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Archive for July 7th, 2009

It would seem that Bernie Ecclestone didn’t really mean to say that Hitler did a good job and was a great leader… just that Hitler did the business for building Autobahns. Ecclestone apologises and then  drones on, somewhat absurdly,  in today’s Times.

Apparently Ecclestone met with The Prince of Darkness.  They had a chat. Paul Waugh in his Evening Standard blog reports: ” As an aside, the pint-sized fan of dictatorships then mentioned that he had got himself into a spot of bother over his remarks in a Times interview that Hitler “got things done”. Mandelson replied: “You should take advice before doing such interviews in the future. That was the extent of the exchange, sources say.”

The Times reports: A jury hearing a libel action brought by Richard Desmond, owner of the Daily Express, against the author of a biography of Conrad Black was discharged today after “fundamental” evidence emerged.

The article was not that informative (not surprisingly) – but I did enjoy the comment of someone called Francesca who wrote: “The good High Court judge has given up further lucrative earnings as counsel to live a life of cloistered slavery: writing (usually) his own (many) judgments, of breathtaking excellence. Money couldn’t pay you for that calling; very few are up to it. Barristers clerks in some chambers earn as much.”

I can’t imagine that Eady J has taken to writing comments in The Times under a pseudonym – but it is, clearly, easier to get a comment published in The Times these days.  I may spend a happy evening with a bottle of Rioja and then nip over to The Times online myself… and run amok.

The talking stops tomorrow and The Ashes begins….

Sky Sports has been acquired and I am ready for the long haul…. Test cricket is my thing and there is no bigger match than an Ashes Series.  Pity about Lee, of course.  It can’t be easy for Australia to lose their start 90mph reverse swinging bowler right at the start.

I haven’t watched much of the largely pointless pre-series hype and talk – the game is the thing.. and the game is afoot.

Guido Fawkes: Lords Savage Brown’s YouTubed Parliamentary Standards Bill

Guido notes: “As the Lords say, it is a hastily cobbled together rush to “do something” – the wrong thing.  The report diplomatically describes the Prime Mentalist’s expenses announcement on YouTube as “constitutionally unorthodox”.

Oh Dear…. Gordon appears to be getting a kicking… at least substantially recasting this Bill will keep his mind off The Ashes series.  After dooming Andy Murray to crash out of Wimbelbore last week by wishing him well on Twitter (of all places) many of us are rather hoping that he doesn’t have the usual Prime Ministerial taste for cricket.

And it came to pass that our latest Home Secretary read  the secret  scrolls…

Keen as mustard… Alan Johnson, the sixth incarnation of Labour’s Dr Who since 1997 (and the fourth in three years) , took over as Home Secretary and pronounced the ID card idea dead.

Times: Alan Johnson: ID cards ‘will never be compulsory’ for Britons

Unfortunately, it is not dead and today the Guardian ran the headline..

£1,000 fines to bolster ID cards as Tories pledge to scrap scheme

The Guardian noted: “MPs tonight approved fines of up to £1,000 for those who fail to tell the passport and identity service of changes in their personal details including address, name, nationality and gender….

…..The home secretary, Alan Johnson, also made clear that there had been no U-turn over ID cards and that the programme was still on course despite claims that he had ruled out making them compulsory. “We haven’t scrapped ID cards, what we are doing is accelerating their introduction,” he told MPs.

The Conservatives’ home affairs spokesman, Damian Green, asked how the scheme could be “voluntary” when they were penalties for failing to provide information for the database.  Alan Johnson may not have been to university (as he once quipped when heading the Department for Education etc etc)  but he is, undoubtedly, a clever man… and it would appear that he has read George Orwell’s 1984.

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Unsilent Partners…an idea

Unsilent Partners is an idea cooked up by me  and Colin Samuels, author of the Infamy or Praise blog.  The plan is to write a series of essays / commentaries on  interesting legal issues and developments in the USA and the UK – perhaps each commenting on the other writer’s post.

You are most welcome to join in (writing at length or briefly)  by using the comments section at the foot of each blog post.

Have a look?

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