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Archive for July 30th, 2008

Irritation…..

Perhaps it is the heat, perhaps it is just me, perhaps it is living in Britain in these credit-crunch times – but I have noticed that a number of really quite trivial and unimportant things irritate me.  I do not get angry – I just get irritated.  So… I thought I would start an ‘Irritation” section on my blog to share my ‘pet irritations’ and invite those of you who are so inclined –  (a) to be irritating or (b) share your pet irritations when I publish “Irritation” posts.

1.  The BBC weather forecast for London on the BBC website

I read weather forecasts regularly – it is a minor impediment to an otherwise relatively insane life.  I don’t actually care what the weather is or does – but I do take the most irrational and grave exception when the BBC tells me that there is going to be rain and then we get a heatwave. I  take an implausibly grave exception when the converse happens.

Today, the BBC has changed their assessment of the weather no less than five times; at times representing a forecast on their website at odds with the radio and television bulletins – and what is going on outside my window.  I know – because, again, perhaps irrationally’, I have turned on the radio and television to check.  This may well appear, to the casual observer, to be symptomatic of a mild form of obsessive compulsive disorder or the onset of some dementia bloggerensis and you may well be right.  I will be on my roof deck tonight at midnight checking the  sky, the web, the radio and the television to see if there is any accuracy in the BBC forecasts.  I may well chuck a few chicken feathers and entrails  about to do my own forecast. I appreciate that weather changes – but how can it go from a Met Office “Severe Weather” warning to heatwave in half a f*****g hour?  This is the problem I have today.  I am told that I will be OK once the pills kick in.

Frankly, I have a suspicion that the BBC just wait to see what the weather is actually doing outside the London office and adjust it… which is about as much use to anyone as a one legged pace bowler in a test match.

Please feel free to tell me your “irritations” in the comments section – I may well prefer yours to mine – in which case I may email you (but not if you are a barrister who is hostile to emails – see below)  and propose a swap.

IRRITATION UPDATE / Wednesday 30 July 10.15 pm

It has been a rather irritating day for Cricket fans.  Our batsmen decided that they did not know how to bat today.

I am grateful to The Chief, a visitor to this blog, for sending me an EXCELLENT picture of the weather forecast for Birmingham .  It is from the BBC and gives me comfort both for the weather and the cricket.  It is worth a look!

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On a day when The Lords ruled that the Serious Fraud Office acted lawfully in halting the investigation into BAe and nearly forty years after the invention of email (which pre-dated the invention of the internet), the Bar Council has decided to harness the power of the digitial information era to communicate with members.

I am grateful to a particularly switched on law librarian for providing the text of the article from Counsel magazine: The Email Initiative – proving, yet again, that law librarians are vital even in the age of electronic information.

The article in Counsel  magazine throws up some surprising points.

1.  Any professional body worthy of its name needs to communicate effectively with its members.  The Bar Council is contacting members to inform them of the Email Initiative.  They hope, soon, to have harvested 75% of the profession’s email addresses.  Interestingly – “Many expressed surprise that the Bar Council did not have their email address already.  Others were sceptical about disclosing personal email addresses:  a few were hostile.”

2.  This is a time of increasing change in the legal services sector… effective interest representation and regulation depends on efficient communication, ‘but communicating directly with 15,000 individual members of the Bar is currently a challenge’.

3. The initiative is not intended ‘to deluge’ the Bar with messages or clutter up in-boxes. The Bar Council does understand how ‘frequent email blasts’ can induce communication fatigue…. but the Bar Council wishes ‘to harness the power of technology’ to put them in touch with developments etc etc… consistent with the “one Bar’ approach… The Bar Council notes that its website contains a wealth of information ….. but ‘busy practitioners may not have the time to browse the site to search for material’.

4. Direct email would have several advantages…. better communication etc etc etc.  There were also ‘regulatory’ benefits.

5.  “What stands in the way of this direct communication is the simple absence of a comprehensive set of personal email addresses for the profession. Only half of the profession has provided email addresses.  The plan is (a) to require disclosure – but this has disciplinary implications in the event of failure to disclose or (b) to encourage more members to provide email addresses voluntarily.

Well… there we are. The Bar may be thirty plus years later than other early adopters of information super highway benefits – but….. a new dawn may soon rise in the sky and in-boxes will ping in Chambers throughout the land and barristers….  may not, as the old saying goes, be wiser, but at least they will be better informed.

I suspect that the voluntary approach may not bear much fruit – barrristers being the independently minded lot they are – and… some were ‘hostile’ to the idea, after all!.  Some say… that some barristers do not have email addresses.  I know one barrister who says that he doesn’t get any emails at all – a source of pleasure to him – because he does not have an email address.

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30 July: Daily news and podcast

30 July:  Daily news and podcast up on Insitelaw magazine

Substantial update to Insitelaw in progress for completion today.

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