In the autumn of 1992 Michael Heseltine, then Tory energy minister, announced the infamous pit closure programme. At a rally in London's Hyde Park I attended a week or so later Michael Mansfield QC gave a stirring address to the crowd, complete with Wildean witticisms & a corruscating attack on both the Tories & the breakaway UDM.
This memory came back to me with remarkable clarity a few days ago when the Guardian's legal affairs editor, Ruth Dyer penned a portrait of Mansfield in the wake of the Diana inquest. Dyer mused on the reason for Mansfield taking on the case for Mohamed Fayed & drew attention to probably the most obvious factor:
"The fat fees must have been an enticement: Mansfield has clocked up £575 an hour for his services to Fayed, if the Lawyer magazine is right, and will have pocketed hundreds of thousands of pounds representing the bereaved Harrods owner at the inquest and in associated forays to the law courts to challenge the coroners' rulings."
Mansfield still regards himself as a socialist. More champagne, comrade?