"Save Legal Aid". Or as YouTube refers to it: "safely glade".
A barrister has recorded a song lambasting the government, in light of the recent criminal barrister strikes.
Australian barrister Mike Fullerton, who works at Church Court Chambers, penned the song "Save Legal Aid" in support of the strikes. In the ditty, the barristers complains about "government ineptitude", the courts being in "disrepair", and legal aid being "cut".
His rallying cry, or warble, manages to squeeze in lyrics about the government's independent review recommending an increase in fees, but "the government delayed," and the "increase in pay will not be effective for years." It may not be as catchy as the lyrics to Bob Marley's "Revolution", but as a lawyer, you can't fault him for detail.
Fullerton told RollOnFriday that he wrote the lyrics to the song in late August and early September. He has yet to perform it live, but said he would "possibly" sing it at a picket line outside court, if the strike was "not resolved soon." But, when asked, he drew the line at busking with the song to raise money.
Regarding the strike, Fullerton said: "I wrote the song as it is a different medium from the printed word and, having attended the assembly outside the Supreme Court and then heard the CBA submissions to the Joint Select Committee at the Palace of Westminster on 6th September 2022, hoped it would highlight certain issues facing the criminal bar to the wider public."
He added: "It is particularly relevant for the younger practitioners who are financially struggling to make a living on such low fees and to note the government has been cutting legal aid fees in real terms for years."
Unsurprisingly, Dominic Raab comes in for some stick in the song, having failed to ingratiate himself to criminal barristers during his time as Justice Secretary. Either that, or Fullerton was directing his ire at an obscure hip-hop lyricist:
Commenting on Raab's successor, Fullerton said: "I am hopeful that the new Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis will accept that there is urgent need to uplift the fee structure of legal aid and include any uplift to the backlog now numbering around 60,000 cases."
The barrister is not the first lawyer to belt out a song. Other legal efforts include a Christmas choir, a team-building singalong, a lockdown chant, a farewell serenade, a honky tonk, and tuneful legal advice on weed and pot brownies.
Full of Tunes (RoF apologises) Fullerton: