Paintings by my brother – my real brother!


46 x 35 cm, oil on canvas

My brother, Stewart, is a polymath and interested in many things. He has taken up oil painting and unintentionally has inspired me to do some sane and sensible painting rather my usual F*ckArt ‘stuff’

2. Incarnation (Nayi Mudra)

76 x 60 cm, oil on canvas

This painting took me back a few years and reminded me that Stewart was partial to requisitioning MY jeep car and using it!  Stewart may well take a different view of whose car it was – but it has been many years since we were that small.

1. Trembling Trees – portrait of the writer Nicole Carrel

152 x 122 cm, oil on canvas 

3. Dawn

50 x 40 cm, oil on canvas

A quick word from my brother:

My preference is for painting portraits with a context, but without obvious ‘props’.  Sometimes, the subject may suggest a fantasy element.  I also work with synthesized memories, using old photographs and descriptions gleaned from a sitting.

Commissions undertaken.

Contact Stewart –


My own F*ckArt series of paintings – which continue with more nonsense – are not quite in the same class, to say the least – but mine do have the advantage of taking only 15-20 minutes to do.  A friend at school called me ‘Risotto’ – because my paintings were ready in 20 minutes. Plus ça change?

Here are some older ‘paintings wot I did’.  I have some new nonsense on my wall – paintings of spiderman wearing a barrister’s wig holding a lucozade bottle.  Rather than paint the Lucozade bottle,  I came up with a plan: buy a bottle of Lucozade, drink it and stick the empty bottle on the canvas.  WIN!!

I marvel… I really do marvel…

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Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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I don’t need to add anything to this…

Summer silly season coming to an end in triumph!

Solicitor-advocate hits back at judge’s ‘Harry Potter’ criticism


I just have to quote the article in full….

Lancashire solicitor-advocate has hit back at what he describes as judicial bias against solicitor-advocates after a Crown court judge criticised him for dressing ‘like something out of Harry Potter’.

Alan Blacker, a solicitor-advocate at the Joint Armed Forces Legal Services in Rochdale, had been representing Andrzej Wojcicki, who was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and jailed for five years.

At the end of the trial, after the defendant had been taken down but while the jury and press were still in court, the judge, His Honour David Wynn Morgan, reprimanded Blacker on his appearance.

Blacker, who uses the title Lord Harley when he appears before the Crown court, had attached colorful ceremonial St John Ambulance ribbons to his gown.

Judge Morgan said to him: ‘If you want look like something out of Harry Potter you can forget coming to this court ever again. I have been practising in these courts since 1978 and I have never seen a barrister or solicitor appear before these courts wearing a medal or with badges sewn onto his gown.’

The judge said: ‘Here in South Wales we had a barrister, who later became a judge, who had won during the Battle of Normandy the highest order of gallantry in a Victoria Cross. Did you ever see him wearing a medal? He would have considered it the height of vulgarity for such a thing to be done.’

He added: ‘If you ever appear before this court again dressed as you are I shall exercise my right to decline to hear you.’

Blacker said the judge also questioned his right as a solicitor to wear a barrister’s wig and gown during the trial and asked whether he was a member of the Law Society.

Blacker told the Gazette he was wearing St John Ambulance ribbons in a ‘discrete place at the bottom of my robe away from the jury’.

He said he is severely disabled with a heart condition, brain tumour, plural issues on his right lung and arthritis.

‘I can’t help my appearance – I am overweight, I do wear my hair long, though tie it back in court and I am disabled,’ he said.

He said: ‘I believe I was attacked because I am Irish and from Rochdale and due to the snobbish, hateful attitude that some barristers and judges have towards my branch of the profession.’

Blacker explained that his family has a hereditary title going back over 1,100 years. When he appears in the magistrates’ and county courts, he said he uses the name Dr Alan Blacker, as he received a D Phil in law with economics. ‘Everyone is equal in those courts,’ he said. ‘But when I appear in the Crown court I come up against senior and treasury counsel, so I use my title.’

He said: ‘I was born in Rochdale, I’m a Lancashire lad and have never had any pretence about titles.’

But he said: ‘Solicitor-advocates need to play the game – it’s an equality of arms issue. Juries don’t understand the difference between solicitors and barristers. They think solicitors are subordinate and people will ask “when are you qualifying as a barrister”.’

Judges, he said, exploit that inequality on a ‘snobbery basis’.

He said: ‘The abuse I have received across all forms of social media in the last 24 hours means I can’t leave my hotel. ‘The thing that upsets me more than anything is that no one has mentioned the service given to my client, which has not been criticised.’

Blacker has not yet made a complaint about the judge to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, but he said he is considering his next steps with his solicitors.


I particularly liked this part of the remarks: Judge Morgan said to him: ‘If you want look like something out of Harry Potter you can forget coming to this court ever again.”

Law Society Gazette

Indeed… nothing at all Hogwarts about our courts… men and women lawyers and judges perfectly sensibly dressed etc etc….

The Times we live in…. bring back hanging? Dear gawd….. whatever next?

[I thought it was worth digging this post back up from the past]

#Hackgate continues with coverage of possible computer hacking in the papers this morning Yesterday Christopher Jefferies, the man ‘monstered’ in some tabloids as the suspect in the Yates murder, has won substantial damages from eight newspapers and The Lord Chief Justice has handed down a very critical judgment holding The Mirror and The Sun in contempt of court

The Guardian reports:

Earlier on Friday, Jefferies accepted substantial libel damages from eight newspapers – including the Daily Mirror and the Sun – over stories relating to his arrest.

In the contempt ruling handed down at the high court on Friday, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Owen described the Daily Mirror articles as “extreme” and “substantial risks to the course of justice”.

The judges said the Sun’s coverage of Jefferies created a “very serious risk” that any future court defence would be damaged.

“These articles [in the Sun] would have certainly justified an abuse of process argument, and although their effect is not as grave as that of two series of articles contained in the Mirror, the vilification of Mr Jefferies created a very serious risk that the preparation of his defence would be damaged,” the judges said. “At the time when this edition of the Sun was published it created substantial risks to the course of justice. It therefore constituted a contempt under the strict liability rule.”

Attorney-General Dominic Grieve led the prosecution himself, unusually, and appears, rightly, to be taking a very hard line on the issue of contempt of court in relation to press and media reporting.

And then, this morning, the political blogger Guido Fawkes has started a petition to bring back the death penalty in the United Kingdom Apart from the irony of a blogger using the name  Guido Fawkes as a nom de plume to suggest such a petition, many have observed that this will do his blog stats no end of good, given the desire of many to bring back the death penalty.  I suspect that PM Camcorderdirect, relaxing in his Tuscan lair, having spent some time de-toxifying the Tory party, will be groaning as various (and sundry) Tory MPs have come out in favour.  The Sun has taken up the story.  Is Guido re-toxifying the Tory party for his own ends to bait them, to trap Tory and other MPs into declaring their position for subsequent vilification in media and social media?

I am against the death penalty on three grounds: (a) It is a barbaric penalty, suitable only for countries living under medieval concepts of justice (b) judges and juries are not infallible and (c) it goes against the foundations of  modern humanitarian and moral precepts of justice.  Quite apart from the fact that Britain would have difficulties remaining a member of the European Union if we bring back the death penalty (Members are required to sign up to the European Convention. Protocol 6  – restriction of death penalty. Requires parties to restrict the application of the death penalty to times of war or “imminent threat of war” -  Edit: and Protocol 13 – Complete abolition of death penalty in Council of Europe states) one just needs to remember the reason why the death penalty was abolished in Britain in  1965 - the case of Timothy Evans being but one important reason.

They say that 70% of the population in Britain would welcome a return of the death penalty – the argument of the ‘executioneers’ is that Parliament must impose the will of the majority.  To that, I have to repeat a statement I have used before - “5 million flies eat shit, but it does not follow that shit is good for us to eat” .

I suspect (I have no empirical evidence) that few High Court judges would seek return of the death penalty and, I suspect, that few barristers, defence barristers in particular, would welcome the return.

To use a ‘populist’ argument – as a fair few twitter users did this morning… ”You don’t trust MPs on taxation, expenses, governance…so why do you want to hand power to them to hang people?” Res Ipsa Loquitur?

Well… there we are.  We shall see what happens with this latest ‘wheeze’ on the part of the right wing to bring our ‘green and pleasant land’ into their vision of control.   If the death penalty does come back… I suspect that Norway with  their mature, humane and inspiring  way of handling serious issues would be a good place to live in?

I did like this sensible tweet from a labour MP… he has a point!

And this is the level of debate that those who want to hang people rely on?  Absurd…. (Me, elitist?  I think not!)

Mr Gaunt is, apparently, a columnist…

I look forward to more ‘gems of reason’ from ‘Gaunty’…. I may have a long wait?

A human rights nazi?  Now that is a concept that may give Mr Gaunt something to chew on?

My fellow blogger, friend and podcaster – David Allen Green – takes up the theme, sensibly,  in a very well reasoned blog post…… I quote his ending…“The devil may well have the best tunes; but the liberals will usually turn out to have the better arguments.”  Well worth reading.

UPDATE Sunday 31 July 2011

Unfortunately… with public opinion… law gets in the way. Guido suggested that Article 2 permitted executions.  As @ObiterJ pointed out in the comments…. Protocol 13 ECHR makes a rather important legal point which public opinion should consider

Yes.. this is right…

PLEASE READ THIS…  excellent… beautifully written with some wonderful imagery… 

Hanging’s Too Good For ‘Em

Jerry Hayes is not a fan of the new e-Petitions. Not at all.


[I thought it was worth digging this post back up from the past]

Lord Chancellor Grayling – an epic career in progress or a crime scene in progress?

Mr Grayling MP, aka Lord Chancellor Grayling, is probably not one of the great Lord Chancellors.  As he is not burdened by any significant knowledge of law this may explain it.  Still… let us look on the bright side. An election is coming soon.  His skills could well be put to better use elsewhere.  Italy perhaps?  China?

Guido Fawkes has a most interesting story – A weapons-grade clusterf*ck for the Buckingham Bonaparte


The Speaker’s choice for the new Clerk of the Commons has been panned on an international scale. Former Speakers and ministers from both parties as well as MPs have been left flabbergasted to why Bercow is attempting to force in ‘the Canberra Caterer’, who has zero experience beyond ordering the tea and biscuits for the Australian parliament. The Clerk down under also points out the awkward fact that Carol Mills is under investigation for spying on Australian MPs.  A weapons-grade clusterf*ck for the Buckingham Bonaparte, who is refusing to entertain the concept of a pre-selection hearing.

 As one government source said on Friday: “Discontent rising. Consulting parliament was supposed to be his USP in the role, after all.”

 Order-Order has been at the forefront of this story for weeks now. Read all our coverage here