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Archive for October 11th, 2009

“There will be incredulity that the party of Churchill chooses allies like this”
David Miliband, Foreign Secretary – The Observer 11th October 2009

The Observer has been dogged in exposing the Tories’ new and fringe bedfellows in the European parliament. Remember, they have rejected the conservatism of Angela Merkel for that of people who commemorate the Latvian Unit of the Waffen SS. Rejected Nicolas Sarkozy’s Conservatives for a party of climate change deniers from the Czech Republic. Rejected Fredrik Reinfeldt’s Swedish Moderate Party for the Polish far-right party of Michal Kaminski.

The latest revelations – the Hague letter about his party’s “good friend” Kaminski, the latter’s disgraceful calls for apologies “by the Jewish nation” to balance Polish ones and his hair-splitting about how bad it is to burn 300 Jews in cold blood – are devastating.

A rather unpleasant elephant in the room… it would seem
Fortunately, the press and media are now waking up to the idea that it is time for the Tories to come under greater scrutiny – and their choice of bed fellows in Europe does, indeed, look rather bizarre.  Miliband calls for Cameron and Hague to ‘announce today that they are suspending their membership of the ECR.’

Clearly, with the conference season over the knives are being sharpened and politics will again become interesting and very real – for in a very short time there will be an election.  Guido Fawkes asks if we are being softened up for Gordon Brown stepping down (To bottle yet another election – according to Guido) with recent reports about the prime minister’s torn retina in his only good eye.  Gideon “George” Osbore managed to kick an own goal with his recent miscalculation – a modest matter of being £3 billion pounds and about five years out – but all MPs will have to be concerned with the imminent publication of a report into expenses…. some may even face prosecution, Brown has stated… some may have to repay expenses claimed.  Guido puts the boot in by suggesting that the nation should not have to pay for ironing Gordon Brown’s shirts with the observation….  It is not as if his wife has a job… ……

The Mail on Sunday reports… Baroness Scotland is being investigated by the Bar Standards Board, the barristers’ watchdog. This prompted me to take a trip over to the Bar Standards Board.  BPP Law School is also being investigated by the Bar Standards Board in connection with the number of students on their Bar Vocational Course – and it will be very interesting to see if the BSB publishes the results of that investigation.

The number of barristers being disbarred in 2008 was relatively modest – but, astonishingly, some were disbarred (and others fined) for failing to do their CPD.  This is astonishing.  It is a very straight forward matter to do CPD.  You can even buy all your CPD from a mate of mine over at CPD Channel for about £250.  The fines for failure to complete CPD appear to be quite hefty – weighing in at £400-500 for each ‘count’ and if the barrister is then dumb enough not to complete CPD and comply with the BSB rulings he/she can, in appropriate circumstances, be disbarred.

RollonFriday reports: “Insiders at Halliwells claim that the firm has butchered its Newly Qualified salary levels by up to 42%. The firm has in the past paid its NQs £62,000 in London and £39,000 in the regions. But RollOnFriday has been told that this has been slashed to a flat rate of just £36,000.”

And another interesting story which does not look good for those who lost their jobs during the credit-crunch “A recruiter at one of the leading consultancies in the City has confirmed to RollOnFriday that dozens of his clients blatantly discriminate against redundant lawyers.”

And finally….. just to showhow  caring people can be at work…. My thanks to @squeezeomatic on Twitter for drawing attention to this story…

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