Archive for April 16th, 2010


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Today I am talking to Carl Gardner, ex government lawyer, writer and author of the well known Head of Legal blog. Carl and I have done well over ten podcasts together over the last two years on civil liberties issues.  Today we’re seeing whether anyone can, in fact, arrest the Pope, we look at a suggestion that all laws since 2000 are null and void, including the Lisbon Treaty,  and we  talk about the powers The Queen enjoys in the event of a hung parliament – even if she chooses not to exercise them.

Listen to the podcast

Noli me tangere – Carl Gardner’s article on the legality of arresting the Pope

Other podcasts in the politics podcast series

20 minutes with Emily Nomates, Ed of GuyNEWS

20 Minutes with Iain Dale

20 Minutes with Tom Harris 4MP

20 Minutes with Tom Williams

Coming up: Old Holborn, Ian Parker-Joseph Geoffrey Woollard , Suzanne Moore ,  @thegreatignored

Week after next: Tom Watson on Libel reform and The Digital Economy Act.

And more to come….

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While not riveting, nor particularly sophisticated in terms of deep content, I enjoyed watching the Leader debate last night – and watching the spinners proclaiming on Twitter every few minutes that ‘their man’ had won. The spinning  started but two minutes in and continued relentlessly until the end when the face of Police, Camera, Action (who nearly appeared on his own show for drink driving some years back), Alistair Stewart, proclaimed how disappointed we all were that it had come to an end.  Clegg was the first big surprise.  He came over rather well.  I had to telephone NHS Direct several times to check that I did not have the symptoms of Lib-Demitis.  I was reassured that I was in no danger of developing the full blown ‘condition’. Brown, of course, was expected to perform badly in front of an audience of humans – however regulated, so no big disappointment then.  He did have a couple of moments of involuntary YouTube rictus.

I did think that the ITV coverage was poor.  PC Stewart, who promised to be a policeman if the leaders lied, barked at the leaders off camera and did little else… perhaps it was in the rules that he wasn’t allowed to? On to the next two debates…. Will Gordon and Dave be up to the mark next time?

Lawyers reject calls for Christian-sensitive judges

• Critics say hand-picked panel would set dangerous precedent
• Ex-archbishop wades into row over rights of Christians at work

The Guardian reports: “Attempts to have religious rights cases heard by hand-picked judges would set a dangerous precedent, lawyers said, amid mounting unrest about legal clashes between religious representatives and equality rights campaigners.Calls for a dedicated panel of judges with a “proven sensitivity and understanding of religious issues” today gained momentum, after a former archbishop of Canterbury gave his support to a case on discrimination in the workplace.Lord Carey of Clifton made the comments in a witness statement in an appeal brought today by Gary McFarlane, a relationship counsellor from Bristol.

I did read a report in the press yesterday that Lord Carey, the former Archbishop, was calling for ‘civil unrest’…. an idea so preposterous that it conjured up surreal images in my Rioja filled mind last night of the faithful chucking fish and bread loaves at the Downing Street gates and then morphed into images of Archbishops rioting in Trafalgar Square.  I really must have a word with my Rioja dealer.

Back later with something more sensible… perhaps.  Enjoy Ash from Iceland Friday

Noli me tangere: why you can’t arrest the Pope

Discussed this for a podcast with Carl Gardner the other day… his EXCELLENT article on this subject is well worth reading.

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