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Archive for September 18th, 2010

Lord Ashcroft delivers tough verdict on Conservative election failings

Lord Ashcroft, the controversial billionaire Tory donor, has written a tough public critique of what he sees as the costly flaws in the Conservative Party’s election campaign.

This fascinatingly dull story came from The Telegraph….. should you want to spend a bit of time reading it.  I wouldn’t bother.. it is rather dull. (And I voted Labour FFS)

Who cares?  I don’t… I’d far rather read Lord Sugar’s tweets… at least he has a sense of humour….. even if he hasn’t been verified yet and has to spend a bit of time saying it really is him…. and even if he does have a book to sell – but he also has to tell people on Twitter that it is his only book and all other books are written by imposters or unauthorised biographers He came up with a cunning plan today….told people to look at his official company website for the twitter link… SORTED!…. an imposter couldn’t get a link on there….surely?

Poor old Lord Sugar…. he’s still got people doubting it is him on twitter…this….from this morning…

I am warming to Alan Sugar by the day!   I shall certainly have a gander at his book.

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The Law Society is the latest institution to jump aboard the tumbril heading inexorably to the Treasury guillotine to protest about the immigration cap.

The Law Society Gazette: ” The Law Society has today made a submission to the Home Office warning that its proposed limits on non-EU highly skilled migration could damage the legal sector. The submission follows concerns voiced by Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable this week that immigration limits are damaging British industry. The Law Society said the proposals will threaten the UK’s position as a prominent legal centre, severely restricting law firms’ overseas work and their ability to employ international lawyers.”

The fact of the matter is that English law firms do enjoy a global reach and bring a great deal of taxable income into this country – not, by any means, as much as the banks but still an amount –  one would have thought – of interest to H M Tax Grabbers.  We have little enough industry or manufacturing in this country left and now the government may well be killing off the golden goose of services generally, not just law and banking, with the planned curbs on immigration – policy designed to lull their constituency middle England vote into believing that something is being done about immigration.

Unfortunately, little can be done about immigration from EU countries because of free movement rules – although Cameron, on a recent visit to Turkey, while enthusiastic about Turkey joining the EU, was careful to note that ‘something would have to be done about the free movement question’.  We are not terribly interested in Turkish lawyers at the moment.  Law firms want Indian and Chinese lawyers, possibly Russian lawyers, because, frankly, those are territories where English law firms can make even more money.   The thought of training ‘out of work’ English lawyers to become expert in the laws of India, China, Russia et al is not the answer – because I suspect that English law firms are more interested in doing deals in those countries where the ‘sweetener’ of working with ‘local partners’ there and employing their  ‘local lawyers’ here is what it is all about.

Hopefully, The Law Society will consider the issue of small high street solicitors and focus more on their difficulties in these straitened times.  I suspect the immigration cap will slowly disappear and a bit of fudge will be applied.  The Coalition may well accede the the ‘real politik’ which Vince Cable wants to see implemented for the best of business reasons.  We are not, after all, talking about ‘immigrants’ who will come over and steal British jobs or rush to the head of a benefits queue.  We’re talking about rich lawyers – who, if things go tits up can effectively be deported!

Baroness Brenda Hale: “I often ask myself ‘why am I here?”

Supreme court judge, Baroness Brenda Hale, on the highlight of the court’s first year, selling bottled water and becoming known as ‘Ms Diversity”

I’d like to draw your attention to an interesting interview in The Guardian. Baroness Hale talks a great deal of interesting sense… which isn’t surprising.

TOP barristers have been left red-faced after cybersquatters diverted their clients to a porn website.

The SUN reports, rather lasciviously… “Anyone searching online for legal services at leading London chambers 39 Essex Street — are instead offered hardcore PORNOGRAPHY.

Among the attractions are lesbians, cheating wives, shemales, MILFS and local swingers.

The chambers headed by Richard Wilmot-Smith QC is showcased at http://www.39essexstreet.co.uk, which promises “solid and clear advice on a range of public law issues”.

But the only briefs being offered currently are worn by the ‘babe of the week’.

And those looking to instruct a barrister are instead offered webcam sex and a ‘live nude chat’.

While a search facility on the site says ‘Not quite what you are looking for?’ next to a button saying ‘Spank it’.

A Chinese company has been demanding 50,000 US dollars to hand over the domain name since cybersquatting it a week ago.

The chambers says it is “considering its options” with its own lawyers but has no intention of being held to ransom.

Chambers director Michael Meeson said: “This is highly irritating.

“We will be issuing a statement pointing out that this is not our domain name.”

I was most disappointed when I Googled 39 Essex Street not to find strippers, MILFS and a host of other sexual phenomena – but that may be because 39 Essex Street have a different web address than the one given by the Sun above. The http://www.39essexstreet.co.uk address given – now diverts to the Essex St Chambers… so still no MILFS,strippers etc… just serious barristers.  It must have been a bit of a bore for Chambers admin when it happened.

And on the subject of MILFs, strippers and other sexual phenomena.. this wonderful story (Via @Overlawyered on twitter )


In Professor-Dominatrix Scandal, U. of New Mexico Feels the Pain

The Chronicle: In some ways, working as a phone-sex dominatrix is a lot simpler than being on a college faculty. Your relationship with others is clearly defined, no one formally complains about anything you say to them, and you stand little risk of getting caught up in messy struggles over power.

It gets complicated, however, if you try to do both jobs.

Life has become extremely complex in the University of New Mexico’s English department in the three years since Lisa D. Chávez, a tenured associate professor, was discovered moonlighting as the phone-sex dominatrix “Mistress Jade,” and posing in promotional pictures sexually dominating one of her own graduate students.

Although she quickly quit the phone-sex job, admitted to a serious lapse of judgment, and was not found by the university’s administration to have violated any law or policy, Ms. Chávez remains at the center of a bitter controversy that has raised questions about faculty governance, the obligations of professors to protect students, and the exact definition of a hostile workplace in an environment of shifting sexual mores.

Can’t quite see anyone at BPP Law School or The College of Law moonlighting in this way…..  I suspect that they are reasonably well paid.

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