I find that the Brian Reade column in the Daily Mirror is a wry antidote to the sneering of Tony Parsons. He was a great read in the Liverpool Echo and I always look forward to Thursday. He doesn't always hit the target but neither does Michael Owen.
His column today has its moments but has one fatal flaw.
Maybe I'm biased but his comments on Richard Branson's funding of some of the McCann's legal costs is a bit lame.
- Right to back McCanns
Brian Reade 20/09/2007
I've always seen Richard Branson as a human advertising hoarding whose gleaming gnashers are a neon sign screaming "ME, ME, ME". But I applaud him for giving £100,000 to kick-start a legal fund to clear Kate and Gerry McCann's names
And I don't question his motives for a second. What I do question is why, when funds are set up to pay legal teams £700 an hour, you never hear a single top solicitor offering their services for free, despite being among the richest people in the land. I'd raise an objection m'lud, but I'm sure they'd find a loophole.
I realise it's not a serious piece, but let me make the following points:
- The McCanns do not have to instruct such high cost lawyers at this stage. They have not been charged. They have every right to want Pinochet's lawyer but should be ready for the flak over extradition claims.
- Many members of the legal profession do pro bono work. This can be representing people on death row or dealing with non-funded areas.
- Counsel's fees can be negotiated with his/her clerk prior to work being carried out.
- Richard Branson may be genuinely interested in the case but he never fails to use an opportunity to plug his brand. He is the man Max Clifford turns to for advice on publicity!