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Archive for May, 2007

It is Caption Competition time again…

The winner of my “Goodbye to Blair” caption Competition for May 2007…….. is:

After a record entry of 37 …. (view them here)

Blair: “No, no, don’t come any closer, Gordon! I said ELECTION, not erection…”

Comment by Martin — Friday, May 11, 2007

Martin… please contact me so that I can get a bottle of Rioja from my personal crate to you

and a book voucher from Wildy’s bookshop.

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CAPTION COMPETITION FOR JUNE

This month, to demonstrate my political fairness, I have a picture of Sir Ming….

The prize is, as ever, a bottle of Rioja… and a voucher from Wildy’s

And… just to start you off… here is my offering:

“Look… no support…”

OK… OK… I am in a bar using their Wi-fi … “Summertime…. and the drinking is easy….”

Do your worst / best…. and remember the Olympic tradition… It is better to win than to take part.

Result at the beginning of July….

As always… I am the umpire… and I don’t have any assistance from hawkeye or a third or even fourth umpire…. I like democracy… but.. my caption competitions are a matter of ‘caprice’…

Mind you… if I was really independent – politically…. I would have asked you to try your hand at writing a caption for the pic of Webcameron who is, apparently… the ‘true heir to Blair’…. I am sure the good people of Tonbridge and the South East of England were pleased to hear George Osborne (Shadow Chancellor) say that!

By the way… I am thinking of:

Becoming an MP, without bothering with an election.. after all… what is good for the next PM, is good for the gander.

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Yes… “Charon QC, MP”…. sounds good to me. I don’t mind if I don’t become PM….I’ll just hang out on the back benches, smoking cigarettes at the Commons – which, I am told, will be exempt from the new “No Smoking” regulations due on 1st July…. and I certainly won’t be daft enough to get my travel card taken away from me, unlike three MPs… who, it is alleged, have had their travel cards taken away from them [Only we don’t know who they are because Freedom of Information legislation can only go so far.]

Observant readers will note that I have put the pic of WebCameron on the ‘right’.

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You’re fired…

The Lord Chancellor isn’t searching for an apprentice (although some say that he may be searching for something else to do after 27th June) but, according to The Lawyer, lawyers who cause delays to court cases will be fired and defendants will be asked to find new lawyers – who, no doubt, will take a bit of time to master the brief and, presumably, cause yet further delay?

This comes in the wake of the delays in the BCCI case. Mr Justice Tomlinson “labelled the behaviour of some of the lawyers as “unattractive”, singling out Essex Court Chambers’ Gordon Pollock QC’s 80-day opening speech as “wasted”.

In a move which would certainly meet with the approval of Muttley Dastardly LLP managing partner, Matt Muttley – Ashurst managing partner Simon Bromwich has called for the abolition of PQE as a measure of progress. The Lawyer

Bromwich wants to consign the seniority pay based structure of PQE to history and base payments to associates solely on merit. Excellent idea! Now the firms will be able to have subtle gradations of pay, promote internal competition and judge pay scales finely according to what they think they can away with with each associate – taking into account the market for particular practice areas and the likelihood of a particular associate jumping ship to another firm. The fact that the PQE system may breach age discrimination legislation also had to be taken into account, of course.

Teachers get new powers

The Telegraph reports: Teachers or security guards will be able to search pupils for knives and other offensive weapons without their consent, under a new law which comes into force today.

One Union has already suggested that teachers be issued with protective clothing when carrying out these searches. If a pupil turns up to school with a knife, there is, I would have thought, a risk (in perhaps a small percentage of cases) that a pupil may object to being searched and use the weapon.

Mind you, the place of detention I attended in Scotland, while gaining an education, had one master who was not averse to throwing board dusters and digging boys in the back with a giant size pair of dividers to elicit an answer to Pythagoras’ theorem. He taught Geometry and could not understand why some pupils did not share his love of the subject. Fortunately he only required Pythagoras-lite… not the 73 proofs. He’s a goner now, but I feel certain that wherever he is, he is still chucking board dusters about.

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Podcast 21: Intellectual property and the IMPACT blog

Today I am talking to Alex Newson and Andrew Mills, solicitors at Freeth Cartwright in Nottingham and authors of the IMPACT blog.

While I do not deal with IP issues that often I find the blog useful in keeping abreast of developments. We cover a fair bit of ground on why the firm blogs, what benefits they enjoy as a result of blogging and where they think blogging will go.

Podcast 21: Intellectual property and the IMPACT blog.

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The Independent reports (Sunday 27th May) that Tony Blair and close aides (may) face further questioning (possibly under caution this time?) in the cash-for-honours matter. The CPS has directed detectives to return to the case to find ‘key pieces of evidence to strengthen the case.’

Well well…who is surprised at this development? Perhaps these interviews will be conducted soon after June 27th?

And then we have the possibility of The Police being given greater powers (BBC Story) to stop and question suspects anywhere in Britain on ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they may be involved in or with terrorist activity, a possible derogation from the Human Rights Act, and the inevitable “I told you so” comments from Dr Reid in the wake of the ‘Control Order Three’ who have not telephoned in to tell the authorities they are not committing terrorist acts and have now disappeared. Geeklawyer covers this – but I may well have to consult Dr Strangelove, Director of Training at Muttley Dastardly LLP, for advice on this matter – before commenting further.

But… just in case you thought that this was enough / not enough… further on, in The Independent, is a story Headed – ” PM’s secret stalker squad has power to detain indefinitely.”

Independent Story: Let me give you a taste… the full story is worth a look.

“A new national anti-terrorist unit to protect the Prime Minister and the Royal Family from stalkers has been secretly set up with powers to detain people under mental health laws.”

Hey….at least we have a day off tomorrow.

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See Also: Observer Sunday 27th May

“Campaigners say Whitehall wants even litter-droppers on crime database”

And… at least there was something amusing in the papers today: Quentin Letts on The Freedom of Information Act – worth a look, if you did not happen to read the Indie today

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Show me the way to Tenarillo…

Sha la la lala lalala
Sha la la lala lalala
Sha la la lala lalala

When the day is dawning on a 10 Downing Street morning
how I long to be there
with Hazel Blears who’s waiting for me there
every lonely city where I hang my hat
ain’t as half as pretty as where my Cabinet’s at

Is this the way to Tenarillo
every night I’ve been hugging my pillow
dreaming dreams of Tenarillo and sweet Hazel who waits for me
show me the way to Tenarillo
I’ve been weeping like a willow
crying over Tenarillo
and sweet Hazel who waits for me

Sha la la lala lalala Sha la la lala lalala
Sha la la lala lalala and Hazel who waits for me

***
Apologies to the original writers / singers et al | But if you want to see the best version of “Show me the way to Amarillo (and you have probably seen it – because it was major news a year or so ago) – here it is…. Yes.. I do like this.

***

Cue…Breaking news music….

Dateline Saturday 26th May, The Bollo, London
Breaking News

From our front line correspondent

The lights have gone out in West london. As I write this I have only candle light and the glow of my battery powered laptop to see by. The light flickers in the glass of wine to my right. I am one of the lucky ones. I have a nearly full bottle of Rioja to my right and enough Silk Cut cigarettes to see me through the night.

It may be a long one. We are under seige. The weather has closed in. The rain lashes against the windows of The Bollo. Outside, in Bollo Lane, an estate agent from Foxtons is desperately trying to get back to his Mini, his umbrella shredded by the winds, hair gel running down his face onto his soaked suit.

At the next table, a couple… tourists from France…(they kept saying ‘Mon dieu’) perhaps they are lovers?… they look worried…. they have seen the lightning…they have seen the clouds part and the thunder of hooves…and four horsemen in the sky above….

They asked me what was happening. I raised my glass…. It was time for some of that British sang froid… I told them it was an English Bank holiday… absolutely nothing to worry about… rain does not always stop play in England. I showed them some card tricks, asked them “Vous etes en vacances?’.. and when they said ‘Oui’… I told them that ‘Le singe et dans l’arbre.’ It seemed to calm them down. They had heard of Eddie Izzard. They relaxed.

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Until death us do part?….

With England at 570-7 (declared) and The West Indies facing a follow on at 99-6, I decided that my presence in front of the television was no longer necessary. I could follow the game from my laptop through The Bollo Wi-fi.

It is some time since I have had to get the books on Family Law out… but I do find it somewhat bizarre that a group of judges award £48 million and then call for a reform of the law. It is unlikely that Gordon Brown will regard the specific problems of the super-rich, in the context of divorce proceedings, to be a matter requiring immediate, or even medium to long term legislative action. There are many rather more important matters in the world than the financial affairs of Mr and Mrs Wealthy in a matrimonial matter. It follows, therefore, that the judges and those unfortunate enough to find themselves appearing in the Family Division, will just have to make do with the law as it stands. I do, of course, excuse my analysis on the ground that I have absolutely no professional (or even unprofessional knowledge) of this area of the law.

Frankly, given the present state of English law on matrimonial finance matters, if someone believes now (a) in 25 years time they will be exceptionally rich, (b) they will fall out of love or otherwise decide that their marriage isn’t working/ convenient/restrictive (c) they wish to continue living in Britain and (d) don’t wish to part with 35-50 per cent of assets built up over the marriage period … then don’t get married (or get married in Russia [and live there?]), don’t live with anyone, and, certainly, don’t let them live in your garden or other land, without sending them periodic objections to stop the application of adverse possession laws.

I hope this is helpful to anyone who chances upon my blog from ‘Google’ or other search engines – after searching for information on divorce, red rubber gloves, flashing judges, or wine making in Surrey.


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Tul Bahadur Pun is a Gurkha. Tul Bahadur Pun fought for Britain in WW II against the Japanese. Tul Bahadur Pun won the Victoria Cross. Tul Bahadur Pun is 84, lives on a pension of £134 a month, and has to be carried in a basket by several men – a day’s walk, to collect medication to keep him alive.
Tul Bahadur Pun has been refused entry to Britain because he is not able to demonstrate “strong ties with the UK”

This is truly shaming. I hardly need state the obvious that we are about to give amnesty to a whole host of illegal immigrants. If winning a VC while fighting for this country is not a strong tie – what is?

A man who has fought for the British Army deserves to have the protection of this country. This man served beyond the call of duty. That is why he was awarded the VC.

See Iain Dale’s diary where I found the story. It is worth reading Iain Dale’s diary (and the comments on his post for the range and depth of feeling on this matter) for the full story. Original Story from The Daily mail

Se Also: Musings of a Reactionary Snob | Prisonlawinsideout

The government needs to deal with his honourably – and quickly. We owe a great debt to those who serve in the armed forces – a few years of compassionate support for Tul Bahadur Pun VC is not too much to ask – is it?

Great Britain? Not on this one, I’m afraid… tawdry behaviour. Appalling.

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Update saturday 26th May

Detailed comments on this issue in the comments section…

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