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Archive for September 28th, 2009

The folly of men of advancing years…

I have passed the pleasure of writing this story over to my far more acerbic (and rather dull, pompous and academically flatulent) brother, Professor RD Charon.

A view from Academe on the issue of Lust.
Professor RD Charon

I write from the perspective of many years in academe and not once was I touched by the desire to flirt with a female student or, it has to be said,  be the recipient of flirtatious behaviour on the part of a female student.  Should such an event have occurred, where I was called upon to exercise my academic judgement in favour of an attractive female to her advantage, against my natural and better judgement, I would have had her rusticated.

To have my attention drawn to a salacious piece in a law blogger’s website, a website called Law Actually, by my asinine brother who wastes his days on Twitter, writing incomprehensible nonsense on here and getting drunk with lawyers in the capital City is bad enough;  but to find that the Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University, an otherwise most sensible man by the name of Terence Kealey,vice-chancellor of that most esteemed establishment, and the author of Sex, Science and Profits (2008) has been giving intemperate advice,  has made me most dyspeptic.

I quote from the passage written by ‘The Michael”, as I believe this blogger refers to himself, from his electronic Tractatus, Law Actually.

In an article for the Times Higher Education magazine on lust, part of a feature on the seven deadly sins of universities, Kealey wrote: “Normal girls – more interested in abs than in labs, more interested in pecs than specs, more interested in triceps than tripos – will abjure their lecturers for the company of their peers, but nonetheless, most male lecturers know that, most years, there will be a girl in class who flashes her admiration and who asks for advice on her essays.

What to do?  “Enjoy her! She’s a perk.”

Flashing a few literary allusions, he continued: “She doesn’t yet know that you are only Casaubon to her Dorothea, Howard Kirk to her Felicity Phee, and she will flaunt you her curves. Which you should admire daily to spice up your sex, nightly, with the wife.”

De-constructing the piece, I can find no hint of hidden allusion, nor even the illusion of great writing – all I see is delusion; the delusion common to many men – my asinine brother is so afflicted – that they are still young.

***

As you have gathered, my academically dessicated brother and I do not get on…. it was ever thus.  He is, however, to me…. an amuse bouche, and I do like to poke the odd academic occasionally, if you forgive the expression (in the circumstances) –  so I like to draw him in when opportunity allows. I suspect that Kealey was having a laugh – but even I would not have ventured into that territory.  It is quite possible that my fellow blogger Geeklawyer would have been happy to do so – but I must not encourage him any further in his ‘depravity’ – Geeklawyer’s that is, not the VC’s!
Charon.

***

To be serious – the whole article in The Times Higher Education about the Seven Deadly Sins was, in fact, rather good and worth a read… and I am quite sure Terence Kealy intended no moral outrage or slight on women… it did, however, come across as being a bit ‘creepy’! and… it is his problem, not mine!

Good effort, Michael  of Law Actually for picking this story up.

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Blawg Review # 231: Hosted from VEGAS!

Blawg Review #231 is up and it is from Vegas., by Legally UnBound….

Legally Unbound writes…. “I live here. Other than that, though Sin City is not known for its verbosity, it is known for its short catchy phrases, its buffet sign deals and its staged antics, in and out of the casinos. What you may or may not know about Las Vegas is that our persona is much larger than our history, our population, our sq. miles (km) and certainly our legal prowess. In fact, I’d say that Las Vegas has an incredibly narcissistic ego that is only surpassed by this persona which generates the appetite for its own cannibalistic, self-indulgence. In other words, Las Vegas can’t get enough of itself.”

It is a great Blawg Review, amusing, incisive, covers the blogs and I enjoyed it immensely.  I’ve not been to Las Vegas… but after reading this BR it is certainly somewhere I would enjoy visiting.  Go and feel the sin….

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Jenny Rowe, the CEO of the new Supreme Court

Today, as part of my series of podcasts for The College of Law Inside Track I talk to Jenny Rowe, the CEO of the new Supreme Court.

Jenny Rowe  gives a behind the scenes view of the new Supreme Court, (which opens on Thursday 1st October), the budget for running the court and the new technologies, events, publication of judgments with commentaries being employed to make the court more accessible to the public.

Listen to the podcast

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The Independent reports: After years of over-charging, City lawyers could face tough justice

Opportunistic city lawyers who over-charge their clients face tough new rules aimed at tackling the excesses and mismanagement of corporate law firms, under proposals to be published this week. The crackdown on the City’s legal profession comes after growing concerns that regulators have failed to deal with abuses at multi-million pound law firms. Clients have told a review led by former Tory cabinet member Lord Hunt of Wirral that lawyers are guilty of over-charging, failing to provide objective advice and breaching commercial confidentialities.

Crackdowns on anyone, be they bankers, lawyers, binge drinkers – sometimes all three of these modern day pariahs are combined in the same individual – are always good for the soul of the newspaper reader in the morning – but one wonders whether they have any effect on behaviour.  The word is spreading, they say, that the recession is over, fees will start to rtise again as law firmns wrest ‘control’ from the hands of General Counsel / in-house lawyers and all will be good in the Kingdom of Mammon again….  We shall see.

In the meantime, Keir Starmer QC, fresh from providing guidelines on assisted dying, is reported in The Times as having “brushed aside objections and decided last month that 11 of the Space Hijackers would face a four-day trial at a magistrates’ court in February.” I remember the G20 conference.  I spent half a day tweeting about it.  I even had a purely imaginary Tiger tank which I used to drive to the G20 protest.  Unfortunately, what started off as being a good humoured protest turned into a rather more dark affair with the death of Ian Tomlinson and videos appearing on You Tube showing police officers using batons against unarmed and peaceful protesters with gusto.  It also showed pictures of police officers dressed like Robocop with their epaulettes covered so they could not be identified from their police number.

Now, it seems, the Metropolitan Police – not having managed to get nearly enough recent publicity for their antics – are to be given another opportunity to make complete fools of themselves with the prosecution in February of 11 people (just under half the number of people being prosecuted for offences at the G20 protest – excluding police officers)

I quote from The Times report: ” ONE woman is dressed provocatively in a black bra. Another sports red high heels and stockings. Their long-haired male companions are dressed in scruffy blue boiler suits and the occasional riot helmet. The costumes may look harmless, but for the Space Hijackers — a small group of part-time anarchists with a penchant for street entertainment — they have been enough to earn them charges of impersonating police officers. The group was pictured en route to last April’s G20 protests surrounding a dilapidated personnel carrier, complete with fake plastic machinegun and speakers blaring out the Ride of the Valkyries. Their jaunt now forms the cornerstone of one of the most bizarre prosecutions mounted in a British court in recent years.”

This is bizarre and almost certainly a waste of public money. The Press will cover the trial – much amusement will be had at the expense of Plod, it is even possible the magistrates may find the skyjackers ‘not guilty’ – a verdict still open, thankfully, to magistrates – but in the meantime the Police have to face the issue of the possible prosecution of one of their own for possible manslaughter in the case of Ian Tomlinson.  We shall see what transpires, but this prosecution may well rebound to the discredit of the CPS and the Police.

And finally.. cleaning up the story

The Independent reports: ” The Home Office faced demands last night to reopen its investigation into the illegal immigrant hired by Baroness Scotland after the Attorney-General was accused of lying by her former housekeeper. Lady Scotland’s claim that she scrutinised Loloahi Tapui’s passport to check she was entitled to work in Britain was flatly contradicted by the 27-year-old Tongan in The Mail on Sunday. The UK Border Agency, administered by the Home Office, concluded its inquiry by imposing a £5,000 fine on the Attorney-General. The disparity between the two accounts led to fresh demands from opposition parties for Lady Scotland’s resignation.”

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