Musis Respublica Floret
Which being interpreted means that I am doing my civic duty, and, a day and a half now into my sojourn in a jury waiting room, I am being sustained in it by the Muses in the shape of Roy Jenkins’ life of Gladstone. Mr Gladstone has introduced his first Budget, reformed the university of Oxford, and is just opening up the civil service to entrance by competitive examination – except in the Foreign Office, ‘in which latter department Palmerston had introduced a very limited measure of meritocracy, based mainly on the possession of a clear bold handwriting, a few years before.’ I would have failed.
Lord Jenkins and I and eleven others are in this under-heated waiting room because of legal argument, to which we are not allowed to listen. It went on all day yesterday and then that case collaped. Then they swore us in for the next and sent us home. Then this morning they said they would be about ten minutes, but that was ninety minutes ago. I do not know what Mr Gladstone would say. I do know, however, that it would take him several hours to say it (‘there was some straying of attention during Gladstone’s second hour, to which he responded with pained rebuke’), so that our last state would be worse than our first. Tomorrow I think I shall bring my knitting.
Herself: Off with his head!
K: Take a basket, too, and a guillotine if you happen to have one.
Every morning, on my way to continue doing my civic duty, I get off the bus and walk down the road, passing the little Alice in Wonderland shop. Then, a few yards later, there we are at the Crown Court. This isn’t helping.
What The Church Can Learn From The Law
1. Every time the clergy need to discuss points of theology, the congregation should be sent out into the waiting room.
2. The congregation will be selected at random from the electoral roll.
3. Attendance at services is compulsory: however, once a member of the congregation has attended a service, they will be exempt from attending another for the next five years.
4. More wigs.