Friday, August 13, 2010

The Old Bailey

The Old Bailey has a matron.

And not just any matron. I am told by a colleague who recently spent some time there on a trial that other members of staff treat her with the deference due to an old-fashioned matron. "Good morning, matron", they say.

This pleases me enormously.

In the Bailey's lifts, on the wall, is a sign telling you what to find on which floor. Next to the floor marked 'matron', I had forcibly to restrain myself from scrawling the word 'Realllly'.

But what I want to know is this: how did such a venerable institution as an old-fashioned matron at the country's principal criminal court escape the levelling tendencies of Harperson, Blair, Brown and the gang?

How did they miss abolishing the Bailey's matron, in their great reinvention of the nation, when so much else was swept aside and bulldozed as outdated, sexist, racist, colonialist and all that other gay stuff (quoting freely from South Park)?

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