THE BALLAD OF READING COUNTY COURT LIFT: THE LIFT WITH ITS OWN TWITTER ACCOUNT – AN ESCALATING PROBLEM

Last week I went to Reading County Court.  This was a new court to me and I asked the Legal Twitterati for directions (“out of the station turn left at Snappy Snaps”, for anyone who needs to know). What was surprising was the number of people who also tweeted about the lift at the court. It has, apparently, been out of order for a year. It remained out of order last week. It had a sign on it  that it was hoped that “it would be fixed by the end of May”.  This was like a red rag to a bull to the lawyers of Twitter – why should we have to wait for the Prime-Minister to change before the lift was repaired? The broken lift, however,  is indicative, however, of a much deeper issue. Millions (if not billions) are being spent on “court reform” but the most fundamental task of ensuring that the vulnerable can get into court does not appear to be a priority.   Comments came in from several other courts that have been without functioning lifts (or lifts that worked on a fairly arbitrary basis – including one that caught fire).

As ever the Secret Barrister encapsulates it all in a few words.

Finally the lift in Reading County Court, lying broken for a year as an emblem of our tattered, starved justice system, has its own Twitter account. Do follow.

 

THE DANGERS OF THINKING ALOUD ONLINE

On the journey back I pondered whether the lift should have its own Twitter account.  With worrying speed, that indicates that machines will eventually take over the world, the lift set one up. It now has 964 followers on Twitter (one prominent QC remarked that the lift has four times more followers than he has).  Here is how it came about, and some of the (many) comments.  The lift is not averse to answering back and can hold its own in a Twitter debate. (I should add that whilst it is unlikely that the lift itself has set up its own account, I have no idea who is tweeting on its behalf).

POSSIBLY THE FIRST LIFT TO HAVE ITS OWN TWITTER ACCOUNT.

Do you think we should open up a Twitter account for the lift at Reading County Court? People tell me that it hasn’t worked for a year- so it’s not got much else to do…

What are you saying? I’ve been very busy. Being a lift isn’t all going up and down you know.

You can say that to your cousin in St Albans… and the other flaky members of your family

My cousin at the RCJ has had a very tough year. But I don’t think you lot appreciate us enough.

Is St Albans still not working? I was there over a year ago for a trial and it was out of order then. Not as if the big staircase isn’t an obstacle or anything……

I can confirm it’s still out of order

I’d like to say thank you to my many, many new followers. I do *slightly* wonder why you’re all following a lift, but hey…

But we now all need you to clear up the ambiguity. The sign on you that says you should be fixed by “the end of May” – is it temporal or political?

Colchester lift out of action. Last year judge came down stairs to apologise and ordered court service to pay both counsels’ and witnesses’ fees/costs incurred by adjournment. No recording facilities on ground floor.

Have you met your contrary cousin from Manchester? All shiny, flashing lights and promises of getting to your destination but in reality a bit of a let down.

I am only *slightly* upset that a broken lift in Reading has acquired more followers than me, in less than 24 hours.

They are fickle followers! Only looking to elevate their status . Sorry not sorry