It gives me no pleasure to return to the subject of Brexit, and what it is difficult not to regard as the complete breakdown of proper government as the Prime Minister ducks and weaves, apparently intent on seeing her deal pass at all costs, yet refusing to rule out “no deal”. It is laughable that she and her ministers maintained that doing so somehow strengthened our hand in negotiations, but criminal that the Government continues to spend many millions preparing for something that neither it, nor a majority in the House of Commons, appears willing to see come to pass.
Leaving aside the clear arguments (in my humble view) for putting the question again to the people on the basis of the reality that is now becoming apparent, on a practical level legal firms, like most businesses, must try and work out what effect it could all have on them – and what new opportunities might exist for being of service to clients. This is something many smaller practices have still to address properly, on the indications received as we prepared our lead feature, but it would be surprising if there was indeed nothing they could do, in most cases. We hope our feature at least prompts some serious thought on the subject: even if the 29 March deadline is extended, there is little time to act.
Each year, International Women’s Day serves as a reminder that although great strides have been made towards gender equality especially in recent decades, much remains to be done. Last year, and again this year, publication of the gender pay gap figures is serving as a reminder of that.
One main aim of diversity training is the elimination of unconscious bias. That fault is all the more insidious simply because of what it is: if we are unaware of its presence, how can we counteract it? Being informed of the ways in which it commonly works would be a good start.
I have reflected on this since reading this month’s Opinion column. Diversity is, of course, about much more than just gender, or indeed ethnicity, and here our contributor, Laurie Anderson, speaks up for the LGBTQ+ community, explaining why they have such a high incidence of mental health-related issues such as panic attacks and stress. I admit I learned something from this. How many of us can read it and not say the same?
Finally, your Journal will have arrived this month in a paper envelope rather than a single use plastic wrapper. A number of readers have voiced a desire for a more easily recyclable wrapping and Connect, with the Society, has responded.