Occasionally I dip into the numerous notebooks which I have filled over the years with a hotchpotch of barely legible thoughts, quotes and nuggets of wisdom.

Today, whilst reading a somewhat dog-eared notepad, spanning the 2007-8 years, I came across the following quote from Karl Marx, who visited Harrogate in 1873 in order to ‘take the waters’. It made me grateful – and yet miserable – that it is negligent and uncaring employers which generate the need for employment and personal injury solicitors.

Marx was writing about criminals, but the same principles apply to workplace accidents and the poor treatment of staff. Irrespective of what you think about Marx and his adherents, I hope you find the quote thought-provoking. He wrote:

“A criminal produces crime….The criminal produces not only crimes but also criminal law, and with this also the professor who gives lectures on criminal law…. The criminal moreover produces the whole of the police and of criminal justice, constables, judges, hangmen, juries, etc.; and all these different lines of business…. Thus the criminal comes in as one of those natural “counterweights” which bring about a correct balance and open up a whole perspective of “useful” occupations…. Would locks ever have reached their present degree of excellence had there been no thieves? Would the making of bank-notes have reached its present perfection had there been no forgers?”

He surely has a point, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to eradicate crime, workplace accidents and the maltreatment of staff. I long for the reduction in the number of solicitors, because this would signify societal progress and the simplification of laws. President Obama famously wrote in The Audacity of Hope, “I wish the country had fewer lawyers and more engineers.” Pity he didn’t address why there is a need for lawyers.



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