And so, on a cold Tuesday night at the end of April, rain spattering on the windows of my bunker, I find myself looking at an amusing YouTube video of Boris on Have I Got News For You admitting that he once sneezed cocaine many years ago. It is a rather good video if you haven’t seen it.
It was, Boris said, “a very long time ago… and very very wrong and bad…. ”
When commended for being ‘commendably honest”… Boris laughed and replied… “Recklessly honest.”
When I saw this headline on Google: ” Blair Man’s Self Inflicted Gunshot Wound Alcohol Related”… I just had to look further. It was not a revelation about Lord Levy, Peter Mandelson or any other Blairite / or recently converted ‘anti-Blairite’. It was, however, a quite remarkable story and I quote in full from the original source:
“A combination of alcohol, bees and a gun resulted in a Williamsburg man making a trip to the hospital Sunday.
The incident happened around 2:00 Sunday yesterday afternoon in Frankstown Township in the Canoe Creek area.
According to police 57-year-old David Walls had been drinking when he tried to shoot down some bees flying above him using a .22 caliber revolver loaded with buckshot. Walls ended up shooting himself in the left hand causing soft tissue damage.”
Wow… now that must have been some drink.
BUT… in the interests of political balance I also enjoyed this YouTube snippet from Newsnight when Paxo puts The Invisible Man to the sword and says “You can’t be serious” when Paddick was unable to distinguish between Ken and Boris for second preference vote purposes. Worth a look. Almost as good as the cocaine sneezing clip. The Invisible Man may have been a good copper and is, almost certainly, a thoroughly decent bloke – but standing beside two of London’s finest political pantomime villains – he looked a touch out of place. Paxo – at his best.
AND… since this is supposed to be law blog… if you really want a masterclass in asking questions and following through…. then this “Best of Paxo” made me laugh and it may well make you laugh as well. Definitely worth a bit of your time. You may have seen it already – but if you haven’t – here it is.
Right… I’m orf to do something more sensible….
a piu tarde.
On Wednesday 23rd April I had an excellent dinner at The Three Bridges restaurant in Battersea.
I’m doing a few reviews for the online mag LawandMore – here is the link to my review of The Three Bridges.
I had a good time at The Three Bridges – and will be going back as a customer before too long. I hope to be visiting another restaurant soon for another review.
Daily news podcast, legal news, law reports and who’s writing what on the blogs is now up on insitelaw newswire. Here
I got up at 3.00 this morning, as I usually do, to look at blogs and newspapers for my vaguely sensible coverage of the events of the day [In another place].
This morning, I read, in The Independent, that Brown, having solved all the problems of his increasingly inadequate and unelected ‘premiership’, is focused on re-classifying cannabis from C to B, arseing around with the extension on detention from 28-42 days and, no doubt, if political pundits are to be believed, dithering about whether he will serve up porridge or porridge to us today. I do not tend to drink at 3.00 in the morning, save, on occasion, on a Friday night when I stay up late, so I can’t even plead mild intoxication…. (and I’ve voted Labour for 28 years) for what follows…. (or the graphic)
Gordon Brown, skulking away in the bowels of The Treasury, may well be shown by history to be one of the great Chancellors. As a Prime Minister he is shaping up to be a disaster – with no peer or rival in the last 200 years. Retreat after retreat. First he bottled the election last Summer. Now he retreats on the 10p tax issue. Soon he may well be defeated on the extension of terror detention from 28 to 42 days because people who know what they are talking about oppose it and MPs are beginning to listen. Now Gordon Brown, despite evidence and opposition, again from people who know what they are talking about, wants to re-classify Cannabis from Group C to Group B.
There are rather more important matters, one would have thought, for Brown to address – credit-crunch, house prices, Iraq, Afghanistan, employment, not being a fun guy… to name but a few. Police may well want the drug re-classified (but have they produced any sensible, compelling, evidence for this – or is this yet another bit of plod opportunism to go back to the good old days?) – but it can’t possibly be the case that cannabis is contributing, markedly or at all, to the crime wave?
Ironically, crime is actually falling according to recent reports. (Here | Here | And in Liverpool? ) Cheap booze may well be a cause of juvenile delinquency, but, again, is hardly likely to be the only cause of mainstream crime. It cannot be easy to commit serious crimes or robbery, rape, fraud, etc when spliffed up or pissed. But what would I know? I’m only a voter. I’ve never been partial to porridge, despite my Scots ancestry, and the present lumpy stuff being dished up by a tired and, frankly, rather dull and inconsistent government is not appetising. And they wonder why Boris may (possibly), despite all of his antics, be elected as Mayor on Thursday.
If you are in London: Who are you going to vote for: Boris | Ken | Invisible Man | Putin | Other? One hopes the election results will not take four weeks to be declared.
On insitelaw newswire today:
Update on who has been blogging this weekend | Scathing attack on government by Mr Justice Collins | Police assess risk of a policeman winning the lottery.
If you wish to comment: See the insitelaw blog.
I appear to be a restaurant reviewer now and had a great time last Wednesday visiting Battersea to review a very good restaurant. My review will be up on LawandMore soon… but, to give you a foretaste / forewarning…. here is an extract:
“Should I wear a dinner jacket ?… a suit?… I wondered, as I shaved and thought about my trip to South London. It was South London I had to go to … so the black suit, black tie, Ronnie Kray look would have to stay in the wardrobe for my trip out of the manor that night. In the end I decided on a Chiswick ‘artiste’ look – jeans, black polo neck and an implausible battered brown drizeabone coat to give that High Plains Drifter feel to my arrival south of the river. After contacting the Foreign Office website to see if there were any travel warnings about trips to South London, I made my way to Chancery Lane for a meeting before going down to The ….. “
I am able to reveal that the restaurant gets 4.5 riojas as a rating.
I am also pleased to announce
That Wildy & Sons have accepted my invitation to sponsor the occasional caption competitions I run on here. The prize will be a book involving legal humour; modest in price, but rich on reading – entirely in keeping with this almost law free blawg.
I’ve heard of Tupperware parties. I’ve even heard of Ann Summers parties. I have not been a participant – but now there are Taser Parties
The Telegraph reports: “Miss Shafman, 35, is on a mission to persuade the fearful, but fashion-conscious, women of America to pack 50,000 volts of self-defence in their handbags.”
Excellent nonsense. The Land of The Free? I appreciate that quite a few people in the United States are armed, and some heavily, as they go to work or go out socially but it is somewhat ironic, in the world’s biggest democracy, that people feel the need to be armed with guns and, now, tasers.
I had an excellent lunch on Friday with the team at LawandMore to discuss restaurant reviews, life, the universe and everything. We enjoyed our wines. Not a Taser in sight.
Excuse me… I’m trying to smoke!…
So there I was, shortly after 8.30 this morning, sitting outside a cafe in Chiswick High Road, enjoying a coffee and perfecting my smoking technique – or ‘Smokedo’ as I like to describe it now – ‘The way of the smoker’.
I was reading about Lord Laidlaw’s excellent and stylish Monaco based bondage / sex / drugs parties in The News of The World before turning my attention to rather more serious matters in The Observer.
A Chiswickmummy with two E-numbered up children (boys) sat down. One of the spawn was still in a pushchair. The other was not. I was smoking – as one is entitled to do outside and was three tables away. The woman looked at me with a degree of disdain and then at her children as if to suggest that I was going to give them emphysema immediately.
Brat 1 in pushchair starts screaming because his egg yuck mix, or whatever it was his mother gave him, was not to his precocious middle class taste. Brat 2 then threw a strop because his mother told him to stop banging the salt and pepper containers on the table. This went on for several minutes. I glanced at the woman who was beaming away at these spawn of satan but she did not catch the malevolence in my gaze. I wanted to say “Excuse me, Madam, but would you be kind enough to control your child accessories, please”. Instead, I said, taking a full frontal approach: “Excuse me, I’m trying to smoke – and it is too early for screaming children. Please… I surrender. Can you quieten them down?” The woman was not too impressed by this attempt at black humour and took the children inside. No apology, just another look of disdain. Result.
After breakfast I nipped over to The Inconvenience Store to buy a bottle of Rioja and some smoking equipment. I stood patiently in the queue while a f**kwit, Russian from the language he was using to SHOUT into his mobile phone, f**ked about trying to find loose change to pay for his provisions. F**kwit then dropped his change all over the sweets on display in the cabinet in front of him. Making no effort at all to hurry, mobile phone cradled between shoulder and very large right ear, f**kwit then starts rummaging around trying to find his change and – there is a god – mobile phone drops onto the floor and the battery falls off the phone. Result.
It was, perhaps, rude of me to start laughing uncontrollably, triggering off laughter from the shop assistant behind the counter and someone behind me. Russian looked completely baffled, puts his phone together and redials, at which point the shopkeeper told him that he had other customers to serve and voided the transaction on the till. The British may be polite and tolerant on the whole – but this morning I decided not to be after my smoking / newspaper reading session had been ruined by Lady Disdain and her progeny.
I shall return to Weekend Review later. I feel like a quick walk.
I thought I’d kick off this week’s Weekend Review with a trailer….
Here we have a story from RollonFriday about Freshfield’s partner Chris Mort. I can do no better than quote from the RollonFriday news story:
“A video has been posted on YouTube showing Chris Mort, a leading Freshfields corporate partner, on stage leading the singing of a drunken crowd. Mort, who is also chairman of Newcastle United FC, lurched into a series of football chants at the Blu Bambu nightclub in Newcastle. He can be seen below, entertaining the crowds alongside a gentleman who’s singing “shut your f*cking face girl, la la la la“.”
In the interests of legal research – you may feel that it is appropriate for you to click this link to RoF to view the YouTube video. Excellent nonsense – good to see that serious lawyers can get away from the heavy stuff from time to time and have a good evening. I enjoyed the video – not a football fan but after this…. I may well take up a bit karaoke myself … in a podcast?
Matt Muttley, managing partner of Muttley Dastardly LLP, is away in Amsterdam visiting European banks to see how they are coping with sub-prime securities and is not available or comment.
Law Actually picks up on the new Office for Government Commerce (OGC) logo – left. Fine when horizontal. Not so good when turned 90 degrees. The Times states that the OGC are pressing ahead with the logo. A spokesman for the OGC said: “We concluded that the effect was generic to the particular combination of the letters ‘OGC’ – and is not inappropriate to an organisation that’s looking to have a firm grip on government spend.”
The insitelaw newswire is growing rapidly with links to the latest blog reports, law reports, news, and legal round ups. The Daily news podcast continues….
24 April: News, daily news podcast etc up on insitelaw newswire. I visited all the blogs on my blogroll to pick up on the latest posts – see insitelaw newswire.
I dined well last night at a very good restaurant. The restaurant was out of my manor. It is rare, these days, for me to make ‘house calls’ – but I was reviewing a restaurant for LawandMore. The food was superb. The wine excellent. I shall be writing my review tonight…
In the meantime…. let me tell you what we had to eat and drink. It was important… to do a detailed and thorough investigation….
Pan-fried lemon scented squid, served on a bed of rocket salad with wine must and tomato tartare.
Rose of smoked salmon with red caramelized onions and poached quail’s eggs, served with summer salad.
Timbale of grilled vegetables, courgettes and peppers, served on a bed of Scamorza cheese with basil olive oil.
Homemade pumpkin ravioli made with red pesto sauce and truffle olive oil.
Black ink homemade Tagliolini served with courgettes and cherry tomatoes, with Tuscan olive oil.
Pan – fried breast of Duck with rhubarb zest and dried plums, in his own juice.
Homemade pannacotta, with kuzu lime sauce from Japan and fresh strawberries basket.
Pizza With Bottarga and Sturgeon eggs and taleggio cheese.
Pinot grigio Blush from Forchir,
Dolcetto d’Alba di Montezemolo
Brunello 2003 Casanova di Neri
Podcast: Tricia Chatteron, Director, College of Law North West Region.
The opening of the new College of Law Branch in Manchester and what it will be like to study there.
Daily news podcast, news and a host of links to blogs with new posts is up on the insitelaw newswire
I was sent this St George’s Day link by the anonymous Editor of Blawg Review. Curious that the English don’t seem to bother with St george’s Day. Mind you, as a Scot, I don’t find much enthusiasm for St Andrew’s Day either.
I have now put a list of 52+ podcasts on the insitelaw newswire and there is a link to the podcast on the top right hand side of the newswire. If you did a podcast with me and wish to re-do your podcast link – please go here.
I have yet to re-do all the links on the blog. This is rather a big task – and will take some time. In the meantime – you can access the podcasts (Weekend review podcasts will be put up later this week) by visiting insitelaw.
List of blogs on insitelaw newswire
I have copied my blogroll to the insitelaw newswire website. If you are not on my blogroll and would like to be included (and on the insitelaw newswire – please visit the insitelawnewswire and email me.
League tables to irritate the legal profession
It has been done in the health service, the media and the City. Professionals — lawyers included — are increasingly victims of league tables. So braving the ire of that most litigious of groups, today The Times Law section offers its own list: Law 100: the UK’s most powerful lawyers
With a legal profession of over 120,000 and even if some members of the profession are modest enough (or young enough) not to worry about their place in the firmament – this list is going to irritate a fair number of lawyers. Maybe this is a good thing!
See: Insitelaw newswire
“District Judge Peter Ward told the defendant that, in his view, there was no need for a layer of tomatoes on a shepherd’s pie.”
The issues in this case, as far as I can gather from the original report in The Telegraph, turn on the recipe for “Shepherd’s Pie”.
The facts are relatively straightforward, if somewhat bizarre. Two brothers, Michael and John Garvin, had been drinking all day. Despite this, Michael (a chef) cooked his brother a Shepherd’s Pie and sat back to bask in gratitude. John, however, “voiced his disquiet that the pie was not topped with a layer of sliced tomatoes.”
Michael responded by saying that a “layer of tomatoes was not the appropriate way to finish off a shepherd’s pie, and responded by hitting him over the head with a shovel.”
The Telegraph report continues: “As the argument got out of control, John threatened to petrol bomb his brother’s flat and was arrested.”
Hat Tip to The Prisoner’s Voice blog for alerting me to this important judgment.
Apologies for the broken link earlier!
Inspired and amused by tonight’s Bremner, Bird & Fortune – I write about the forthcoming London Mayoral election and other matters.
We have the three frontrunners: Ken, Boris and PC PC whose name name I can never remember. Sex appears to play a fair part in their electoral campaigns.
Ken, it appears, seems to have had quite a few children by different women. Boris has built a reputation on extra-curricular shagging and The Invisible Man takes a different line on matters sexual but seems to be backed by the Russell Brand of the Lib-Dems, Genghis Cleggover. The Labour Party, not known in recent years for their sexual energy (with the exception of “Two Shags” Prescott), may be drooping in the polls generally but cannot even begin to compete with Boris and his political… but only political… bedmate – Shagger Norris – who ran for Mayor several times.
Curiously, I find it reassuring in these credit-crunch times, that we could wake up in early May to find ourseleves, in London, with Mayor Boris – perhaps even with joyful Londoners singing the The Eton Boating song – an mp3 version is available for you to practice singing along with here
These, of course, are not the official words – but I just had to adapt them to meet modern political conditons:
Jolly voting weather,
And a banking credit wheeze,
Blade on the feather,
10 percent on the fees,
Swing swing together,
With your nuts between your knees,
Swing swing together,
With your mortage putting you on your knees
Fancy an Eton Mess on May 1st?
Thought for Today…
I’m not a religious man. In fact I am baffled as to why so many products of evolution believe in so many different Gods. But…. each to their own so long as they don’t ring my doorbell flogging relics. I appear to be suffering from “captionitis”. Apologies.
John Bolch of Family Lore is keeping the flag of rational thought flying with a thoughtful piece on his blog.
Geeklawyer, meanwhile, has decided to run with the Prezza Bulimia story and demonstrates that he too is able to use pictures on his blog – a first for him, I think – at least in the main body, if you forgive the pun, of his posts.
And White Rabbit – has done some pretty powerful short pieces on the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Tomorrow is another Monday…
I’ll kick off with a brief report about a solicitor MP who has been charged with criminal damage for clambering over the bonnet of a van to get onto a bus. I won’t dwell on it – but it does seem a rather bizarre thing for a lawmaker and lawyer to do. Curiously, for Wolverhampton has been in my thoughts recently (I know not why), the solicitor MP represents the town.
And then we have The Times reporting that an accountant who stole £70,000 from two churches has been ordered by a judge to repay the money by selling his huge stamp collection on eBay. Apparently, the accountant stole money from church fetes and spent the money on his stamp collection and gambling. “The court heard that Klein made many of his losses on an internet gambling site where his online nickname was The Bishop.”
I was having a drink recently with an actress friend of mine. She suggested that my voice would be good for voice overs. I was open to the idea after a bottle of vino, so she texted me a number and contact details. I did actually ring the number and was told that I could have a ‘studio test’! My enthusiasm waned a bit when I asked what sort of voice overs they did. I was told – for automated phone systems! Excellent! I can think of nothing worse than having “Charon” answer the phone… I have in mind the following…
Ringggg….ringggg…. ringgggg ringggg…
“Good morning, this is Muttley Dastardly LLP. If you would like to settle your fee note… press One. If you would like to sue someone…press Two…. if you are being sued…press Three. If you would like to talk to one of our lawyers….press Four. Calls to this number are recorded for arse covering purposes and for our amusement and are charged at £150 an hour for the first fifteen minutes and £200 per hour thereafter. Please be aware that our fee rates range from £200 – £650 per hour if you instruct us to act on your behalf. We are an equal opportunity law firm and never knowingly undercharge. Thank you for calling.”
The unseasonal cold weather is coming from the east winds currently passing over British sovereign territory. Unfortunately, it appears, the winds are also bringing a foul smell from Europe; creating an epidemic of europhobia among the residents of West London. The BBC reports that:
Stu Maddison of Ealing, west London, said he noticed the stench as soon as he stepped out the door this morning. Mr Maddison said the smell was still in the air when he arrived for work in Notting Hill. “It’s a bit rude really,” he said of the air. “Various colleagues thought they’d trod in something but no, it’s the air.”
I’m a bit surprised that Boris, with only two weeks to go before he ascends to the London throne and be crowned as the “People’s Dick Wittington”, hasn’t yet jumped on the bandwagon. Perhaps the News of The World tomorrow will have his opinion on this. The BBC spent a bit more taxpayer money on interviewing the people about their reaction to the ‘vomit to poo’ like smell. What worries me is that I watched the clip.
Geeklawyer has an amusing piece on the restoration of the Da Vinci code judge to grace. The “Office for Naughty Judges”, as he calls it, has merely reprimanded Mr Justice Smith for his Addleshaws episode. Full story on Geeklawyer’s blog.
TIME FOR ANOTHER CAPTION COMPETITION
I haven’t had a caption competition for some time – largely because I appear to be drinking all the prizes myself.
However – the prize here will be one bottle of Bourbon’s finest – a Rioja from my dwindling private collection. The only snag is that you will have to drink it with me in West London.
An alternative prize – to accompany me to a restaurant when I do a restaurant review for LawandMore. We will eat and drink and, of course, I’ll even consult you for your opinion. I’m entitled to bring a guest for each dinner I eat. (I’m doing my first restaurant review for LawandMore this Wednesday – and I’m looking forward to dinner and the writing afterwards!)
And if you really don’t want to win either of these prizes, but simply want to win the competition – just say so in your comment!
Over to you. I shall resist putting my own caption up this time.
Gordon Brown spent nearly ten years waiting in the wings after a dodgy kebab moment at an Islington restaurant and watched his friend Tony sweep all before him. Then the moment came. Gordon came out from the darkness of the temple of mammon to assume the mantle of the greatest office of state in the land.
He didn’t part the Red Sea, but in his first weeks in office he walked through floods. Unlike his predecessor, he has not yet converted to a different faith so has not been able to think about the possibility of walking on floods. Gordon calmed the peoples of our sceptred land, he gave us comfort when terrorists at Glasgow airport were on fire, he told us that things would be very different…that there would be no more spin.
Unfortunately…. the ‘Events, dear boy, events’ phenomenon came… all too soon. Northern Rock, sleaze, Mrs Speaker collecting groceries in a taxi on the taxpayer, dodgy donations, credit-crunch, and losses in football and other sporting events on a scale that left this great obese binge drinking, but sporting, nation reeling – to the point that he was advised not to turn up to any more sporting events in case we lost. Not even ‘unassailable’ Cleggover, with his rather adolsescent admission that he couldn’t even manage to shag more than 30 women and a 15 year old boy sneezing and wiping snot on David Cameron’s suited back while Cameron was being interviewed on TV, could divert attention.
Only yesterday, as Gordon fell asleep during one of his own speeches in the USA (apparently – judging by the pics flashed across our screens), Lord Desai (I like to imagine) put on his toga, designed by new fashion design house ‘Et tu Brute’ (Notting Hill – Beijing – Wolverhampton), and announced in what is soon to be called ‘The Senate’ : “Gordon Brown was put on earth to remind people how good Tony Blair was”, that his style was “porridge, or maybe haggis” and explained to BBC News 24 that he wasn’t stabbing the Prime Minister in the back.
I have absolutely no idea who Lord Desai is… my life is draining away and I have to be selective these days, but the BBC helpfully informed me that “Lord Desai is an eminent economist, but by no means a rebel and also perhaps not politically savvy enough to have realised the impact his words would have.” Enough said… but…’not politically savvy?’ What is Lord Desai doing in the unelected House of Lords if he can’t even be ‘politically savvy’? Are there more like him… in terms of ‘political savviness’ in the House of Lords? Tell me that it is not so…
I spend hours watching the Parliament Channel on BBC in the early hours of the darkness – BUT… I have to say that I have absolutely no idea why those old people spend so much time indoors in a tastelessly furnished historical building in London when they could be taking SagaLout tours to Prague and other European destinations and represent our country properly by showing our European cousins that Europeans may make the best wines and beer in the world… but we know how to drink it.
I am fond of a bit of Shakespeare. In fact, Richard III is a particular favourite. But with my grave digging background… I always enjoy that ‘Alas, poor Gordon, I knew him well’ bit in Hamitup.
Anyway… here is a pic I found on the internet of Gordon, in happier days, when he and George were rehearsing for their cameo moment on Britain’s Got Talent by doing a cover of The Village People hit “In the Navy”
In the navy
Yes, you can sail the seven seas
In the navy
Yes, you can put your mind at ease
In the navy
Come on now, people, make a stand
In the navy, in the navy
Can’t you see we need a hand
In the navy
Come on, protect the motherland
In the navy
Come on and join your fellow man
In the navy
Come on people, and make a stand
In the navy, in the navy, in the navy (in the navy)
They want you, they want you
They want you as a new recruit
I am off to watch the Parliament Channel – I really do need to be kept up to date with what the Lords are doing.
From: Matt Muttley, Managing Partner
To: All fee earning staff
My attention was drawn to a piece in the Financial Times today about the level of fees being charged at Allen & Overy:
“A High Court judge has blasted a top City of London law firm for charging nine years’ worth of man hours on a five-day trial over BlackBerry patents, in a judgment that will fuel the growing controversy over lawyers’ billing practices. Lawyers from Allen & Overy racked up nearly £5.2m in costs representing Research in Motion, the maker of the popular BlackBerry device, in a dispute with Visto, a US-based wireless technology company.”
The fee of £5.2m is not, of itself, eye watering – but there were, clearly, presentation issues. Please note the words of the judge in the case on this matter: “The picture summoned up by this bill of costs is one which is totally unfamiliar to anyone who has been involved in economically conducted patent litigation,” the judge said. In refusing to award Research in Motion its full costs, he said he was bound to prevent a party from recovering “unnecessary and unreasonable’’ expenses.”
Apparently, Mr Justice Floyd said he would expect the firm’s associates to be able to recite “all the documents in the case by heart” given the amount of time they claimed to have spent on the dispute. Eva Braun told me that The Evening Standard were also referring to A&O charging 9 man years of time for the five day case. It is important that we ‘leave no stone unturned in litigation.’
There are far too many people interfering now in the matter of solicitors’ fees. £600 per hour? Amateurs! Even Tim Dutton QC, Chairman of The Bar, has weighed in telling the FT that this should be read as a “warning sign” to solicitors about their billing practices. One expects clients to raise their eyebrows occasionally upon receipt of a fee note, but it really is the end when lawyers start talking to the hacks about matters like this.
At least no-one here has managed to bill 28 hours in a single day, as apparently happened across the pond. Have they / you?
I have set up a first attempt at a news and blogger centric newswire. The newswire and insite blog are intended to work in tandem. The main focus is on news of and comment on developments in law and practice. The newswire will have podcasts, but is not intended for traditional articles on law. Consilio has a wider coverage with articles on the main legal subject areas and there is a lively discussion board. If you would like to publish an article – please contact Consilio.
The insitelaw newswire/blog combo is an attempt to focus on news and developments of interest to students and practitioners. I welcome emails from bloggers who would like to draw attention to their posts if those posts are about law news or developments in the law. I’ll do my best to hunt around – but time is limited – so if you would like to suggest posts by emailing me – you may do so from the newswire.
Now… my Charon blawg…. can be almost entirely free of serious law 🙂
Here is the first daily news podcast direct from my blawg.
The plan is to publish the short 4-5 minute podcast by 9.00 am Mon-Fri.
I will also be writing a short review on REDUXlaw – with the first review tomorrow, or, perhaps today.
The 65+ podcasts I have done over the last year are now being uploaded to a server and I will be creating a single page (and updating the old pages) to categorise them under various headings. I hope to complete this work by Friday.
If you would like to have a weekly newswire covering the more serious side of law (and developments therein) I am producing one on a weekly basis and will be happy to email it to you. I don’t want to put the serious analysis on the blawg – hence the newswire. Content from the newswire may be reproduced freely – should you wish to use it yourself (?).
You can always unsubscribe if you don’t like it – and I promise that Mr Cialis will not be sending any pills to you. Sign up for a weekly newswire here
Daily news podcasts will soon be appearing on Charon and Redux law.
Despite announcements by Transport for London (reported widely on television and in other media) that the underground and buses were working to timetable, thousands of people decided to make their own way around the capital today by running; including six Maasaai warriors using old car tyre rubber for shoes. Just a week ago, university students, unfamiliar with our transport infrastructure in London, decided to row up the Thames to see the capital.
The BBC was able to picture an exhibit from a recent High Court intellectual property case making his way around London.
Meanwhile, the paramilitary wing of the police, Police Community Support Officers, are gearing up for the summer with a plan to issue yellow and red football style warnings to anyone transgressing any laws, including those relating to the size of hedges, and are ‘cracking down’ on ‘tourists’ who are caught taking photographs of London landmarks (See: post below.) The Police are particularly concerned that photography has reached a point where, a photograph, in the wrong hands, could provide valuable information to terrorist groups on where London is. The government, in what is known as Operation lock the door because the horse has bolted, is particularly sensitive following the report in The News of The World some weeks ago that NOTW had come into possession of the architect blueprints for the M15 headquarters:
“The lost 66-page dossier of floor layouts—once used by trusted CONTRACTORS at the high-security Central London base—would be gold dust to terrorists. The plans were given to us by a worried member of the public, who got them from a friend who worked at the building and never handed them back.”
“Bravo Two Zero SAS hero Chris Ryan said: “If you’re assaulting a building the first thing you look for are the architect’s drawings and blueprints. If just a single person managed to get into the building, this document would lead them to where they could do most damage.”
I had hoped to show you a picture of MI5 headquarters but, unfortunately, a PCSO put a doughnut he was eating at the time in front of the lens of my television camera and the footage was ruined.
Note: I am grateful to fellow blogger, Geeklawyer, for his story on police / PCSO antipathy to photographers
The PCSO discussion board requires registration – I do not know if full biometrics have to be provided.
And…. don’t think it is just the PCSOs who are watching you… now the Council are as well…
Reactionary Snob has the gen on this. I reported on this story in a daily news podcast. Reactionary Snob does it better. Poole Council invoked RIPA (fairly serious anti-terror legislation for those who do not happpen to have it by their bedside) to follow a middle class mum of three children to make sure she wasn’t trying to get her children (‘targets’) into a school outside her catchment area.
I can do no better than ask you to read the Reactionary Snob coverage and quote from his blog to encourage you to do so:
Tim Martin, Poole council’s head of legal and democratic services, said: “The use of RIPA procedures ensures that surveillance is properly authorised and provides protection for the subject of the investigation.
Well done, Tim Martin. You have just won an award. The award is very rarely given out but it is only given to those who truly deserve it. You have won The Reactionary Snob Award For Outstanding Achievements in the field of Abject Cuntery. ”Legal and Democratic Services”? What the fuck does that even mean? Provides protection for the subject of the investigation? What? That’s stretching it a bit, non? If you mean they are protected by having two goons follow their every move how can I disagree? I’d contend that it is a bit of an invasion of privacy and a total waste of police and council time?
Reactionary Snob is a lawyer (from Scotland, as is apparent from some of his coverage) and always worth a visit. The BBC also covered the story – in a TV share of licence compliant, post phone-in scandal, sort of a way.
Meanwhile, before I crack on with my civil liberties oriented Weekend Review – we go over to an item from John Bolch, author of Family Lore – for an amusing bit of film…. here it is. Be back in three.
The revelation recently that Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg told Piers Morgan, former editor of The Mirror, when asked how many women he had slept with (for GQ magazine) that it was ‘…less than thirty” is remarkable. The Guardian covered the story.
Cleggover as, inevitably, he is now known, should have kept his mouth shut. I may well have an ASBO banning me from appearing in church or at a Register Office for the purpose of marrying anyone – but it would not occur to me to answer a question as crass as that. In fact, it would irritate me to be asked. Boris, by saying less than a 1000, because he is not bisexual, gets away with it. Mind you, his activities are a matter of public record. At least Paddy Pantsdown was vaguely credible when he was caught – and, we really do not need to go back to the era of dogs being shot and the departure of Jeremy Thorpe…. or, for that matter, David Lloyd George
Well… no podcasts this weekend. BUT…. I am loading all my podcasts up to a new server (it takes time) – and from Wednesday 16th April my daily news podcasts and daily news review will be on here. I’ve also set up a newsletter – so if you want to sign up for a weekly (possibly, fortnightly) newswire from me on developments in the law and and a bit of analysis – feel free to sign up here. You can always unsubscribe – and I promise that my mate Mr Cialis will not be writing to offer you pills.
Off for a glass of Rioja – and I won’t be watching “Britain’s got Talent”….
Paxo: Charon… you said on GMTV news this morning that the dogs are going to the country…. didn’t you really mean to say the country is going to the dogs?
Charon: No… I meant what I said. The dogs are going to the country…
Paxo: Aaaand…. what did you mean by that?
Charon: This country is beginning to lose the place. We have Police and their frontline stormtroopers, the Police Community Support Officers, stopping people taking photographs in public places, we have judges telling government ministers to stop pandering to the Saudis, we have a load of daytime television viewers ‘kidnapping’ their own child to make beer money and waste yet more police time, we have a load of dodgy chinese athletes dressed up in shellsuits pushing pro-Tibet protesters and our police out of the way and we seem to be appeasing China, one of the most repressive and ultimately destructive regimes in the world….. and we can’t even do anything sensible with a bit of regime change in Zimbabwe. Do you want me to go on?… Oh… and government ministers can’t even treat our armed forces properly.
Paxo: Charon… you are on record as being a leftie…. have you crossed the floor?
Charon: No… and, in any event, the present Labour Party hasn’t got much to do with left of centre views these days anyway…. but I do wonder if people in this country are more interested in a dog who can walk backwards on television’s “Britain’s got Talent” – hence my reference to ‘dogs are going to the country’ – or the gathering chaos and erosion of liberty in this country being systematically engineered by a tired and morally moribund government. That does not, of course, predicate or assume that vaguely sensible politicians or elected parliamentary carpetbaggers of a different persuasion will do any better.
Paxo: Are you going to back Boris?
Charon: You know… Mr Paxman… I may just do that…. who was it who said something about an electorate deserving their politicians? Fancy a glass of Rioja?…. I didn’t have time to finish the bottle in your hospitality room before I came on.
Paxo: A kind offer, Charon. I’ll pass this time. Good evening to you.
Charon: Indeed…. I’ll just nip back and finish it…. waste not, want not…. get some value for my TV licence fee.
Paxo: Please do. Goodnight.
You may find this truly astonishing, but I have been invited by Della Croft, the MD of Law And More, of which more later, and Vanessa Wozniak, the Editor of the LawandMore online magazine ……to be their guest restaurant critic!
To be fair, at the age I am, I have eaten quite a bit of food and have done my best to sample and taste the wines of the world. I think I’ll be able to ‘hack’ it.
I was offered this guest spot on the strength of a restaurant review I did on Charon a year ago – re-printed today on the LawandMore website.
I am looking forward to doing my first restaurant review next week. I shall dine well. They have chosen an interesting restaurant for me to visit.
You are probably deluged with unsolicited emails – but I am not flogging viagra, or, indeed, anything else at the moment. But I do want to provide a weekly email newswire with some rather more serious news coverage – perhaps even analysis? – and would like to invite you to ‘sign-up’ to receive the weekly newswire. You don’t need to read it – and you will be able to unsubscribe at any time.
I am going to be doing a daily news podcast on here (with a short daily review) from next Wednesday 16th April – simply because I enjoy getting up at 3.30 am, reading 5-6 online newspapers and then sitting down with a roll-up and an espresso to bang away at my new age typewriter. I am moving podcasts and daily review to my blog from Consilio.tv where I have been doing them since January. I am, of course, continuing to write for Consilio.
If you would like to have yet another email in your inbox weekly – but this time from “Charon” (as opposed to Mr Cialis or The President of some bank in Nigeria offfering you money) – please sign up… here (It will have some useful content on it – the nonsense, I shall leave to these pages.)
[By the way – if anyone wants to have the daily newscast on their site – whether for private blogs or professional purposes – happy to provide the mp3. The daily news podcast lasts for about 5 minutes, depending on the news (Or, of course, you can link)]
The Independent reports that Mr Al Fayed is accepting the Diana Inquest verdict.
“The Harrods owner, who said he was abandoning the public claims for the sake of Princes William and Harry, told ITV’s News at Ten that “enough is enough”. He added: “I’m leaving the rest for God to get my revenge. I’m not doing anything any more.”
I had to smile at this part of the Indie report: “Mr Fayed said he was “tired” with his fight for justice despite his lawyers telling him he still had options.”
Did they so advise? If so, why? To what end?
Daniel Finkelstein, writing in the Times, observes: “The Diana inquest cost a fortune. The verdict will not change the mind of a single person. The conclusions the court reached were entirely obvious to anyone with half a brain right from the beginning. But still. Worth every penny, it was. But still. We should be proud not ashamed.”
I think he’s right. Conspiracy theorists are never going to be satisfied with a verdict.
Meanwhile…. Lord Justice Scott-Baker is still ‘not minded’ to refer Paul Burrell to the Metropolitan Police – and seems content to have made his point about Burrell’s reliability in his summing up to the jury.
HOWEVER… The Met, having solved all serious crime in london and having recovered from being pushed about by Chinese paramilitary PAP guards during the Olympic torch procession through London the other day, is taking the view that it is their ‘duty’ to investigate Paul Burrell’s perjury. A member of the public has, apparently (and, inevitably) complained – giving the Met the green light to activate The Thunderbirds. BBC Story
I was reminded, tonight, about my time teaching in the 1990s at BPP Law School – in yet another guise of legal educator with a dream… to be carved in profile, forever visible as a founder, on a mountain side. They never did do the carving.
An Anonymous post in the comments section of my “Different Life” post earlier today reminded me of a lecture I gave on Implied terms with a tin of beans as a teaching aid. The poster also reminded me of my absurd incarnation as Brigadier Grappa on RollonFriday in the early days of the present century. I did a search to see if Grappa was still on Google. Surprisingly he was…. on Geeklawyer’s blog
These were the early days of my online friendship with Geeklawyer. It was not a cowboy movie about breaking the bank and mountains… it was a story of pure friendship, innocence and respect between fellow bloggers – mature, thoughtful and considerate…. [CUT]…. Exit Stage Left followed by a bear and doctor with a prescription pad in his right hand.
This is what I posted on my comments section. Perhaps I should have let sleeping dogs lie?
I have just done a search on my old mate Grappa. It brought up an early Geeklawyer post and Liadnan warned GL about Grappa and his ability to drink vino rosso.
Comment by Liadnan
You want to be careful in promising that. Charon QC (aka in another place Brigadier Grappa) can drink a hell of a lot. I have observed it. Though I think he usually sticks to wine.
I neither admit nor deny.
I miss those early days of innocence when bloggers, who had not met, were polite to each other. Now I have no qualms at all in crashing Geeklawyer’s blog on a Friday night, over refreshed perhaps, and committing unsolicited literary abominations thereon.
The New York Times reports on the treadmill of blogging and the recent death of two prolific bloggers. I won’t dwell on this – link above.
It is good to see, at a time when banks are not giving 125% mortgages, hedge funds are suing investment banks, Boris may become Mayor, and a host of other really rather serious events are going in the world – quite apart from snow in West London the other day and endless comments about global warming from passers-by, as I was sipping espresso at a cafe, – that The Norfolk Constabulary is at the forefront of upholding law and order.
The BBC reports that “Supermarkets have banned sales of eggs and tomato ketchup to young people in a bid to cut anti-social behaviour.
About a dozen residents in the Charles Close area of Caister-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth, have reported tomato sauce being squirted at cars and homes. Norfolk Police asked supermarkets in the town to challenge youths trying to buy sauces in squirty bottles or eggs.”
And…next… for your delectation and delight: An excellent story from the Daily Mail:
Muslim leaders condemned a new war game where teams of soldiers shoot at enemies – dressed as Arabs. Men in camouflaged military gear battle opponents wearing shemaghs – the traditional headdress of Arab men – at Zulu 1 Tactical Airsoft Simulations.
Well… after we had Max Mosley – offending Mercedes, BMW, Jewish religious leaders and victims of the horrors of the Holocaust – being dealt with by women dressed up in WWII uniforms and prancing around shouting orders in German, we now have a group of wannabe soldiers irritating Muslim leaders by playing war games with arabs as ‘the enemy’.
I’m not surprised that Muslims and Muslim leaders are offended. This is recreational war gaming. The participants play with play guns (with BB pellets). God knows what they would do in a real situation – who cares? That isn’t the point. Surely, in the present situation, with real war, real killing, real conflict and real politics in a tragic conflict – the organisers of what is, essentially, paintballing for adults (albeit with BB pellets – safer apparently) …. could have chosen ‘ enemy’ in a different guise? A different coloured ‘bib’? Paintball can be fun – but I do wonder at the mentality of those who feel they have to dress up like real soldiers to play it. At least they are not rampaging around Norfolk squirting tomato sauce at people.
Anyway… moving on….
From 16th April my daily news podcasts and a daily review of the news – for those who enjoy such things will be on my blawg. I may put it on my other blog – but will, of course, let you know, should you wish to save yourself the trouble of reading six newspapers every morning between 4.00 – 6.00 am. Until then they are on Consilio.
In my other guise, I have decided to step down as an Editor of Consilio – the online magazine I founded with others ten years ago.
This means that I will be able to concentrate on writing, podcasts and develop things in a different way. I may even have more time for some teaching.
Political blogger Guido Fawkes reported last week on the story about the 10 Downing Street gaffe on the logo for the Progressive Governance Summit. See: Guido Fawkes report. I managed to get a copy of the original logo from Fawkes’ blog – 10 Downing Street having removed it from their website. The designers, inadvertantly, managed to get something resembling a swastika into the original logo. Quite how they did not notice, is not for me to judge. The logo was changed.
As Guido Fawkes noted: Andrew Grice in the Indy this morning tells us why:
There was an embarrassing hiccup before Gordon’s arrival: the logo for today’s summit of world leaders bore an uncanny resemblance to a Nazi swastika. Downing Street removed the logo from its website and ordered the designers to come up with a new one. “It would be totally wrong to read anything sinister into the intentions of the designers,” said a No 10 spokeswoman.
And then, of course, the continuing saga of Max Mosley, reported again with much salacious detail in The News of The World.
NOTW reports: “Amid growing demands for his resignation as president of the sports ruling FIA body, Mosley claimed in a letter to members: “Had I been caught driving excessively fast on a public road or over the alcohol limit I should have resigned the same day.”
On a day when the arctic winds return to Britain… and West London once again faces the prospect of sleet and snow drifts, one of our judges has stirred things up today at a conference by claiming that ‘family meltdown’ will be as catastrophic as global warming.
6.15 pm is a bit early for me to be on the juice, so I read the BBC report with a degree of sobriety not often seen later on a Saturday evening. Sure enough, there it was, in black and white.
Mr Justice Coleridge of The Family Division, the BBC reports, has “hit out at the government over what he says is an “epidemic” of family failure that will have “catastrophic” effects.”
I quote from the BBC report: “In a speech in Brighton to lawyers from Resolution, formerly the Solicitors’ Family Law Association, the judge warned of a “cancerous” increase in broken families and said the government must take “comprehensive action”. The judge said those who witnessed the goings-on inside family courts would be aware of it being a “never ending carnival of human misery – a ceaseless river of human distress”.
Warming to his theme, Coleridge J went on to declare: “We are experiencing a period of family meltdown whose effects will be as catastrophic as the meltdown of the ice caps,” said the judge, who added that its effects pose “as big a threat to the future of our society as terrorism, street crime or drugs”.
Well, despite the fact that I am no expert on children, apart from being irritated by them when they accompany their parents into pubs, do not read much family law (apart from occasional forays on to Family Lore), and welcome global warming so that I can start growing Rioja plants in my back garden in West London – the judge is probably right – although I am not sure that is always wise for judges to stray from their territory and field of undoubted expertise into the choppy waters of politico-economic sociology and social athropology.
I must do a Freedom of Information request to find out how many government ministers and leading members of the opposition benches come from broken homes – to see if this may be the reason for the ills, plagues and pestilence our current crop of politicians are bestowing on our sceptred isle.
Tips from Nigella and a real woman:
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
The Real Woman’s Way
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and drop it in 8 ounces of vodka. Drink the vodka. You might still have the headache, but you won’t care!
The Daily Mail is not a newspaper I would ordinarily come across… but my attention was caught by their report that a “Muslim is spared a speeding ban so he can drive between his two wives”
The Mail reports: “Mohammed Anwar said a ban would make it difficult to commute between his two wives and fulfil his matrimonial duties.” The Court did not ban him, despite his exceeding the 30 mph speed limit by 34 mph and fined him 6 points and £200.
Law firm in fishnet stockings ban
Following a post on Legal Week the Daily Mail has excelled itself with a bit of in-depth investigative reporting: “A law firm’s decision to ban women wearing fishnets to work has left lawyers as neatly divided as a divorcing millionaire’s fortune. The unidentified firm has decreed that female lawyers in fishnets distract male colleagues and look unprofessional.”
Your man at the bar, with a copy of The Gazette rolled up in the pocket of his Aussie Drize-a-bone, risked ridicule as he flicked through The Daily Mail today. But… he did so in the pursuit of knowledge, of truth, of information. There were some truly astonishing quotes from solicitors about this fishnet ban….
“One solicitor, calling herself City Woman, fumed: “What a total load of tosh. My male partners openly coo when I’m wearing Jimmy Choos, short skirts and nicely cut tops as it all reinforces the image they wish to project about themselves, the people they work with and the quality of bird they’ve attracted to the partnership.”
“If I find a nicely polished pair of Churchs [a brand of men’s shoes] a ‘distraction’, does that mean I can get them banned too?”
“At my firm, our investment banking clients were always happy to see us girls at negotiation meetings in very short skirts.”
But… the quote I really enjoyed was this: “Some of our trainees and newly qualifieds look like lap-dancers. Maybe they’re just trying to snare a husband and don’t see a longterm future for themselves in the law but I know I wouldn’t take them to a client meeting looking like that.”
I have sent Matt Muttley of Muttley Dastardly LLP a note on this story.
I’ve decided to open a blog to focus on legal news, analysis and commentary – leaving me free ‘qua Charon’, to run amok. My alter ego will do the stuff on serious news and The Law of Contract in ‘another place’. Only an idea at this stage…. we shall see what happens.
I am orf for a Guinness and a glass or two of rioja with a mate – to discuss the finer points of remoteness of damage in Contract and Tort – yeah right!. I’ll be back… on here, later tonight…. when I may get fired.
Well… I had a quick look at how my blog was doing on Technorati. I do this occasionally… but this entry is priceless… and made my evening
Memo to All Partners from Matt Muttley, Managing Partner
Following the news last week about Max Mosley, it appears that one of our ‘Platinum Club’ clients has run into a similar difficulty.
Briefly, Mr ‘X’ has a penchant for dressing up in viking clothing and going berzerk in Doncaster late on a Friday night. He tells me that he was merely re-enacting the feats of brave vikings – The Bezerkers – who raped, pillaged and went into battle pissed out of their minds after a good night on the lash. [The picture is not our client. I provide it merely to inform those of you who may not be familiar with bezerkers]
The local duty solicitor, who has sought our assistance, reports that the story is rather more difficult. Apparently, Mr ‘X’ shouted at a lot of young girls in short skirts who were wearing white high heels and skimpy tops, struck several of them across the buttocks with his bare hands and then asked a group of hoodies to try and abuse him. Unfortunately, for them, they ‘had a go’. Three of them are now in hospital.
Mr ‘X’ is not overly concerned about the assault charges. He has been reading up in Wikipedia about self defence and is confident he will be able to persuade the local magistrates that he was fully within his rights to defend himself again the drunken aggression of the local hoodie massif. The girls have not pressed charges and are, I understand, taking him clubbing ‘ for a larf’ tomorrow night to do a guest spot at a hen night. I am, as it happens, attending with the client to provide monitoring and to ensure compliance with discovery.
Our client is a well known businessman. He has interests in Sweden and is concerned that the publicity attendant in matters such as these, if the story gets out, will have an adverse effect on his business interests in Sweden. Apparently, he sounds like the ‘mad chef’ from Spitting Image when he goes bezerking and he feels that Volvo motor cars may well say that his conduct is a disgrace and decline further business with him.
It would be useful to have your views. We may well consult counsel. I have just the right chap in mind – a top junior who blogs anonymously under the name Geeklawyer. He has used some unusual techniques to appeal to judges in the past – with some success, I gather. Eva Braun, my PA, speaks most highly of his prowess in court.
Having made the decision to do more writing, in various guises, and to go back to a spot of teaching (a pleasure) – I feel strangely liberated and was most taken by this nonsense from RollonFriday this morning:
” A man was charged with public indecency after being accused of shagging a picnic table. A spokesman for local police said that Art Price Jr “would use the hole from the umbrella and have sex with the table”. It almost makes Max Mosley look normal… Charges have now been dropped due to lack of evidence, although prosecutors say they’re re-examining the case.”
Table with umbrella hole – buy now. The fountain pictured in the distance is purely coincidental.
Gordon Brown eats vegetables – official…
I was reading the newspapers this morning for my usual daily news podcast on Consilio when I discovered that not only did Gordon Brown eat vegetables in 2005 – 2006; he paid for the vegetables on his MP expenses. As The Telegraph did not refer to vegetables being claimed for by Cyclops in previous years, one may well come to the view (as I have) that he did not eat any vegetables in the previous financial year. He was probably abiding by his golden rule. The Speaker, whose wife spent £4000 of taxpayer money to collect groceries by taxi, finally revealed this sensitive information about Brown the other day. Brown was out of the country attending a NATO meeting when this information came to light.
Not content with reporting on Wars, rigged elections in Zimbabwe and mindless ephemera, the BBC has ‘won a three year Freedom of Information’ battle and now knows what MPs have been claiming on their expenses. They very kindly shared it with me tonight when I logged on to their news website.
The BBC reports, solemnly: “But the House of Commons Commission argued that, a detailed breakdown of expenses could expose MPs to a security risk.” Astonishing.
“Mr Prescott claimed the most on food and groceries of the six covered by the BBC’s request – £4,000 – with Mr Blair the only other MP to claim under this category, for £174.41.”
Frankly, it is dull stuff. Most MPs spent their allowances on mortgages and cleaning, running costs etc. Not even one claim for a visit to a dungeon staffed by women dressed up as stormtroopers to watch Max Mosley shouting in German and having his head searched for lice while drinking tea – an entirely private matter and not worthy of comment in a blog, let alone a national newspaper.
I am moving to a new server – so while I have started replacing picture links – the remaining pictures will be done gradually day by day. I hope to have podcasts restored and working on Wednesday of next week. (The pics will take some time to reload – as I have to do about 1500 links!.) I am working on a plan to do this more efficiently by batch changes – but I have to work out how to change the main section of the all the pic URLS, yet leave the correct image name in place!
Any ideas? Geeklawyer – do you know how I might achieve a mass URL change throughout a WordPress blog?
I am launching a new Law of Contract website where I plan to publish my book on Contract, a series of lectures, examination materials and other matters. I shall also be writing case analyses et al. I’ll have to do this in my other guise – simply because, as must be apparent to you by now, that my alter ego doesn’t seem to know any law or, if he does, he has a healthy distaste for writing about it when he is relaxing.
Right… orf to have a glass or two of Rioja. Remarkably, when I was moving some boxes , I found a case left over from Christmas 2006. God had nothing to do with it. I merely lost track of the case. It has reappeared to disappear more profitably.
It was just after 5.00 this afternoon when my old friend Professor Baxendale arrived at The Staterooms.
” Vinum bellum iucunumque est, sed animo corporeque caret” Hadders said with a wry smile as he handed me a bottle of Chianti.
“Good to see you, Hadders. Do not worry about character and depth. The only question is whether it does the business.”
“There was a time, Charon, when I could run to a decent bottle… but I didn’t see the news coverage about Northern Rock or reasonably foresee that a Frenchman would run amok at Societe Generale.”
“Hadders…excellent to see you…. so… a bit of nemo dat quod non habet then?” I asked, as I took the bottle.
“Indeed, Charon… indeed”
“ Bonum vinum laetificat cor homini” I said, casually, as I opened and poured the wine. “Gladdens the heart… as they used to say in Rome.”
“Good to see that you are still keeping up with the Latin… mind you… not a major problem…not as if one needs Westlaw or Lexis-Nexis to keep up to date.”
Hadders walked over to sit on the chair I purchased many years ago from an auction room – reputed to be from HMS Bellerophon, a ship of the line….”
“So… Hadders… what are you up to?”
Baxendale raised his glass, smiled and said ” Putting myself back in the position I would have been in had I made sensible choices many years ago.”
“Do you really think that those events were reasonably foreseeable?” I asked.
“Are you referring to the matter of my marrying again and what may reasonably be supposed to have been in the contemplation of both parties, at the time of the marriage, as the probable result of the marriage?”
I hesitated…. careful to phrase my response, lest my friend went off on a frolic of his own. I decided to avoid the issue. I did not feel the need to rehearse again the way his ex-wife…. had, quite brilliantly, represented herself in the Family Division, as a litigant in person.
“So… Hadders…when we last met… you were thinking about getting ‘big’ in the US sub-prime market. How is that going?”
“Charon…” Hadders said in a measured tone,… “Knowledge “possessed” is of two kinds – one imputed, the other actual. Everyone, as a reasonable person, is taken to know “the ordinary course of things” and consequently what loss is liable to result from a breach of that ordinary course.”
I sipped my wine and rolled a cigarette, casually, one handed… before replying. “Absolutely…. good to see that you consider yourself to be a reasonable person.”
“Yes…. still hacking away being a reasonable person…. so where are we off to tonight?”
“I thought I might take you down to a new gastropub down the road…. The Heron II…. OK with you?”
“Charon….”….. Hadders paused… and said, with a smile… “Like the Speaker of The House of Commons…. I have a taste for taxis…and I always enjoy being dragged to a bar against my will.”
And with that… we did, indeed, find ourselves sitting outside at The Heron II.
I was asked by a friend of mine the other day if I could assist by giving one of his students some help with The Law of Contract. I did so – and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of teaching again. So much so… I am thinking of doing some more!
Naturally, I shall offer my clients a glass of Rioja as we go through the mysteries of Contract law.
Goner: Oil on Canvas, Charonaletto (2008)
The work first appeared under the Title: “Where is my fucking sword?” but The Institute of Topers rejected the work until the title was changed to something more suitable. My half-brother Charonaletto is a complete tart and changed the title immediately he got the readies.