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Archive for December 4th, 2009

I tend to go along with those who subscribe to the ‘cock up’ theory of life rather than those who go for the ‘conspiracy theory’ when it comes to many aspects of Police and Officialdom f**kpiggery – simply because the British Isles is home to Homo Jobsworthiens, a bipedal human with a unique ability to apply rules with astonishing stupidity. The United Kingdom is crawling with Jobsworths.  Give a man or a woman a yellow jacket and they turn into puffed up, self-important, masters  of f**kpiggery immediately.  I have, on many occasions, seen examples of state sanctioned f**kpiggery being committed by Police Community Support officers who tackled me – repeatedly –  some time back about a hedge, requiring me to cut it back in case a criminal would find it a convenient place to hide behind.

Left, is a Picture of Parliament; albeit not a very good one. The interesting thing to note is that this picture was not captured by the Police from some hapless tourist, but comes from the official Houses of Parliament website.  On the right, is another picture of Parliament.  That also comes from The Houses of Parliament website.  In fact there are enough pictures of Parliament (exterior and interior shots) on the official Parliament website (in the online tour section)  to make any self  respecting, donut eating,  PCSO hyperventilate. There is  even a video tour!

Presumably a potential terrorist would know about the ‘internets’ and could, in fact search Google and get all manner of photographs of buildings in London?  I find Google Street map most useful when trying to locate a particular address in London and discovered that there are helpful aerial photographs and street view photographs of many of the places in London (and elsewhere) that I want to go.

This, however, does not deter Homo Jobsworthiens or his cousin… Homo Plodiens.

The Independent has a wonderful story today…

Photographers snap over use of Section 44 by police officers

The Independent reports: “Politicians, civil liberties groups and police bodies yesterday added their voices to fears that police officers are abusing anti-terror legislation to stop and question photographers taking pictures of famous landmarks. Yesterday, The Independent highlighted the concern that police forces across the country are misusing the Section 44 legislation granted to them under the Terrorism Act, which allows them to stop anyone they want in a pre-designated area, without the need for suspicions of an offence having been committed. But photographers have complained that they are regularly stopped while taking pictures and are treated like terrorists on reconnaissance missions. This is despite the act giving officers no power to seize cameras or demand the deletion of photographs.

Astonishingly: “The Metropolitan Police use Section 44 legislation far more than any other police force in England and Wales. In the first quarter of this financial year the Met, along with British Transport Police, were responsible for 96 per cent of the Section 44 stop-and-searches in the country.”

BUT: “Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, said the force would cut back on its use of Section 44, except around sites which are obvious terror targets, such as the Houses of Parliament.” (Independent article)

There are so many examples of Jobsworths indulging in f**kpiggery that one could write a book about it – from local council officers, who imagine themselves to be Robocop, using RIPA powers to snoop on people’s bins, to Civil Enforcement Officers and PCSOs wandering about in their yellow jackets applying the law badly or, worse, incorrectly.  We need to get a grip on this ‘YellowJacket Peril’.

Moving on…. RollonFriday has an excellent story this week – “Lawyers at Linklaters kicked things off with a massive 5 page diatribe on the firm’s new staff canteen.”

Homo Jobsworthiens also suffers from having too much time on his or her hands.  I really do recommend that you read this ‘5 page diatribe’ about Silks, the newly revamped canteen for hungry lawyers at Linklaters.  It is a classic.  Clearly, the recession is far from over if these £500-£900 per hour lawyers have time to hyperventilate about their sandwiches!

I particularly liked the part in the ‘diatribe’ where the angst ridden sandwich fancier lawyer complained that they were no longer allowed to ‘make’ their own sandwiches by selecting bits to go into it and now had to order their sandwich online before 10.00 am.

Just think…. next time you go to Linklaters, you could be in a room with a sandwich fancier whose mind is distracted by not being able to ‘make’ his or her own sandwich anymore.

***

And the other ‘Law’ stories in the news today…

First up: The Times  – just a few months behind the curve on this one – brings up the continuing saga of BPP Law School raking in an ‘extra million’ by oversubscribing on their BVC Course. I am waiting for the BSB report on this to be published and shall be contacting the BSB again soon as it was due in December.  Frances Gibb does, however, make some very important points – particularly in relation to the fact that some students were ‘de-enrolled’ from the course until 24 of them complained to the BSB.  Shoddy stuff, I’m afraid – so it will be good to get clarification on the truth behind this story, rather than terse press releases from BPP,  when the BSB report is published. It is  possible, of course, that this oversubscription of students by BPP Law School was just a silly ‘cock-up’ and not a ‘conspiracy’.  All will be revealed when the BSB report is published?

Nigel Savage, CEO of The College of Law – a man not known for his reticence –  also comments on the SEC investigation into BPP’s parent company Apollo with this ‘GUTTED – sick as a parrot’ metaphor –  “The issue here is one of regulation. Is it right that a foreign person can’t buy a football club without being a “fit and proper person” yet can buy a British law school with degree-awarding powers?” (Times story in full)

The Times notes that The BSB costs of £55,000 for the investigation into BPP will have to be paid by BPP and that BPP has had to hire more lecturers – who will presumably be fired at the end of this year since they won’t, presumably, be needed because BPP Law School will not, presumably, be oversubscribing again. The Times notes…”However, the fee income from the extra students is estimated at £700,000 to £900,000. A full report is to be published by the board shortly.”

So… not a bad return on an extra cost of…say… £100 grand in all?  He who laughs last, laughs loudest?

Rather bizarrely, in the same edition of The Times, Frances Gibb then puts in a very short story about the the fact that BPP is now the fashionable place to study!  The article lacks the usual in-depth precision Frances Gibb brings to stories – so I am a bit baffled as to the purpose behind the article. I understand that Frances Gibb does have a good sense of humour…maybe she just fancied giving us a laugh? Who knows?

Ambulance chasing has gone digital!

And finally…. a wonderful sign of the times we live in.. The Times has a great story about a law firm in Manchester developing an application for your iPhone!

Next time you prang your car, do not be surprised if the driver or cyclist you have unfortunately hit takes out an iPhone and starts taking pictures of the scene.

It appears ambulance chasing has gone digital after Bott & Company, a law firm in Manchester that specialises in personal injury claims, has developed an application for the iPhone that prompts people involved in an accident to record insurance and witness details, take multiple photographs, store GPS information and click through to a dedicated hotline to lodge a claim.

The solicitors believe it is the first time such an application has been launched. It is a free download and walks the user through what they should do if they are involved in an accident.

Have a good weekend…

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