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Archive for October, 2007

Royal Blackmail and other things…

The Scotsman reports that the Foreign Press are rushing to publish the name of the minor Royal involved in the blackmail case. The Scotsman does not name the Royal – although Scotland does not appear to be covered by the English court ruling, restricting publication of the name. It appears that if the Scottish Courts have not issued an interdict no-one in Scotland is bound by the English order.

Interestingly, the Scotsman article allows comments from readers – who do appear to discuss the identity of the Royal obliquely and, as at 6.30 am this morning, possibly to the surprise of some of those commenting, the newspaper has not removed those comments. They may well do so.

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UPDATE 11.22 am : The Scotsman has removed the comments

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Still baffled (As were Eurostar people in London) by the Eurostar promotion by the French of London picked up yesterday by Norman Baird at Consilio: Worth looking at!

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The Sun has a different Royal story, today: POLICE questioned Prince Harry yesterday after three people told them they saw a pair of rare birds blasted from the sky. The hen harriers were reported to have been killed on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk. The Sun reports that while the two Princes were at Sandringham… A Clarence House spokesman declared: “Unfortunately, they had no knowledge of the alleged incident.”

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Justice… needs to be done…

Justice needs to be seen to be done – except, quite reasonably, in blackmail cases. I cannot believe that Geeklawyer would ever dream of breaching a court order, nor has he with his invitation to guess the identity of the minor royal in the blackmail case. However, if one types “Royal Blackmail blogs” into Google to see what ‘foreign’ blogs are saying – Geeklawyer’s blog comes up as ‘numero uno’. (or did about five minutes ago)

Speculation on the part of UK Blawgers is, of course, only that.

At least a minor royal, albeit unwittingly, has assisted the cause of UK Blawging. Newspaper reports suggest that he/she may well waive anonymity.

Unfortunately, the Queen’s writ on these matters does not, apparently, even extend to Scotland in terms of the gagging order imposed by the court and it seems that some foreign news services and websites have identified the minor royal.

Frankly… not even remotely interested in who the minor Royal is. After a senior Royal, some years ago, expressed an interest in being a Tampax in a private conversation that went into the public domain, I gave up worrying about what the Royals got up to. At least Harry is setting an example to young binge drinkers when he manages to get a bit of time off from his day job as a Cavalry officer… and why not?

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Gary Slapper thinks the law is being made an ass of with the court order restricting publication. The principle behind the court order is correct, of course – but this case involves a minor Royal and, given the appetite for gossip and salacious information, it is impossible to prevent foreign websites, news, media, television or even foreign bloggers revealing all… as even the most cursory search of foreign news sources will reveal.

I am sure that Henry VIII would have dealt with the matter in a diffferent way, or, for that matter, as Victorian Maiden describes him, so would His Most Excellently Wealthy, The King of Saudi Arabia. Enjoyed VM’s post about human rights in Saudi Arabia… The Press had excellent coverage of the Saudi state visit today.

Right… I’m awf…. to see a man about a bung.. sorry… lung… before I lose my head on this one.

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The British (English) Press is getting excited... it must be very frustrating for them to be the only media people in the world not to be able to publish… a casual search of Google revealed 936 articles on the matter when I last looked…

I haven’t checked China out – because my blog doesn’t work in China now…

My blog was blocked by The Great Firewall of China some months agoclick here

Apparently, the minor Royal involved (The Queen is standing by said Royal) is on the verge of going public.

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Norman Baird, a good mate of mine over at Consilio had an extraordinary experience today with Eurostar. Best to relate it in his own words…

I quote:

Am I easily shocked ?

As a frequent traveller on Eurostar I receive promotional email updates from them. Most are dull and formulaic. But not the one I received today. Although sent by Eurostar UK it is aimed at a French audience and includes a link to a website designed to publicise the delights of London.

With nothing better to do I though I would have a look to see how the Smoke is portrayed and from a selection of video vignettes clicked on the link to ‘Froggy Julie’. The video is quite short ( and so it appears initially, is the cameraman ) and involves a couple of interviews with a couple of real life authentic London ‘punks’. Tres branche… Etc…

After a couple exchanges designed to show the zaniness of London youth the interview with the girl is brought to an end with a kiss and in what must be a first for advertising, the young interviewee tells the cameraman that he is a c***.

I am not sure if the cameraman is or is not a c*** but the presenter appeared unperturbed.

The customer relations assistant at Eurostar, however, was perturbed. Clearly.

“When you say that the girl uses the ‘C’ word do you mean she says ’see – you – enn – tea’ ?” she asked me, scarcely believing that Eurostar was breaking new ground in high speed advertising.

“Yes” – I said, convincingly.

Eurostar are going to investigate.

If you would like to be offended before they pull the video…

Click the link to the website

Click – ‘passer l’introduction’ (skip the introduction) at the foot of the page.

Click -’Programmes’ on the right side of the next page.

Click – ‘Froggy Julie’ – that is the miniature screen in the centre of the top row.

Although most of the video is in French the two British interviewees speak a version of BBC English.

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Well… The French may well find Londres a bit surprising after watching that film….

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Saturday Review 27/10…

Today is Saturday. The clocks go back at 2.00 am. I’ve decided to trial a “Saturday Review” with various elements containing the real, the surreal, the bizarre and something for readers to do, should they wish to do them. It may work. It may not. We shall see.

Let me start with the truly bizarre: A man has been convicted of having sex with a bicycle. (Telegraph) This is bizarre. He is, however, not the first man to be convicted of a sexual offence involving an inanimate object. As The Telegraph reports: “Karl Watkins, an electrician, was jailed for having sex with pavements in Redditch, Worcs, in 1993.”

Mind you, I find it rather bizarre that The Telegraph, a relatively serious newspaper, should wish to cover such a story!

“We were told that this son of the manse would tell us straight. He wouldn’t sweeten the medicine. If we were fucked, he’d tell us we were fucked. No more spin, no more politicking, no more lying, no more mendacious behaviour, no more speeches about nothing, no more consulting everyone about nothing.” So who is Reactionary Snob, Edinburgh advocate and blawger, talking about? Gordon Brown. As ever, direct and to the point, RS examines Gordon Brown’s independence from Tony Blair and puts proposals to increase the time that terrorist suspects can be held without charge from 28 days to 56 to the sword of libertarian anger.

Geeklawyer reports (of the UK Blawgers binge drinking festival last Monday night): “Well. Heavens, that was disappointing. In the end only Ruthie Geeklawyer and the blogger who was formerly Pupilblogger turned up. And Harry Metcalfe, but he isn’t a lawyer and so doesn’t really matter.”

Binary Law wants to feed the five thousand and picks up on Lo-fi’s complaint that law publishers aren’t playing ball with RSS feeds. John Bolch over at Family Lore has a very smart new format for his informative blog on Family Law issues. Nearly Legal rants about Pipex and notes the six weeks it took the CPS to decide that the picture seized by Northern Plod was still not indecent six years after first being judged not indecent. Justin Patten at Human Law asks: Do you want to make the 1st offer in a negotiation?

So what are What About Clients? up to? Good to see that J Dan Hull is as busy as ever and has started to list reviews on his blawg: Geeklawyer describes Dan as “…a depraved evil sociopathic neocon…beast pretending he loves his clients merely to get into their wallets.”

WAC? covers the California fires:

California burning: “If your fax machine rings, your house is still there”.

The Bar Council Blog covers two important issues: Do we need juries? and the launch of the ‘Bar Quality Advisory Panel’ (BQAP) on 15th October 2007. By contrast… Staying at home didn’t work out well on Monday – for Suzie Law School.

Amusingly, Legal Lass, a BVC student, is told by her lecturer in a practical exercise class: “dumb it down a bit – remember your playing the “Idiot” solicitor…” – Excellent nonsense. The post is amusing and well worth a read.

I discovered the word ‘Bloviator’ in The Times Today and rather liked the word. The origin of the word is debated but an article in The New York Times provides an answer: ”To orate pompously.”

I am going to be on the look out for bloviators and bloviating. If you come across any bloviators bloviating in your travels, please feel feel to post in the comments section!

The SUN reports: A PUB landlord faces legal action after customers’ cigarette smoke drifted into a neighbour’s garden. Jeff Castledine was told his regulars’ outdoor puffing contaminates the “natural smell of fresh air”. Now, in what is believed to be the first case of its kind, he has been warned council officers will monitor his beer garden to “determine if odour nuisances are being caused

Private Eye’s Coleman Balls reports that Andrew Flintoff is to see a joint specialist in Amsterdam. Newsreader Radio 5 Live

I know it is Halloween… but the advice given by the government to ‘young men’ who booze too much that they ‘might wake up beside an ugly woman’ is just idiotic. The Mirror carries the story. The government also tells these young pissheads (who may well be too pissed to read the leaflet) that “Over time, heavy drinking can lead to impotency, smaller genitals and a lower sperm count.” The leaflet is part of a Government drive to stop binge-drinking. But Lib Dem equality spokeswoman Jo Swinson called it “ridiculous”. She said: “This is what happens when civil servants in Whitehall try to write in a way which they know nothing about.”

Apparently the government wanted to communicate with young pissheads in a language they would understand. I shall bear this advice in mind when I go out for a bit of wine tasting later.

Lawyers may well appreciate this fact: There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, ‘therein’ the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.

And here is something I did not know until I found out today: To ‘testify’ was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.

Well.. I think this may well be enough for this review… but I leave you with this question: What is the longest one-syllable word in the English language?

 
 
 

 

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The nights are drawing in…

Hugo Rifkind, writing in The Times today, has a piece about the leader of the Australian opposition, Kevin Rudd, eating his own ear wax.

I have absolutely no idea why anyone would wish to do this, nor eat their own bogeys, but at least our revered leader, Gordon Brown, can go one better. Guido Fawkes picked up some time ago a film showing Gordon Brown exploring his right nostril and then appearing to consume said exploration.

Anyway… there we are. Seems as good a way as any to kick off the weekend of Halloween and the clocks going back.

Dropped in at The Bollo to have a very late lunch. The Chiswick Business Park is nearby. This modern monument to mammon is an architect designed palace of Thatcherian-Blairite work for modern business; patrolled by company support service staff wearing yellow and there are signs everywhere proclaiming “Enjoy-work.com”.

Reminds me of a city in Italy designed by Mussolini. I caught the end of a programme about it late on television the other night.

To my eye… Chiswick Business Park, structural and minimalist though it may be, has little soul. F*xtons has a head office there, which may be exciting for some, but having looked around the Enjoy-Work.com website I needed a restorative drink. I enjoy work and working. I just happen not to like the flatulence of the Chiswick Business Park as ‘conceptualised’ in the Enjoy-Work.com website. Chacun a son gout, as they say. I used to belong to Esporta, a gym based there. I pretended to use the gym a few years ago by nipping up there for the odd swim and steam bath. They were distraught when I left. I was one of their best customers – the type of customer who pays an annual fee by standing order and who does not clutter up the place by ever going, apart from a few short days after New Year.

Anyway… be that as it may… The Bollo was full of people from Chiswick Business Park, possibly escaping from the place early on a Friday, talking at each other, fuelled by alcohol and laughing frantically in that way people do when they go out with people they don’t really know. I thought of Orwell and all was well.

I sat outside. The drizzle was light – the green canopy outside the pub allowing me to ‘file my report’, enjoy a glass of Rioja and smoke a few Silk Cuts – and that is where I am now, at 4.15 pm.

The nights are drawing in. Soon it will be dark at 5.00 pm. The exotic flora and fauna, disporting themselves in the late Indian summer of recent weeks, are now huddled inside like badgers and only appear outside very occasionally, if they smoke, to have a very quick cigarette.

Soon…. winter will begin its slow journey from the Russian steppes and the North, down through Scandinavia and Northern Europe, to breathe cold air across our sceptred maritime island.

Those left outside are equipped to deal with the change in the weather by nature. They are smokers who have adapted their bodies to cope with hardship by inhaling hot smoke laced with nicotine and numerous noxious and toxic chemicals. As David Attenborough might have said, if he was narrating this nonsense, these ‘external creatures’ are the true survivors. Global warming, floods, a new ice age, will not trouble them. They will be there at the going down of the sun.

Back to enjoy work…

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I rather like this George Orwell quote: Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.

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Education for the curious, please…

I  have been invited (in another guise) by Alex Novarese, Editor of Legal Week, to write for the Legal Week Legal Village section.  Delighted to do so.  My first short piece on legal education for the curious…If you wish to read it: Please click here

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Caption competition: October 07…

I woke at 3.00 am this morning, dealt with some emails, finished an article I am working on and decided it was time for a Caption Competition.

Wildy’s have agreed to provide a book prize to the value of £25 and if you are a student and win, LAWinaBOX will throw in a set of 20 one hour recorded lectures worth £45. (Practitioners may enter – and either enjoy refreshing their knowledge or donate the recorded lectures to another person.)

The pic for this competition is of our revered leader Gordon Brown.

All you have to do is provide a suitable (or unsuitable caption) by posting in the comments section. I’ll judge the entries in a couple of weeks, announce the winner and arrange for you to get the prize. As always, my decision cannot be appealed. I am not running Formula 1 here… so no whining, please, about other posters running on alcohol based fuels when they draft their captions.

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