Archive for December 6th, 2009

Dear Reader,

I write to you this week, not from behind the barricades waving a red flag,  but from outside Blenheim Palace –  the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. David Cameron has decided that he must de-toff the Tories (suggesting that new prospective candidates like Nunziata Rees-Mogg cut their double barrelled names down to one name, because the party already has rather a lot of people with two or more surnames. The Sunday Mirror reports, with some delight (and just a hint of schadenfreude) that Cameron was ‘star turn’ at a ‘glitzy bash’ at Blenheim Palace where £1,000,000 was raised for Tory coffers.

Meanwhile, Tofftastic is complaining that Gordon Brown, who enjoyed a resurgent performance at PMQs this week, is demeaning the political process by fighting the election on ‘class war’ lines.  The Tories have long feared revolting peasants.  Frankly, I couldn’t give a damn where people went to school or where they come from.  This is why I am a ‘socialist’ – which does mean giving undying allegiance to the Labour party when they make a pig’s ear of things – which they have done, royally, on civil liberties and the war on terror. The jury (or at least my jury) is still out on the economy.Vince Cable seems to be making sense though.

And talking of Pig’s ears – or, as Guido Fawkes  would have it ‘Troughers’. Guido Fawkes signalled the story earlier in the week (on twitter, if I recall) which appeared in The Sunday Times today.  Lord Taylor of Warwick is having his original ‘lies’ re-examined by the police.  The Sunday Times notes… ” A TORY peer has been caught using someone else’s home address to claim tens of thousands of pounds in expenses. Lord Taylor of Warwick, a 57-year-old former barrister, told the House of Lords that his main home was a terrace house in Oxford which he neither owned nor lived in.” I suspect this will be another file for the CPS to examine ‘in the public interest’. Ridiculous.

Snakeoil, Douchebags and the social media guru

There is much talk among lawyers on Twitter, particularly among well known US bloggers, about social media gurus, mavens etc.  Scott Greenfield of Simple Justice often points out the absurdity of lawyers who have never practised telling practising US lawyers how to blog or use Twitter to advantage. Kevin O’Keefe, who does know how to use blogs and twitter and how both can be of some value to lawyers or law firms has an article this week on ‘snakeoil’.  Law firms should beware social media snake oil

I looked up social media maven on Google and came up with this – a  script that converts every instance of the word ‘maven’ and ‘expert’ into the word ‘douchebag’. Good effort! It certainly makes reading those websites a lot more entertaining. Try it.


Chef cooks rat risotto on I’m a Celebrity: I have no interest in this programme but my attention was caught by an item in today’s edition of news of The World (I always like to see if anyone I know or know of is in it).  Apparently some ex-burglar who is now a celebrity chef was nicked by Australian RSPCA inspectors for catching a rat and cooking it for the contestants.  the RSPCA inspectors want to know if the the rat was alive when it was beheaded.   Apparently the chef was convicted of burglary for stealing £4000 worth of guitars from Paul Young’s home.  This could be viewed as a valuable social service by some, but not, of course, by the beaks and he went down.

The I’m a celebrity get me out of here show is a rather unpleasant bit of TV.  I can see why people might want to torture some of the weird people who appear on TV but I don’t see why real animals, insects and the like should be subjected to it…. but there we are…. I prefer to watch wildlife programmes like Life and natural World. It would, I suppose, be inelegant to suggest that people who do take pleasure at seeing animals abused and celebrities ridiculed are morons or worse, vulgarians?

HM The Queen cracks down on Paparazzi

When I saw this story I didn’t read the headline carefully enough and thought that The Queen was having a go at Pope Ratzinger and his attempts to throw some of our Anglican christians to his Catholic lions because of the furore over gay and lesbian Bishops. I can’t quite see what the problem is with the mumbo jumbo brigade worrying about the sexuality of their employees.  But there again, as an atheist, I can’t really see what ‘they’ see anyway.

Back to The Queen. I have some sympathy with her crackdown.  The Royals do have to put up with a lot of public exposure – some of it formal, ceremonial…. but the really good stuff is scurrilous.  Some of the Royals do rather invite the attention of the world’s media.  The Queen doesn’t. The Queen wants to be left alone at Christmas to enjoy Sandringham without photographers with telefoto lenses intruding. It would, I suppose, be inelegant to suggest that instead of trying to stop paparazzi she has a word with the Home Secretary to see if it would be possible to get a few temporary ‘Control Orders’ on some of the more wayward Royals and have them tagged for Christmas? That would ensure they don’t do anything worthy of photographing? I like to look at alternative strategies these days.  Maybe I’ll even get a late letter from the Palace?


Help us to sneak up on the Americans and eat their cake: Vote for Charon, Geeklawyer and BabyBarista in the ABA Journal Top 100 Blawgs

I’m afraid that we have to resort to hopelessly shameless tactics if we are to prevail.  The Brit 3 are hopelessly outnumbered. Think of The Alamo – think of the Zulus at Rorke’s Drift – think of Custer’s Last Stand and think BRIT!  Please vote for Charon and Geeklawyer in the IMHO (In my humble opinion) section and Babybarista in the Lighter Fare section.  You will be helping your country and if it isn’t your country… you will be helping US! (as in the Brit3). Fortunately, Babybarista is just as shameless as Geeklawyer.   He also has the benefit of his babybarista column in the Times. (Cunning!) There is, of course,no truth in the proposition that the ABA Journal is trying to engineer the results – BUT WE ARE… with your help.  As with the MPs, you must do this ‘within the rules’…. so no flipping votes twice..no quackery…. but you may vote for all three of us. FREE THE BRIT3….Thank you.

Well… that is all for this weekend… I shall be covering some quite serious law stories this week and may be doing a podcast with the President of The Law Society for The Gazette if he is free to do one.  After next Friday, I shall be blogging, painting, sculpting and drinking… there won’t be a lot of law… this may well improve things for the reader?

Do have a look at at the Guidogram below if you have time – apart from seeing me… I do, seriously, encourage you to read the Guido Fawkes blog if you don’t already. The commenters often have ‘insights’ of their own!

Have a good week

Best, as always


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