Anyone watching the excellent BBC Four series The Strange Case of the Lawcan’t fail to have noticed the irony inherent in his premise that the English common law system can be traced back to the simple compensation culture of early Anglo-Saxon Kent. If anything should dispel the myth that we are slipping, or indeed have slipped, into an alarming spiral of moral decline brought about by an American-style propensity to sue for anything and everything, this should be it.
I’ve never received a bonus payment from my employer, unless you count the gift vouchers that were handed out periodically at the law firm where I used to work. I have always accepted jobs on the basis that I get paid exactly what it says in my contract and no more, no less. Naturally, ever year I prayed for at least a 10 per cent pay increase and usually received about 3 per cent, although my last pay increase as an employee was a big fat 0 per cent, along with most of the rest of the working population.