A thank you to a few good friends in the law who helped me recently when I needed help!

I’ve been fortunate in teaching law and running a law school, blogging away in recent years – because I’ve met and podcasted with many fascinating people.  I am glad that I changed from Geology to Law back in the early 1970s.  It wasn’t quite so amusing to break up a fight at University where six Cambridge students were attacking one of the people who lived in the student accommodation block.  I managed to dissuade two of the Cambridge students without violence – by indicating that I was a Black Belt 2nd Dan in karate, which I was.  Unfortunately, one of the Cambridge students – a vicious thug – smashed an empty milk bottle into my face, breaking my nose.  I lost most of my teeth and the surgeon told me that I was very lucky to be alive. The Cambridge students were prosecuted.  The Magistrates were having an off day and they were only fined.  Cambridge University took a more robust view and sent all the students down.

One of the Cambridge University thugs stormed into my student room at 7.00 in the morning warning me not to give evidence.  Unfortunately for him, a senior  Police officer was taking a statement from me and duly arrested him!

The University of Leicester Law Department team were marvellous.  I am indebted to the great Professor Edward Griew and many of his team for helping me:  Alan Neil, Roger Benedictus, David Baker, George Syrota, Robin White and many others.  Without their help when I was a student – things could have been very different.  There would not have been a Charon QC blog for one!

So I would like to say Thank You to all my legal friends on twitter and elsewhere.  I am back home in Scotland where I shall live out my life – dividing my years between Perth (Winter)  and The Isle of Arran or Largs area on the West Coast (Summer).  I will make one final trip to London on a BUS to receive an honour from BPP Law School in November.

I can recommend the buses.  Far cheaper and far more comfortable than trains.

I am going minimalist.  All I own can be fitted into a suitcase.  Sold or given all my possessions away to family and friends. What is important to me now is to write about law, lawyers and matters legal, paint and take photographs – and blog.  (And do a bit of smoking, of course!)

If any of you are visiting Scotland – it would be a pleasure to meet you and have a drink or a coffee. We can talk of many things, I am sure.

Thank you to a group of lawyers who helped me recently when a client failed to pay an invoice and I could not pay my hotel bill.  They are good friends and are on twitter:  ,   ,   , 

And the very amusing barrister and former MP and good friend  @jerryhayes1 – who really went out of his way to help me.

I applaud you all and thank you.

AND a shout out for a lawyer who takes photographs – my favourite medium of art: 

And here is one of his photographs – which I really like…

 

AND… the wonderful, clever, inimitable and lovely… The Naked Lawyer:  Chrissie Lightfoot   – and here is Chrissie’s  excellent website and her Linked In profile  

And another good friend – a supporter of the blog : @pjm1kbw

In El Vino veritas

Although I am now in Scotland…and have enjoyed many evenings in El Vino… I was most interested in this story about the great Fleet Street watering hole beloved of journos and lawyers.

In El Vino veritas

Obiter knows any number of readers who felt trepidation at the sale of Fleet Street watering hole El Vino, traditional haunt of lawyers and journalists, to much larger wine merchant Davy’s – owner of 24 wine bars, not counting the four-strong El V mini chain.

The big question is: will anything change? Obiter’s main concern is the Fleet Street branch – the one where you might see a former lord chancellor enjoying ‘a wine’ with a hack or, on the right night, any number of QCs deftly avoiding their round. One partner from nearby Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer is often to be found with a post-work cigar and a glass of wine by the back door.”

The El Vino story

Guest Post: Conclusions Drawn From The 2015 Public Concern At Work Whistleblowing Report

Conclusions Drawn From The 2015 Public Concern At Work Whistleblowing Report

Public Concern at Work (PCaW) has issued its annual YouGov survey exploring the outcome of numerous whistleblowing cases that occurred in the workplace around the UK.

The report is accompanied by another report issued by the charity which delves deeper into the genuine effects that whistleblowing has had on those at the centre of whistleblowing cases.

This second report consists of 1,000 individual whistleblowing cases referred to PCaW’s Advice Line in 2014. The PCaW advice line exists to provide support to whistleblowers around the UK and has been a key part of the charity’s service since its introduction in 1993, with over 18,000 whistleblowers getting assisted since its inception.

The purpose of comparing these two PCaW reports is to highlight the difference between public perception and the reality that whistleblowers experience. Here we take a brief overview of the results.

Results of the 2015 YouGov survey into whistleblowing

The 2015 PCaW YouGov survey has revealed that 74% of UK workers have either a positive or neutral attitude towards the term ‘whistleblowing’. This acts in sharp contrast to the actual treatment that whistleblowers receive from their co-workers and/or employers, who often regard a whistleblower to have betrayed their organisation.

The YouGov survey also reveals that at some point since 2013 at least 11% of UK workers experienced feelings of anxiety over whether they should speak up about concerns they have of malpractice occurring in their workplace.

The result of such reluctance often goes beyond the welfare of a single whistleblower because failing to reveal corruption could place the lives of the general public and/or the worker’s colleagues at risk depending on the circumstance of the concern.

A major concern revealed by the survey is that just 59% of the 11% of workers who expressed concern over workplace malpractice actually chose to communicate it to an employer.

Such a statistic clearly shows that UK businesses must do more to assist employees so that they are comfortable enough to voice their concerns without fear of negative actions against them. 

Another concern flagged up by the report is that 67% of UK workers are not aware that there is UK employment law legislation in place to protect whistleblowers from persecution regardless of the circumstances involved in the whistleblowing.

However, there was some good news found in the report, as it was revealed that 81% of workers that contacted PCaW stated they felt confident their act of whistleblowing would not lead to them suffering unfair treatment from their employer. This is a strong figure that must be increased.

Another positive outcome of the survey is that 48% of workers claim they are aware of their employer having an active whistleblowing policy through which they are comfortable expressing their concerns. This is a 6% rise over the results of the 2013 YouGov survey.

Results of the 2015 PCaW report into whistleblowing

The PCaW whistleblowing report offers a deeper look at the aftermath of whisteblowing cases, thereby exposing vital details that the YouGov survey overlooks. This report consists of personal testimony made by over 2,000 adults in the UK workplace.

A serious area of concern detailed in the report is that 52% of employers either ignore or deny a prospective whisteblowing claim issued by employees. Although this figure is a positive 11% decrease compared to the PCaW research of 2013, it remains a outrageously high number which needs to be corrected.

The report’s most unsatisfactory revelation is that a shocking 80% of UK whistleblowers  faced some form of backlash from their employer; the result of which caused them to be unfairly dismissed or feel forced into resigning from their position.

Cathy James, the Chief Executive of PCaW, has expressed regret over the revelations of the recent report:

“It is unacceptable almost eight out of ten whistleblowers contacting our advice line suffer some sort of reprisal for raising a concern. It is clear much work must be done by organisations to inform, inspire and celebrate workers when it comes to whistleblowing.

One good outcome of conducting this second and more detailed report is that 33% of UK whistleblowers feel their case was fairly dealt with and that overall they were satisfied with the experience they had. This figure is a 26% increase over the 2013 report, suggesting that whistleblower protection is now being taken more seriously by UK employers.

Commenting on the outcome of the report, Cathy James summed up PCaW’s reaction:

“While the perception of whistleblowers in society is increasingly positive and when asked hypothetically our respondents thought they would to do the right thing, we are seeing that more staff are unwilling to speak up. This must, in part, be due to the lack of awareness around legal protection and the fact in reality whistleblowing is still a risky activity for a large number of our clients. Although the improvements we are seeing in the way that the concern is being handled are welcome, these findings must be interpreted in the broader context of how the whistleblower is being treated.

I have made some good decisions in my life – and some really bad ones.

Perth, Scotland

And another view

 

I have made some good decisions in my life – and some really bad ones.  The decision to move back to Scotland and divide my time, renting a one bedroom flat in Perth for the winter and the West coast of Scotland – The Isle of Arran and environs – in the summers, will suit me just fine. I have no plans to visit London again – save for one visit later in the year. I will, of course, be delighted to see any friends who want to make a visit to see me. (I may have to rent a two bedroom flat.)

I will blog until I die – but I also plan to develop an interest in and skill in photography.  I enjoy painting – provided the paintings take no more than 30 minutes.  I was known as ‘Risotto’ when I was at Trinity College Glenalmond in Perthshire in my late teens – my paintings, many of which I sold, were always ready in 20 minutes and dry in 30.  I used fast drying acylics.

Now that I have deported myself back to my own country – I will be voting for Independence next time around! – possibly – I think I will be busier and more productive on the blog than before.  I will do what I can to alert you to matters legal, good law blogging by my many law blogging friends and comment on laws as I see them.

I am borrowing a camera – a good one – from a twitter friend and a very good photographer.  I now plan to buy a Nikon Digital camera. If anyone would like an advert on my blog for life and beyond (I am working on the beyond) – I’ll do a deal for the price of the Nikon and you may have as many guest posts as you wish and the advert for life. The Nikon camera is £296.00 with a bag. I’d say that my offer  is good value for an advertiser.  DM on twitter or email me if you would like to accept this offer.

 

Ex-MP and Barrister Jerry Hayes is on form, as usual, on his blog….

Jerry Hayes, ex-MP and barrister, a good friend who helped me with a tricky situation this afternoon, is one of my favourite bloggers.  
This recent post will give you a flavour of his style.  His blog is provocative and invariably amusing…

WHAT A GHASTLY, WHINING LITTLE SHIT ARMANI ANDY IS. WALLOWING IN SELF PITY AND CRYING FOUL BEFORE THE GAME IS EVEN OVER

22 Aug 2015 at 16:39

What a ghastly, whining, unprincipled little shit Armani Andy is. I would like to say that he is a thoroughly revolting individual, but as he has never ever revolted against his party I can’t. He is a loyalist and doesn’t want to rock the boat. But he will shove his nose so far up the party machine anal passage that sniffer dogs would have to remove his head. Wow, that shows great leadership. If, God forbid, this oily little chancer and greaser ever became Prime Minister we know that his Party would always come before his country. Now in true Merseyside mode he is wallowing in self pity and about to scream to the ref that he was robbed even before the result is in.

His ludicrous and overweening ambition has made him a laughing stock to be trusted by nobody. His credibility doesn’t much exceed King Herod’s job application to become a baby sitter. Even an old cynic like me feels a sense of disgust at the antics of this awful little man who oozes a misplaced sense of entitlement. And now he is doing a re rat Marc Anthony. ‘I come here not to bury Corbyn but to praise him’, as Shakespeare might not have written.

It is well worth reading Jerry’s  earlier posts – if you want a good laugh.  e often gets to the heart of matters – in his inimitable style.

Perth, Scotland – The adventure continues…a remarkable room cleaner – a fine lady!

I am currently staying at a hotel in Perth, Scotland – a very good, not expensive, hotel:  The Queens Hotel  The staff are superb – friendly and chatty.

Today I left my room to go for a walk.  I left my key in the room.  I was locked out.  Reception did not have a spare to hand.  A lovely woman – the room cleaner – a charming lady –  dealt with it in a quite remarkable manner.  She climbed up the outside wall of the hotel – I am on the 2nd floor – walked along the roof outside my room and climbed in through the open window.   Remarkable.  A lovely lady!  It is a fantastic hotel – run by lovely people.  I was both grateful and impressed.

If you ever visit Perth – do stay there and visit me at the same time!  I will, hopefully, have a flat soon. If I could afford it, which I can’t, I would simply stay at this hotel permanently!

In 1974 I was nearly killed breaking up a fight… I am pleased to be able to say… I wasn’t killed

When I was studying Law  at Leicester University in 1974 I came back to my student lodgings with a High Court Judge’s daughter , a  lovely young woman and a good friend, after seeing the film A Touch of Class,  to find that six students from Cambridge University, pissed, were kicking and injuring severely one of the residents of my student housing block on the floor of the kitchen.  I went into the kitchen and asked them to stop.  They would not do so.  They were pissed.  So I dissuaded two with a rare use of physical force. I made sure to dissuade and did not hurt them.  I made a point of not doing so.  I was then  a 2nd Dan Karate Black Belt – I went higher in later years –  so it was fairly easy. Unfortunately, I turned to find a third Cambridge University student behind me and he smashed a milk bottle into my face.  He nearly killed me, I was told by the surgeon.  He didn’t – but I lost all my teeth bar three. I still have a shard of  bone inside my skull, just above the eye which is 1/4 inch from my brain.  The surgeon asked me not to fall over, forwards, or have any more head injuries – because it could kill me, if I do! I’m still alive.

I remember to this day the sound of other rooms in the student block being locked by scared residents.  I will never forget that sound.  I don’t blame them.  They were sensible not to get involved.

I hate violence and particularly drunken student violence. 

Sir Fraser Noble, the Vice Chancellor of Leicester University at the time, a very kind man, came to see me in my room at Mary Gee, the University house where I was living.  I refused to stay in hospital.  I did not want to take up a precious hospital bed and got a taxi to take me home in the very early hours of the morning.

About an hour later, in the very early hours of a Sunday morning,  a Detective Inspector from Leicester Police came to see me to take a statement.  While we were talking – one of the thugs from Cambridge University of the night before burst into the room and threatened violence if I gave evidence.  He was duly arrested by the Detective Inspector.

The magistrates in Leicester were having an off day.  They gave the student who smashed a milk bottle into my face  a fine.  I cannot remember how much – £150?  The Police apologised.  The High Court judge whose daughter was a friend – a good friend – relayed the message that the Criminal Justice system did not work on that occasion.

The University of Cambridge, I was told later, dispensed their own punishment and sent all the students down from Cambridge. I think that was a far worse punishment.  I would not have wished that on even my attacker.

I have kept this to myself – save for a few good friends, for years. I loathe idiotic drunken violence.  Only cowards get pissed and hurt people.  I have no time in my life for cowards.

I only have three real teeth now as a result – but at least I am happy now that I am back in my own country, Scotland.  I had many good times in London.  But I have made the decision never to return to London for any reason.  It was not an easy decision as my brother and many friends are there.  But there are very good cheap buses to Scotland and I will be very pleased to see anyone I know who wishes to visit me when I finally get a flat. – when a client deigns to settle their invoice. I cannot do so until the bloke does!  I am still in a lovely hotel in Perth.

I have had a good life – I shall continue to blog.  I may even manage to shoehorn some LAW into this law blog of mine.  I suspect, however, that my readers – and I do have some visitors to the blog, thankfully, would prefer not to be troubled by me on matters of law.  there are many excellent law bloggers out there who can give them a ‘fix of law!

I’ve made a decision to spend the rest of my life back in the country I regard as the country where I am from – Scotland – to paint, take photographs, Talk to interesting people up here.

I’d like to thank all who have helped me and all who have supported the blog by advertising on it or reading it.  I shall, of course, remain in touch and would be delighted to see you up here in my real home.

I wish all who contemplate a career in law – all the best.  You will find some superb lawyers on Twitter, many of whom also blog.  They will give you advice. Many of them have been giving advice to students for years.  Have a look at my blog roll for the practising lawyers. They know a ‘thing or three’.

I hope you didn’t find this post depressing.  But I had to write it. The best professional event in my life was helping to found BPP Law School – a fine law school now, built up by Peter Crisp and his team.  Peter Crisp is a good bloke and friend and I have no doubt that he and his excellent team will take BPP Law School on well. I am proud of my early involvement. I’m a Scot and pleased to be back in my own country where I shall remain for the rest of my life.  I’ll be painting – probably, badly, taking photographs and blogging about matters that interest me. It may well be, after eating a egg & cress sandwich or eating an ice cream that I may be inspired to even write about law – mea culpa.

I am back where I want to be – in my own country and will blog until I die – which I hope will be some time in the future!

Bye for now!

AND… always remember… The  Romans knew a thing or two… consensus facit legem
Consent makes the law !

 

 

Perth, Scotland – where I now live

Perth1Perth (Listeni/ˈpɜrθ/; Scottish Gaelic: Peairt [ˈpʰɛuɾt̪])[4] is a city in central Scotland, located on the banks of the River Tay. It is the administrative centre ofPerth and Kinross council area and the historic county of Perthshire. According to the preliminary 2011 census results Perth, including its immediate suburbs, has a population of 50,000. Perth has been known as The Fair City since the publication of the story Fair Maid of Perth by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott in 1828. During the later medieval period the city was also called St. John’s Toun or Saint Johnstoun by its inhabitants in reference to the main church dedicated to St. John the Baptist. This name is preserved by the city’s football team, St. Johnstone F.C.

The name Perth comes from a Pictish word for wood or copse. There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times, on a perth2natural mound raised slightly above the flood plain of the Tay, where the river could be crossed at low tide. The area surrounding the modern city is known to have been occupied since Mesolithic hunter-gatherers arrived more than 8000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles also exist, dating from about 4000 BC, following the introduction of farming in the area.

The presence of Scone Abbey, home of the Stone of Destiny where the King of Scots was crowned, enhanced the early importance of the city. Perth became known as a ‘capital’ of Scotland, due to the frequent residence of the royal court. Royal Burgh status was soon given to the city by King William the Lion in the early 12th century. The city became one of the richest burghs in the country, doing trade with France, the Low Countries and Baltic Countries for goods such as Spanish silk and French wine.

The Scottish Reformation also played a big role in the city with the sacking of the Houses of the Greyfriars and Blackfriars, after a sermon given by John Knox in St. John’s Kirk in 1559. The Act of Settlement later brought about Jacobiteuprisings. The city was occupied by Jacobite supporters on three occasions (1689, 1715 and 1745). The founding of Perth Academy in 1760 helped to bring major industries, such as linen, leather, bleach and whisky, to the city. Given its location, Perth was perfectly placed to become a key transport centre with the coming of the railways, and its first station was built in 1848.

The above is taken from Wikipedia

It is a beautiful city and very friendly people live here.  A different pace of life to London – and suits me just fine. It has changed in the 40 years since I was last here – but not much.

Disasters do happen

Disasters do happen
Danny Killen – SproutIT

April 1st 2015. 12:35. Several client sites start reporting Internet connections running slow. Multiple clients’ Uninterruptable Power

Supplies (UPS) start reporting loss of power. Nothing registering on the Internet. Another (New Square) client reports smelling

smoke, ironically, whilst on the phone discussing Disaster Recovery. Our Client Internet Partner updates client sites that there is

an Exchange issue with physical Fibre, BT engineers sent to investigate. First Twitter feeds reporting fire on Kingsway. Power

interruption to more sites, though some come back online briefly, only to go down again.

The above was the start of many hours, if not days, with no power, and days or weeks without their primary Internet connection

(most hopefully running on backup connections). Anyone who walked along Kingsway or around Lincoln’s Inn Fields in the

aftermath would have realised the extent of the damage caused. Entire backstreets have been dug up to replace power and other

cables, whilst huge generators littered the streets that were still paved. This was a very significant event and I have been wholly

impressed by the response of the various services. I had expected the disruption to last much longer, but fortunately for most, this

was not to be the case.

Now that we enjoy reliable Fibre based Internet connectivity, I am of the opinion that the most likely business affecting outage

will be due to an extended power cut, beyond the runtime of the UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supplies). Losing both power and

Internet is less likely to happen, but as we have seen, it does happen.

So, how does this affect chambers and what can we do to mitigate these risks?

1. Stay calm and hope the power and/or Internet turns on again soon

2. Have multiple Internet connections, each running to a different exchange, or a wireless backup technology

3. Have UPS supplies for onsite servers and all phone/networking equipment

4. Buy a generator?

5. Or implement a Disaster Recovery Plan that takes account of the risks to business continuity and plan to address each with

an appropriate action, or indeed acknowledge and accept the particular risk.

We all need an Internet connection. Even if you argue you don’t, your mail server certainly does. Sitting in the clerks’ room

without Internet is not the end of the world; assuming onsite servers, the Diary is still available and calls are still coming in.

However, as more communication is driven over email, what are the clerks missing? A Fibre Internet connection, from a reputable

provider, is very, very reliable. Always make sure that you have two connections out of chambers however, even if the backup is

ADSL.

The key services that we are trying to protect, from a clerks’ perspective, are access to Diary and phones. I would argue that

email now factors into those critical systems, which was not the case just a few short years ago when you asked clerks what was

critical to their operation. Members need access to files and email predominantly; albeit they need their clerks to tell them what

their schedules are in the coming days and weeks. Other barrister resources are now primarily available online though they

require you to remember website addresses, usernames and passwords, if you do not access them from your usual computer. This

can prove a challenge for the member of staff, or the barrister who manages these resources. Add these to your DR pack.

In order to remove a power cut from the list of risks to key services, you need to consider moving your services offsite to a

Datacentre. For even if you have a generator onsite in chambers, this is only likely to keep a few key servers and Internet running

along with (hopefully) your phone system. Those of you using IP phones will also need a generator supply to all the switches that

power the handsets sat on your desk. With a generator running you can pack up and head home, or to another location with an

Internet connection, to access chambers’ services. Without a generator you are merely counting down the few minutes, or at

best, few hours, until the UPS batteries deplete and shut down. I recently visited a site with 3 UPS power supplies, all of a

reasonable capacity to run the attached equipment for around an hour. That is, of course, if all 3 UPS supplies did not have alerts

showing that their batteries had failed – such alerts can, and should be monitored. A surprising but common occurrence.

Compare this with hosted or cloud services in a Tier 3 data centre: There are physically diverse power and Fibre feeds into the

Datacentre. These feeds are backed by rooms of batteries to allow multiple generators time to take up the load (pre-heated and

ready to automatically switch on). The diesel used to run them is monitored and the data centre will have at least one contract in

place for emergency fuel delivery on an SLA. Cooling systems are redundant (and keep running when mains power is off), and the

data halls are protected by advanced fire suppression systems. So, this addresses our power issue. Or, does it?

Barrister Article – Disasters do happen Page | 2

Where is your phone system? Where are your staff? How are the phones connected? Are you able to reroute your main number (or

fax) to an alternative during a power failure, or only if your ISDN 30 line fails (an ISDN 30 often carries the calls to/from

chambers)? What use are the dual screens sat in front of staff when the power goes off (this applies regardless of where your

services are located)? Do you have a charged laptop that is able to connect to the network or Internet to get to services? Are you

even permitted to occupy the building if the mains power is off?

For some of the above reasons, a number of chambers have reciprocal agreements whereby, if they must vacate their chambers, a

number of staff may relocate to the conference room of the other to continue working. I expect most will however arrive, ready

to work and find that many things will not work, as they are trying to access their phone system and servers that are located in

their chambers which now has no power. It is entirely possible to have a phone ready to plug in and work under these

circumstances. It just requires the phone system to be hosted (either your physical VoIP appliance, or use a hosted service) and

for both chambers to have the right Internet connectivity in place. This is where it gets interesting.

In order to have reliable access to hosted services on a daily basis you MUST have the right connectivity. The fact that you have

50Mb or 100Mb Internet connection matters little – not all Internet connections were created equal. What you do require is a

private and low latency connection direct into your core services that does not traverse the public Internet, and therefore does not

compete with other businesses or users, to get data to and from where it needs to go. With such a connection in place, you can

relocate your phone system without loss of function or reliability. It is also possible to have that same connection presented to the

chambers with which you have a DR relocation agreement. If your production or DR servers are located in the same location, you

have a fully functioning clerks’ room ready to switch on.

Is this going too far? I will let you answer that. Only to say that if you add together the hourly rate of your members, multiply

that by the 50% who are at their desks on any given day, and again by the number of hours it takes them to relocate (assuming the

servers are still powered on) then one usually comes to an answer fairly promptly.

You will have noticed the absence of terrorists, a chambers fire or flood, access exclusion or pandemic. These will all be on your

list of business risks, but hopefully in discussing power and connectivity I have covered the most probable causes of disruption to

chambers; to your business. And, don’t despair. If you have a fresh set of servers sitting in the basement, it is possible to have

your entire onsite server estate backed up to the Datacentre, ready for activation within 30 minutes – that includes all email

routing, mobile phone sync, remote access and any other required services.

To summarise. Dust off that DR plan and seriously consider what, if anything, it does for you. Consider the risks to your business,

the time that you can afford for various services to be down, and take steps to address those risks given your respective budgets.

It need not cost the earth, but it can cost you in terms of reputation and business if you fail to act.

Rive Gauche: Why not start Friday by laughing at a buffoon?

And just in case this particular buffoon needs help going home at night…he has a few Generals wearing quite extraordinary hats…

 

Now that I am back in Scotland – I will do my best to shoehorn a bit of law and legal analysis into the blog.  Fortunately, there are good lawyers out there with blogs who can do this without troubling me!

I’m off into Perth to see if there are any shops that can supply me with one of the remarkable hats above.  I suspect that my quest will be in vain – but I may well be tempted by a deerstalker hat.  I don’t stalk deer, but a deerstalker hat and my bright yellow glasses should ensure that local wildlife has a laugh and is entirely safe from being put into a sandwich by me.

Ex Tory MP and barrister Jerry Hayes is a good bloke…and always worth reading on his blog. You will laugh.

Ex Tory MP and barrister Jerry Hayes is a good bloke….  and  it is well worth reading his politico-legal blog.  This will give you a taste of his excellent analysis and writing…

Unless Jeremy Corbyn has been found tweeting in his Paisley pyjamas or caught shagging a royal corgi he will be kissing the hand of the Queen on the 12th September as a privy counsellor and Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. And it won’t be an embarrassment for staunch republican Citizen Jezza. Ever since George V charmed Labour MPs with dinners and drinks at the Palace the Royals have have mastered the art of self preservation. I suspect that she will rather like him.

Trust me… I’m an academic lawyer… you will laugh.. a lot. Jerry is  a good friend to me as well and helped me out on a difficult non-legal situation recently !   (But if I ever did need a lawyer who can do the business – Jerry would be right up there!  Thankfully, I won’t trouble him on those matters)

PS – I’m still not sure if Jerry is a Tory (He was a Tory MP) – He has a take on life that defies political categorisation. …pleasingly.

 

Tweet du Jour – I marvel… Toby Young goes ‘Urbi et Orbi”…

I marvel.  I can’t quite work out if Mr Toby Young on Twitter – who has appointed himself as a pundit and commentator on matters political…and, in fact, as the mood takes him, to give of his Messianic style and knowledge to the World,  urbi et orbi,  to ‘educate’ the masses,  is a serious construct of his own imagination or a Spitting Image stylee parody of himself. .

I find his utterings both amusing and unbelievably tedious.  Do carry on, Mr Young.  I am sure the world needs your self  importance and your important ‘utterings’.

 

PS – I actually quite like him.  We need amusing political commentators who are ‘earnest’ etc etc.

Charon in a cap and yellow pullover…dressing in the dark again?

I may not be taking the Scots country look too seriously by teaming up a bright yellow pullover with a traditional Harris Tweed cap. I have a feeling that the deer will call their friends over to have a look at the old git in the cap who hasn’t quite ‘got the countryside deerstalking look’.  The black thing leaning on my shoulder is not a gun.  It is my new walking stick.

Ah well…. got to keep myself amused somehow….

 

I wake and feel the fell of day not dark – a new beginning.

I woke this morning in Perth, Scotland at 4.00 am.  It was still dark  – feeling the fell of day not dark…to deliberately misquote Gerard Manley Hopkins. I will remain in Scotland now, where I am from, if I am from anywhere after 40+ years in London. I was born in Accra, Ghana, nearly 63 years ago – not that I had any influence on that particular matter.

I intend to blog on many things – art, politics and I may even, as a ‘hint of my past’, blog about matters legal and, indeed, The Law.

I’m going to paint and take photographs and I’m going to read about art.  I’ve read a lot of Law over the past forty years.  I shall continue to read about law and, indeed, write about it – but I won’t be spending quite as much time on it as I have done in the past 40 years.  I won’t be returning to London.  My passport has expired and, frankly, having enjoyed a lot of foreign travel in my life, I can see absolutely no reason at all to renew the passport. I’ve never enjoyed being photographed – so, no more passport photos.

The sculpture above is in one of Perth’s main streets.  It is a wonderful piece of work.  I spent a good half an hour looking at it very closely.  A lot of talent went into the design and making of it.

I enjoyed my time in London – mostly.  It is unlikely that I will cross the border again to England.   The only countries that I would like to visit again are Italy and Zambia.

So – the first day of the rest of my life.  I find that rather a good concept.  It is good to be back in the country that I have always regarded as ‘Home’ – even though I haven’t lived here for 42 years.  I will be delighted if friends wish to visit me in Scotland – as I hope they will when they have the time.

It is quite possible, given that I continue to maintain that I write a ‘Law’ blog,  that I will able to shoehorn some LAW into the blog – English and Scots Law.

PS – I have also sold or given away every item of furniture and art from my past  – everything I own now can be fitted into a large suitcase on wheels, which is rather heavy to ‘lug’ about. I find that liberating. The rest of what I own is in my memories and I shall acquire memories from what I do in the next 20++ years.   I want to live a ‘simple’ life.  I will paint, take photographs, talk to people, walk and have some fun. There hasn’t been a lot of fun in recent years.

CRY FREEEEEDOM?