However – he did grandly announce that he did not exist, from his position of principled non-existence. Jean-Paul Sartre would have been proud of him.
If nobody is around to hear him say he didn’t exist – does that mean he does or he doesn’t exist? (Fans of Bishop Berkeley, see me after class; my brain is incapable of taking in the answer so early in the day…).
Dr The Rt Hon The Lord Harley of Counsel of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem DPhil. claims that Alan Blacker, honest Irish Rochdale lad made good in the form of solicitor- advocate at the Joint Armed Forces Legal Services in Rochdale, did not exist in ‘Alan Blacker’ form when addressing the periwigged and berobed ‘eighteenth century’ figure of His Honour Judge David Wynn Morgan in the Cardiff Crown Court.
Faced with such pomp and circumstance, Mr Blacker adorns his solicitor’s gown (not robe! Perish the thought, they may look the same, but only Judges wear robes…) with medals, and ribbons, dons a periwig himself and insists on being addressed by his full hereditary title…
His Honour Judge David Wynn Morgan was not impressed at being thus upstaged, and complained that the long-haired Dr The Rt Hon The Lord Harley of Counsel KStJ DPhil. looked like Rubeus Hagrid from Harry Potter.
The long-haired Dr The Rt Hon etc., etc., was mightily offended and complained to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Board who concluded that His Honour Judge Wynn Morgan had behaved most properly, and being fully entitled himself to dressing as a 21st century version of Louis XIV the Sun King he was within his rights to complain of some mere mortal coming to his court dressed as an extra from Harry Potter.
This gratifyingly Rumpolish exchange of views as to relative polarity in delusions of grandeur kept the legal profession in periwigged sniggers for several weeks; our fellow blogger, Matthew Scott, earned the soubriquet ‘The Cretin’ when he attempted to get to the bottom of Dr The Rt Hon etc., etc., many claimed qualifications – though Matthew merely checked the list of British Privy Councillors.
Perhaps Matthew should have looked at company listings, for did not the bejewelled Mr Blacker (and his wife, the fragrant Collette – whatever happened to her?) once preside over the PRIVY ARBITAL COURT in sunny Rochdale? Yes, it was struck off by Companies House, and it’s not the Privy Council, but you can see how a man could be confused. The Privy Arbital Court has a long and insalubrious history, stretching back some 20 years, one we can peruse thanks to the remarkable ‘wayback’ machine .
The Zoological Society of London was baffled by Blacker’s claim he was a trustee.
“Alan Blacker is not a trustee of the Zoological Society of London,” a spokesman said.
Rochdale Council was confused by Blacker’s claims to have been secretary of “Rochdale Local Government Committee” at “Rochdale MBC” – understood to mean Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council.
“We’ve got no record of him on our system at all,” a spokesman said. It had “no record of that committee.”
The Institute of Health Care Management was surprised by claims the solicitor was a fellow of organisation.
“Alan Blacker is not a member,” a spokesman said.
The CV asserts Blacker was “Branch Secretary Honorary Colonel 24 Batt. (Irish) and 1st Btn” at the Royal Artillery Association in 2000.
“We don’t have him on our database,” the institution said.
The CV insists the lawyer worked in former MP Lorna Fitzsimon’s office for two years as “a caseworker, legal advisor and researcher” from 2002 to 2004.
Ms Fitzsimons – whose name is misspelled on the CV – declined to comment. But it is understood Blacker volunteered in her office.
A source who worked there at the same time dubbed Blacker “a fantasist.”
We have a judicial system that claims the right to imprison men and women based on an ability to tell fact from fiction. That is its role in life. It is staffed by men and women who pride themselves on their attention to detail, their ability to discern true meaning from words.
Yet the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority contented themselves with a statement that ‘confirmed he was registered and no disciplinary action had ever been taken against him’. Given the confusion over the basic facts of his degree, law or otherwise, they might have looked at little harder at Mr Blacker. Clients, including the ‘vulnerable’ and ‘underage’ that he claims to be able to represent, are surely entitled to something more than a confirmation that he is on the Roll, and some basic checks as to how he came to be on the Roll.
Mr Blacker himself has said that he is suffering from a brain tumour:
He said he is severely disabled with a heart condition, brain tumour, plural issues on his right lung and arthritis.
and for this he must have our sympathy – but his potential clients are also entitled to some sympathy too – they are not necessarily worldly wise enough to be able to check out his credentials. Not least Mr Wojcicki who went to prison for five years whilst the world was obsessed with his defence counsel’s sartorial affairs. Perhaps he was truly guilty, perhaps not – but definitely he was entitled to have a solicitor advising him who was as qualified as he claimed to be.
I am minded of Michael Shrimpton, coincidentally another daft as a brush, or mad as a box of frogs if you prefer, legal practitioner on the
Cardiff circuit, who was only uncovered and removed from his ability to prey on vulnerable clients when he tangled with the Ministry of Defence – the legal profession was quite content to have him around.
If the country’s finest legal brains, and most scrupulous hermeneutic analysts cannot see past Mr Blacker’s barrage of fantasy, what chance the gullible public?
The end of this sorry tale is not that the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority, or the Law Society has finally taken Mr Blacker in hand and hopefully persuaded him to see a good psychiatrist – but that they were kicked into action by the St John’s Ambulance organisation of all people, complaining to the police in respect of those medals and his claim to be ‘of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem’. They complained to the Police.
“St John in Wales would like to confirm that Lord Harley (Alan Blacker) is not a member of the Order of St John and his name does not appear on the roles of the Priory for Wales or England and he is therefore not a member of our Order. He is not entitled to say that he is a Knight of the Order of St John and the dignities that appertain to being a Knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.”
So far Mr Blacker has demanded that the Tribunal be re-sited in Rochdale as that is more convenient for him; that the Tribunal communicate with him via a phone number which rings unanswered save for the message “Lord Harley speaking from the North of England …. Leave a message after the sheep *Baaaa Noise*”; that the hearing be in camera for fear that his reputation will be damaged; and has now been given until the 21st January 2016 to muster the ‘academic witnesses’ that he says will be able to counter the 17 witnesses for the ‘prosecution’ – just as soon as he is able to contact them. He says he can only allow 5 hours a week for this essential task.
Only today, Thursday 5th November, have the SRA (they have admitted that they have lost the file showing their checks on his qualifications) finally announced that they are actually investigating Blacker on the following counts:
1. Failed to maintain properly written up accounts to show dealings with client money.
2. Failed to maintain properly written up accounts to show dealings with office money relating to client matters.
3. Failed to obtain an accountant’s report, within six months or
at all, for the accounting period including October 2013 during which he held client money.
4. Between 2011 and August 2014 made, or caused or allowed to be made, statements concerning his academic qualifications which were inaccurate and misleading.
5. Between 2011 and August 2014 made, or caused or allowed to be made, claims as to appointments or accreditations awarded by, or memberships of, organisations which were inaccurate and misleading.
6. Between 2011 and August 2014 made, or caused or allowed to be made, claims to be entitled to use titles which were inaccurate and misleading.
7. On 28 August 2014, while appearing before His Honour Judge Wynn Morgan at Cardiff Crown Court, recklessly misled the court.
8. Between March 2015 and June 2015, failed to co-operate with the SRA.
Serious charges – it would appear that correctly bewigged and begowned, you can prance around the High Court for years on end without ruffling feathers at the SRA, a sentiment captured by Charles Dickens in The Old Curiosity Shop:
‘Would you care a ha’penny for the Lord Chancellor if you’d know’d him in private without his wig? Certainly not!’
Decorate your gown with the medal of St John – and there is a chance that the public might be protected from you.
*A tip of the Raccoon tail to the excellent web site ‘lawbytes‘ – a mine of information.