Archive for July 29th, 2007

Jaws and Sunday surreality…

The news today (The Sun) that a great white shark has been filmed 200 yards off the Cornwall coast may just be the final straw for beleagured Britain after the great floods. Curiously, the original Jaws film was on TV last night.

The Sun reports: Tourist Nick Martell, 57, from Newcastle upon Tyne, said after the sighting: “Coming face to face with a Great White is every swimmer’s worst nightmare. It’s not the sort of thing you expect in Cornwall, but now I know it’s possible I’ll definitely be on the lookout.”

Excellent understatement. Now, to other matters…

To The Bollo for a late lunch in the afternoon sunshine to digest the Sunday papers, drink Rioja and eat pasta…

I start with The Sunday Times and read about a ‘damning report’ to be published this week: “Official: doctors do less work for more pay”. Nurses are likely to start backlashing after reading this report and Gordon Brown, the paper reports, will accelerate moves to force doctors to open weekend surgeries and hold more morning and evening surgeries – for even more dosh, no doubt.

Mention of Gordon Brown in the article on doctors reminded me that GB is meeting GB at Camp David. Apparently, dress code instructions sent to Downing Street will not prompt Gordon Brown to turn up in ‘ball-crushingly tight blue cord jeans’ like his predecessor. Somehow, it is difficult to imagine Brown in anything other than a rather dull suit. We know, from recent news pictures, that he plays tennis wearing a suit. It is, therefore, unlikely that we will see him pictured dressed up like something out of Brokeback Mountain while he is with Bush.

Scientists breed world’s first mentally ill mouse
I turned my attention to the next story on the front page of The Sunday Times and discovered that scientists have managed to breed the world’s first mentally ill mouse. Apparently, scientists created these schizophrenic mice by modifying their DNA to mimic a mutant gene first found in a Scottish family with a high incidence of schizophrenia. Let us hope that these mice do not escape, watch the Braveheart DVD and start taking an interest in avenging Culloden, or worse, form a boy band or take up cricket.

British teenagers even worse than Danish teenagers
And so… it was on to “Comment” by Rod Liddle, where I discovered: “British teenagers are the worst in Europe, according to yet another cheering survey published last week by the Institute for Public Policy research (IPPR). They are all fat, drug-addled drunkards whose only social activities are vomiting and transmitting sexual diseases – and even worse than Danish teenagers who, everybody accepts, are thoroughly horrible.

While the IPPR wants them to play ping-pong, Liddle suspects they need to be beaten but accepts that ‘corporal punishment (has) become terribly unfashionable in recent years’.

Have you been a naughty boy?
Myrna, Rod Liddle informs us, is a Liberal-Democrat member of Bideford town council in Devon. But, apparently, she is also a stripagram girl who will talk to you in a ‘sexy’ manner for £1.50 a minute. The thought, prompted by Liddle’s piece, of Ming Campbell, in a leather basque, asking Andrew Marr if he had been a naughty boy was too much for me to take in and I had to order another glass of Rioja. Guido Fawkes’ blog (I disclose my enjoyment of this blog) has all the info you need on Myrna.

I had absolutely no idea, until I read Atticus in The Sunday Times, that Boris Johnson campaigned for the job of London mayor under the slogan “Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.” If this is, in fact the case, I shall be writing to Boris to find out where he buys his wine.

And so, it came to pass, that Charon had to go to the land of the blawgs with a goatskin of the staff of life.

18.35 pm. Charon may as well be in The Diary Room.

First up is the blog of Geoffrey Vos QC, Chairman of the Bar who has been receiving judges and lawyers from Kazakhstan: ” I believe that there is a real prospect that these contacts with Kazakh lawyers and judges will create great opportunities in months and years to come for the Commercial and the Chancery Bars.”

Unfortunately, the authorities in Kazakhstan are not too keen on the internet (or blogs!) as a means of fostering communication and good relations. If the Kazakhstan authorities get their way, email and internet communication with the Bar may well prove to be, shall we say, difficult!

I quote from an AP report from Vienna (28 July 2007): “Web sites, blogs and personal pages all are subject to criminal as well as civil prosecution in Kazakhstan, and the country’s information minister, Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, has vowed to purge Kazakh sites of “dirt” and “lies.”

“Those who think it is impossible to control the Internet can continue living in a world of illusions,” Yertysbayev told the Vremya newspaper in a recent interview.

Next, we travel to a very different place:
While it is, perhaps, unfortunate that my next piece, following as it does a piece on Kazakh censorship, concerns the New Zealand government antipathy to being mocked by Australians or other persons (Geeklawyer covers the story): New Zealand’s Parliament has voted itself far-reaching powers to control satire and ridicule of MPs in Parliament, attracting a storm of media and academic criticism. Press Gazette story

Frankly, I cannot think of a single reason to justify parodying New Zealanders.

The news today that “Flog it”, “Cash in the attic” and other TV programmes have been faking it, prompts me to draw attention to Head of Legal’s question “Has the BBC committed offences?”

Unfortunately, I am now well into the Rioja and have no desire to get s.15A Theft act 1968 out and give a view… so, I move on… to another of my favourite blogs… the irrepressible “What About Clients?” conjured up by J Dan Hull.. This week, inter alia, he writes about “Rule Five: Over-communicate: Bombard, Copy and Confirm”

Simon Myerson QC, who, perfectly sensibly, asks visitors to his blog to address him as Simon, has joined the Bar Education and Training committee and continues to provide useful advice to prospective barristers – FREE – and gives a yellow card to an anonymous poster on his comments section for being a bit stroppy with other posters.

John Bolch, Family Lore, recently back from a Spanish holiday, enjoys the fact that a “divorce petition in one of my matters (prepared by the other side I hasten to add) was rejected by the court, one of the reasons being that the term ‘registry office’ had been used when it should be ‘register office’.”

Ruthie, of Ruthie’s Law, has returned from playing rugby (She admits, but not under caution, that she enjoys ‘rough games’) to find herself called for Jury service. Frankly, the idea of lawyers, police, prosecutors or, indeed, anyone with a knowledge of criminal law in practice (or academe) sitting on juries troubles me. There was a time when such people were excluded.

Not many other UK bloggers writing much at the moment…. so… I end with a diversion on the same story I started with.
The latest BBC report on the Great White Shark story I can find at 19.46 on Sunday evening states: But coastguards have dismissed the claims as “scare-mongering”.”

This has all the makings of rather a good film….

As Nick Ross used to say on Crimewatch, before he got sacked for getting old, “don’t have nightmares”

I must now retire and catch up on some documentaries and a bit of politics. I shall, of course, be watching NewsKnight, if only to watch Sir Trevor hack some more jokes to death with unusual timing.

Next week, as they say, is another week….

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A bit of burglary….

Shortly after 5.30 on Saturday evening, I climbed a ladder and ‘broke’ into my house through a first floor window – the only front facing window not locked. I could have kicked the front door in, broken a window, or behaved rationally and arranged for a locksmith to gain entry for me.

I had to gain entry to my own house because I had left my motorbike bumbag in my office, inside the house. I ride a motorbike and use a bumbag to carry keys, cigarettes, wallet, passport, lighters, and other life support systems. I use the bumbag even when I am not riding my bike. Yesterday evening I collected my laptop and wandered over to The Bollo for a glass or two of Rioja. Realising that I did not have my bumbag with me, I returned to the house. The door and downstairs windows were, of course, locked. But, fortunately, on this occasion, I had left an upstairs window unlocked. Fortune favoured me. A Polish builder, working on a house four doors down, was just driving off. I flagged him down, explained the problem, and asked to borrow his ladders. He was happy to assist. I retrieved my bumbag.

It was an interesting way to start my evening and I was able to return to The Bollo. The rioja tasted good and I started to blog – sitting outside. The few spatters of rain did not trouble me unduly. The front awnings provide good shelter.

Reading the lifestyle section of The Times, I saw a picture of celebrated chef, Rick Stein, with spaghetti hanging out of his mouth – not a particularly attractive spectacle. I am bored with all these endless articles on food and celebrity chefs droning on about yet another rare dish recipe they have ‘taken inspiration from’ from some poor peasants in Sicily or other exotic destination for the edification of their rich clientele in the UK. How many cookbooks can the British public consume? Why not just buy the cookbooks published last year at a bargain ‘remaindered’ price from a small independent bookshop? The recipes still work and even if the book is second hand, like some student owned law books, it will probably be in mint condition.

And… now I am about to depart, with my bumbag and laptop, to a place of seclusion to digest the Sunday papers (perhaps a few glasses of Rioja) and blog.

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