Gishan Abeyratne
Gishan Abeyratne
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

General Election 2017

Theresa May has called for a snap general election to take place on June 8th this year, which caught everybody by surprise. With the Conservative Party making serious gains in the recent local elections many people are saying Theresa May’s Tories are going to run away with this one. While that might not necessarily be a bad thing it might be prudent not to speak to soon; given how leaderships have been challenged and changed in recent years and how the global political landscape has shifted, I think this could be one of the most influential and historically significant elections Britain has ever seen. Does anyone else share my excitement?

During the last election I really enjoyed the televised debates. The idea of Nigel Farage and Nicola Sturgeon going toe to toe on national television, it was almost as hyped as the recent Anthony Joshua fight. The media plays a huge part in elections and can easily sway the way we vote without us even noticing. What’s really interesting about this is how that happens, the points that are focused on, and the things that are said.

The current shadow home secretary, MP Diane Abbott, was recently the victim (I use the term loosely) of media scrutiny. During an interview with radio journalist Nick Ferrari, Ms Abbott made a colossal mistake which not only made her look foolish but also made her party look like they had no idea what they were doing. Remember when Ed Miliband unveiled his stone tablet in a car park during the last election? That was really funny! What about the time Gordon Brown was accidentally recorded insulting a voter? My focus on the Labour Party may give you an indication of my political allegiance, but let’s not forget almost everything inappropriate Boris Johnson has said during his career. Interestingly, regardless of where you stand on the political map, I feel that we tend to remember governments and prime ministers, and most politicians for that matter, all too often by the actions and decisions we consider to be mistakes. A leader is rarely remembered for their successes.

MPs are judged by their words and by their actions, as are all of those who live and work in the public spotlight. This level of public and media scrutiny is reserved for those whom we feel serve us in some way or perhaps owe something to the people, the average man and woman and general member of the public. As well as the Royals and politicians we also offer this level of criticism and lurid judgment to celebrities and sporting professionals, because we can, I suppose. But what if it happened to you? What if everything you said and did was analysed under the metaphorical microscope and you were judged because of this? We probably wouldn’t like it, it’s likely many of us would object to this, but actually it probably happens more than you realise.

Lawyers are a naturally verbose bunch. I imagine any Lawyers reading this will be nodding in agreement. It’s difficult not to take a lawyer at their word (whether written or spoken) because of the nature of the profession I suppose. But whether you have a lot to say or a little, it’s always worth thinking before speaking. Some unfortunate lawyers have found themselves in hot water after over-sharing personal feelings in emails and tweets in recent years, most of which can be found through a quick search on RollOnFriday.

Whether speaking with friends and family, conversing with colleagues, engaging in debate online, writing a CV or taking part in an interview; we are almost always in a position to be judged (rightly or wrongly) by what we say and do. Speaking to lawyers on a daily basis, advising them on their CV, discussing new job opportunities and helping them prepare for interview I see how easy it is for a person to say something that could be misinterpreted. Perhaps a slight exaggeration that could get out of hand or giving the wrong information when put under pressure. The important thing to remember is not to panic, don’t lie and avoid hyperbole.

We will judge politicians in positive or negative light over the next few weeks and we will use this judgment to make a decision as to who will lead our nation for the next five years. I dare say some of them might benefit from some interview preparation and they would be welcome to give BCL Legal a call, but we’re not specialists in politics, we’re specialists in the legal sector.

BCL Legal registers an average of 1000 new lawyers a month throughout the UK, all of whom can rely on us for confidential, impartial, practical and measured advice on your CV, career opportunities and interview preparation.

For more information contact Gishan Abeyratne at BCL Legal.

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