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A Tale of Two Lawyers – Money rights vs People rightMinimize

In the life of busy barristers, a change of pace can be as good as a holiday; in this episode, our two protagonists, Erasmus Smith and Pontifex Jones were engaged to represent two Institutes before a Parliamentary Inquiry into whether crimes against money should have harsher penalties than crimes against people.

Erasmus Smith appeared for the Institute of Human Dignity and Pontifex Jones appeared for the Institute of Right Wing Self –Righteous Bankers, before this lengthy Inquiry.

Erasmus set out to prove that human dignity was a foreign concept to a banker, whose world only three parts to it:

  • the banker
  • the banker
  • the banker

Pontifex immediately objected to this, saying that as human dignity was a concept, not a thing that could be valued, bought or sold, it was irrelevant; according to Pontifex, the law did not recognise this obscure concept and as such, was an irrelevance and not worthy of consideration by the members of this Inquiry.

Erasmus responded by pointing out that numbers do not exist, they are a concept, therefore any reference to numbers was in the same category as human dignity; this point was conceded by the Chairperson of the Inquiry, much to the chagrin of Pontifex.

Having won this skirmish, Erasmus went then on to explain why this concept of human dignity was vital in establishing the balance between the penalties for crimes against money and crimes against people.

“Money was invented as a means of exchange, to enable communities to have a common medium of agreed value to develop resources and encourage trading of tangible and intangible goods, thereby allowing the science of economics to develop, which on the whole was a good thing,” said Erasmus. “The arrival of bankers and banking, the first having preceded the second, heralded the distancing of human dignity from the process of buying and selling and removed bankers from the realities of the marketplace,” continued Erasmus. (It should be noted here that Erasmus did not come up with this himself – he had sent his clerk, Belinda Grace, out to research this subject and to write out his submission for him!!)

“UNTIL computers complete their takeover of banking,” said Erasmus, “we should hold bankers liable and responsible for their actions, for they are forever committing crimes against money and should be accorded human dignity, as if they were members of the human race.”

With that, Erasmus declared his opening statement closed and sat down. It was a good think that Erasmus sat down at this time as Ms. Pontifex Jones was about to explode; she immediately rose and red of face and wild of eye addressed the Chair Person of the Inquiry: “Chairperson, what a load of left leaning soporific nonsense we have just been subjected to; this world could not exist without the no nonsense rules of banking. Of course crimes against money, which cannot be committed by bankers, who love money more than they love their wives or partners, are the most serious crimes of all. Who but an imbecile like Erasmus Smith could not see the truth of this?”

Dear readers, it is painful to admit this, but the Chairperson of this Inquiry has prohibited anything further of this discussion being published, so we must conclude this report at this stage.


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