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Archive for April 26th, 2010

Today I am talking to The Great Ignored about the political events of our times. It is, it is fair to say, a rather bizarre conversation – but TGI had every right to be heard and I enjoyed talking with him.  He has set up his own police force, plans to stand for election as police chief and is opening a school – a Madrasa, all consistent with Tory aspiration.  I wish him well. We talked about Clegg, Cameron and McDoom and hung parliaments….and…Michael Gove, who was, apparently, on television years ago with David Badiel?  Then I went out for a large drink. Perhaps I should have done the podcast after the large drink?

Listen to the Podcast

Fortunately, there are other serious podcasts in the series:

Emily Nomates, Editor of Guy News | Tom Harris MP | Iain Dale, Blogger and pundit | Tom Williams

| Carl Gardner

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There is a new iLegal app for iPhone. It is not free – and I would advise you to read this excellent post by Nearly Legal before you get anywhere near downloading it.

The legal press seems to be enthusiastic – but they may not have had the time and dedication to investigate as Nearly Legal did. Make your own mind up, as always, but do read Nearly Legal’s post.  It may not be as up to date as you want it to be.

UPDATE
Interesting and encouraging comments

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I am delighted to be invited by my brother Charon QC to put a few points about the absurd and mildly bewildering rise of Nick Clegg as a mainstream political force. Charon QC is busying himself surfing the internet for interesting places to live on the West Coast of Scotland and is not at all convinced by Clegg and cannot be bothered to spend time on the Lib-Dem surge  doing anything other than ridiculing Mr Clegg’s claims to be the only Northerner standing for PM.

I have both the time and the inclination.

CLEGGALOMANIAC

Main Entry: Clegg·al·o·maniac

Pronunciation: \kleg-ˈal-oh-mayneea\
Function: noun

Etymology: Latin, Cleggus – a politician with ambition and ideas above his station

1 : a person who suffers from a  misguided sense of his or her own importance in election campaigns: cleggalomaniac
2 : national hysteria suffered by a group during elections, often associated with belief that what they say is important: cleggalomania
3:
a state of advanced dementia where an individual diagnosed as suffering from cleggalomania becomes unhappy when subjected to objective critical scrutiny: cleggalomaniacal

I do find it somewhat astonishing that a political party stating as one of their aims a ‘clean up in politics’ should be financing their campaign upon the proceeds of crime – but there we are. Eric Pickles, hyperventilating  spinmeister in chief for the Tories came up with a wonderful tweet this morning….

RT @mazza1230: @EricPickles #libdems. Weak on Crime. Weak on returning the Proceeds of Crime.

I am grateful, also, to Eric Pickles for pointing out that the Lib-Dems, after putting out photos with fake nurses, have now taken to impersonating police officers. Mr Pickles asked on Twitter only a few hours ago if the Lib-Dems actually know anyone in uniform.  Given their desire to strip our country of a nuclear deterrent (or in the alternative find a way of stuffing cruise missiles into a submarine) I rather suspect they don’t.

Moving on: The Lib-Dems, silent on the issue as to whether 16 year olds should get the vote, are, seemingly, quite happy for 16 year olds to star in porno films and, indeed, watch them.  Curious – prompting Outraged of Mumsnet to be… well, outraged.

I never thought I would ever write or utter these words…. but to coin a phrase… I agree with Kavanagh in The Sun.

Clegg recently suggested that we are far too obsessed with our past glories, winning the World Cup in 1966 and behaving  like a group of lager louts – unlike the French who had ‘ineffable style’.  Kavanagh reminds us, quite rightly, that the French surrendered to the Germans in WWII despite having more troops, built the Arc de Triomphe to celebrate a few battles they won in wars they lost and are probably the most perfidious people in Europe.  Clegg suggested that we need to be put back in our place.  Well, Mr Clegg, you may well be put back in your place,  but I would not want you at the helm of our armed forces if you have these sentiments about our country being put back in its place.  (I find it quite extraordinary, after reading The Sun for only 30 minutes this morning, that I am turning into a ranting nutter and speaking out in support of Mr Kavanagh…. and well done, The Sun, for coming up with CLEGGALOMANIA as a screaming headline!)

Right… let us reflect on the other policies being put forward by Mr Clegg and his happy band of cardigan wearing tree huggers. Mr Clegg wants to give an amnesty for 1 million illegal immigrants and allow immigration to parts of Britain that can absorb more immigrants. Not even the refugee agencies agree with him on this idea.  Mr Clegg did admit that his plans would not, of course, stop immigrants moving once they had been deployed to the remote regions of our nation and that he did not have any plans to put checkpoints along Hadrian’s Wall.

I do not, of course, need to turn my attention to the economy because St Vince has already been revealed as a carpetbagger by Andrew Neil who asked him… “Isn’t the biggest myth about the election your reputation?”

On that note, I am off to a meeting of like minded people and press the ‘Post’ button while my brother, Charon QC, is otherwise engaged  buying a new kilt so he doesn’t feel out of place when he deports himself back to Scotland.

Anyway… Mr Clegg… as you would say up North… ya tarkin sh*te, man!

EDITORIAL NOTE

My brother has extreme views.  This is why he is orf to a meeting with his Tory mates.  I am, of course, ‘liberal’ with a small ‘l’ and I shall, therefore, in this spirit, not remove his preposterous rantings above

Charon QC

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It is World Intellectual Property Day today – not that I am interested in it being so other than to ask who decides these things.  Is it our friends from across the pond who can have a world series in sport with no other countries involved?

Politicians’ legal fight in private to avoid trial over expenses

Frances Gibb, legal editor of The Times, has picked up on the interesting issue of the politicians who are being hauled before the courts for ‘fiddling their expenses’. Gibb reports: “The hearing next month, in which the men will claim that they are protected by parliamentary privilege, will be covered by blanket reporting restrictions. “Essentially, you can’t report anything,” one lawyer said. “It is a pre-trial application and, like any other, subject to normal prohibitions on reporting. The two-day hearing is an attempt to block criminal proceedings, under which they could face hefty jail terms if found guilty. The four will invoke the protection for parliamentary proceedings enshrined in the Bill of Rights to argue that the House of Commons rule book on expenses is “privileged” because it is part of parliamentary proceedings, and so protected from scrutiny by the courts.”

Whatever the merits of their parliamentary privilege argument – and many politicians have come out against parliamentary privilege being used in this way (largely because they don’t want to be mocked and derided by potential voters and the press)  – the whole business is shoddy.  I can well understand that people who have been caught out on  their specialist subject wishing to evade penalty – in this case, potentially,  quite a long time in prison if found guilty – but Gibb reports that media organisations and the DPP may apply to have reporting restrictions lifted.   The trial judge has a discretion to do so if it is in the public interest.

I’m not so sure I want reporting restrictions lifted – for the very simple reason that I want this trial to be ‘squeaky clean’ procedurally so that those charged cannot later claim their trial was not ‘within the rules’ and, of course, because I would like to see our rather battered Rule of Law returned to good health.  All are entitled to that.  Of course, it would help if politicians would actually understand and realise that you can’t have a Rule of Law of any real worth unless we have high quality lawyers to prosecute and defend and we resource process properly – but it would appear that the last crew of political pirates and quite possibly the next crew do not really know a lot about the law and none of the political parties, as far as I can see from their manifestos, have plans to ensure that the Rule of Law is maintained at an adequate standard.  Political waffle about ‘British Justice being the best in the World’ just doesn’t cut it… only a properly resourced justice system can do that.  Our politicians seem to have lost sight of that.  This is unfortunate and ironic. Enacting rafts of new laws is relatively easy – even a third world dictatorship can do that.  Running a proper justice system takes a bit more effort and cash. Trial without a jury, anyone? Let’s go back to the Police bringing charges, anyone? Dispense with trials altogether, anyone?  Fixed penalty tickets, anyone? Fast-track everything through Magistrates, anyone…? nice and cheap – and we’ll have more money to enable you to pass on all your property to your children when you die, when you’ll probably be as concerned about justice as you were when you were alive!   Ah… sounds a bit like a Ministry of Truth & Justice proposal.

For those keen to see MP heads on spikes on London Bridge…. this last from The Times may cool your enthusiasm. “Any ruling by the judge on parliamentary privilege and whether it extends to give the men protection in this case from the criminal courts will be appealed to the Court of Appeal and from there to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. A criminal trial is therefore unlikely to take place before the end of the year.”

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