Archive for July, 2006

A start by “RD”

While my younger brother grapples with the technical aspects of wordpress and works out how to give me posting rights under my own ‘moniker’ I shall post with my avatar.

I began my academic career at a good university, but one, unfortunately placed geographically, far too distant from where I wished to be, so I did not spend much time there. I did make occasional journeys to the university town, with the intention of visiting the law school, but often found myself waylaid by the attractions of a fine pub situated about half a mile from the Law School and was not always able to make it to the school. I do, however, remember the Dean giving all the new students an address. The Dean was a solemn man, newly elevated to professorial rank, a man whose knowledge of criminal and other law stupefied the judges when he was at the Bar, to a point where it was felt that his talents might be better used in academe – which, indeed, they were.

He looked straight at us all. His eyes flickered and darted from side to side. He spoke quickly as he told us that of the 100 in the theatre only two would get a First, twelve, possibly, fifteen, would get an Upper Second, the herd would get Lower Seconds (and find solace practising law in modest firms), a few would get Thirds (and find little pleasure in a life in the law) and, sadly, – looking menacingly around the theatre: “Five to six of you will get pass degrees – a certificate of incompetence.”

I’m afraid, possibly though mild intoxication, that I found this absurdly funny and burst out laughing.

“Mr Charon” the Dean asked “Perhaps you find that amusing? Why so?”

I cannot, of course, remember the exact words which I used to reply (It always amazes me how people who write biographies can remember almost every word they spoke in their lives) but I will give the gist (and in future posts, should I need to resort to dialogue, I will ask you to imagine that I can remember every single word.)

“Well it is rather amusing, Professor ‘X’. How can anyone spend three years of their lives studying something and end up with a certificate of incompetence? Better to cut the losses after the first year and run.” The Dean merely smiled and passed on to other matters. I could, however, see a few anxious looks on the faces of my fellow students. There were eight women on the course. This was most disappointing. Things have changed – a theme to which I shall return when I next post.

R D Charon

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Here is an internet generated painting based on my name, my favourite colour, my emotional state at the time (crazy) and a host of other asinine questions. I have printed it out. Not a great painting – but these net technologies provide a little amusement for me. Get your own painting?

Malaysia draws up a list of unsuitable names for children. Yes – they have finally done it. Read the story here

Malaysia is a very sophisticated country. I know it well and like both the country and Malaysians. I can see what they are trying to do. Malaysia is made up of many cultures and races, but the predominant sections are: Malay, Chinese and Indian. I quote from the article
“Among the Malays, names such as Zani — which means male adulterer, and Woti — sexual intercourse, were banned, the report said.

For Indians, Karrupan, which means black fellow, is equally as taboo as are names which denote “fair skin,” such as Sivappi and Vellayan, it said.

Jainisah said parents could not name their babies after colours, animals, insects, fruits or vegetables. In the past, some in the Chinese community gave their children inauspicious names believing it would ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Now, names such as Ah Kow — dog in the Cantonese dialect, or Ah Gong — unsound mind, are prohibited. Other Chinese names on the banned list included Chow Tow and Sum Seng which mean smelly head and gangster respectivel”

From RollonFriday.coma story that Shoesmiths have elves on their staff

Good stuff. As RollonFriday say “recreational drugs in the water cooler?”

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Miscellany for Monday

Canadian lesbian marriage not recognised marriage in UK

Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson, of North Yorkshire, were married in Vancouver in 2003. the High Court has declined to recognise their marriage in the UK. Sir Mark Potter, President of The Family Division is reported by the BBC as saying that the couple faced “an insurmountable hurdle” in trying to have a same-sex marriage recognised in English law. Their marriage, could, however, be recognised under The Civil Partnerships Act which confers the same legal rights enjoyed by married couples.

Is it really such an affront to traditional marriage for gay and lesbian couples to be denied a traditional marriage? Turning the argument around – if the parties are not deeply religious, is it such an affront to them to be denied a traditional Christian marriage ? (I make no reference to other religions in this piece, simply because I am not qualified to do so). British churches are full of marrying couples whose devotion to Christianity is, at best, shortlived and, I suspect, tenuous. Who is better in the eyes of God – a very devout gay or lesbian couple or a man and woman who have no real interest in or understanding of christianity ?

Tony Blair accused of conflict of interst in Cliff Richard copyright matter
When I was eight years of age, I thought The Shadows were pretty good (Charon is 53) and, of course, Cliff Richard was a mainstay of the pop scene then. I soon moved on to more radical musicians – Hendrix, Cream, Led Zep, The Doors, The Stones etc etc.

Tony Blair is a friend of Cliff Richard. He has stayed in Cliff’s villa. Now The Telegraph thunders that Tony has a conflict of interest, having stayed in Cliff’s villa, by lobbying for a change to rules that could stop Cliff and other artists receiving royalties from their old hits. There is a 70 year rule in other countries – why not UK? Charon, is not an expert on copyright – but maybe Geeklawyer could assist here – as he is?

The Telegraph reports…“Norman Baker, the Lib Dem MP for Lewes, said: “The Prime Minister has crippled himself by accepting hospitality from someone with a vested interest in Government policy.”

I’m no great fan of Lord Protector Blair and his war policy – but, on this one, I can’t really see why the PM should not support a proposition or lobby for a policy to allow those who are creative (even if it does include someone he knows) from enjoying financial benefits for a longer period. We know there is a witch hunt for Blair – but this strikes me as trying to find trouble where there is no trouble. Well…at least it gave the Lib-Dem and Tory spokesmen something to say. If I was the ‘Umpire’ here – I would say “Not out”. I would not raise my index finger to signify dismissal on the facts as presented in The Telegraph article. I will, of course, declare a conflict of interest myself – as the organisation for which I write this blawg are publishers and course providers Consilio / The Legal Practitioner / LawinaBox. I do have some sympathy with protection of copyright. We get ripped off occasionally – but when SPR finds it, they do tend to act.

This is what SPR did when they found a pirate selling LawinaBox CDs on Ebay One doesn’t always need to be heavy and resort to law! Am I preaching heresy again?

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Time on your hands?…

No work ? Or just need a break? Try putting a football into the bin

Police to question Prescott on corruption: Independent Story
Tony Blair is in the States, standing up to Bush about stem cell research and colluding on Lebanon, while Jack Straw breaks ranks by criticising Blair’s stance on Lebanon. Prescott is in charge of Great Britain and, will be for another four weeks when Blair goes on holiday when he returns from the States. Prescott intends to rebuild his tattered image by visiting the regions – but will also have to find time to talk to Fraud Squad Plod about his visits to dome building american billionaire.

The Independent reports : Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, a Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said Mr Prescott was guilty of a clear conflict of interest. “The act makes it very clear that hospitality must not be accepted from anyone who has obtained a government contract. The rules are very clear but the Government has been very casual about them. John Prescott wouldn’t recognise a conflict of interest if it punched him on the nose,” he said.

It is re-assuring to know that the Police are spending so much time invesitigating senior government ministers. Tony Blair, it is felt, may himself have to face questioning on the loans for honours scandal and now the DPM may find himself down at the local nick while the tape recorders whirr away. Will he be fingerpirnted? Will a DNA swab be taken?

Millions of children to be fingerprinted: The Observer reveals this morning that under EU legislation, millions of children – perhaps as young as six, will be fingerprinted. This is the brainchild of the EU ‘Article 6 Commitee”. Initially, of course, the fingerprints will only be accessible by the individual member state – but, then as is the way, it may be throught wise that all 25 states should be able to access all the fingerprints and, then, because we wish to promote good relations with foreign non-EU states, the possibility, at some unidentified time in the future, there exists the possibility that foreign secret services will have access (they call it ‘interoperability’) to the database.

‘Secure passports make a lot more sense than ID cards,’ said Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty. ‘But only as long as the information that is kept is no more than necessary and is not shared with other countries.’

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown is believed to be drawing up plans to scrap the costly ID card scheme because he does not believe that £18 billion pounds is good value for this project.

‘Say it ain’t so, Joe.’ Geoffrey Wheatcroft, writing in the Observer tells us why he loathes the sporting life now riddled with bungs, drugs and cheats. It is an interesting article – and, of course, he has a point. What is the point of watching sport when the competitors are loaded to the eyeballs with steroids, testosterone and other performance enhancing drugs.

I spent an enjoyable couple of hours, recovering from life enhancing Rioja on Friday night, watching Grevious Bodily Harmison and Monty Panesar destroy Pakistan on the cricket field at Old Trafford. Fascinating stuff – although cricket has had a share of cheating in recent times.

To be frank – I would quite like to see an alternative sporting competition where renegade sportsmen/sportswomen, who have been caught cheating, are allowed to perform with drugs and other enhancing products. What about seeing a muscle bound monster complete the 100 metres in 6 seconds, or watch a high jumper jump 20 feet into the air. What about a fast bowler who can deliver a cricket ball at over 200 mph? A Rugby player, so large and so fast, that no-one can bring him down and he scores 100 points on his own? Preposterous, of course.

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Allow me to introduce you to….

My older brother.. Professor R D Charon LLB, MA, Ph.d

Yes… it is difficult when one stands in the shadow of talent. It nearly ruined my life. “RD” does in fact know some law and maintains to this day that I may have been better suited to a career with the Metropolitan Police as a Constable. RD spent most of his life writing books which no-one reads and teaching students. He also managed to spend a fair bit of time trying to subvert Heads of Department, Deans and Vice Chancellors. He did, in fact, become Dean of an undistinguished law school and it is best, perhaps, that we do not identify this institution. You may, therefore, take it, that no UK or other university will be identifiable from his ‘musings’. The same will apply to those colleagues he worked with who he will, undoubtedly, be merciless about.

I have asked “RD” (Not even I know his first name.) to assist me with my blawg by commenting on matters to do with legal education.

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Geeklawyer has an amazing story about mad judges…. look at the comments.  This is the story 

To get the full impact – click on the comments section below the story as well

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Paul McKenna wins libel case

The Guardian reports that McKenna has won his libel case..

In his ruling, Mr Justice Eady described the case as “curious” with “much energy expended to very little purpose”.

I went to a Paul McKenna stageshow many years ago – a stage version of his famous TV show. I thought it would be fun – and it was, as it happens, most enjoyable. I have also used his ‘Stop Smoking’ hypnosis video several times. I enjoyed being hypnotised (I assume I was) but, as I am clearly still smoking at professional standards,  it did not work for me. However, in McKenna’s defence…he does say that he cannot make people do things against their will.

Well..there we are.. Encouraged by this victory… I may have to have a look and see if I can find a university which will honour me for work I am doing, my life experience and a copy of some of my former written work. If you happen to know any university needing a new Vice-Chancellor, please email me. Vice Chancellor Charon D.Litt would do nicely…. especially if I can get a ‘K’ to go with it.

Photoshop has given me a taste of how I might look in a procession. Yes… I could do a bit of that.

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