Royal Blackmail and other things…

The Scotsman reports that the Foreign Press are rushing to publish the name of the minor Royal involved in the blackmail case. The Scotsman does not name the Royal – although Scotland does not appear to be covered by the English court ruling, restricting publication of the name. It appears that if the Scottish Courts have not issued an interdict no-one in Scotland is bound by the English order.

Interestingly, the Scotsman article allows comments from readers – who do appear to discuss the identity of the Royal obliquely and, as at 6.30 am this morning, possibly to the surprise of some of those commenting, the newspaper has not removed those comments. They may well do so.

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UPDATE 11.22 am : The Scotsman has removed the comments

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Still baffled (As were Eurostar people in London) by the Eurostar promotion by the French of London picked up yesterday by Norman Baird at Consilio: Worth looking at!

***

The Sun has a different Royal story, today: POLICE questioned Prince Harry yesterday after three people told them they saw a pair of rare birds blasted from the sky. The hen harriers were reported to have been killed on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk. The Sun reports that while the two Princes were at Sandringham… A Clarence House spokesman declared: “Unfortunately, they had no knowledge of the alleged incident.”

Justice… needs to be done…

Justice needs to be seen to be done – except, quite reasonably, in blackmail cases. I cannot believe that Geeklawyer would ever dream of breaching a court order, nor has he with his invitation to guess the identity of the minor royal in the blackmail case. However, if one types “Royal Blackmail blogs” into Google to see what ‘foreign’ blogs are saying – Geeklawyer’s blog comes up as ‘numero uno’. (or did about five minutes ago)

Speculation on the part of UK Blawgers is, of course, only that.

At least a minor royal, albeit unwittingly, has assisted the cause of UK Blawging. Newspaper reports suggest that he/she may well waive anonymity.

Unfortunately, the Queen’s writ on these matters does not, apparently, even extend to Scotland in terms of the gagging order imposed by the court and it seems that some foreign news services and websites have identified the minor royal.

Frankly… not even remotely interested in who the minor Royal is. After a senior Royal, some years ago, expressed an interest in being a Tampax in a private conversation that went into the public domain, I gave up worrying about what the Royals got up to. At least Harry is setting an example to young binge drinkers when he manages to get a bit of time off from his day job as a Cavalry officer… and why not?

***

Gary Slapper thinks the law is being made an ass of with the court order restricting publication. The principle behind the court order is correct, of course – but this case involves a minor Royal and, given the appetite for gossip and salacious information, it is impossible to prevent foreign websites, news, media, television or even foreign bloggers revealing all… as even the most cursory search of foreign news sources will reveal.

I am sure that Henry VIII would have dealt with the matter in a diffferent way, or, for that matter, as Victorian Maiden describes him, so would His Most Excellently Wealthy, The King of Saudi Arabia. Enjoyed VM’s post about human rights in Saudi Arabia… The Press had excellent coverage of the Saudi state visit today.

Right… I’m awf…. to see a man about a bung.. sorry… lung… before I lose my head on this one.

**

The British (English) Press is getting excited... it must be very frustrating for them to be the only media people in the world not to be able to publish… a casual search of Google revealed 936 articles on the matter when I last looked…

I haven’t checked China out – because my blog doesn’t work in China now…

My blog was blocked by The Great Firewall of China some months agoclick here

Apparently, the minor Royal involved (The Queen is standing by said Royal) is on the verge of going public.

How Eurostar is promoting Londres to the French…

Norman Baird, a good mate of mine over at Consilio had an extraordinary experience today with Eurostar. Best to relate it in his own words…

I quote:

Am I easily shocked ?

As a frequent traveller on Eurostar I receive promotional email updates from them. Most are dull and formulaic. But not the one I received today. Although sent by Eurostar UK it is aimed at a French audience and includes a link to a website designed to publicise the delights of London.

With nothing better to do I though I would have a look to see how the Smoke is portrayed and from a selection of video vignettes clicked on the link to ‘Froggy Julie’. The video is quite short ( and so it appears initially, is the cameraman ) and involves a couple of interviews with a couple of real life authentic London ‘punks’. Tres branche… Etc…

After a couple exchanges designed to show the zaniness of London youth the interview with the girl is brought to an end with a kiss and in what must be a first for advertising, the young interviewee tells the cameraman that he is a c***.

I am not sure if the cameraman is or is not a c*** but the presenter appeared unperturbed.

The customer relations assistant at Eurostar, however, was perturbed. Clearly.

“When you say that the girl uses the ‘C’ word do you mean she says ’see – you – enn – tea’ ?” she asked me, scarcely believing that Eurostar was breaking new ground in high speed advertising.

“Yes” – I said, convincingly.

Eurostar are going to investigate.

If you would like to be offended before they pull the video…

Click the link to the website

Click – ‘passer l’introduction’ (skip the introduction) at the foot of the page.

Click -’Programmes’ on the right side of the next page.

Click – ‘Froggy Julie’ – that is the miniature screen in the centre of the top row.

Although most of the video is in French the two British interviewees speak a version of BBC English.

***

Well… The French may well find Londres a bit surprising after watching that film….

Saturday Review 27/10…

Today is Saturday. The clocks go back at 2.00 am. I’ve decided to trial a “Saturday Review” with various elements containing the real, the surreal, the bizarre and something for readers to do, should they wish to do them. It may work. It may not. We shall see.

Let me start with the truly bizarre: A man has been convicted of having sex with a bicycle. (Telegraph) This is bizarre. He is, however, not the first man to be convicted of a sexual offence involving an inanimate object. As The Telegraph reports: “Karl Watkins, an electrician, was jailed for having sex with pavements in Redditch, Worcs, in 1993.”

Mind you, I find it rather bizarre that The Telegraph, a relatively serious newspaper, should wish to cover such a story!

“We were told that this son of the manse would tell us straight. He wouldn’t sweeten the medicine. If we were fucked, he’d tell us we were fucked. No more spin, no more politicking, no more lying, no more mendacious behaviour, no more speeches about nothing, no more consulting everyone about nothing.” So who is Reactionary Snob, Edinburgh advocate and blawger, talking about? Gordon Brown. As ever, direct and to the point, RS examines Gordon Brown’s independence from Tony Blair and puts proposals to increase the time that terrorist suspects can be held without charge from 28 days to 56 to the sword of libertarian anger.

Geeklawyer reports (of the UK Blawgers binge drinking festival last Monday night): “Well. Heavens, that was disappointing. In the end only Ruthie Geeklawyer and the blogger who was formerly Pupilblogger turned up. And Harry Metcalfe, but he isn’t a lawyer and so doesn’t really matter.”

Binary Law wants to feed the five thousand and picks up on Lo-fi’s complaint that law publishers aren’t playing ball with RSS feeds. John Bolch over at Family Lore has a very smart new format for his informative blog on Family Law issues. Nearly Legal rants about Pipex and notes the six weeks it took the CPS to decide that the picture seized by Northern Plod was still not indecent six years after first being judged not indecent. Justin Patten at Human Law asks: Do you want to make the 1st offer in a negotiation?

So what are What About Clients? up to? Good to see that J Dan Hull is as busy as ever and has started to list reviews on his blawg: Geeklawyer describes Dan as “…a depraved evil sociopathic neocon…beast pretending he loves his clients merely to get into their wallets.”

WAC? covers the California fires:

California burning: “If your fax machine rings, your house is still there”.

The Bar Council Blog covers two important issues: Do we need juries? and the launch of the ‘Bar Quality Advisory Panel’ (BQAP) on 15th October 2007. By contrast… Staying at home didn’t work out well on Monday – for Suzie Law School.

Amusingly, Legal Lass, a BVC student, is told by her lecturer in a practical exercise class: “dumb it down a bit – remember your playing the “Idiot” solicitor…” – Excellent nonsense. The post is amusing and well worth a read.

I discovered the word ‘Bloviator’ in The Times Today and rather liked the word. The origin of the word is debated but an article in The New York Times provides an answer: ”To orate pompously.”

I am going to be on the look out for bloviators and bloviating. If you come across any bloviators bloviating in your travels, please feel feel to post in the comments section!

The SUN reports: A PUB landlord faces legal action after customers’ cigarette smoke drifted into a neighbour’s garden. Jeff Castledine was told his regulars’ outdoor puffing contaminates the “natural smell of fresh air”. Now, in what is believed to be the first case of its kind, he has been warned council officers will monitor his beer garden to “determine if odour nuisances are being caused

Private Eye’s Coleman Balls reports that Andrew Flintoff is to see a joint specialist in Amsterdam. Newsreader Radio 5 Live

I know it is Halloween… but the advice given by the government to ‘young men’ who booze too much that they ‘might wake up beside an ugly woman’ is just idiotic. The Mirror carries the story. The government also tells these young pissheads (who may well be too pissed to read the leaflet) that “Over time, heavy drinking can lead to impotency, smaller genitals and a lower sperm count.” The leaflet is part of a Government drive to stop binge-drinking. But Lib Dem equality spokeswoman Jo Swinson called it “ridiculous”. She said: “This is what happens when civil servants in Whitehall try to write in a way which they know nothing about.”

Apparently the government wanted to communicate with young pissheads in a language they would understand. I shall bear this advice in mind when I go out for a bit of wine tasting later.

Lawyers may well appreciate this fact: There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, ‘therein’ the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.

And here is something I did not know until I found out today: To ‘testify’ was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.

Well.. I think this may well be enough for this review… but I leave you with this question: What is the longest one-syllable word in the English language?

 
 
 

 

The nights are drawing in…

Hugo Rifkind, writing in The Times today, has a piece about the leader of the Australian opposition, Kevin Rudd, eating his own ear wax.

I have absolutely no idea why anyone would wish to do this, nor eat their own bogeys, but at least our revered leader, Gordon Brown, can go one better. Guido Fawkes picked up some time ago a film showing Gordon Brown exploring his right nostril and then appearing to consume said exploration.

Anyway… there we are. Seems as good a way as any to kick off the weekend of Halloween and the clocks going back.

Dropped in at The Bollo to have a very late lunch. The Chiswick Business Park is nearby. This modern monument to mammon is an architect designed palace of Thatcherian-Blairite work for modern business; patrolled by company support service staff wearing yellow and there are signs everywhere proclaiming “Enjoy-work.com”.

Reminds me of a city in Italy designed by Mussolini. I caught the end of a programme about it late on television the other night.

To my eye… Chiswick Business Park, structural and minimalist though it may be, has little soul. F*xtons has a head office there, which may be exciting for some, but having looked around the Enjoy-Work.com website I needed a restorative drink. I enjoy work and working. I just happen not to like the flatulence of the Chiswick Business Park as ‘conceptualised’ in the Enjoy-Work.com website. Chacun a son gout, as they say. I used to belong to Esporta, a gym based there. I pretended to use the gym a few years ago by nipping up there for the odd swim and steam bath. They were distraught when I left. I was one of their best customers – the type of customer who pays an annual fee by standing order and who does not clutter up the place by ever going, apart from a few short days after New Year.

Anyway… be that as it may… The Bollo was full of people from Chiswick Business Park, possibly escaping from the place early on a Friday, talking at each other, fuelled by alcohol and laughing frantically in that way people do when they go out with people they don’t really know. I thought of Orwell and all was well.

I sat outside. The drizzle was light – the green canopy outside the pub allowing me to ‘file my report’, enjoy a glass of Rioja and smoke a few Silk Cuts – and that is where I am now, at 4.15 pm.

The nights are drawing in. Soon it will be dark at 5.00 pm. The exotic flora and fauna, disporting themselves in the late Indian summer of recent weeks, are now huddled inside like badgers and only appear outside very occasionally, if they smoke, to have a very quick cigarette.

Soon…. winter will begin its slow journey from the Russian steppes and the North, down through Scandinavia and Northern Europe, to breathe cold air across our sceptred maritime island.

Those left outside are equipped to deal with the change in the weather by nature. They are smokers who have adapted their bodies to cope with hardship by inhaling hot smoke laced with nicotine and numerous noxious and toxic chemicals. As David Attenborough might have said, if he was narrating this nonsense, these ‘external creatures’ are the true survivors. Global warming, floods, a new ice age, will not trouble them. They will be there at the going down of the sun.

Back to enjoy work…

***

I rather like this George Orwell quote: Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.

Caption competition: October 07…

I woke at 3.00 am this morning, dealt with some emails, finished an article I am working on and decided it was time for a Caption Competition.

Wildy’s have agreed to provide a book prize to the value of £25 and if you are a student and win, LAWinaBOX will throw in a set of 20 one hour recorded lectures worth £45. (Practitioners may enter – and either enjoy refreshing their knowledge or donate the recorded lectures to another person.)

The pic for this competition is of our revered leader Gordon Brown.

All you have to do is provide a suitable (or unsuitable caption) by posting in the comments section. I’ll judge the entries in a couple of weeks, announce the winner and arrange for you to get the prize. As always, my decision cannot be appealed. I am not running Formula 1 here… so no whining, please, about other posters running on alcohol based fuels when they draft their captions.

It wasn’t me M’Lud… it was my brain…

After trying to cope with the idea that lawyers may not be around in 100 years (See below, next post down: Frances Gibb article) I went for lunch, picked up The Times and read a piece by Raymond Tallis, Professor of Medicine at The University of Manchester, on ‘the dubious rise of neurolaw’.

The article is fascinating and well worth a read. (Thanks to Mark Bennett in Comments I now have the correct link to the original article)

***

If the truth be known, I have, on occasion, ‘felt an alien force in my brain’. It is called ‘over refreshment’ in my case… a bit too much of the juice. But… not partaking today.

Professor Tallis starts his article with the sentence: “His brain just broke.’ These were the words of an American defence lawyer in a recent trial involving violent rape.”

I don’t want to spoil the pleasure of reading this article… but, to encourage you… let me give you a taste: “The brain is usually blamed for actions that attract moral disapprobation or legal sanction. People do not normally deny responsibility for good or neutral actions such as pouring out a cup of tea. This is a pick ‘n’ mix approach to human action and intent, and grounds, I would say, for treating the ‘my brain made me do it’ plea of mitigation with some suspicion.”

Apparently, US academics and lawyers are getting very excited about this, particularly defence lawyers. Vanderbilt University (USA) recently opened a $27 million neuroimaging centre and ‘hopes to enrol students in a programme in the law and neuroscience’.

I am not a neuroscientist. But Professor Tallis does state in his article: “As Stephen Morse, a professor of law, has reminded us, it is people, not brains, who commit crimes and “neuroscience…. can never identify the mysterious point at which people should be excused responsibility for their actions”.

I am not a Criminal lawyer either… but ‘insanity’, diminished responsibility, automatism’ seem to come back into my mind from a distant past as I read these words. Fellow UK blogger Simon Myerson QC, who does know what he is talking about on matters of Criminal law, responded in the Times. I enjoyed reading about this at lunch… refreshing to read something thought provoking in the 45 minute daily break. Mea culpa… I do read some complete nonsense at lunch, it has to be said…. but not today.

Now, my brain tells me it is time to get on with some work. However, my brain has also told me that I may go for a glass of Rioja at 6.00, if I am up to it.

Roundup…

An interesting speech by Lord Phillips on the Jury (23 October): “Trusting the Jury”

In his address, Lord Phillips, announced the establishment of a working party, led by Lord Justice Latham, which will examine simplifying the legal directions judges give to juries. Do they need over complex directions, or should they be trusted to use their common sense?

Lord Phillips said: “I have been concerned at the number of directions that are given to juries that are no more than matters of common sense. Most judges are familiar with seeing jurors’ eyes glaze over as they give a series of directions the object and effect of which is not to simplify the jurors’ task, but to protect against an appeal on the grounds of misdirection.”

Geoffrey Vos QC, Chairman of the Bar writes (11 October): “The Bar Quality Advisory Board will be launched next week. It will make a huge contribution to quality at the Bar, by allowing us to quantify incidents in which Judges and fellow professionals believe barristers have fallen short of their usual high standards. The BQAP will provide a mechanism to advise and assist barristers in need of help, and enable us to rebut unsubstantiated anecdotal suggestions of low standards”

Frances Gibb had an interesting article in The Times yesterday: “Will lawyers exist in 100 years: Join the Debate”. I received an email from Richard Susskind, who has written to friends and colleagues he has worked with over the years to encourage people to join the debate. Voice your thoughts?… your views?

To give you a taste. Frances Gibb ends her article with these words: “So Susskind predicts that if lawyers do not embrace new ways of working, then in 100 years, or less, people may sit in comfort in a converted court-room, as they do now in some of London’s converted banks, and “appropriately nourished, speculate in a leisurely manner about solicitors and barristers… who were these people? What was their craft? Why do we no longer have them… and what brought about their end?”

And finally…

If you are interested in the hearings of the Public Administration Select Committee into Propriety and Honours: Lessons Learned. Guido Fawkes has some interesting content.

Police State…erosion of liberties?…

I am a bit slow off the mark here and I am grateful to Iolis who posted the information and links to this interesting case of Police exceeding their powers on the Consilio Discussion Board.

Film-maker Darren Pollard was clearing up flood rubbish from his fron garden when he noticed the police harassing a youth opposite his house.  He started filming the Police Officers. Police then noticed they were being filmed, entered the film-makers private property, told him to stop filming and told him that he was committing an offence.  The film is worth watching and is on You Tube.  The Consilio discussion on this topic is also worth reading.

For the full series of posts: See Consilio Discussion Board

A Police officer writing on The Police Oracle forum states that no offence has been committed  by the camera man.

Sole Sister and Iolis, writing on the Consilio Discussion Board, remind us of the case of Entinck v Carrington [1765]….

It seems that these Police Officers have misquoted the law and have exceeded their powers.

On the eve of glory?….

You may be forgiven for thinking that I refer to the Rugby tonight… but not so. I am referring to the UK Blawgers drinkfest on Monday 22nd October, organised jointly, but in different venues (temporarily) by Geeklawyer and Ruthie’s Law, which, regrettably, I am not able to attend for the reasons given in my last post.

I would like to write a short speech for Geeklawyer to deliver on the night (I did have a bit of help with this speech of course) Interpretation Act point: ‘He’ includes ‘She’ etc etc … otherwise it messes up the ‘poetry’… :-)

We few, we happy few, we band of bloggers;
For he to-day that shares his drink with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And blawgers in England now a-bed, like Charon
Shall think themselves accursed they were not there,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any blogs
That drank with us upon UK Blawgers day.

HOWEVER… for those of you who wait for the Rugby World Cup – I can think of no better quote than Henry V:

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot!
Follow your spirit; and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry! England and Saint George!’

Not approved by Dawn Primarolo, Health Minister… so no need for a referendum…

Geeklawyer and Ruthie (founders of the First UK Lawyer’s Blawging Conference – which I did manage to ‘attend’) appear to be holding a drinks party for UK Blawgers this Monday – 22nd October – (all welcome) at different locations in London. First UK Blawger’s Conference Report by Geeklawyer

Geeklawyer has the details. Geeklawyer’s event is at The Harp in Covent Garden. Ruthie is holding her event at The Cafe Royal, London – where she is attending some conference of all the talents. Just to give you a taste from the Cafe Royal website… “The Café Royal has always been synonymous with excitement, glamour and decadence – giving people what they want while introducing them to pleasures they never imagined.”

It is unlikely that Kate Moss, Pete Doherty or Amy Winelist will be attending the UK Blawger’s event… so no need to worry about not imagining pleasures you have never imagined if you do find yourself turning up at the Cafe Royal.

Well… there we are… pleasures beyond imagination at the Cafe Royal… or a drink at The Harp…. ladies and gentlemen… the choice is yours.

***

Regrettably, because I am not able to attend…. I have had to provide a wholly believable / unbelievable  excuse for my non-attendance. Even the Policia Judiciaria would be puzzled with this one…. (first published on Geeklawyer’s blog)

It is with great regret that I have to announce that I will not be able to attend.

Unfortunately, I got an ASBO the other day for not cutting my hedge – despite reminders from the Police Community Support Officers who ‘attended’ to advise me of the need to do same.

Accordingly, I am now confined to barracks for 14 days and may not ‘attend’ or otherwise disport myself at any establishment selling intoxicating liquors.

Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is less exciting. I have decided to get a new heart and will be ‘attending’ at a hospital of BUPA’s choice to undergo a heart and lung transplant….

OK… That is absurd… … the truth of the matter is that I was crossing the road with five chickens late last night and they attacked me. Have you seen the size of these new mutant, globally warmed, chickens? Three feet tall… like Jurassic Park velociraptors…. I just could not fight all of them off. I have never been hen pecked… but last night was truly shocking… One of them ate my right leg…and ordered some fries from KFC to accompany it.

OK…. None of these things happened…

Think of me, mes braves… in some corner of a foreign field lies Charon….. bloodied but unbowed….

***

It is unlikely that Dawn Primarolo, Minister of Health in Her Majesty’s goverment of all the talents – despite her attack on Middle-class binge drinking (which I refer to below) – will be worried about UK Blawgers doing a bit of toping on Monday 22nd October. I have a feeling she will have moved on to some other great idea… She is, remember, a politician….

***

Dan… it is unlikely that you will be able to attend – but are you not impressed that UK Blawging is at the forefront of administration and law free blogging?

This weekend the England Rugby team may win the World Cup Rugby – an unusual event, where we actually play sport against foreign countries without invading them (Baseball / American football World series?) and….. there is just a possibility that one of our very expert mini-cab drivers may win a Formula One title.

Dan Hull is one of the authors of a rather good blog (What about clients?) from the US dealing with client service issues.

I’m on a plane…. Yeah…. A f*****g plane….

The Times reports today: Ofcom is planning to licence aircraft to link up with base stations, enabling passengers to use their mobile phones.

Great. Bloody marvellous. Imagine sitting back after eating an airline meal, washed down with a decent bottle, to watch a film or sleep. In the next row Mr Tedious, tired of talking about himself for the last two hours, decides to call his pissed up mates at the Dog & Duck and shout at them in that particularly irritating way beloved of mobile users who have not quite worked out that the microphones on mobiles are fairly receptive.

The conversation may well go something like this:

Mr Tedious: “Hi… yeah… it’s me… Terry Tedious. I am on a plane… yeah…. a f*****g plane. …. Yeah…. I’m using my mobile….. What do you mean ‘am I coming down’?
Pissed mate at Dog & Duck: That you, Tezza?
Mr Tedious: Yes… I am on a plane.
Pissed mate at Dog & Duck: Are you coming down?
Mr Tedious: How often do I have to tell you… I’m on a plane…
Pissed mate at Dog & Duck: Why you on a plane Tezza?
Mr Tedious: I’m on a plane because I’m flying to a conference.
Pissed mate at Dog & Duck: A what?…sorry, Tezza, you’re breaking up….
Mr Tedious: I’m on an aeroplane, mate… a plane.
Pissed mate at Dog & Duck: Where you flying to, Tezza?
Mr Tedious: Majorca, mate….
Pissed mate at Dog & Duck: So you’re not coming down to the pub tonight, Tezza?
Mr Tedious: Look mate … how can I come down to the bloody pub when I’m on a plane?
Pissed Mate at Dog & Duck: Yeah… it would be difficult. You really on a plane?…. I thought you couldn’t use mobiles on the plane because they interfere with the aircraft navigation systems and passengers with pacemakers.
Mr Tedious: No, mate… new technology…. I am phoning you from the plane.
Pissed mate at Dog & Duck: What you want to talk about, Tezza?
Pissed mate at Dog & Duck: Tezza?… you there, Tezza?…
Pissed mate at Dog & Duck – to his other pissed mates: Tezza’s on a plane…

Mercifully, The Chief Purser removed Mr Tedious’s phone and Mr Tedious is now restrained in the back row of the Economy section of the aircraft with a blue bag over his head and a curtain pulled around the seating.

***

A BBC story from the good old days… – A Saudi man is to be flogged as punishment for using a mobile telephone during an internal flight, according to a report in the Saudi press. BBC Story

Marketing for Dummies?….

Excellent nonsense…. some seriously weird marketing…

RollonFriday picks up on the fact that Eversheds are looking for some very unusual people. I quote from the RollonFriday website:

Innovateer: the innovative volunteer, who has “good reason to appear effervescent”.
Knowlivator: the knowledgeable motivator – “they don’t just have big brains; they have big personalities too”.
Logithiser: the logical empathiser, who “readily sheds their tough exterior”.
Performibutor: the performing contributor, who “roll up their sleeves”.
Proactiloper: the proactive developer. Or a medieval practitioner of intimate surgery.
Professionary: the professional visionary. “Accuracy and punctuation are their watchwords”.
Prioricator: the prioritising communicator. “To listen to them is to understand and be convinced.”
Winnowmat: the winning diplomat – “their powerful will to win finds expression in gentle diplomacy”.

I made some investigations of my own on the relevant page of the Eversheds website and, there it was, screaming in full technicolor (sic).

When I first saw this I wondered if Eversheds had signed up George Dubya Bush to assist with their marketing efforts. The thought then crossed my mind that John “Two Shags” Prescott was not fully employed and had, clearly, secured a new position in The City…. but… it appears that this is not so. As RollonFriday said in their story: “Good grief. Some advertisiwanker got paid good money to come up with this guff.”

I know I enjoy a glass or two of Rioja at night, but whatever these guys were drinking…. I want to know their vintner.

***
I leave you with this thought from George W. Bush: “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.”

***

UPDATE:  Nick Holmes of Binary Law has come up with:  Fuckateer – the fuckwitted marketeer

The curse of the drinking classes?…

It was only a matter of time before Health Ministers would start their assault on topers and drinkers – not an inconvenient way of distracting attention from other more serious problems with the health service and MRSA et al.

Here we have Dawn Primarolo, the Public Health Minister – who was unable to answer difficult questions on Daily Politics the other day (put to her by Andrew Neil on health issues) – telling us what to do:

“Most of these are not young people, they are ‘everyday’ drinkers who have drunk too much for too long. This has to change.”

I have absolutely no idea why a politician of this undoubted calibre should feel the need to tell those of us who are over 18 and who enjoy a bit of noble rot, a bit of wine tasting, and a few glasses of Rioja – what to do.

I am certain, despite her performance with Andrew Neil the other day, that Ms Primogeniture must be able to talk about something she knows something about. I certainly don’t wish to be told by someone who is an MP that I must change the habit of a lifetime – a pleasure I have enjoyed since I first started drinking wine in 1789. I find it difficult to look back and realise that I have been drinking Rioja for over 200 years. I am sure that Ming The Leaderless may well find it difficult to look back at his time at the helm of what is left of the Lib-Dems.

I can well understand that our government, despite their platitudes on smoking, obesity and middle class hazardous drinking, does not really want people hanging around much after pensionable age. I mean… the free bus pass and free day time television is all very well… but… if the present Government of all the talents (I believe in plurality) was truly honest, it would be convenient for people to be obese, drink a lot and smoke – and then f**k off before they are too old, if only for the sake of the sustainability of the future tax paying classes – our future… our legacy… God help us (Choose your own)…

I could be wrong of, course… I mean, look what those nice Lib-Dems did to poor old Ming the Leaderless. He is only 66. – and a fomer olympic athlete. A ‘Goner’ at such a young age.

Cheers… I am having some Horlicks and an early night…. I worry about leaving the lights on after 9.00. I am doing my bit for global warming.

Buona Notte

PS… We are also in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Fortunately, I am not involved in this one.

Ming dynasty ends…

Sir Menzies Campbell leaving Lib-Dem Headquarters last night?

We have England v South Africa rugby to look forward to this weekend. Will England do it? An amazing turnover if they do.

The Mirror reports: Playwright Oscar Wilde, who even managed to mutter on his death bed “Either those curtains go or I do”, was named in a poll on Monday as Britain’s greatest wit. He captured 20 percent of the vote, just two points ahead of comedian Spike Milligan, who had engraved on his tombstone the epitaph “I told you I was ill.

Quite how Margaret Thatcher managed to come 12th in the poll defeats me. Politician?… Yes. Barrel of laughs?… No. Amazing the results polls come up with.

Law Society to be carbon neutral….

I lie awake at night sometimes, worrying about the melting ice, and whether I will wake to find The Bollo knee deep in melt water because of global warming. I don’t … in truth. I am hyperbolating. In any event, I have a pair of rubber Wellington boots. I have waded through Piazza San Marco in Venice at high water. I will, therefore, always be able to get to The Bollo.

But…. I am delighted to find that The Law Society, in the new era of the SRA, has found something to do…and is tackling global warming. Philip Hoult, writing in the ‘carbon neutral’ online version of The Gazette, states: “A groundbreaking alliance was formed this week in a bid to encourage the legal profession to commit to environmental sustainability. The Law Society, UK/US firm DLA Piper and Business in the Community (BiTC) held the inaugural meeting of the Legal Sector Alliance (LSA), which is intended to provide leadership on green issues to law firms of all sizes as well as in-house legal departments. The launch comes just days after the Law Society Council agreed a pledge that will see Chancery Lane become carbon neutral by 2011.”

Excellent… if I manage to avoid the grim reaper, or global warming induced flooding, and survive until 2011, I will make a point of going down to Chancery Lane to see if The Law Society is still serving those excellent carrot cakes made by Prue Leith and is making a positive contribution to our ‘wonderful world’ by being carbon neutral in 2011.

Des Hudson, new Law Society Chief Executive, is hoping that ‘as many firms as possible will seek to participate’ in the initiative to re-cycle paper and get involved in joint purchasing of energy. Why am I thinking of Don Quixote and windmills? But…who am I to comment? I sit oustide pubs and cafes smoking Silk Cut cigarettes.

I just had to read more of Philip Hoult’s article..and was rewarded with this gem: “Paul Stookes, member for environmental law and an associate at Cambridge-based niche firm Richard Buxton, told council: ‘The Law Society will not have all the answers – it is a challenge to be carbon neutral. It is important to identify the steps and what needs to be done. [The targets in the scheme] are sufficient to make a difference and do not just pay lip service.’”

Forgive me. I am merely a phantasm. But is the Law Society? … are lawyers, who have little training in climate change, physics, geology, geochemistry et al… the best people to get involved in Global warming? Al Gore has just won a Nobel Peace Price for his work in climate warming. In the same week we find a High Court judge, Sir Michael Burton, ruling on the accuracy of Al Gore’s film.

I could be wrong, and may well suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune for suggesting that it may well be better for lawyers, and the professional bodies representing the interests of lawyers, to focus on sorting their own imperfect house….as indeed, they are, in some quarters.

Lawyers use paper… a great deal of paper… Lawyers keep their lights on all night as they work 24/7, lawyers fly all over the place to see clients.

It is, however, good news to read that the consumption of energy at the Law Society’s Chancery Lane headquarters has reduced by 30%.

UPDATE Sunday 14 October: Family Lore has a more serious analyis of this story.

In the meantime, as it has some bearing on the way our own legal profession is run, I look forward to the Lord Neuberger report on diversity and access to the profession.

And now… on to other matters:

£50 for a bottle of mineral water at Claridge’s!. (The Sun).

This is absurd. Of course, Claridge’s does not just sell any old mineral water. Their ‘Water List’ includes waters pumped through volcanic rock from as far afield as New Zealand. They are also selling the bizarrely named ‘Mahalo Deep Sea Water’ from Hawaii’ at £28 a litre. I suppose if you are daft enough to pay these prices for water, you may as well drink some sea water and go completely off your head… or, perhaps, there is no salt in the Mahalo Deep Sea water? … in which case… there will, no doubt, be some sea salt at the table to chuck into the water? Quite a long way to fly this water to a London Hotel. Air miles anyone? Carbon footprint? (The Sun)

I am quite happy to drink London tap water (free at Claridge’s). I have not grown breasts nor do I spend my days on a drug high from Estrogen and drug residue which, according to some, is to be found in London tap water. Claridge’s food and beverage director, Renaud Gregoire, says ‘Water is becoming like wine’. Ludicrous… unadulterated bollocks… almost verging on obscene…. more money than brains….

I delight in asking for ‘free tap water’ in restaurants… At The Bollo the bar staff have absolutely no problem with the fact that I like tap water… I even get some free ice and slice of lemon with it. I decline the ice, in case it waters down the water.

And so… finally… to two rather serious matters… Europe and Le Rugby:

The Sun tells us this morning that 75% want a referendum on Europe.

Gordon ‘The Brave” Brown has drawn ‘red lines’ in the sand before he flies off to Europe to sell us down the river on the new EU Treaty; which is not a constitution but a Reform Treaty. Because of the aforementioned ‘red lines’, Cyclops will not need to veto the ‘Treaty’, or comply with the New Labour manifesto and hold a referendum because it is not a Constitution. I may well have lost the plot but I do seem to recall reading only recently that his own MPs found that the treaty bore a remarkable resemblance to the old Constitution chucked out by the French and others a few years ago. The truth of the matter is, that I just don’t have the enthusiasm this afternoon to research the matter more thoroughly, so I will emulate some politicians and pretend I know what I am talking about. See: Head of Legal who does know what he is talking about and has an amusing post on this matter.

Ayex peur, tres peur! Says The Sun
Today is a day when three international England teams – cricket, Football and Rugby – could win against overseas opposition.

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The papers are full of rugby – with The Sun projecting an England flag onto L’Arc de Triomphe in Paris last night with the legend “Victory for England’. Being a Scot with a supposedly French ancestry, I will enjoy the rugby whatever the result – but, of course, I must support England, unlike some of my more curmudgeonly Scots friends who will be rooting firmly for the French.

I must, of course, leave this rather long post with a bit of Shakespeare – Henry V:

O noble English! that could entertain
With half their forces the full pride of France,
And let another half stand laughing by,
All out of work, and cold for action.

As I write…

FIFTH ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL, Colombo:
Sri Lanka 211 (48.1 overs) v England 76-5 (19 overs)

Oh dear….

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UPDATE. I have gone green… from writing about ‘green issues’ and I have just seen the cricket score… England 88-9….

Football: England 3 Estonia 0

I am going to have a shower… read The Concept of Law and prepare for the pleasures of the night to come… Le Rugby.

A wonderful bit of Britishness…

Sir John Bourn, head of the spending watchdog (National Audit Office), faces calls for his resignation after “it emerged that he had been eating in London’s finest restaurants and travelling first class, costing the taxpayer almost half a million pounds.” (The Times Friday 12 October) Apparently Sir John has guzzled his way through £27,000 worth of food.

For some curious reason I find this rather funny. It is certainly ironic. Sir John is reported to be 73 and the National Audit Office has said he won’t be doing any more guzzling or first class travel without ‘parliamentary approval’. Pretty good sinecure though… is it not? 73 and still gainfully employed and fully fed and watered. Can’t be bad.

I can’t help feeling that this is a ‘wonderfully British fiasco’. I am off to listen to some Gilbert & Sullivan…. or, perhaps, read Henry V again. Mind you, Henry VIII with the guy who looks like our Foreign Secretary, David Taliband, playing the lead role, is on tonight… “The Tudors”.