Rive Gauche: A little bit of Lord Chancellor Grayling…and why not, indeed?

The Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, continues to amaze, but not amuse, the legal profession and others…

Justice Secretary Grayling tells Scots MPs: Get off my lawn

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, warns of a “travesty of democracy” if Scottish MPs are allowed to have a say over English laws

A senior Cabinet minister tells Scottish Labour MPs to get off his territory, in a dramatic escalation of the battle for the future of British democracy.

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, accuses Labour of seeking to erase England from the map of the United Kingdom as he declares that Scottish MPs should be banned from voting on his legal reforms.

Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Grayling says the constitutional shake-up after the Scottish independence referendum must deliver a new deal for England. English MPs alone must have the final say over English laws, he says.

Saturday 27 September 2014

So much for a United Kingdom? Perhaps Grayling LC believes that England would be better off as a ‘One Party’ state. I can’t imagine that Grayling has been reading  over the collective words and wisdom (sic) of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe or, indeed, any books on Law and history generally which may assist him in his endeavours to be a credible Lord Chancellor.  One can only assume that it is inconvenient to Tory High Command to have Scottish Labour MPs daring to cast a critical eye over what he is/they are up to.  So much for democracy?  So much for one nation? Perhaps Mr Grayling finds it inconvenient or ‘distasteful’ to have Labour politicians disagreeing with him?

There is, thankfully, a General Election coming soon and we will, hopefully, find Mr Grayling more usefully employed on the Opposition benches…or, indeed, elsewhere?  I suspect he would be quite good at running a dystopian call centre somewhere? India?

Anyway…must move on to more serious blog posts and sing “Keep The Red Flag Flying High” for a while.


Back to blogging and podcasting

Just a quick note to say…back to blogging and podcasting this weekend.

In the meantime…apropos of nothing in particular, I feel that I need yellow frames for my reading glasses to add more colour. I shall go and startle some local opticians to see what they can find for me.

A più tardi as we used to say down at the “Old Dog & Duck”..

Rive Gauche: Talk like a Pirate day…

Some may take the view that the gentlemen pictured below are pirates.  In the famous words of another ‘politico’ from fiction:  ”You may think that.  I couldn’t possibly comment”


And… if you haven’t already seen this – worth looking at…

Buckingham Palace dancing Guardsman may face prison

Pirouetting Guardsman could be imprisoned after footage of the unnamed soldier dancing is viewed more than 1.5 million times on YouTube

Watch the clip

Chris Grayling Lord Chancellor impersonator – At it again? I marvel…

Mr Chris Grayling MP is a remarkable politician. He has done some unusual things while in office. I am probably not alone in wondering how Mr Grayling managed to become a Lord Chancellor impersonator.

Do, please, read the Twitter timeline from David Allen Green.  You deserve a laugh.

And I do like this tweet from Jon Whitfield QC : “Cut the crap – what about this bit?? “so unfair as to result in illegality.” All familiar to CG – unlawful, unjust, unfair.”


And also this tweet from  ‏@CatarinaSjolin  : @MoJPress Perhaps try reading paragraph 50 of the judgment again (which finishes “The failure was so unfair as to result in illegality”).


I posted about Mr Grayling fairly recently. I never tire of posting about Mr Grayling  - who, it has to be said, clearly enjoys hitting the dressing up box from time to time to be a Lord Chancellor.  Who said that comic opera is dead?  Alive and kicking at The Ministry of Justice…clearly.

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?

And here is Mr Grayling again…making off with the robes of a Lord Chancellor…

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 – stavp@btinternet.com


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…

A new comment on the post “Photobomb du Jour…” is waiting for your approval



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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….