Marcel Berlins writes in the Guardian this morning in protest at the government's describing the recipients of lawyers' services as 'customers' and not as 'clients'. Of course. The abolition of traditional business relationships is at the heart of social engineering.
Remember the four 'C's; citizens, clients, customers and consumers. The balances of power, and the formality, and the legal status of business relationships used to be clearly defined by the customary use of such terms. Lawyers and banks had clients, restaurants had customers, supermarkets had consumers and the State had citizens. Client relationships often enjoyed legal privilege, customer relationships implied a personal recognition between service provider and recipient, consumer relationships gave pre-eminence to spending power and citizens were the masters of the State. No longer.
The banks lost their clients and changed them for customers when they stopped addressing my letters to Raedwald Uffinga Esq, sometime around big bang, and shortly before my account was managed by a young woman in Mumbai. The government swapped citizens for customers when it adopted the banal and deceitful fulsomeness of commerce in its relationship with us; customers have far less power than citizens, and are always to be preferred by the State. And now, as Berlins complains, using a lawyer will be no different from employing a plumber (and probably cheaper), and customers can whinge to a call-centre about ineptly jointed contracts, or trusts that leak, or divorces that leave a wet mess on the floor.
Well, tough. The legal profession has willingly become amateur and second-rate over the past few decades in its rush to comply with the State's agenda to de-professionalise it. Now it must live with the consequences.