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Archive for April, 2008

Daily news podcast and legal news now up on insitelaw newswire

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And so, on a cold Tuesday night at the end of April, rain spattering on the windows of my bunker, I find myself looking at an amusing YouTube video of Boris on Have I Got News For You admitting that he once sneezed cocaine many years ago. It is a rather good video if you haven’t seen it.

It was, Boris said, “a very long time ago… and very very wrong and bad…. ”

When commended for being ‘commendably honest”… Boris laughed and replied… “Recklessly honest.”

***

When I saw this headline on Google: ” Blair Man’s Self Inflicted Gunshot Wound Alcohol Related”… I just had to look further. It was not a revelation about Lord Levy, Peter Mandelson or any other Blairite / or recently converted ‘anti-Blairite’. It was, however, a quite remarkable story and I quote in full from the original source:

“A combination of alcohol, bees and a gun resulted in a Williamsburg man making a trip to the hospital Sunday.

The incident happened around 2:00 Sunday yesterday afternoon in Frankstown Township in the Canoe Creek area.

According to police 57-year-old David Walls had been drinking when he tried to shoot down some bees flying above him using a .22 caliber revolver loaded with buckshot. Walls ended up shooting himself in the left hand causing soft tissue damage.”

Wow… now that must have been some drink.

BUT… in the interests of political balance I also enjoyed this YouTube snippet from Newsnight when Paxo puts The Invisible Man to the sword and says “You can’t be serious” when Paddick was unable to distinguish between Ken and Boris for second preference vote purposes. Worth a look. Almost as good as the cocaine sneezing clip. The Invisible Man may have been a good copper and is, almost certainly, a thoroughly decent bloke – but standing beside two of London’s finest political pantomime villains – he looked a touch out of place. Paxo – at his best.

AND… since this is supposed to be law blog… if you really want a masterclass in asking questions and following through…. then this “Best of Paxo” made me laugh and it may well make you laugh as well. Definitely worth a bit of your time. You may have seen it already – but if you haven’t – here it is.

Right… I’m orf to do something more sensible….

a piu tarde.

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On Wednesday 23rd April I had an excellent dinner at The Three Bridges restaurant in Battersea.

I’m doing a few reviews for the online mag LawandMore – here is the link to my review of The Three Bridges.

I had a good time at The Three Bridges – and will be going back as a customer before too long.  I hope to be visiting another restaurant soon for another review.

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Daily news podcast, legal news, law reports and who’s writing what on the blogs is now up on insitelaw newswire. Here

I got up at 3.00 this morning, as I usually do, to look at blogs and newspapers for my vaguely sensible coverage of the events of the day [In another place].

This morning, I read, in The Independent, that Brown, having solved all the problems of his increasingly inadequate and unelected ‘premiership’, is focused on re-classifying cannabis from C to B, arseing around with the extension on detention from 28-42 days and, no doubt, if political pundits are to be believed, dithering about whether he will serve up porridge or porridge to us today. I do not tend to drink at 3.00 in the morning, save, on occasion, on a Friday night when I stay up late, so I can’t even plead mild intoxication…. (and I’ve voted Labour for 28 years) for what follows…. (or the graphic)

Gordon Brown, skulking away in the bowels of The Treasury, may well be shown by history to be one of the great Chancellors. As a Prime Minister he is shaping up to be a disaster – with no peer or rival in the last 200 years. Retreat after retreat. First he bottled the election last Summer. Now he retreats on the 10p tax issue. Soon he may well be defeated on the extension of terror detention from 28 to 42 days because people who know what they are talking about oppose it and MPs are beginning to listen. Now Gordon Brown, despite evidence and opposition, again from people who know what they are talking about, wants to re-classify Cannabis from Group C to Group B.

There are rather more important matters, one would have thought, for Brown to address – credit-crunch, house prices, Iraq, Afghanistan, employment, not being a fun guy… to name but a few. Police may well want the drug re-classified (but have they produced any sensible, compelling, evidence for this – or is this yet another bit of plod opportunism to go back to the good old days?) – but it can’t possibly be the case that cannabis is contributing, markedly or at all, to the crime wave?

Ironically, crime is actually falling according to recent reports. (Here | Here | And in Liverpool? ) Cheap booze may well be a cause of juvenile delinquency, but, again, is hardly likely to be the only cause of mainstream crime. It cannot be easy to commit serious crimes or robbery, rape, fraud, etc when spliffed up or pissed. But what would I know? I’m only a voter. I’ve never been partial to porridge, despite my Scots ancestry, and the present lumpy stuff being dished up by a tired and, frankly, rather dull and inconsistent government is not appetising. And they wonder why Boris may (possibly), despite all of his antics, be elected as Mayor on Thursday.

(*) Brown refutes Lord Levy story about being gay.

***

If you are in London: Who are you going to vote for: Boris | Ken | Invisible Man | Putin | Other? One hopes the election results will not take four weeks to be declared.

***

Grammar Note for members of The Apostophe Fanciers Club: Focused or focussed?

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28 April: Daily news and podcast

Daily news podcast up on insitelaw newswire

On insitelaw newswire today:
Update on who has been blogging this weekend | Scathing attack on government by Mr Justice Collins | Police assess risk of a policeman winning the lottery.
Visit: insitelawnewswire

If you wish to comment: See the insitelaw blog.

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Charon QC reviews….

Coming soon…
I appear to be a restaurant reviewer now and had a great time last Wednesday visiting Battersea to review a very good restaurant. My review will be up on LawandMore soon… but, to give you a foretaste / forewarning…. here is an extract:

“Should I wear a dinner jacket ?… a suit?… I wondered, as I shaved and thought about my trip to South London. It was South London I had to go to … so the black suit, black tie, Ronnie Kray look would have to stay in the wardrobe for my trip out of the manor that night. In the end I decided on a Chiswick ‘artiste’ look – jeans, black polo neck and an implausible battered brown drizeabone coat to give that High Plains Drifter feel to my arrival south of the river. After contacting the Foreign Office website to see if there were any travel warnings about trips to South London, I made my way to Chancery Lane for a meeting before going down to The ….. “

I am able to reveal that the restaurant gets 4.5 riojas as a rating.

I am also pleased to announce

That Wildy & Sons have accepted my invitation to sponsor the occasional caption competitions I run on here. The prize will be a book involving legal humour; modest in price, but rich on reading – entirely in keeping with this almost law free blawg.

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I’ve heard of Tupperware parties. I’ve even heard of Ann Summers parties. I have not been a participant – but now there are Taser Parties

The Telegraph reports: “Miss Shafman, 35, is on a mission to persuade the fearful, but fashion-conscious, women of America to pack 50,000 volts of self-defence in their handbags.”

Excellent nonsense. The Land of The Free? I appreciate that quite a few people in the United States are armed, and some heavily, as they go to work or go out socially but it is somewhat ironic, in the world’s biggest democracy, that people feel the need to be armed with guns and, now, tasers.

I had an excellent lunch on Friday with the team at LawandMore to discuss restaurant reviews, life, the universe and everything. We enjoyed our wines. Not a Taser in sight.

Excuse me… I’m trying to smoke!…

So there I was, shortly after 8.30 this morning, sitting outside a cafe in Chiswick High Road, enjoying a coffee and perfecting my smoking technique – or ‘Smokedo’ as I like to describe it now – ‘The way of the smoker’.

I was reading about Lord Laidlaw’s excellent and stylish Monaco based bondage / sex / drugs parties in The News of The World before turning my attention to rather more serious matters in The Observer.

A Chiswickmummy with two E-numbered up children (boys) sat down. One of the spawn was still in a pushchair. The other was not. I was smoking – as one is entitled to do outside and was three tables away. The woman looked at me with a degree of disdain and then at her children as if to suggest that I was going to give them emphysema immediately.

Brat 1 in pushchair starts screaming because his egg yuck mix, or whatever it was his mother gave him, was not to his precocious middle class taste. Brat 2 then threw a strop because his mother told him to stop banging the salt and pepper containers on the table. This went on for several minutes. I glanced at the woman who was beaming away at these spawn of satan but she did not catch the malevolence in my gaze. I wanted to say “Excuse me, Madam, but would you be kind enough to control your child accessories, please”. Instead, I said, taking a full frontal approach: “Excuse me, I’m trying to smoke – and it is too early for screaming children. Please… I surrender. Can you quieten them down?” The woman was not too impressed by this attempt at black humour  and took the children inside. No apology, just another look of disdain. Result.

After breakfast I nipped over to The Inconvenience Store to buy a bottle of Rioja and some smoking equipment. I stood patiently in the queue while a f**kwit, Russian from the language he was using to SHOUT into his mobile phone, f**ked about trying to find loose change to pay for his provisions. F**kwit then dropped his change all over the sweets on display in the cabinet in front of him. Making no effort at all to hurry, mobile phone cradled between shoulder and very large right ear, f**kwit then starts rummaging around trying to find his change and – there is a god – mobile phone drops onto the floor and the battery falls off the phone. Result.

It was, perhaps, rude of me to start laughing uncontrollably, triggering off laughter from the shop assistant behind the counter and someone behind me. Russian looked completely baffled, puts his phone together and redials, at which point the shopkeeper told him that he had other customers to serve and voided the transaction on the till. The British may be polite and tolerant on the whole – but this morning I decided not to be after my smoking / newspaper reading session had been ruined by Lady Disdain and her progeny.

I shall return to Weekend Review later. I feel like a quick walk.

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