My apologies for the sporadic posting, the festive season being what it is, the chances of a coherent post being published between the 24th December and today are slim, to say the least.
Still, now we've finished celebrating the incarnation of Santa Claus, and have performed the modern equivalent of ritual self-flagellation; queuing for the sales, we can look forward to 2010.
What will 2010 hold for the CPS, the criminal justice system, and indeed, more widely?
Firstly, less money for criminal lawyers, obviously. The CPS has already started gearing up for redundancies -- the compensation scheme has been changed, and it's now cheaper to fire people. Voluntary redundancies offered already, compulsory ones aren't far behind. Further legal aid cuts seem likely as the government tries to stem the flow of money.
A Tory government handing charging back to the police -- discontinuance rates will soar to start with, and then settle down.
A new government will take a dim view of recruiting highly-paid higher court advocates with massive pension liabilities in such dire times. Cutbacks ahoy!
Those who cause death with a single punch, or with a single incidence of careless driving will get longer sentences.
The Tories will have to ditch their ridiculous promise to ditch the Human Rights Act.
More generally... foreign wars over silly finite energy sources to continue, the Higgs boson discovered and supersymmetry proven, medical science will continue to advance apace, Google will move ever closer to world domination, speculation in the biscuit market will cause a shortage of those ridiculously tasty caramel digestives, the ban on hunting with hounds will be repealed, televised political debate will fail to generate interest, and fewer people will vote in the General Election than voted in the X-Factor final.
Happy New Year to you all, may 2010 find you in rude health, free from oppression, famine, disease, injustice and suffering.