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Archive for December 14th, 2006

I sometimes feel that I am at a tea party…

A madhatter’s tea party…

‘Call the first witness,’ said the King; and the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and called out, ‘First witness!’

The first witness was the Hatter. He came in with a teacup in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the other. ‘I beg pardon, your Majesty,’ he began, ‘for bringing these in: but I hadn’t quite finished my tea when I was sent for.’

We all lead strange lives.. I am sure. Sense and nonsense intertwined with a bit of surreality thrown in. I admire those who manage to so order their lives that nothing ever goes wrong, nothing breaks, everything is ordered and planned unto death. However, most of us are not accountants and, I suspect, that the lives of many lawyers are a mix of professional organisation and chaos. I like a bit of chaos in my life these days and I have certainly had a fair bit of that this year – with the grim reaper having a quiet word at the beginning of the year to suggest that I have a check up with a doctor and, more recently, with the aftermath of motorcycle injuries.

However… my theme today is the surreal: We start with the BBC story of a serving prime minister being interviewed by the police in connection with the sale of honours issue. Blair was was not questioned under caution so he is not, for the present at least, being treated like a suspect. (Nick Robinson of the BBC points out that the threshold for questioning under caution is very low. The police err on the side of caution to avoid the possibility of being unable to use any answers in court given while the person was not under caution.) The conservatives have declined to comment so far. Lib-Dems, of course have. I quote: “Liberal Democrat MP Paul Rowen, a member of the public administration committee, said that for the police inquiry to make any progress, it was “absolutely essential” that Mr Blair be interviewed.”

‘Rent a worthies’ are usually on hand to comment. I did like this comment: “Professor of government at the London School of Economics (*) , Rodney Barker, told the BBC: “This cannot do his reputation any good, however unjustifiable…. It’s one more straw on the back of a rather struggling camel.”

Frankly… the whole system of political patronage and funding of political parties needs to be looked at. Surely it must be better for the state to fund parties even if that raises the surreal spectre of funding the BNP and other extremists? I can almost hear the groans of ‘”naive…naive..”

And then we turn to the Stephens Report on the death of Diana. The BBC reports: Bong…bong…bong…

An official UK police inquiry into the Paris car crash which killed Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed has found no evidence the couple were murdered. BBC

No murder… no plot… The Duke did not have a word with M15 or MI6 assassins (even if they do have such people… do they? Can’t find any career information about becoming an assassin on their web sites) so the Pharaoh of Knightsbridge will simply have to fulminate, ruminate and postulate or sue. I couldn’t make out a word he was saying on the radio… “*H!nD *** S888t” etc etc… no doubt.

How much did it cost? Millions. Was it worth doing?

And finally…we have this:

This mime is well worth a look – quite surreal. Clever. In fact… it is amazing!

And just to sign off… an insult with class!

“I feel so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here.”
Stephen Bishop

EDIT… Thursday night : 23.28 hours

England 51-2 | Australia 244 ALL OUT (71 overs – Third test)

(*)_ What IS a ‘professor of government? I can relate to Law…simply because I have had the pleasure of knowing law for 29 years – but that is fine… (I happen to know quite a few Law Profs… decent people… not a danger to society, most of them. .. I even know some Profs from ‘new universities’ – and… I know some who have decided that they should be styled ‘Prof’… even though they run law schools where there is absolutely no academic research whatsover. I think they are called ‘vocational’ law schools .Why they should need the title ‘Prof’ is, of course, beyond me.)

Get out clause for last barb….

I know! – I gave myself the title ‘QC’… but I AM A CARTOON.. and I make this quite clear in my ‘about’ section on this blawg)

Can anyone tell me what a Professor of Government might do?

I will, happily, send you a bottle of 12 year old Rioja (**)… if I am ‘enlightened’… I am easily enlightened – and the 12 year old stuff is fantastic. (** provided you live in the UK! – if you live abroad… I will send you a picture of the bottle)

ADDENDUM 23.56 Thursday 14th December in the year of our Lord 2006.

I found it interesting that the Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, decided, on this day (***) to announce that the SFO was ‘discontinuing a probe into BAe activities with / in / for/ Saudi Arabia’.

(***) Prime Minister questioned by police / Report into Diana’s death / Ipswich ‘ripper’ et al..

Charon’s view: The decision was objective and done on grounds of national security. I am confident that commercial / non-security political interests – were not even considered. I take this view because that is only a fair line to take in the present circumstances … and so say all of us… of course..and… why not?

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