Archive for August 16th, 2010

You have seen the Dragons’ Den…marvelled at Duncan saying *Ridiculous* most weeks and tweeting *I’m OUT* quite often on Twitter as if he thinks we give a farkin damn…. … smiled as Theo Laryngtis talks about his children’s inheritance for the 250th (ish?) time on British television….. have been amazed at Deborah’s strange finger movements in the opening sequence…. worked out that Peter is a *Telecoms Giant* because he is four feet taller than everyone else on DD…and still can’t work out why James Caan doesn’t look like  the the guy in The Godfather who shagged a woman up against a bedroom door at a wedding….?

Forget it…. THE RAPTORS are coming…. very soon….

Duncan Bannatyne on twitter has been tweeting much of the day about this…..

Dragons’ Den winner reveals £80k promise was in fact ‘a loan’ – of which only £26,500 ever emerged


Just how trustworthy are the Dragons?

Do THE RAPTORS care? Of course they don’t! Would you expect them to….. it is dog eat dog… out there… and I am fairly certain that even Nick Clegg could come around to this *thinking* in time….

A small selection of tweets from Duncan…..

But you have to admit… like DD or not at least Duncan Bannatyne tries to breathe some life into it….


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Tony Blair donates book cash to injured soldier charity

The BBC reports: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is to donate the profits from his memoirs to a sports centre for badly injured soldiers. A spokesman said Mr Blair would hand over the reported £4.6m advance payment plus all royalties to honour “their courage and sacrifice”. The Royal British Legion will receive the money, Mr Blair’s office has confirmed. The book, called A Journey, is due to be published next month. The money will go the Legion’s Battle Back Challenge Centre, which is due to open in summer 2012.

“As Tony Blair said to the House of Commons on his last day in office: ‘I believe that they [the Armed Forces] are fighting for the security of this country and the wider world against people who would destroy our way of life. But whatever view people take of my decisions, I think that there is only one view to take of them: they are the bravest and the best.'”

Good decision.

I will  buy the book and read it with greater pleasure knowing that Tony Blair has made this decision.

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I made the mistake of going to The Dail Mail online….  I’ll try not to do it again…

More than 900,000 have been off sick for a DECADE – costing taxpayer £4bn a year

Source…. I have added one line to Mr Grayling’s quote above….. 

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Dr Kelly: Just one in five believes it was suicide as official cause of death is branded ‘impossible’

The official verdict that Dr David Kelly committed suicide has been overwhelmingly rejected by the public.

According to an exclusive Mail opinion poll, only one in five people accepts the Hutton Inquiry’s finding that the government weapons inspector took his own life.

The survey also reveals that eight out of ten people want a full inquest. With senior MPs making the same demand, the Coalition is under strong pressure to act.

It comes as a medical report says it was ‘impossible’ that Dr Kelly bled to death in the way described by the inquiry.

The study, whose authors include vascular and trauma surgeons, deals with the Hutton report’s finding that Dr Kelly died from loss of blood after cutting a small artery in his wrist.

The doctors say that, based on Dr Kelly’s weight and size, he would have had to lose 2,700ml of blood to threaten his life.

Their report, which has been submitted to Attorney General Dominic Grieve, says: ‘It was impossible for 2,700ml of blood to have been lost through this small artery. ‘Indeed, to lose 500ml through it would have been unlikely.’

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Brave New World : Results!

The A Level results are out this week and  some Russell Group universities  – but not Oxford –  will be requiring the new A * grade.

Many who went to public schools (and for that, read ‘private’ schools) are likely to be recipients of the new A* grade.  It is likely that there will be far more A* star grades in the private than public sector of secondary education.   It is unlikely, now that we have a Coalition government where Gove and Willetts can demonstrate their particular expertise, that sleep will be lost by government on the widening gap between public and private education.

Sadly, as Clarkson observed, some students will be getting results which make up words like DUDE and BEEF – but one thing is certain – their options will be limited. There will be fewer university places this year than last and a Vice Chancellor from a university I have never heard of (Worcester) has popped up to say that there will be fewer places.

The reason I have never heard of The University of Worcester is not negligence on my part – indeed, quite the opposite; for the  fact is that the Law (as with most fields) is a competitive arena.  There aren’t any prizes for third place.  The magic circle firms and leading sets of Chambers may waffle on about ‘diversity’ but it does not take much effort to research the fact that the majority of their intake is still Oxford, Cambridge – and, the top Russell group universities.  It would be dishonest to suggest that a student with a degree from a lesser university stands an equal chance with a student from Oxbridge who also went to a good private school. They may well stand a chance – but I would argue that it won’t be an equal chance in the top firms or Chambers.  I suspect that even the vocational law schools providing the LPC and BVC will soon be indulging in their own snobbery and ranking. Some say they already are – which seems to me to be a bit ‘premature’.

BPP and the College of Law both lead the market for the LPC and what is now the BPTC (Lay readers note!: one year professional courses to qualify as a solicitor or barrister, respectively, taken after the academic law degree stage) and both have degree awarding powers.  I suspect their degrees will be less highly regarded by employers – and therefore by students – for some time to come.  BPP is now a university.   It is many things – but it is not a Russell group university and may well never achieve such status.  We shall see.

I can’t quite see where all the new law students are going to work. The economy is still fragile.  Growth in law firms is nascent.  People are working longer and are retiring later.  Where are the jobs in solicitors firms and commerce going to come from?  Government is cutting back. The Bar is not exactly overloaded with work in some areas at the moment and is under tremendous costs pressures.  There is talk of QCs sitting around doing not very much at all.

All this is good news of course for universities who will not struggle to fill their Law places (and even better news for providers of wonderfully expensive LPC and BPTC courses – around the £15,1000 mark for fees alone for the BPTC ) and while students in other disciplines can go off to Holland, Europe, the States, Canada and Australia and find courses conducted in English, this is not an option for students wishing to study English law.

One thing is for sure – the people who run law schools are not remotely interested in my observations on this  and while I do get a fairly wide readership of about 80,000 unique readers when I last looked at stats for the blog and Insite Law, podcasts et al, there is a wonderful human phenomenon called ‘Hope’ and a less wonderful phenomenon that warnings of gloom apply only to ‘other readers’. I admire tenacity.  Everyone who wants to be a lawyer should go for it – but knowing the reality of the market and that disappointment may well follow if they don’t make the cut. Unfortunately,for those who do not make the cut,  the next generation in August 2011 may be brighter and better qualified. The next generation is only one year behind you. And why should I care to even spend my time writing about it?  It isn’t going to effect me.    Maybe I shouldn’t bother and go an do something more useful with what is left of my life?!  I have a feeling that I’ll be doing a bit more tilting at windmills.

Here is an article from The Independent this morning….

Class of 2010 faces higher hurdles for college places and uncertain job market

PS: It wouldn’t surprise me if some law school Dean  pops up to confirm that all is well in Britain again, the economy is on the move – business has never been better for them and demand is ‘farkin marvellous… lovely jubbly etc etc’ because their law school is so highly regarded.  We shall see. I shall keep an eye on The Lawyer and Legal Week.  They tend to get a fair number of reports from the law schools these days.  We used to call them press releases.

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