Julia Hartley-Brewer: My Day

Up early to get into TalkRadio by black cab. Driver asked me what I did for a living. I cleverly told him it was none of his business. That shut him up for the rest of the journey.

Bought cappuccino to take into work. Idiot trainee barrista asked if I wanted to try the new Columbian blend. “I really don’t care,” I told him, “your coffee is always awful. Why should it be any better just because it comes from Colombia.” Rather pleased with this response.

After the show, lunch was a buffet at Indian restaurant round the corner from studio. Moron waiter suggested I try their new chicken curry.

Quick as a flash I replied: “Do you seriously think I come here for the food.” Needless to say he didn’t have anything to say to that.

Hairdressers appointment in the afternoon. Utterly gormless hair-washing girl, couldn’t have been more than 18, asked if I wanted conditioner.

Do I look like the sort of woman who uses conditioner?” I asked.

She couldn’t find a suitable reply and just carried on rinsing my hair in silence for the next 2 minutes. When she finished she asked if I’d like a cup of coffee.

It’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon,” I parried, “why aren’t you offering me tea?”

No match for my verbal dexterity; she just burst into tears. Honestly, where do they find these people?

Since I can never find an Uber driver now – obviously a failing business model – I had to get the bus to the station. Crowded, but I found a seat with a bit of leg-room that everyone else seemed too shy to sit in. Dreadfully uncomfortable, but at least I didn’t have to stand like the pitifully incompetent mother holding a screaming 2 year old a few inches away from my ears.

Keep that brat quiet. Some of us are trying to tweet,” I managed to shout into her ear when she bent down to pick up her shopping which by now was falling out of a broken shopping bag and rolling all over the floor. She had nothing clever to say in reply, she just looked rather sad.

On the way home stopped at Waitrose to buy something for dinner. It’s the summer hols so there were the usual spotty teenagers offering to pack shopping. The boy at my till looked about 13. All I bought was a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a Waitrose Essential Provencal Bouillabaisse but the scrotty youth put them in a bag anyway before shaking a collecting tin under my nose.

What are you collecting for?” I asked him.

Medecins sans frontieres.”

I didn’t pause for breath before putting him in his place.

You do know that hardly any of that money will actually be used on people that need it, don’t you? Most of it will just pay the salaries of bloated managers and probably on a new Mercedes for an African dictator. You’ve got blood on your hands.”

The boy started to sniff and then burst into tears, obviously he hadn’t got the first idea about the real world. On the plus side I’d made him look a complete imbecile; my only regret was that it took me more than 140 characters.

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Author: Matthew

I have been a barrister for over 25 years, specialising in crime. You may also have come across some of my articles I have written on legal issues for The Times, Standpoint, Daily Telegraph or Criminal Law & Justice Weekly

30 thoughts on “Julia Hartley-Brewer: My Day”

  1. I am sure she wrote this in jest…. of not it shows what a pathetic human. Ring she is. I used to listen to her on LBC but am glad she left. Now on TALK RADIO…… no thanks.

    Usually talks rubbish…. She also supports Brexit…..enough said….just happy I don’t know her.

  2. A brilliant caricature! A veritable Hogarth or David Levine in words! Well done.

    Whenever this ‘lady’ is on BBC Question Time or similar I can guess her response before she opens her ‘gob’. Rude, hurtful and simplistic…all summed up in this amusing ‘diary’. I gather she was at Magdalen, Oxford. What a waste of a good education!

    I guess she is a product of the media’s love of the disagreeable presenter with extreme views. The Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay. They are not devoid of intelligence and know their stuff, but feel the need to be aggressive in a way that ‘puts people down’. To me it is a less acceptable part of modern society and not as clever as the writers in Private Eye. Your blog has raised a mirror to Madam’s disrespectful, churlish face.

  3. Dear me.
    This is a spoof JHB column written by Matthew.
    It’s obviously really good, since it’s fooled almost everyone, judging from comments above.

  4. I didn’t read beyond the first few sentences, I just got the impression that it was being written about or by a horrible snotty cow who’s got a personality problem.

    What an on friendly woman!

  5. Very nice.

    The smugness of the woman always winds me up – which I regret, as “winding people up by being annoyingly smug” is so obviously what she’s trying to do. I noticed that, when she commented on the response to her original tweet, she didn’t say “Lots of you think I was rude” but “Fascinated how many people think I was rude” – as if to say “I’m enjoying counting up how many people disagree with me and hence are obviously wrong”. I think she must work on it, which is an unpleasant thought.

  6. She went to a Comp unlike you with your priviliged background Matthew.

    Like many of us who have similar backgrounds to Uber drivers and others who provide services to people like you, we don’t feel the need to patronise them even when we have done okay for ourselves. We treat people as equals and tell them how we see it rather than treating them as children whose feelings we must be careful of.

    Your blog says more about you and your ilk, with your condescending attitude to those who you feel sorry for.

    Treat people as equals and leave out the smug false niceties as if you really give a fig.

    1. Pretending to be a judge, Jim, in order to draw out a pithy précis of Ms H-B’s peculiar place in British popular culture?

      But I agree with others that this wasn’t Matthew’s finest characterisation, however.

  7. I enjoyed it, Matthew! Craig Brown standard, which is a great compliment!
    And some of those comments were lovely! Some quite possibly were even serious – which adds to the fun.

  8. I do not know who is this person and I do not know you. I came across to your blog while looking for something else as it usually happens browsing the internet.
    I agree with comments that say the piece can be read as controversial. It seems to me a very interesting example of how complex can be evaluating slander and defamation of character over the internet where things pop up to users’ attention and memory in a mixed and matched unpredictable jam. Julia Hartley-Brewer should not allow you to get away with this exercise without some form of mitigation because a simple article like this could trigger a chain of infinite defamatory gossips that for sure erode personal image and prospect of a professional career. It is also true that at the end of the day, Julia Hartley-Brewer has written a ‘My Day’ diary piece in a barrister blog and the article could be easily read as the caricatural diary of a barrister dealing with litigants in person.
    I would recommend you to submit the piece to the policy department of the Bar Standards Board for consideration for updates of the Handbook / Code of Conduct.

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