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Archive for April 13th, 2010

I was going to do a podcast with Emily Nomates tonight – postponed until tomorrow to allow her to complete the production of a GuyNEWS vid (an entirely worthy cause) – and this has left me with a bit of useful time to consider the events of our times with a bottle of the juice.

Today Great Leader Kim Il Kamer On launched an invitation to the people of Britain to join him in government…. of all places… at Battersea Power Station,   which allowed soon to be ennobled  John  Lord Two Shags Prescott to tweet…. “Tories to launch manifesto at Battersea Power Station – impressive from the outside but hollow and empty within”.

Battersea Power Station used to spew out a lot of things that were not terribly good for ‘one’.  It may be that things have not changed that much?

A long document, but since I was only looking for things which I did not expect to be in it or specific items – it did not take me that long to read it and  I was reasonably well rewarded within the early sections on the economy.

Charon’s Guide to The Tory Manifesto – sponsored by Oddbins’  Best

There is to be an emergency budget. This we knew.  The Faustian Pact with the people did not mention VAT and appeared to my jaundiced eye to be a bit thin on how they were going to start cutting the deficit. Cunningly, they are going to cleanse the nation of the NI rise and fund it through cutting waste – where, we are not told.

Interestingly David  Cameron is on record, unlike  The Iron Lady, as saying there is such a thing as society. Well if the manifesto goes to plan and they ignore most of it, there may well not be a coherent society when they are done.  Birds of a feather tend to flock together despite the fine sentiments in TV sound bytes about being One Nation Tories.

The plan to provide 5000 community volunteers to fart about in uniforms, no doubt, is still in the plan. What these worthies will actually do of value to society is not set out in any detail. Join the Police Community Support Service and eat buns on street corners like the others?

I am delighted to see that The Tories are going to deliver a successful Olympics. Unfortunately, there is no mention of BANNING DRUG TESTING. So for people like me, who have no interest at all in the Olympics, we will be denied the pleasure of seeing someone run 100 metres in 3 seconds or jump 70 feet into the air.

The National Lottery is to be restored to its original purpose. This is good news and may well prove very fruitful in generating revenue to reduce the deficit.

There is to be a focus on ‘behavioural economics and philanthropy’. At this stage I was beginning to reel slightly from the rather dull prose and, possibly…the wine – but I can only assume that this will be a return to business as usual and greed will be most welcome at H M Treasury;  particularly greed for consumer items on which VAT can be charged at a higher rate? Who knows? The manifesto is curiously silent on VAT.

Social engineering programme – Marriage and Civil Partnerships to be recognised and encouraged. This is good if you want to provide more work for lawyers.  Things have been a bit quiet on the divorce front, sources in Chancery Lane tell me – so I am all for this.

The Tories plan to reverse Labour’s Death tax. Idealogically, Tories don’t want income generators to die – ever.  Dead people generally pay no income tax and VAT.  A one off hit is inefficient and most inconvenient for very rich people who want to ensure that their fortunes can be lost by the next Bouji going generation of slackers.  They do say ‘things’ skip a generation. .

Closing the attainment gap: This rather sinister section may have more to it than meets the eye. What does it mean?  The manifesto is thin on detail. Giving the Tories the benefit of the doubt, I shall be generous and interpret it as meaning that a Tory government will close the attainment gap completely by making it almost impossible for nouveaus and parvenus to catch up with ‘old money’.

Discipline in the classroom: Words to create a frisson in the savage breast of some ‘old school’ Tories.  Children are running amok in classrooms.  The Tories plan to give the headmaster the ‘last word on discipline’ – presumably not the type of Papal last word… like ‘This is our little secret.  Tell no-one about this beating, waterboarding, roasting in front of a fire secret…and for good measure here is a superinjunction…” type of last word?

Elected Police Commisioners: I have no idea whether George Osborne, Basil Grayling-Fawlty and David Cameron watched too much Batman as children – but the idea of elected Police Commissioners is not the best they have come up with. I look forward, as does the Guardian commentator, to lunatics from the BNP being elected as local ‘Police Top Guns’ – as Sir Hugh Orde has suggested may well happen.

Well… I could go on… but I have better things to do…. and you are far better off the reading the excellent ‘annotated guide’ to the manifesto from The Guardian which reviews it properly.

I leave you with this…. a Public Service Announcement from  a man in the Autumn of his drinking life –   but with the fire of hope still burning bright and a one way ticket to France if the Tories are elected! (No… I’d never leave Britain…. well.. I might if Basil Grayling starts running the Home Office –  but he would probably deport me anyway.)

and this wonderful news…

Cleverest women are the heaviest drinkers

Women who went to university consume more alcohol than their less-highly-educated counterparts, a major study has found.

Telegraph

I had noticed that some clever women can knock it back… and long may that continue!

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I have now read a great deal about the Tory plans.

I only had a bottle of Rum in my drinks cabinet… medicinal self prescribing was required.

20 Minutes with…. series of ‘political’ podcasts

Coming tonight – 20 Minutes with Emily Nomates of GuyNEWS

20 Minutes with Iain Dale

20 Minutes with Tom Harris 4MP

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Law Society Chief Executive Desmond Hudson says:

“It is a principle of our legal system that anyone charged with a criminal offence before the Crown Court is entitled to legal representation. This is a vital part of ensuring that charges against a defendant must be fully proved in a fair trial. This must require the provision of legal aid. The Government has recently introduced a means test for such cases to ensure that those who can afford to contribute to the costs of their representation are asked to do so. Depending on the wealth of the individual and the cost of the case, their contribution could cover all costs.

“It would be very worrying indeed if a fellow citizen charged with serious criminal matters could not be properly represented in court. Stigmatising the legal aid system is disappointing and unhelpful.”

Quite! – We do not, of course, know the current available finances of the MPs charged.  Lawyers, as with most people in society, tend not to do all their work pro bono. Legal costs are high… but perhaps future governments could save even more money by dispensing with trials altogether? No… that would be silly…. will never happen….  but what of Crown Court trials without juries?  They are cheaper!  Good to see that all three leaders are on top of their game when it comes to legal aid for MPs and the Rule of Law.

NEWSWIRES

Rather than fill my blog post today with news, new reports and announcements from the profession – I have them all in the latest Newswire which you may download here

If you are an Intellectual Property lawyer – then you will find Dr Peter Groves’ latest Ipso Jure newswire most useful.  It is, of course, FREE

Female soldier wins discrimination claim against army

Guardian: Tilern DeBique, 28, was told the army was ‘unsuitable for a single mother who couldn’t sort out her childcare’

We may have gone too far in suspecting abuse
Times: “The family courts are groaning under the weight of applications to take children into care. Within weeks of the Baby Peter tragedy being made public, legal departments at local authorities went into overdrive as social workers decided that they would no longer take chances where they suspected, but were not certain, that a child was in danger of abuse or neglect.”

Sir Nicholas Wall: the forthright and firm judge in the family courts
Times: The formal swearing in today of the new top family judge in England and Wales may be a relatively low-key affair — but Sir Nicholas Wall is unlikely in futureto have a low profile to match. He is well-well known for his forthright pronouncements both in court and out of it; qualities, perhaps, that did not endear him to Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, who asked that his name be reconsidered.

I rarely follow Family Law cases – but I am looking forward to Sir Nicholas Wall being outspoken about our legal system.  he is, they say, not shy in coming forward.

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EllieGate – the saga of our times!

The bloggers and the press are having fun (largely at Ellie Gellard’s expense it has to be said) about Labour inviting a young activist @bevaniteellie to help them launch their prospectus.

The Daily Mail dived in with this…“A glamorous young activist who introduced Mr Brown to the crowd at Labour’s manifesto launch in Birmingham has previously called for him to be removed as Prime Minister, and for the violent death of Baroness Thatcher.”

Iain Dale wrote of Comical Allie and Guido Fawkes gave us a remarkable image. For my part? – @bevaniteellie may well irritate some Tory bloggers and tweeters – they are more than able to cope – but at least she is enthusiastic about politics and is having a go. I quite like Emily Nomates take on the story in her blog…

“…There’s both great opportunity and danger in this kind of mania. Small mistakes become big fast: Ellie’s old blogpost from her more earnest days is elevated to a “gaffe” with the aid of a few nice smiling photos. And if you don’t agree that her sex has anything to do with this blow-up, just ask yourself why Ellie is on the front pages of two papers and official Labour PPC Steve MacLennan wasn’t.”

There are, of course, bigger issues than Ellie Gellard’s political change of mind – and today the Tories launch their manifesto which should present some opportunities for parody after they ran riot with Labour’s manifesto yesterday. By the way… I nicked the caption for the pic above from a commenter on one of the blogs or press reports… at least there is still some humour in what could become an ugly election campaign.

Back soon with some sanity… some law in Law Review

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