THE full majesty of the legal profession has trained its impressive heavy artillery on Labour peer Lord Hain, for used parliamentary privilege to disclose Sir Philip Green’s name in the House of Lords. Needless to say, Tory MP Dominic Grieve, a former Attorney-General, has joined in the political assault on Lord Hain, complaining in effect that his action was an affront to the rule of law. Sir Philip, who has fiercely denied allegations of sexual harassment against him, had used a hugely expensive legal device to prevent publication of his name in the media. How very convenient.

Sir Philip Green

People seem to forget that it’s the taxpayer who foots the bill for judges’ salaries, for the upkeep and running of the courts, and the pay of those who work in them, as well as legal aid. So surely he has a right to know how his money is spent? So Lord Hain has done them a service. What is the point of having a parliamentary privilege at all, if its use is to be deplored by, in this case, the well-heeled and expensive legal eagles?

Let us not forget, either, that the much-acclaimed British justice system, unlike the National Health Service, is available in certain areas only to the super rich, like Sir Philip. And who would have dared to sue the BBC in the privacy case but some hugely wealthy pop singer like Cliff Richard?

Even the mighty BBC decided against appealing in this case because of the amount of money it could lose. So what chance the little man? There are, of course, cases, family matters involving children, for instance, where privacy is desirable. But to allow wealth and power to keep the taxpayer in the dark about other areas of the law is a shameful scandal. Lord Hain is to be congratulated. I am sure he can withstand the slings and arrows of outraged lawyers.

I AM all in favour of MPs hurling robust insults at each other. But even I draw the line when those ‘insults’ suddenly become transformed into threats of murder.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell recently said a member of the Tory Government should be ‘lynched’. As far as I am aware, there has been no retraction.

And Theresa May was invited by an unnamed Tory to bring her own noose to a meeting of Conservative back-benchers about Brexit. Meanwhile, Labour MP Jess Phillips said she would not stab her leader Jeremy Corbyn in the back, but in the front. Later, she explained feebly and pompously that this was a ‘metaphor’ and not a threat. Well, you could have fooled me.

And another Labour MP, Caroline Flint has said she has been warned by another Labour Member that she will be “hanging from a rope” if she is not careful, over her views on Brexit. Talk about brotherly/sisterly love. This is no way to run what is supposed to be a civilised legislature. Those guilty should be shrouded in shame.

THERE are signs that a Labour Government would ban MPs from having second jobs. How short-sighted and constraining is that? It would do no harm to revert to the days when being an MP meant more than just having another well-paid job with plenty of perks, which it has degenerated into today.