Archive for June 25th, 2010

Behold… the most senior judges in the United Kingdom…The Supremes – distinguished men all, bar one, a very distinguished lady lawyer, Baroness Hale. They deal with the most pressing legal issues of the day and one would have thought, would have more on their collective minds than worrying about titles.  It would appear not. Let me say at once, that I admire our sense of nationhood, I enjoy our not always glorious history and I would prefer us to remain one nation.  I am persuaded by the sentiment behind independence and I am certainly attracted, in good time, by a Republic.  It matters not what I think – for I am going to change nothing by tilting at windmills.

I do, however, think that the establishment of The Supreme Court was a good thing.  I do like the separation of the judiciary from the executive and I do like the fact that new justices to the Supreme Court will not be made peers.  I am, therefore, a bit surprised to find that The Supremes are pressing for Sir John Dyson, newly elevated, to be given a courtesy title on the ground that Scottish judges can wander about – some quite junior judges – calling themselves Lord This and Lord That. Joshua Rozenberg writes of these matters in the Guardian. To my mind Ken Clarke, The new Lord Chancellor who, I assume, has not given himself a peerage or courtesy title, must resist this call and, thereby ensure that the judiciary is kept separate from the geegaws and baubles (and influences?) of State.  I appreciate that I am in the minority on this – but I would like to see all judges separated from their titles in time believing, as I do, that their appointment and distinction comes from their experience and not because they are given the titles of a bygone age.  I don’t suppose it really matters at the end of the day….but, that is my view… for what it is worth.

It is always good to see schadenfreude and hypocrisy in action. RollonFriday continues to give College of Law CEO, Nigel Savage, a going over...“RollOnFriday can reveal an email sent by the College of Law Chief Executive Nigel Savage to his staff to explain why they’d been awarded a 2% pay rise. Which contrasts very interestingly with the 40% bonus that he trousered himself.” I rather suspect that many of those I knew when RollonFriday first appeared in the early 2000s (I enjoyed posting  myself and, indeed, meeting many as Brigadier Grappa) are probably doing rather nicely.  Some of them WERE partners in law firms then – many now will be.  The generation now using RollonFriday, or a percentage, can look forward to very nice PEPs in future.    Law is a business like everything else.  If you don’t like the terms and conditions, and collective action cannot force change – do something else.  I don’t know the detail of lecturer salaries at the College of Law.  When I ran BPP Law School we certainly paid well above the public sector norm at universities.  That may have changed.    Hey ho!.  I suspect the owners of RollonFriday are trousering a few bob – and why not?!

And if you don’t believe me that law is a very SERIOUS business to some.. this marvellous nonsense from RollonFriday:

A tax partner at Freshfields’ Madrid office has published an article in the Spanish economic publication “Negocio” criticising her colleagues for watching football.
At 9:45 at night.Silvia Paternain gives vent to her irritation at the male lawyers in her department watching the Spain v Honduras match, while her female colleagues – who have no interest in the beautiful game – are toiling away at their desks. She argues that it doesn’t matter if it’s late in the evening – there’s still work to be done………

They talk about work / life balance at law firms… perhaps they you talk more about getting a life?

I am puzzled as to why there is so much interest in the PEP figures (profits) published by law firms. I was always brought up to believe that discussing money was impolite.  Now law firms are almost vying to get the news out on Twitter, Facebook groups and in the legal press.  I am all for open information, but need we be subjected to press releases about it?  Do lawyers really want more vilification and ridicule  from the public?

I bring you news that the Germans do not like the VUVUZELA. This may well be an opportunity to give ‘Der Kaiser’ as Beckenbauer, the ageing German soccer ace, is known in Germany, a stuffing.  He has been less than polite about ‘OUR BOYS’.

I shall be on the terraces…in Battersea… with my Vuvuzela on Sunday… count on it.

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This Week’s finest hour? Hardly!

I watched This Week (I have watched it for a long time.) – and found Andrew Neil’s treatment of Diane Abbott not to my taste. This Week was a good  programme.  It is not a ‘serious’ political programme. It is done for laughs and, to be fair, has provided many of those.  Tonight, in my ‘honest opinion’  – Andrew Neil demonstrated an ugly side to politics and political interviewing.  I have no problem with politicians being held to account on serious programmes.  I felt very uncomfortable watching Brillo tearing Diane Abbott apart.  He should not have done it on This Week – particularly as Diane Abbott has been a pundit for some time on this ‘light political parody programme’.

Andrew Neil would have been perfectly justified doing it on Daily Politics – although (Again, expressing a personal ‘honest opinion’ should Brillo and This Week producers be feeling litigious) serious analysis should be left to those who are truly good at it like Paxo, Jon Snow , Radio 4 Today presenters,  Dimbleby et al – and, to be fair,  Neil on DP. They do it fairly and with style.    A lot of people enjoyed the cruelty of Brillo ripping Diane Abbott apart – I saw the tweets on Twitter.  If you want to see cruelty watch a reality TV show.   I did not.  I don’t know anyone of any decency who  could enjoy the spectacle of what we saw on This Week tonight.

Not very British, I thought! In fact.. rather cowardly.  It was a bit like a host inviting  a guest to a dinner party to provide amusement  for the other guests.   That, of course, is a personal view.  I assume we are allowed to have personal views these days….?  I know it was touch and go in the dying days of Labour… but now that Clegg is running the country with Dave …. we should be OK on expressing personal views?

Tear politicians apart on Radio 4, Channel 4, Newsnight by all means   – Marr…..? Well… that is more Heat magazine meets Sunday GMTV sofa advertising colour supplement schtik ….. but don’t do it on a lightweight late Thursday night political parody programme.  It was ugly.  I hope Diane Abbot’s votes go up after that. I believe she increased her majority in the last election.  Quite unusual for a Labour MP, I would have thought?

Perhaps someone else could present This Week?

Tilting at windmills? Yes… what is the point?  🙂

[None.. that is the point about Titling at Windmills  (as they would say on  BBC Springwatch to keep up  a fine tradition of innuendo and sex on BBC) – I shall continue to do so until I am worked to death by the present government as they raise the pension age to 98]

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