Archive for December 21st, 2007

A resourceful German restauranteur has come up with ‘Smoking point’ to enable smokers to remain inside at restaurants and pubs while enjoying a smoke. He has made several holes in the wall of his restaurant.

So… Christmas has arrived. Fortunately, The Bollo has decided to open for three hours on Christmas Day. This absolves me from any need to fiddle about in the kitchen with dead birds. There was some talk of my cousin, Cardinal Charoni di Tempranillo, coming over this year – but he picked up an ASBO after a Christmas Church office party last year and is not allowed back in Britain until next year. My brother, Professor R D Charon, has decided to write a treatise, as he calls it, on ‘Jurisprudence in a modern, corrupt and morally bankrupt society’ and has gone to Scunthorpe as a ‘retreat’.

He sent me a card with the inscription: “Dear Charon… “Temperate temperance is best; intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance.”

I sent his card back to him (a bit of green re-cycling) with the message: “Dear Charon… It may surprise you, but I am familiar with Mark Twain’s aphorism. I rather prefer Oscar Wilde’s take on the matter “Moderation is a fatal thing: nothing succeeds like excess.”

Geeklawyer gets a call from a High Court judge while he is taking a bath. Ruthie sympathises with those who are turned down for Silk.

What About Clients? writes: “One of our Brit friends found this re-occurring post and link below simplistic, shallow, anti-intellectual and apparently just “too American”. And so are obliged to pound it in until the British White cows come home. The advice here, of course, is all those things but – like other ideas and moving parts of American life – it actually works.” Find out what the message is.

I received a Christmas ‘blog comment’ from Alex of IMPACT wishing me a Merry Christmas and suggesting that as I was blawging throughout Christmas the Labour government should compensate me. It must be the Winter Solstice – Friday 22nd December. I replied to Alex’s comment on my last post….


“Alex – Curiously… I received an anonymous Christmas Card only this morning…. It contained a £20 note… I cannot believe for one moment that a political party is sending me money…. I think it may have been from a Great Aunt… she likes to make anonymous gifts. As you will appreciate, at my age, it is unlikely that I would have a ‘Great Aunt’ still alive. I remember sending her P V Baker QC’s great work Snell on Equity’ * many years ago – with a bookmark at the page on secret trusts. She was much taken with that section of the book. Thankfully, she never got to grips with Re Vandervell” [* Now edited by those who came after PV Baker QC – I still have that famous edition…]

Guido Fawkes is concerned that Peter Hain should not delay in releasing information about his anonymous donations. It struck me, reading Guido Fawkes’ blog – that this blog (and many other blogs) was a very good example of Web 2.0 in terms of a degree of freedom from commercial publishers – and may well appeal to Nick Holmes of Binary Law: “Blogging is the most successful and relevant Web 2.0 network and that’s not going to change anytime soon.”

And.. I have no hesitation whatsoever in giving a very real and belated ‘hat tip’ to Nick Holmes’ InfoLaw site and Delia Venables – The web link resource for UK Law – for their remarkable work in collating information and analysis on UK centric web resources – since the mid 1990s. (Do not be put off by the pre Web 1.0 look and feel of Delia’s remarkable website – it is a mine of information and covers everything ‘ab initio’ as lawyers used to say.) Blogroll time for this one… ?

And finally…. I have just received an email from WebCameron (now integrated into the Conservative website: see new URL) to let me know that I do not need to worry about David Cameron troubling me over Christmas – because he is in China. [Editor Note: Charon is not a Cameron Conservative – he became over refreshed one night some time ago and subscribed to WebCameron. It is highly unlikely that Charon will be applying to become a Tory candidate for an Ealing constituency. Charon wonders, via a text from a bar in West London, if Simon Heffer will be pleased at this development.]

In the same email, I discovered that The Tories are delighted that Nick “Cameron-Lite” Clegg has been elected as leader of the Lib-Dems. I quote from the email: “Caroline Spelman congratulated him on his appointment, and said she hoped it would lead to greater co-operation between us and them.”

Dear God…a hung Parliament… with the Ant & Dec of the Conservative party teaming up with Nick Clegg who reminds me of the daft Private Pike in Dad’s Army. No wonder the rest of Europe, after removing all border posts in Schengen Europe (UK and Ireland are not ‘Schengens’), are not that bothered what we do in our sceptred isle. We just think they are.

It is, of course, a delicious irony – that we, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (according to my red EU passport) are not members of ‘Schengen’, still maintain borders, but have absolutely no idea where our illegal immigrants are – apart from that poor chap, an illegal working as a security guard at the Home Office, who is now the focus of Home Office attention. (Infra)

Man who is born of woman etc etc… has but a short time to live and a short memory – but there was a story in The Times only a few days ago (18th December) about the security guard who, although cleared by the SIA to be a guard, did not actually have the right to work because he was an ‘illegal immigrant’. I quote from The Times: “Emergency checks were being carried out on all security staff at the Home Office last night after the department admitted that an illegal immigrant had been employed guarding its London headquarters.”

The Times reports that the latest, of many Labour Home Secretaries, was ‘beyond incandescent’ at this news. The illegal in question, The Times continues, “has been arrested and is now subject to deportation action. “ – which means he will probably turn up as a traffic warden somewhere soon because we aren’t very good at deporting people.

Diamondprotection.co.uk provide security. They are flexible and even provide a range of uniforms. Should appeal to Gordon Brown with his “British jobs for British workers” spiel. I rather like the idea of security guards, more used to providing a degree of common sense and security at clubs, pubs and late night drinking establishments (using the old red rope on a portable stand unit), guarding our government offices. Trouble is… I just have a feeling The Home Office will forget to specify the ‘dress code’ and provide a guest list and we’ll have reports in the The Sun / The Mirror et al that Jacqui Smith was refused entry to her own office.

I am now going to retire… I am singing “Who do you think you are… Mr Cameron…” to the Dad’s Army tune. Such is life….

Tomorrow… I’ll continue with my Saturday review… given that it is still Friday….

Gute Nacht… as we say in parts of Schengen Europe….

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A personal statement…

Britain will be closed for the next two and a half weeks because of Christmas. I have therefore decided, with some reluctance, to spend more time with my blawg and take a break from the onerous responsibility of writing about matters legal. Holed up in my Staterooms (I have a mince pie in the fridge and sufficient stock of Rioja in the larder for the great day and the Queen’s speech). I’ll be writing throughout the Christmas period – but not about Law. For those of you who need to do a ‘bit of law’ over this period there are websites out there, or you could look at some cases on the HM Court Service website or visit the websites maintained by the newly named regulatory bodies: SRA / BSB. I can also recommend The Legal Services Act 2007. It has plot, pace and enough in it to provide angst, tension and satisfaction.

My last post on our beautiful game for 2007 is a story worthy of Dickens. It comes from The Sun: HEATHER MILLS faces a £2million court scrap with HER divorce lawyers – but has vowed to fight their “extortionate” bill.

According to The Sun, leading law firm Mischon de Reya, with a team of six charging an hourly rate £500 (The Sun figures), are about to issue their bill for £2 million. You may recall that Heather Mills sacked her lawyers / Her Lawyers sacked her after her extraordinary appearance on GMTV some time ago. The Sun takes up the story: ” A pal of Heather said last night: “She has been employing Mishcon for 20 months so it works out at £100,000 a month.Did Mishcon need a team of six, each earning £500 an hour, to fight her case?”

The Sun has been able to talk to a legal source about this: “It was her choice to hire one of the country’s most high-profile lawyers.”

The Sun ends its coverage of this breaking story with: “If the High Court writ is successful it could result in the ex-porn star being declared bankrupt.”

Oh… and finally… since it has a bit of law in it. Geeklawyer gets a phonecall from a High Court judge while he is in the bath. He puts his wig on to take the call. (Some strong language / imagery)

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