Archive for November 7th, 2008

I haven’t done a “Charon after Dark” prog for a while… so I thought I’d do one tonight.  No text… audio only I’m afraid.. with music and some sound effects.  I look at George W Bush’s legacy, his use of the language common to the peoples of Great Britain and The United States of America – a bit of music from John Mayall and Bob Dylan – as “The times they are a changing….”

Listen to the podcast.  Office safe.

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What a fascinating week. In the wake of Barack Obama being elected the 44th President of The United States we have Prime Minister Berlusconi talking about ‘suntans’ and Sarah Palin not realising that Africa was a continent.

Had an email from the editor of LawandMore, despite my post on foodery and restaurantery of earlier in the week, inviting me to do another review.  It seems that I’ll be getting my knife and fork and hip flask full of grappa out once again to brave it across the river to Battersea.

A very big hat tip to the LawandMore Editor for sending me the link to this truly exceptional series of emails where a guy tried to pay a debt owed with a drawing.  I had not seen it before – most amusing.  Tempted to try something like this in reverse myself to persuade a client to part with some shekels for my coin operated Rioja dispenser.  Have a look (look for the emails / spider on right hand side of screen – it is worth your time if you have not see this.)

RECESSION…DOOM… GLOOM… it is a good time to be a professional vulture…

Friends in certain sectors of the law – property, conveyancing, family, M&A, general commercial report hard times ahead and redundancies in the law are increasing.  BUT… the lawyers who sit watching, waiting for death to pick over the bones – Insolvency, banking fall out, litigation, some employment are raking it in… and even housing specialists with house repos according to LEGAL SPY.  There is even some suggestion that people are getting injured and then nipping off to personal injury specialists to see if they can top up their Christmas spending – no… I am making this last bit up.

I have just read on the BBC that Banks have finally got the message to pass on Bank of England rate cuts. MPs were threatening to get tough on recalcitrant banks…. I rather liked the idea of a “Greedy F**ks Exploitation Tax” rather than the dull sounding “Windfall tax”. I suspect if parliament had had to intervene and put legislative pressure on – it would have been a truly historic bipartisan majority. Again… good news for lawyers.  Bankers are even more reviled in polite and not so polite society.

So let me slip in a bit of good news and good cheer.

The BBC reports a truly amazing story: A pilot who suddenly went blind while flying his plane at 15,000ft (4,572m) was guided in to land by an RAF plane: A plane was scrambled from the RAF base at Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire to help stricken pilot Jim O’Neill, 65 He was flying a two-seater Cessna aircraft from Prestwick airport in Scotland to Colchester, Essex, when he suffered a stroke and lost his sight. The RAF plane flew alongside Mr O’Neill and the pilot shepherded him to the base with instructions over the radio.

Anyway… that’s enough good good news… now let’s have some good bad news. RollonFriday reports: Camerons in trouble for electrocuting students Law fairs are normally a time when firms try their best to attract the best students. However, it seems CMS Cameron McKenna has adopted a different approach by trying to maim them. The firm gave away electrical adaptors branded with their logo at a recent Cambridge University law fair. A few days later, attendees were surprised to receive the following email: Visit RollonFriday for the email (The adapter was dangerous and had to be recalled).

So Harriet Harman QC, MP wades in yet again with a load of nonsense… One assumes, not unreasonably,  given that Ms Harman is a QC ( a real one… I hasten to add)… she is not ‘stupid’ – although stupidity appears to be no bar to election to parliament or, indeed, the achieving of high ministerial office. Ms Harman has decided that men are getting away with murder and wishes to do away with the defence of provocation.  This, not surprisingly, has attracted the attention of our most senior Law Lord, Lord Phillips of Matravers, who is uneasy. Lord Phillips statedMinisters had not persuaded him of the merits of the change.”  He also said that said that “there were other defects in ministers’ proposals.”  Lord Phillips views, for those who wish to pursue, are reported in this Times article.

Fellow Blogger The Fat Bigot, who I had the pleasure of working with many years ago in the pre-Cambrian period of legal history – an experienced member of the bar himself – has some very robust and thoughtful views.  His post is worth reading in full.  I merely quote a few words for my own amusement… Sometimes I wonder what planet Harriet Harman comes from. No, let’s be realistic, it’s not sometimes, it’s almost every time she opens her mouth. Her latest piece of braindead lunacy concerns provocation as a defence to a charge of murder.”

I am not being lazy, quite the opposite.  I happen to agree with The Fat Bigot’s analysis – and he does know a thing or two about the criminal law.  Also – he says everything that really needs to be said in a blog post about it… so over to him: “What provoked Harriet to be so stupid?”

Well that is probably enough  for my first postcard from the Boat this weekend. I have to meet with a bottle of wine and see if it is open to discussion about me drinking it.  I will do another over the weekend… and may write other things as well…

As ever… have a good weekend.

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With the departure of George W Bush it may appear that we mere mortals have no major international politicians to ridicule for their behaviour…. but… Italy is taking over the baton with Prime Minister Berlusconi.  SKY News reports: “The Italian Prime Minister has been blasted for his blundering welcome of the US president-elect after he praised Barack Obama’s “suntan”.

I quote: “Silvio Berlusconi made the comment at a joint press conference with Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev. “I will try to help relations between Russia and the United States where a new generation has come to power, and I don’t see problems for Medvedev to establish good relations with Obama who is handsome, young and suntanned,” he said.

Italy’s left-wing opposition parties have demanded Mr Berlusconi apologise for the gaffe – which they say is at worst racist and at best a diplomatic blunder. “Berlusconi cannot control himself in the best of circumstances,” said Dario Franceschini of Italy’s centre-left opposition Democratic Party.

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Daily news and podcast up on Insitelaw… NEW and IMPROVED!

As promised, I have started a very much more detailed coverage of legal, financial and important political news of interest to lawyers on Insitelaw.  I have also increased, significantly, the coverage given to the UK and other bloggers.  There is a great deal of very useful and serious analysis by UK bloggers – who write for FREE – and much of it is as good as or  rather better than the material you pay for in newspapers.

The Insitelaw magazine page – is posted to the Insitelaw blog each day as an archive (searchable).

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