Churchill: “I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

The Independent noted: “While Jeremy Paxman described him as “a chancer, an egotist and a charlatan“, others have pointed to his flaws as a leader and bigoted views of the world.

The best known  quotes and statements of Sir Winston Churchill are well known.  Here are a few of the ones I particularly enjoy:

“I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

I remember well watching the funeral all those years ago.  I was at a rather unusual school for 8-13 year old boys in Helensburgh, Scotland which appeared to be run by a group of sociopaths.  One of the older male teachers had a predilection for fondling the ears of young boys while handing out a small Cadbury’s chocolate. Another wandered about the dormitories of an evening at bedtime with a clacken - a large wooden spoon with a smiley face drawn on it. (The teacher drew the smiley face.)  Unusual behaviour…to be sure! I preferred my later education…

Mind you it instilled good learning habits later – attended only 3 lectures and a handful of tutorials at university and spent time reading law books and law reports and discussing law with friends. I recall one lecturer at university used to read out ‘his’ lectures on English Legal History from an expensive textbook (Maitland)  – assuming that none of the students would rumble him.  We did. A friend started reading loudly from the same page the lecturer was giving his lecture from.   The lecturer didn’t have many students attending after that – rightly.

Rive Gauche – The General Election cometh….and the Tories goeth?

Louise Mensch Just Told David Cameron And The Queen To ‘F**k Off’ Over Saudi King Abdullah

It is not often I find myself agreeing with Louise Mensch – but she may have a point here? –

“Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch has unleashed an extraordinary tirade onTwitter, instructing both David Cameron and the Queen to “fuck off”.

Mensch became enraged after the British Government declared all UK flags be flown at half mast to mourn the death of King Abdullah on Thursday.

She began by criticising US President Barack Obama for paying tribute to the late royal, whom Mensch said “whipped women for driving & is currently starving his daughters.”….”

Huffington Post story

In relation to the ‘Pic’ above – I don’t really think our country does need Mr Cameron – but I would say that… being a left wing Labour voter for much of my life…. hey ho…we shall see what Mr Miliband does if he manages to win the election.  I have a horrible feeling he will disappoint.  I shall, as it is sunny today, keep an open mind. Also, I have had a fine hair cut from the haircutters in Kingsbury High Street who had the wonderful name “Good Luck Haircut”… pity they changed the name.  They still do a good hair chop – a bargain at £5 + tip.

And, on a more serious note: Mohammed — in pictures

“The Koran has no injunction against depicting Mohammed. In fact there’s a rich tradition of two-dimensional images of the Prophet in Islam…”

Law Review: ‘Incompetent’ Grayling condemned by ex-Tory MP as ‘off his trolley’

A top of the morning to you – as an Irish gravedigger I dug graves with, when I was a law student, used to say each morning as we had a fag before digging a grave.

I have had the pleasure of doing podcasts with ex Tory MP and barrister Jerry Hayes.  I am sure that Jerry will not mind my observation that he is never short of a few choice words on matters law and political – and he has hit the nail on the head today as reported in the i Newspaper

‘Incompetent’ Grayling condemned by ex-Tory MP as ‘off his trolley’

“Chris Grayling is a disgraceful incompetent who should be sacked as Justice Secretary because he is undermining the legal system, a former Tory MP has claimed.

In a vitriolic personal attack, the barrister Jerry Hayes denounced the minister as “off his trolley” and as a “s*** which will have to be flushed” from office after the election.

Mr Hayes’s onslaught came as Mr Grayling’s controversial reforms to judicial review are now set to become law. The Justice Secretary argues the moves are essential to stop campaigners from resorting to judicial reviews to stymie building projects and disrupt the work of government.

But Mr Hayes, who has resumed a career as a criminal law barrister after losing his Commons seat, delivered a scathing verdict on the minister’s handling of the issue….”
The full article from i

An excellent article and an excellent piece of work and observation from Jerry Hayes.  I shall invite Jerry to do another podcast with me.

A fine start to a pleasing weekend ahead – have a good one.

Guest Post: I’ve been told that I need a hip replacement, and it’s got me worried.

From Thompsons Solicitors and solicitor-advocates

I’ve been told that I need a hip replacement, and it’s got me worried. Not only do I feel decidedly queasy about having the surgery performed – scalpels, knives, incisions, extrications … all that fiddling about – I also feel very ambivalent about the post-surgical period, when I can expect to be bedbound for a time, use a walking frame and be utterly reliant on friends and family for basic help such as washing myself, feeding the cat, shopping and more. The thought of this is enough to keep me hobbling up and down the stairs, in pain, for some months yet.

But as if all of the above were not enough to make me feel hesitant, I then meet up with my brother-in-law for the first time in nearly five years (my wife and her sister have finally managed a reconciliation after a long period of fallout – it was something to do with a childhood argument over sausages – seriously) and discover just how badly things can go – what he told me is nearly enough to get me hiding under the table.

Ok, so here’s his story – inasmuch as I remember and understand it anyway: last time I saw Barry he was going into his local hospital for a double hip replacement. He was only 51, but an active sporting life – lots of five-a-side and a fair bit of squash – had taken its toll on his hips. Docs told him that if he underwent the operation he could expect many more ‘active’ years ahead of him.

But what Barry – and, presumably, the doctors – didn’t bargain on was the ‘mix ‘n’ match’ approach the surgeons would take to his hip replacement – yes, you heard right, ‘mix ‘n’ match. And, yes, it sounds terrifying. So terrifying, in fact, that Barry has recently had so much pain that he has been forced to quit work.

It’s not like the authorities didn’t know about the problem with mix ‘n’ match, says Barry. Apparently the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency knew about the problems for some time yet let hospitals carry on regardless.

Like all the most sinister and terrifying things it seems that for a while everything was fine. Barry returned to work three months after the operation and it was not until two or three years later that he began to have strange pains in his legs and hips.

Doctors at first fobbed him off but later blood tests and MRI scans cast full light on the problem: the mix ‘n’ match nature of the hip sockets in the replacements meant that there was deterioration, causing metal toxins to leak into Barry’s body, raising his selenium levels and giving him muscle and joint pain.

“That sounds awful, Barry,” I told him. “Why don’t you claim compensation?”

Barry explained that he’d tried but had so far been unsuccessful. I tried finding a reputable personal injury solicitor firm for him (the ones he instructed sound truly terrible): I’ve done my research and think I’ve stumbled on Scotland’s best (let me know if you know of any better) and it seems that they know a thing or two about the problems associated with metal-on-metal implants.

Whatever the case, Barry’s ordeal has certainly made me circumspect about having my operation done. I don’t want to have to make a hip replacement claim.

This guest post was supplied by

Podcasts on Scots Law

I am doing a series of podcasts on Scots Law.  Although I am a Scot – I read English Law.  Fortunately, I know a fair few lawyers and Scots judges from my past (I was ‘educated’ in Scotland 8-18 years of age).

I am delighted that I have my first podcastee from Scotland – Michelle Hynes who tweets regularly.

I may have to change the flag on ‘my glasses’ in the blog header bar to a Saltire!

Rive Gauche: Ian Duncan Smith – happy for people to visit foodbanks.










Watching the Daily Politics programme on Europe at 6.00 am this morning, I marvelled at the ‘contribution’ made by Margot Parker – a kipper in Europe. There are times, listening to Kippers on politics programmes, when I wonder what we have done as a nation to deserve UKIP.

Or, indeed, to ‘deserve’ politicians who say this…

Clipped from Twitter

I have voted Labour at every election – sometimes, it has to be said with some regret – but with some of the present ‘collection’ of rather unpleasing Tory politicians..I am only sorry that we are not allowed to ‘vote early and often’.

Rive Gauche: Never in the field of political conflict was so much owed by so many to so few

It is, arguably, a tribute to our democracy and tolerance that we can accommodate The Kippers and enjoy their absurd antics. Nigel Farage has carved himself a niche in our political firmament and will, no doubt, as the election approaches, lead his cohorts forward in their duty to amuse many….or to modify Churchill…”Never in the field of political conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Back later…ineluctably…


Law Review 15th January 2015

Clare Rodway in The Conversation blog: RSA Chief Exec Matthew Taylor is challenging you to Change The Way You Think in 2015.  He is passionate about our need for a New Year Resolution to improve social integration and his fervour for how we might live differently flies off him in sparks.
Read the blog post

Conflict of Characterising The Liability of Directors of an Insolvent English Limited having its Real Seat in Germany: German Federal Court of Justice Requests a Preliminary Ruling from the CJEU…

David Allen Green – Jack of Kent blog: Je suis Charlie: Orwell on the fear that extremists have of being laughed at

John Bolch – Family Lore blog: Internet Newsletter for Lawyers January/February 2015

John Flood: Relevance of Professionalism in a Post-Legal Services Act World

Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.
Hunter S. Thompson

The Magistrates’ blog: No Praise For Appraisal – “The Law Gazette carries this piece about the quality of magistrates’ training.

It’s a complex subject, because furnished as we are with  a qualified barrister or solicitor as legal adviser, we only need to know the basic principles of law and procedure. Appraisals take place every three years (my next one is in February) and are carried out by an approved fellow magistrate. Unfortunately, the legal adviser was removed from the process some years ago, to save money.Appraisals must be frank and honest, not always an easy task when the subject is someone you have known for a decade….”
Nearly Legal blog: Squeezed Out of LondonA friend of ours has asked us to help promote a potential documentary. What follows is a slightly edited version of the original email:

Kash is a Hackney based production company that specialises in all forms of digital and short form content. We’ve been established for five years now and are eager to make interesting, relevant films that tell personal and honest stories.

I’m currently doing the preliminary research into a documentary idea about the affordability of housing in London and, in particular, cases where people have been offered financial assistance to leave their borough, moving to other London boroughs or even out of London entirely.

They’re looking to produce a short documentary for the Open City Docs festival, the theme of which is “Living in London.”

If anyone reading this is interested in speaking to Kash about this or has clients who might be interested, can they please contact Jamie McCormack at or on 020 7923 3309.

Obiter L blog: Counter terrorism and Security Bill – Joint Committee on Human Rights – The Joint Committee on Human Rights has issued its report on the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill and has called for better safeguards in a number of areas.  The Committee’s Conclusions and Recommendations are HERE.

Pink Tape is calm: I AM calm!

“I have learnt that it is usually a good idea to sleep on it after reading a Christopher Booker article, and not to write in anger. I have slept on this one for a whole week (force majeure) so I am positively serene as I write. Honest.”This time it is a piece beginning with the rather understated headline :The most sinister court in Britain strikes yet again

The shadowy Court of Protection’s treatment of a 72-year-old grandmother is a national scandal, says Christopher Booker

I am often amazed at what I find on my blog looking back at old blog posts for images which amused me at the time.  This one did.

And..if you are thinking about a career at the Bar – a good blog to visit for advice is Pupillage and How To Get It written by Simon Myerson QC

The Justice Gap: Is the UK really any better than US at holding police to account?

And worth another airing on the blog: From the Justice GapShami Chakrabarti: ‘Britain dumps its citizens like toxic waste’

From Panopticon maintained by 11 KBW Information Law practice group: How to apply the DPA

“Section 40 of FOIA is where the Freedom of Information Act (mantra: disclose, please) intersects with the Data Protection Act 1998 (mantra: be careful how you process/disclose, please).

When it comes to requests for the disclosure of personal data under FOIA, the DPA condition most commonly relied upon to justify showing the world the personal data of a living individual is condition 6(1) from Schedule 2:

The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted in any particular case by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the data subject.

That condition has multiple elements….”

And finally…for this Law Review: A worrying new anti-terror law is sneaking through Parliament – Angela Patrick

My thanks to East Park Communications, publishers of Local Law Society magazines for sponsoring the Law review posts.





Guest Post: New Personal Injury Claims Website for Stockport Launched

New Personal Injury Claims Website for Stockport Launched

A new personal injury website is being launched to serve Stockport and the surrounding areas offering legal advice and representation to those involved in an accident.  You can click to visit it now for further information.

Their personal injury solicitors specialise in personal injury claims on behalf of those who have suffered an accident or injury and have launched a new website to attract customers in the Stockport area.

Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport understand how devastating a personal injury can be to someone’s life. Whilst no one wants to be involved in an accident, sadly they are a part of everyday life in the UK. The new site will provide a team of expert lawyers that specialise in all types of injury claims to help a victim of an injury seek the compensation they deserve. 

Whether you have suffered from wage loss, medical negligence or a minor injury due to an accident that was not your fault, their team of dedicated solicitors are here to offer you support and advice and help you get the maximum compensation on a no win, no fee basis.

Local Service

The Stockport website is the latest addition in a series of regional personal injury websites that are dedicated to local areas of the country.  Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport joins a growing list of local markets that the company are expanding out into, with plans to move into other cities over the coming months.

A spokesman for Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport said: “We are delighted to be announcing the launch of a new site for those living in and around the Stockport area.

“We are committed to providing the best and most comprehensive service for all our clients by offering a no win, no fee service.

“This Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport comes following the success of many of our other local personal injury sites that we run and manage throughout the UK and we are looking forward to serving the Stockport area.

“By being local we can immediately look into a case and be accessible to our clients.”

He added: “Our team will gather witness statements, talk to third parties, review evidence, contact any relevant insurance companies, pursue claims for loss of earnings, and make sure you have the best legal advice and representation possible.”

“The website will feature all the information our clients will need to find out if they are entitled to making a personal injury claim and we look forward to offering our services and advice to those in need of legal representation.”

No Win, No Fee

More than three million UK residents are injured in accidents annually with many victims entitled to compensation due to an accident that was not their fault. The new website will deal with a number of claims from road accidents in the Stockport area, slips, trips and falls, accidents in the workplace, clinical negligence and much more on a no win, no fee basis.

No win no fee cases means that that even if the case is not won, you will still not have to pay anything. Payment will only be taken if you are successful in receiving compensation.

For more information about Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport visit our website, or call us via the telephone number displayed on the website to discuss a compensation claim. Lines are open 24 hours, seven days a week. 

Guest Post: The scary realities of preparing a will

The scary realities of preparing a will

The most frightening aspect of preparing a will is that you have to come to terms with your future death. If you look at a will as a tool for making life easier for your family and friends, after your death, then it won’t be such a difficult task, and you may even enjoy writing down your wishes and bequests. It may provide you with some comfort, too.

Starting the will writing process

You can create a totally legal will yourself, but if you want to ensure that your will is legally compliant and that your wishes will be interpreted after your death, then it’s always best to get legal advice.

If you need to get versions of the will replicated in a foreign language – for relatives who live overseas, perhaps – then you need translation services. VP Public Notary can organise a translator and also certify the finalised documents.

Inheritance tax can be scary

According to the government website, if your estate comes to the value of more than £325,000 then your executors will have to pay inheritance tax. This is levied at 40%. It’s a good idea to discuss this matter with your lawyer, as there are ways in which you can legally ensure that those who inherit your estate won’t face a large tax bill.

According to the influential financial website This is Money, making a will is the first step in this process as ‘70% of adults fail to do so.’ The website also suggests that many don’t make a will as they are ‘uncomfortable talking about issues surrounding our death.’ A will allows you to carry out some forward planning; you can put some of your assets into a trust, thus ensuring that ‘they no longer form part of the estate.’ You can also ensure that the funds you leave your loved ones won’t be taxed out of existence.

Intestacy should always be avoided

Under the laws of intestacy, if you die without making a will, then your estate will be put in trust and dispersed according to law. The appointed statutory trustee has to distribute the estate under the Administration of Estates Act 1925. An article in The Daily Mail shows the problems that your beneficiaries may face, if you don’t leave a will. For co-habitees, this is imperative, as this status still isn’t recognised under law, and your estate will go to your family rather than your partner.

It can be galling to realise that the law doesn’t recognise a relationship that you may have had for the last 20 years, and writing a will is the only way of leaving your assets to your loved one after your death. Civil partnerships are recognised, though a will is always advisable.

You can do whatever you like in your will

Once you’ve overcome your fears about writing a will, and coped with your fear of your own mortality, you may start to enjoy yourself. You don’t have to leave your estate to your family; you can always leave it to a charity, your cat or anyone you like. Your family may well contest your will, but at least you’ve had the opportunity to express your wishes and ensure that they are carried out. There’s really nothing scary about making a will, it’s more frightening if you don’t make one.