourself again 5 times you sad individual…

(0)(0)

'Flat Cap' Mulligan

Eh, by gum, thar’s our Jolyn done good. Ah remember when ‘e was born, I got t’news down the pit, brought by a canary, it was. I wouldn’t trade ‘im for a pint of bitter and a pork pie.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

A favourite game of rich people is to pretend to be poor.

(14)(1)

Trumpenkrieg

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(2)

LawNOrder

Eat a dick you scum sucking creep

(2)(4)

Anonymous

How does it feel knowing you lost and are never going to get over it. People like you make me hope brexit does fuck us over so you can be jobless and homeless like many of the people who voted leave are. Stop talking like you have any clue who brexit is going to effect when you’re some posh boy.

(5)(5)

LawNOrder

Be careful what you wish for.

(1)(5)

Anonymous

I find it funny how you try to act like the big man on here. You are probably some fat obese middle aged man who has no job and lives at home with his mum who spends his whole day on here pretending he is not a failure at life.

(7)(1)

LawNOrder

Projection, much?

(3)(4)

Anonymous

That makes no sense, fair play.

(3)(1)

LawNOrder

Actually, I’m living with your Mum, Anonymous…. she’s not homeless… and she’s definitely not jobless 😉

(1)(3)

Anonymous

I like how you bring my mum into this just because you are trying to act like a kid. You stated earlier you were over the age of 40 so please explain to me how immature you must still be to bring peoples mothers into this?

(4)(0)

Trumpenkrieg

Hey, cool it with the homophobic remarks, man.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(4)(2)

LawNOrder

Because his are anti-semetic, mine are simply opinon?

(1)(4)

Anonymous

Your comments are abusive, his comments are merely evidencing a pattern.

(4)(1)

LawNOrder

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(3)(1)

LawNOrder

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

You are honestly the funniest person I have met in my life. Having an argument with you is like having an argument with a two year old. Unlike you, I am not a virgin. You however, are stuck in an endless loop or crying and wanking. Don’t insult me just because you have got no where in life. After your earlier comments of having to put up with whinging for 40 years of your life, that would insinuate that you are at least 40 years old. And you currently spend your days arguing with more intellectual people on Legal Cheek. You definitely need to get out the house and stop pretending like you made it in life.

Trumpenkrieg

Shouldn’t you at least be able to spell the name of the group you’re so desperate to cuck for?

(0)(0)

Katie's mum

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

You missed a full stop.

Anyway in response to your comment, no. Just because you have raised a failure, doesn’t mean you have to get angry at someone whose parents didn’t.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Why don’t you just say you’re a proud anti-semite instead of mincing your words?

(3)(0)

Trumpenkrieg

What is anti-semitic about noticing patterns of recurring semitism in certain fields?

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Ah just ignore him. He’s trying to wind us up.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

The personal abuse is stupid.
The various legal actions are “proper”, in the sense that they raise tenable legal arguments. But they are pointless and very unwise. They will not stop Brexit – they will only make it more uncertain, more fractious, and more damaging. And they are bringing barristers, and the legal profession more generally, into disrepute. All they are achieving is to give the impression that lawyers are a bunch of anti-democratic snobs (whether or not their father is an old Etonian …).

(7)(2)

Anonymous

It is a good exchange of blows between the trolls and Jolyon…but his mum went to university, his blood father did get in touch and he had the amazing idea of working for the BBC and then getting a play published.

It is superb to be able to say “as was the Etonian manner of the time, he denied paternity”

But did the blood father lift him to the BBC ? Which university did his mother go to ?

One would imagine that from around 1984 the pit village that he lived in was in severe decline after the failure of the miner’s strike. To be submerged in the miner’s strike aftermath, and then practice the law set out below is unusual. One would expect that if you had similar roots to DH Lawrence, Arthur Scargill and George Galloway, you would be minded to try and use your skill in a community orientated fashion, like they do or did, not the fashion that he has chosen.

It’s a good exchange Jolyon, and it is good narrative on your About Me page, but I am skeptical given your output:

Jolyon has a predominantly litigation based practice in the fields of direct and indirect tax. He has particular expertise in avoidance, structured finance, intangible property, tax and judicial review, and employment taxation – Devereux Chambers website

(11)(0)

Respect

George Galloway “using his skill in a community orientated fashion”??? WTF, or are you being deeply ironic?

(2)(2)

WibbleWibbleWibble

What does anyone make of the statement of claim in the proposed Irish Brexit case? It’s on Jolyon’s website.

Can’t see it an Irish court making a reference to CJEU on this.

(2)(0)

Ciaran Goggins

So poor his Dad arrived on “Empire Windrush” and married a plate layers daughter in the 1911 census? Related to the Lindo’s of St Catherine’s Jamaica? We call him Jolyon “Reds” in a Brixton, Jah.

(5)(0)

Tyrion

In life you just have to ignore gossip, stories and lies about you. Sometimes its really hard but often your instinctive reaction will just make things worse. Those that love you don’t care what is said, they will love you regardless. Those that hate you don’t care about the truth, they just want to put you down. So just keep your head down and ignore it all.

(2)(5)

Anonymous

And the gayest comment award ever on legal cheek goes to you. Fair play.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Lol.

(1)(0)

Tyrion

Nothing wrong with being gay chap.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

I have never wrong with gays. Just you.

(2)(0)

Tyrion

‘I have never wrong with gays…’ Says it all really, retard.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

The reason why you’re gay is because you couldn’t get any girls. Stop living a lie.

(1)(4)

Not Amused

I think it was a bit silly of him to raise this:

Live by identity politics, die by identity politics.

(10)(1)

Slithy bottom feeding worm devoid of magic circles and kaleidoscopes of mixed emotions in the seventh circle of Woo

I cannot understand the thread has too much of the comments have been deleted.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Lord Lyle, is that you above ?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I fear that the much missed Lord Lyle has passed onto another plane…

… or else can be found dribbling and hooting in a straitjacket and adult nappies in an institution somewhere…

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Ignoring his background, surely answering the revocability question is a good thing? It would – quite usefully if we get a poor deal, which we likely will – allow Parliament to think again following negotiations.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Lyle is a nut job pussyhole

(4)(0)

Anonymous

It is wrong to attack the guy for his background.

He used to be one of the go-to lawyers to endorse pretty hopeless tax avoidance schemes. That is much more promising material.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I’ve just had a thought…is it possible that his About Me narrative is a spoof ?

I was thinking, if I am writing a narrative about my start in life, when I got to a location, why would I not put the location ? If the pit village was Easington in County Durham, why not say so ?

Or is it finessed ? If you treat yourself to moving up the page and re reading what he has written… – we came over from New Zealand to England, initially staying in a pit village.

It may be that he stayed in a pit village for 2 weeks (and he cannot remember the name off the top of his head) with some of his grandfather’s family members.

Then, look again at when he initially worked at the BBC for several years, he started as a clerk before writing a play.

The narrative is vague, isn’t it ?

To be a clerk in the 1980s and early 1990s tended to be school leavers job.

It seems obvious that he misses out his schooling and university.

I thought “I’ll check that out for the lad”

It turns out that he did an LLB in European Legal Studies at Durham and an MA in Modern Literature at Birkbeck College London.

So, if the narrative is not a spoof, one could be forgiven for saying that missing out his education is finessing the situation to embellish the working class point.

Someone’s comment mentions a link in it to his publicist. Perhaps the finessing was the work of his publicist.

Richard Branson went to the expensive public school called Stowe. But there has been narrative of him being an entrepreneur who made it from next to nothing,over the years, do people agree ? Perhaps that narrative was publicist derived and this is a publicist pattern. Or perhaps Jolyon is the most sincere person you could ever meet, and he was forgetful the day he wrote his About Me piece. He is QC, granted, but even a QC will omit major details from a short piece on a bad day, the argument in his favour would go. 🙂

(4)(0)

Anonymous

He clearly misrepresented his background. Completely unnecessary in my opinion.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

I’m afraid this whole story came about because Maugham made the issue of his birth class central to his pitch. Unwisely, he seems to have indulged in some selective storytelling – eg talking up living in a pit village at in England, while choosing not to mention facts such as his Eton-educated, Rothschild-tutoring, biological father . He says both of his parents were university educated, indeed one attended Eton and Oxbridge. However much one can argue about the precise definition of working class, I don’t think that quite cuts it, does it?

(9)(1)

Anonymous

A tax barrister that made millions helping tax avoiders avoid tax. Basically, he shared the money that should have gone to the Exchequer to fund schools and hospitals. Now the judges are cracking down on tax avoidance (he lost his last four cases in court) he uses Brexit to launch a new career. Appointing a publicist like a wannabe celebrity demeans him and the Bar.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

Like an archetypal tax avoidance wheeze the Irish case is wholly artificial and contrived. Legal chicanery will not go down well in the court of public opinion.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Hi! I’m Kevin Pratt. I feel for Jolyon. Whenever I tell my mates down at the bin depot about how I’m actually a distant member of the House of Windsor I get the same shit. It’s not bloody well on just judging people by the evidence and totally ignoring their story.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

I’m surprised the Bar Standards Board permit these things he get up to. “Manufacturing a case” in the manner he has done is still probably champerty and/or maintenance in Irish law. Yet he, as a QC, is apparently free to do it and to get the members of the public to pay for it rather than put his hand in his own pocket. Clearly the “QC” thing was a big factor in getting the public to fund the case so the Bar cannot turn a blind eye. Then he appoints a publicists and shows it off on his twitter handle alongside his “QC” title. Grubby and cringeworthy.

(13)(1)

Anonymous

Jealous

(0)(3)

Andrew F.

None of us can choose our parents, our upbringing, or the degree of early financial support that clears a path to our ambitions. Inequality of experience – and variations in aspiration and ability – must guarantee a general inequality of outcome. There is always a compelling argument to be made for encouraging social mobility, balancing regional support and the greater taxation of wealth and inheritance, but these require a governmental remedy. It is daft to disrespect successful individuals for the failure of politicians to end gross inequality.

There is a weird double standard at play here. Do we want the imaginative entrepreneurs who become mass employers, the scientists and doctors who seek cures for dread diseases and the lawyers who constantly tighten the nuts and bolts of democracy? Or are we better off without this ‘wealthy elite’, simply because we resent the possibility of their privileged upbringing? Are these people only sincere and genuine if they claw themselves free from a restrictive, impoverished background in the rustbelts of England? Is that a logical position?
Does it make any difference to their merit, either way?

If Jo Maugham were a Brexit cheerleader, pursuing legal challenges thought favourable to that cause (in reality, they are neutral) then I suggest we would see far less of this defensive class paranoia and rather more appreciation of an intelligent individual who is sacrificing his time and income to promote a Brexit outcome that observes the law and seeks to avert the economic suicide that others here seem so determined to engineer.

(2)(8)

Anonymous

None of us is forced to make our background an issue either …

(6)(0)

Anon.

Yes, it is odd Maugham felt the need to describe his background. Perhaps the thinking is that some people need to link identities before they can hear an argument. This ‘man of the people’ nonsense certainly did the trick for the millionaires, Farage and Johnson. At least Maugham has spared us silly slogans and lies on buses to go with it.

Perhaps we might question next the true motivation of our foreign secretary, the American Boris Johnson, or the Leave campaign originator, David Hannan from Peru, or their fellow Leave campaigner, the West German born Gisela Stuart … all of them shouting about the perils of immigration. Strange times indeed.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

… sacrificing his time and income on a publicist 🙂

(2)(0)

Anonymous

He claimed to have come “from a working class background” in his crowdfunding page to get money off public as a working class champion. I doubt anyone reading that would imagine he is the son of Benedictus and have been under his wing since the age of 17 after the early problems. He could have disclosed that. Similarly he always claims to have worked as a cleaner at the age of 16 before working at the BBC as a writer at the age of 17 without every mentioning his father’s then BBC connections. He makes his “working class background” a big issue and without the requisite full disclosure the claim is ultimately misleading.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

I think the people who crowdfunded him were more likely persuaded by his argument for clarity on Article 50 reversal, rather than his working class credentials. It may not seem important right now, but the snowballing list of post-Brexit expenses and obligations could see our economy in freefall long before those exit negotiations finish in 2018.

Masses of families could find themselves in big financial trouble, so it seems a good idea to check now if there’s a key to the escape hatch. Yes, I do mean by that another referendum. Democracy is a flexible, evolutionary concept intended for our benefit, not our destruction.

It is utterly irresponsible to lack this reversal ruling before triggering Article 50, but the government thinks a shot in the dark is good enough for the plebs. The rich won’t suffer.

(0)(4)

Anonymous

And who elected him to this role? Staggering arrogance and narcissism.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

He elected himself! I agree it’s incredibly arrogant of this lawyer to interfere by trying to make a vital, but completely opaque, matter of law clear to us all, so that we will know where we stand just before our country goes completely down the toilet in 2018.

These do-gooders are a pain. He’s a bit like an arrogant mechanic, insisting he checks your car electrics over, just because he’s seen some a whiff of smoke inside and thinks it might burst into flames with you and all your family inside. Just a selfish, interfering git!

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Nonsense. He campaigned vociferously for Remain. At the time he did not raise any of these “opaque issues of law”, which a fair minded person interested in law and due process would have raised. If Remain had won, he wouldn’t have raised them either. He’s only doing this now to advance the Remain cause. To dress it up as anything else is dishonest.

(5)(0)

Andrew F.

Your argument is not quite on all fours. The legal uncertainties over Articles 50 and 128 – issues of Brexit process – became relevant only because the referendum vote did NOT go to Remain. Maugham had no reason to raise these questions before the vote. Would you consult a doctor over an illness you do not yet have?

As for his dedication to the Remain cause, he makes no secret of it and clearly believes that Brexit is a mistake. My own view is that we should proceed with wide eyes and full knowledge of the law, regardless of whom that may benefit.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Silly analogy of the type Maugham makes in his blog makes one wonder if he’s fighting his corner here as “Anonymous” 🙂

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Meddlesome interloper 🙂

(2)(0)

Anonymous

“He elected himself” is a fair definition of narcissism!

(5)(0)

Anonymous

You could say Nelson Mandela was ‘self-elected’ in that he put himself forward to defend something he believed in. Should he have melted away from publicity, lest he be thought too narcissistic in taking a personal stand against apartheid?

If we can only move as a pack or a herd, there is only one voice and one direction.
Human progress demands more individuality and foresight than that.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

The comparison of an enabler of tax avoidance with Nelson Mandela is another indicator of the true identity of the writer 🙂

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Yes, tax avoiders and racial equality campaigners are unlikely bedfellows. IMO the narcissistic comments were silly anyway, I’d rather think about real issues. I can agree with the last bit though. We do need to keep listening to the ideas of individuals, not just the roar of an angry crowd.

Anonymous

Ridiculous comparison!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I fail to hear the drowning “roar of the angry crowd” when the country is pretty much evenly divided. As someone that voted for Remain I can’t support this attempt to rewrite the rules.

Anonymous

Making this a rich-poor issue (which is precisely why felt the need to concoct the working class background story) is disingenuous. The pooorest parts of the country voted most for Brexit despite the warnings of economic Armageddon. A second referendum won’t change that.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

I think Maugham was explaining he doesn’t identify naturally as a member of the ‘rich liberal elite’ who attract such populist scorn. I believe he cares about the welfare of the dispossessed Leave voters but, unlike them, regards Brexit as the weapon of their final destruction, not a pass to a sunlit future. The economic indicators suggest he is right.

If Project Fear testing reveals the truth, the poorest parts of the country will suffer the most hardship when EU regional funding ends. The burden of national debt and the shrinkage of the economy will hit hard. Faced with a highly unlikely Utopia over the rainbow, or the nostalgic familiarity of a gentler EU past, the public demand for another referendum could become deafening.

Who says we should not vote on the reality – not just the vague promises – of Brexit?

(1)(6)

Anonymous

Many of us care about others but wouldn’t dare to arrogate to ourselves a divine right that does not exist either in law or in the constitution. Maugham should stand as an MP if he wants to play politics.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

“A divine right that does not exist either in law or in the constitution”.
You are talking about Theresa May’s approach to Brexit, I take it?

Maugham isn’t playing politics. But May is definitely playing the law.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

No. Talking about Maugham who’s also been publicly moaning ceaselessly since Corbyn won the Labour leadership election the first time. His obvious diffulty in accepting results that don’t go his way indicates a contempt for the views and decisions of others.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

Regarding Corbyn, it just shows common sense.

Brexit sacrosanctum hominis est

‘Vote on the reality’ of Brexit? You must be joking! I’m not listening to you any more. Fingers in ears, everybody. Now, after me: La La La La La La La La La La

(1)(0)

Anonymous

In many people’s books a man that makes a living defending tax wheezes only “members of the rich liberal elite” can afford, who found some £1-2 to buy and restore a historic windmill he lives in etc is a member of the rich liberal elite.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

As to the Nelson Mandela comment, which someone seems to think may come from Mr Maugham himself, I make this comment:

If you watch the film of Mandela’s biography, to the trained eye, it is clear that Mandela has his middle class living shut off to him. He has a number of cases before the Court and the Judge, in essence, tells him off the record but sternly something along the lines that as the issues are raised by a black lawyer concerning black people, he should forget about them.

Is one entitled to speculate in this instance too that Mr Maugham, who has now cut himself off from junior work by dint of the Bar’s restrictive practice for QCs only taking on senior work, needs to find another income stream because of imminent legal changes in tax and EC law ?

I don’t know the answer, but I do know that in a legal career it is foreseeable that your income stream can dry up and you have to diversify. If you are a QC swimming in this stream, it may be difficult to do that.

You make a fortune by privilege, you occasionally get levelled by privilege too – as the cliché goes.

Legal Aid lawyers went on strike when their middle class income stream dried up. There was not the work within Article 50 to employ any of them, in those days.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Before painting daddy in such a bad light, I wonder how much his father was allowed access by the mother?

Many men give up after contact is made difficult for them. Like, say, by the mother moving to New Zealand.

(4)(1)

Comments are closed.