Archive for December 9th, 2006

Bished as a newt!…

At 6.45 this morning, in the cold winter air of Chiswick, I put on my helmet and rode my motorbike about three quarters of a mile to breakfast. Walking is not good for the soul in the early morning – and espressos awaited. I read two newspapers on Saturday – The Mirror and either The Guardian or The Independent. Today it was The Indie. Silk Cut and Lemsips (hangover remover of choice) purchased, I walked back to the Cafe. I am a creature of some habits. They know what I eat for breakfast. I have eaten the same breakfast at this cafe, when I go there, for eighteen years, on and off (allowing for a five year break in the early part of this century in Bloomsbury and Notting Hill).

“BISHED AS A NEWT” screamed The Mirror headline.

There was little likelihood that this story would be about ecclesiastical law, so I felt that I could read it without compromising my integrity. I quote from The Mirror ‘Exclusive’. “A Boozed-up bishop bashed in his head after falling out of a car in a drunken stupor.”

What is interesting about this story is the differing accounts given about the Bishop’s injuries. There is no doubting that his head was ‘bashed in’. He told his congregation that his head was too painful to wear his bishop’s mitre. The account given in This London on 7th December was quite different. The Bishop had, apparently, told the police that he had been mugged and robbed of his briefcase and mobile phone. Here is the story in This London

YET… in the Mirror today, the Bishop is reported as saying, now, that he can’t remember what happened. The Mirror has a reason for this loss of memory. The Bishop was seriously over refreshed it seems.

The Mirror continues the story… “A BISHOP who might have had a sin and tonic too many said last night he did not recall being ‘drunk as a skunk.’ Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark, strayed drunkenly into the back seat of a Mercedes after a night on the tiles. He then threw toys from the vehicle before being pulled out, falling over and cracking open his head. Asked what he was doing, it is claimed the 66-year-old cleric replied: “I’m the Bishop of Southwark. It’s what I do.” He then reeled off into the night leaving his private belongings – including cross, personal organiser and correspondence with the Home Office in the car.”

It appears the Bishop had been to an embassy function, drank too much, saw a car outside, got into the back, started throwing toys from the back seat out of the car and, when challenged by the owner of the car, told him that he was the Bishop of Southwark. Owner of vehicle pulled bishop out of the car. Bishop fell onto the road and ‘cracked his head open’, before staggering off back to Streatham, leaving his possessions in the back seat of the car. Bishop returns home, informs police that he has been mugged and, presumably goes off for some heavenly sleep. Next day the truth is revealed when owner of car realises that the man in back seat of car was the Bishop of Southwark from possessions left in the car!

Excellent.. this is just the type of story I enjoy with my Silk Cut, espresso and breakfast. A bit too much of the communion juice, it seems. Will he be charged with wasting police time? Who knows? As the Mirror said… in their own way – he mitre had too much to drink.

I leave you with my favourite religious quotation:

“When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.”
Peter O’Toole

BUT… perhaps “Forgive him Lord, for he knows not what he does.” might be more appropriate for Bishop Tom. Nothing about all this on the news section of his website, though.

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James Fettes-Tonbridge writes: I have been at MD for twelve weeks and yesterday was my first meeting with the Managing Partner, Matt Muttley. It was a surreal experience and one which was quite damaging to my psyche.

I received an email from Matt Muttley’s PA, Eva Brown, requiring me to attend for a ‘review interview’ with Matt Muttley at 0800 hrs yesterday.

I arrived in good time and walked down the long corridor with plasterboard replica greek columns down each side. The black and white check floor tiles made me feel slightly dizzzy, but it may have been the sense of aniticipation. I knocked on the oversize oak doors. The door clicked and then opened automatically to reveal the ‘sanctum sanctorum’. Eva Brown was seated at a marble topped desk of scandinavian design. A Bang & Olufsen phone was on the desk, together with a Sony Vaio laptop. Apart from two small palm trees and some modernist etchings and paintings on the wall, the room was bare. Not a piece of paper in sight.

“Good morning James.” Eva Brown said with a smile. “Mr Muttley will see you now.” She pressed a button on a panel on her desk and the door to Matt Muttley’s office opened with a slight whirring noise. Mr Muttley was seated at a large partner desk facing towards the window. His desk was laid for a lavish continental breakfast – orange juice, croissants, cheese, ham, a glass of champagne and a Clarice Cliff coffee pot and cup. The office reminded me of the foodhall at Harrods and the Egyptian statue in the style of Rameses II, standing to the left of the desk, bore a striking resemblance to Mr Muttley.

“There is a brick on the side table, James. Throw it out of the window please.”

It was an unusual request and, certainly, nothing that I learned on the expensive ‘City’ BPP Law School LPC prepared me for this. I picked up the brick and threw it through the window. The glass in the window shattered,

“James. Interesting. May I ask why you did you did not open the window first?”

It was a good lesson in lateral thinking. I had complied with the client’s wishes – but had not thought through all the implications behind the request and, because I had not opened the window, I had caused damage to the client’s interests.

Mr Muttley smiled and said “James… you will share in the wealth of this firm one day – possibly. In the meantime, I am sure we can settle on £185 + VAT plus costs for the replacement window glass. We will deduct this from next month’s salary. Be happy in your work. We will meet again in two months.”

I left with a sense of elation. I was learning to think like a lawyer.


You may like to look at this extraordinary story about Oxford interviews for the inspiration behind this post.

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