Archive for April 9th, 2009

Areopagitica redux….

I woke this morning, satiated to the gunnels after years of writing course textbooks for law students,  and determined that I  should publish a book… and to this end I have created Man in a Hat Press to self publish my first Charon book.

The next task was to come up with a title… without even a drop of Rioja to hand I determined (this is my latest favourite use of a favoured word) that it should be called Areopagitica Redux for reasons I shall explain shortly.  The next matter I determined that should be determined was the cover design for the book.  All books, I thought to myself,  have a cover… why should I buck the trend?   So I fired up Photoshop and hey presto… a book cover.

Lovers of English literature will know the original Areopagitica.  Wikipedia comes, as ever, to my assistance: “Areopagitica: A speech of Mr. John Milton for the liberty of unlicensed printing to the Parliament of England is a 1644 prose polemical tract by John Milton against censorship. Areopagitica is among history’s most influential and impassioned philosophical defences of the principle of a right to free expression.”

As I believe in both freedom to publish and freedom to express myself – why should anyone not believe in such a thing if they are not working for the State? – it occurred to me that Areopagitica Redux would be an excellent title.  As I am the publisher, author, typist, cover designer and executive editor of this work I cannot, unfortunately, blame anyone for my choice of title or, indeed, anything else – but by the same token I do not ever say No to myself when I feel that something should be done.  Let the market decide.  Let the market determine if £5.99 is too high a price to pay for my first book of musings drawn from my thoughts, my blog posts and other writing I have done over the past two years. Each book sold will pay for a bottle of Rioja.  I have chosen the price to reflect the Rioja I can get from my good friend Mr Oddbins. The more Rioja I drink, the more I will write.  Keynes would have been pleased to come up with such an elegant solution to his economic plan.  If I sell 100 I shall bring out Volume II.  If I  don’t sell 100, I shall ‘buy’ the entire print run myself, sign them and leave them casually on the shelves in bookshops throughout the land.  I don’t think I am committing any criminal offence by giving a book to a bookshop?  It is quite possible that I may have to resort to this disgraceful marketing ploy…  but not even I can invent 100 brothers and assorted relations to add to my Charon dramatis personae and persuade ‘them’ to phone bookshops to ask if they have, by any chance, a copy of Charon’s masterwork Areopagitica Redux.

All will be revealed in time….


Let me tell you about a friend who has a much more sensible idea.  Ms R, a woman of Experience writes a first rate blog.  She is a writer and a keen observer. Ms R has come up with a brainwave to write a book *Toxic People* and fund it, by asking readers to donate a very modest amount of money.  When she reaches critical mass (She has a donate-o-meter),  she will write the book and send chapters as they are written to all those who have donated. This is an excellent idea and I only wish I had thought of it myself – but as I didn’t, I am very happy to tell you that I have read the prologue and I saw that it was good. Go and read the prologue for free and if you like it… hit that button. I have a very strong feeling this book of Ms R’s will be a bodice ripper, a yarn of yarns and a pleasure to read.  I enjoyed the prologue and will be giving Ms R a contribution to the fund when I see her soon. There may even be some sex in the book… who knows?  I shall certainly ask her when we do a podcast… coming soon.

“The bidding was already at $300,000. The prize was, well it happened to be a trip around the world in five days in pure, unadulterated luxury all the way, but who really cared? If you were sitting here, you didn’t need it or  you probably already had it anyway……”

You can go straight to the prologue here…

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9th April: News up on Insite Law

Happy Easter

Whatever you believe in – enjoy your weekend. I’ll be keeping Insite Law up to date over the bank holiday period but the daily news podcasts, after today, won’t be resumed until Tuesday morning.

I plan to do some blogging – who knows what the content will be? I don’t even know myself yet but I  will definitely be at my post, scanning the horizon, looking for U-boats.

By the way… the news, daily podcast… latest from the profession and the Ministry of Justice is up on Insite Law now – some rather good links to news stories about G20 Policing, the attempt to cover the story up, Bob Quick’s resignation as Chief of Counter terrorism at The Met and an excellent article by Lawrence West QC on whether the Woolf reforms have worked.  They haven’t he says.  Compelling stuff…

and… I’ve even got a new clock on the front page of Insite – just for the Easter weekend… simple things amuse me…..

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