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Archive for March 24th, 2010

A ramble about in some interesting places…

While I thoroughly enjoy doing my usual (often) daily Law Review (and I am soon to return to serious podcasts after a brief break) – one of the joys of having a blog with no real ‘agenda’, no deadlines and readers who seem to enjoy popping in as the mood suits them – is being able to just write about whatever has taken my interest or mood.

We will soon get a chance to vote – or abstain, forget to vote or  be a militant non-voter – and it is a pity I don’t live in Cambridge. Old Holborn has decided to stand for Parliament as Guy Fawkes.  I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Old Holborn, but I have followed his blog, which I enjoy, and I have admired some recent rants and campaigns – most recently, with Anna Raccoon and others to free Nick Hogan on the Smoking issue.  I’ll let Anna raccoon take up the story.  She is to be his parliamentary agent and has boned up on the complex issues of Election Law.

“He is not interested in promoting his real life personae, in raising his profile as a person to be appointed to boards or committees, he prefers to remain anonymous.

He is not interested in belonging to a powerful group or tribe, or toeing the party line. He prefers to be independent.

Do have a look if you have time.

While I do enjoy the black and white vision of the zealous  hyperventilating Labour and Tory tweeters and  bloggers and their sometimes very amusing banter – the truth of the matter is that there are interesting ideas on all sides of the political spectrum and, fortunately, once the banter has been done, there is much to think about in their views and analysis.

Iain Dale came in for a lot of criticism recently (largely from the left, unfortunately) for interviewing Nick Griffin, BNP leader, for Total Politics.

I was more than happy to support Dale’s stance that interviewing Griffin is the right thing to do so that we may judge Griffin on the basis of his words and actions, not myth and tabloid hysteria.  I read Iain Dale’s interview with Griffin.  It is a good interview, polite but direct with some excellent touches of satire which may well have gone over Griffin’s head. For a Cambridge law graduate, Griffin is not the clearest thinker or communicator or, frankly – given his responses, the brightest knife in the box.  I got the feeling, reading Griffin’s responses, that he would have been a rather dull person to teach in law tutorials – I don’t get the feeling that he has an interest in law or the rule of law!  I prefer my speech free and Iain Dale has held to a much valued tradition of free speech by doing the interview. Credit where credit is due is also part of politics and life – even  if we may not always be prepared to give it in public in the weeks before an election!

Read the interview with Nick Griffin?

G20 police officer hit woman ‘because she was threat’

You may remember Sgt Delroy Smellie.  He  stands 6ft 4″  in his bare feet,  but dressed as Robocop in full body armour and wielding a police baton which he used on a young woman, he was very much a commanding presence.  Unfortunately, Sgt Smellie may well have succumbed to the old Actonian aphorism on power because he seemed to think he was justified in hitting a woman because (a) he mistook a carton of orange juice she was carrying for a ‘weapon’ and (b) she did not ‘obey orders’.  Telegraph

The trial continues and, rightly, we’ll have to see what the jury makes of Sgt Smellie’s conduct and defence.  [Oops…I got wrong on jury – see Simon Bradshaw’s comment below which I have left!]

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Budget 2010

The Chancellor has delivered his budget, pleasing Labourites and angering Tories who have rubbished it.  Not much point in reading the blogs on this and twitter is awash with Tory and Labour bloggers et al shouting at each other – pointlessly!  The money markets will decide who is right.

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Woke at 4.00 as usual and logged on to The Times online and read the screaming headline…

Leading doctors call for ban on smoking in cars

On closer inspection the ‘leading doctors’ – as opposed to the non-leading variety  who get up each day wondering which particular bit of medical negligence law they will test that  day? – are calling for people who smoke in cars containing children to be banned from doing it.  My own view on this is fairly straightforward… if parents are daft enough to smoke in a car while their children are present, idotic enough to feed up their children, like geese on fois gras, until the little darlings are so fat they look like mini zeppelins and are so lacking in any form of parental responsibility they don’t know or care if little Johnny is out committing burglary or other crimes – they really shouldn’t have children in the first place… but there we are.

I don’t have children. I don’t want children and, being honest,  there are times when I have ‘dark thoughts’ about wanting to have children banned from pubs and restaurants. This then led me to the idea that in these dark credit-crunch times,  we could perhaps introduce a Child Tax so that those who do wish to have children actually pay more tax than those who do not.  I explored these thoughts on Twitter – only to be reminded that children are our future because they will work and be taxed later to pay for the old.  It was but a short jump in thinking to suggest, by way of response,why wait?…. we should put children to work earlier so we can tax them as well as the parents.  I shall write to Osbore and suggest this in case he finds himself a little light on ideas if he is the next Chancellor.

I went off to have coffee and get my smoking back to olympic standards after a bit of a lay off while I was sleeping and, as is my practice, I read a tabloid before starting on the more sane newspapers.  Today… it was The Sun – where I learned that doctors are at it again, advising us that there has been a four fold rise in syphilis – due, it seems, to Facebook.  I have long suspected that Facebook can give one syphylis of the mind, but I had no idea that ‘poking’ someone on Facebook could lead to syphylis of the sexually transmitted variety.  Apparently, “Figures released last month showed that people in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside were 25 per cent more likely to log on regularly.”  Log on to get syphilis?  I had to read more… and then lost the will to continue living….

But… my energy was renewed when I started reading the next story in The Sun – SCANNER GLAMOUR DIG-DONG

I love those gigantic t**s screamed the headline

The Sun reports, dribbling with righteousness and shoehorning a bit of civil liberties in for good measure about how these machines infringe human rights….

A HEATHROW security man was quizzed by police after ogling a girl colleague “naked” in a new anti-terror body scanner.

Jo Margetson, 29, reported John Laker, 25, after he took her picture with the X-ray gadget and made a lewd comment.

The pervy guard leered and told her: “I love those gigantic t**s.”

And then I discovered from the Sun that Al Qaedr have a new TERROR device – women with exploding breasts. The plan is that female suicide bombers will have their breasts impregnated with high explosive – undetectable to scanners, we are told – and blow themselves up.  Male suicide bombers, it is suggested, will be given exploding buttocks. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the story on the online version of The Sun because I would then be able to show you a picture of a pair of breasts fitted with high explosives.

But despair not…. The Sun has other astonishing news…

WEDDING guests watched in horror after a guest shot himself in the head playing RUSSIAN ROULETTE.

The man suffered brain damage and paralysis after a prank went horrifically wrong.

Wedding film of the incident — as a bride and groom celebrated their nuptials — has sparked horror after being posted on the web.

Ever helpful, The Sun saves you the bother of trying to find this delight on the internet by providing the video embeded on the page so you, too, may enjoy the same experience as the happy couple. Astonishing…. The Sun does note…”The unnamed man’s condition was later described as “very poor” after doctors removed a bullet from his skull”

I then met a very amusing guy who has coffee at the same cafe and…. what a small world it is. He asked me what I did for a living.  I resisted the urge to say that I was a disgraced MP out looking for a ‘consultancy’ or two  – so I told him… briefly. He then told me that his girlfriend had just done the LPC and starts today working for a very well known lawyer – the same lawyer that my ex girlfriend did some work for at one of London’s top firms and where she continues to work.  I then asked him what he did – he is a builder and stand up comedian. Excellent way to start the day.

I shall return later to write about some Law news…..

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