Gordon cold calls British public… Hello… is that Charon?…

Gordon Brown: Hello?… is that Charon?

Charon: Indeed… I am Charon… who is calling?

Gordon Brown: It is Gordon Brown, the prime minister…of Britain

Charon looks at his bottle of Rioja. It is three quarters full.

Gordon Brown then starts singing:

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say that I feel your pain
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

Charon: Well… bravo Prime Minister. Have you been watching Britain’s got Talent? Well thank you very much for singing to me. Do you know “Show me the way to Tempranillo?”… you know… the song that Peter Kaye did and our boys in Iraq did a parody of a couple of years ago.

Gordon Brown: No… I don’t know that one

Charon: Well hang on for a moment prime minister… I’ll sing it for you…

Sha la la lala lalala
Sha la la lala lalala
Sha la la lala lalala

When the day is dawning on a 10 Downing Street morning
how I long to be there
with Hazel Blears who’s waiting for me there
every lonely city where I hang my hat
ain’t as half as pretty as where my Cabinet’s at

Is this the way to Tempranillo
every night I’ve been hugging my pillow
dreaming dreams of
Tempranillo and sweet Hazel who waits for me
show me the way to
Tempranillo
I’ve been weeping like a willow
crying over
Tempranillo
and sweet Hazel who waits for me

***

The Sun has an excellent report on Gordon Brown’s other phonecalls to members of the British public.

Show me the way to Armadillo – The Army version

“I was in Westminster Hall, high up”…

There are few who can say they were in Westminster Hall, let alone ‘High Up’ – but that, as Frances Gibb reported in the Times, is what Jack Straw, Lord Chancellor and political embodiment of Justice on British soil, is reported as saying.

Straw was,in fact, talking about how he was sitting high up in Westminster Hall, presiding over the last Silk ceremony, and looked down and saw that all was not good. The Times reported him as saying “The vast majority of the silks were… Like all five parliamentarians around this table, white, male, middle class……. There was no one of African or African-Caribbean origin or heritage…. That is not acceptable, and everybody accepts that.”

Yet… in another part of our realm, our United Kingdom, or what may be left of it if Scotland chooses to take the high road to independence, the political journalists wonder if Gordon Brown will survive. We have, of course, the entirely predictable backlash from the by-election blues of last week, the flurry of new policies, The BBC reporting this very day that ” The government is preparing to offer Labour MPs a major concession to avoid losing a vote on terror detentions” and to state that Cyclops may well be listening on the issue of the detention without charge proposal to extend the period from 28 to 42 days …

BUT… not to be distracted by this… I had to do.… a quick search on Google to see what Jack Straw was doing…

There are some who say that Jack Straw is waiting in the wings. It seems that he may not be clothing any naked villainy, let alone his, and may well just be getting on with the business of the law, justice and worrying about judicial diversity. Certainly, from what I could glean from Frances Gibb’s article…. Straw told the Justice Committee of MPs. “The expectation that the establishment of the Judicial Appointments Commission would lead to a more diverse judiciary have so far not been fulfilled. But,” he added, “it’s early days.”

I liked the “It’s early days.” This, at least, had a hint of Shakespearean plot and sub text. But Frances Gibb dashed my hopes by writing “What can be done? There is no going back, Straw made clear, to the old system — much as some might like to.”

As I could find nothing on Google to indicate that Jack Straw was doing anything other than worrying about judicial diversity and silk selection – It is a parliamentary recess period – I even popped over to the Ministry of Justice website. I live life on the edge these days, now that I have stopped being a nihilist (infra). No… Straw was not in. But … he must be up to something – because he doesn’t even seem to have been claiming anything by way of expenses, let alone ivory kitchens, Agas, Sky TV or Tudor cladding for his second home…

I was almost tempted, after reading this – and not finding any evidence of Jack Straw plotting, with persons unknown, to become First Lord of The Treasury, Prime Minister, and primus inter pares, – to see if ITV could amuse me with “Britain’s Got Talent”. I decided that what little time I have left on this earth, however long that may be, was not best served by watching this televisual offering – and, instead, turned my attention to other aspects of legal news as reported in the Press.

And so… I found myself reading a report in The Times that Clifford Chance, the world’s largest law firm, has just posted revenue figures in excess of £1.3 billion with profits per partner running at £1.15 million. It would, indeed, be ironic if the Chancellor started eyeing up the legal profession, or part of it, for a quick smash and grab windfall tax to stop those truckers blockading.

So… that is what I managed to find time to do after the day job today. I’m not sure if it has added to my life (or yours if you are reading this) to have read about these events, let alone reporting on them, but… I would not wish regular readers or visitors, typing in some pretty unusual things into Google and arriving at this blog, to find a law blawg with absolutely no law on it. By the way… have they found evidence of life on Mars yet with that new space probe that appears to have landed near Alice Springs in Australia and is beaming pictures back to NASA of absolutely nothing but red rocks – thus far?

***

And… just to round off a most unusual day… I have just received an email from an implausibly named spammer – moussorgskybrock0633@ ********.com – stating…. ” hey both stared at the age-weathered ruins, and Abulurd made a halfhearted and other League Worlds, Abulurd felt deep dread in his heart.
Atreides would be disappointed in him for letting such a potential disaster slip.”

I could identify with this prose. I have, on occasion, taken of the Rioja, written in this subtle stream of consciousness / interior monologue style…

Yes…. I have a feeling that West London Man may well… now… have a friend called Moussorgsky Brock… a barrister in a leading London set – who is worried about taking Silk….. a perfect end… to my day.

I have no idea if J K Rowling got emails from spammers, late at night, to inspire her in the naming of her characters … but… as I do not have her talent… I must rely on spammers for inspiration…

***

Legal Note: Frances Gibb reports: Of the 98 new silks (not judges but nonetheless an elite cadre within the profession), only 20 were women and four were not white, and all were of Asian origin.

29th May: Daily news podcast and legal news

Health & Safety laws are being taken very seriously indeed by Anglia Ruskin University. The newspapers report that students have been asked not to throw their mortar boards in the air — in case they HURT someone. Bosses at a university want to stop the age-old tradition of gleefully hurling headgear skywards on graduation day.They say someone could be “blinded or even worse” if one of the flat-topped hats fell on them. The solution, of course, is for students to simply jump into the air wearing their mortar boards.

Daily News Podcast and legal news now up on Insitelaw Newswire

Charon dark after dark…I am thinking….

I had a “why is it necessary to live another 20 odd years” moment this evening – rain, petrol prices out of control, a government in melt down, the prospect of a Tory government in two years time…. Chiswick High Street crammed with people pushing prams – and one man carrying his child in some absurd harness on his front.

Nihilism has advantages… or does it… who cares?

Listen to Charon dark…after dark…. the podcast

West London Man (8): Legal advice…

West London Man 8: Audio version

George and Caroline went to a black tie supper party on Saturday. One of George’s ex-girlfriends, the wife of another guest at the party, told George that her investment banker husband was about to be fired in the next round of credit-crunch ‘re-structures’ and asked George if he knew a good solicitor who could advise her on the most efficient way to divorce to maximise her financial position.

George telephoned a partner in a City law firm, a close friend, to seek his advice. George had also read the article in The Observer by Amelia Hill: Divorce rush to grab redundancy pay-offs.

Ring ring… ring ring…

Hugo: Yes.

George: Hugo… It’s George. Sorry to catch you early on a Sunday. A friend of mine has a problem. Ex-girlfriend… husband an investment banker about to get Sugared…. wants some advice on how to maximise her financial position and divorce.

Hugo: George… no problem. Well, as you know, I’m not a family lawyer… but… I know where to find one find one for you. There’s an article in The Observer this morning about this very issue. Sandra Davis over at Mishcon de Reya who handle some pretty heavy divorces as you know – they were Mucca’s lawyers – told The Observer… and I quote: “When money looks like flying out of the window, love walks out of the door.” She said they’ve never been busier with stay-at home spouses asking what their options are. Another lawyer at Mishcon de Reya said… and, again, I quote “A trophy wife is aware she needs to get proceedings moving before he spends his redundancy and all the capital he has built up. But businessmen who lose their job often see it as an opportunity to head straight off to the divorce courts before they find a new job, so alimony payments will be based on their unemployed status.”

George: Bloody hell… What happened to love?

Hugo: Love? Nothing to do with it in some marriages, George. This article in The Observer is crammed full of family lawyers saying how busy they are at the moment…. here’s another one… James Stewart, a matrimonial partner with law firm Manches, said he has never been busier, but it is not just wives coming through his door. ‘In the last week alone, I have had two stay-at-home husbands inquiring about claiming the assets of their high earning wives.” George, I’d get your friend off to one of these guys. They’ll do the business for you.

George: Absolutely…. well… thanks for the advice Hugo. Phew…. scary stuff. Thank God Caroline doesn’t read The Observer..

Hugo: Quite… everything OK at your end, George? No sub-prime exposure?

George: No everything is fine Hugo… just fine. Position covered. I owe you, Hugo. Drinks next Friday… Mahiki?

Hugo: Sounds good… Did you hear that the Police and the council are testing every bar and restaurant in Kensington & Chelsea for traces of cocaine use?

George laughed: I did. Well no-one will need to fudge figures for that report. See you on Friday. Bye.

***

The Observer article went on to quote an anonymous blogger on www.hereisthecity.com explaining in painful detail why her husband’s redundancy from an investment bank has driven her to head for the law courts. I quote:

“It’s interesting how all these bankers have been writing in detailing their experiences and woes after being laid off,” she wrote, “How typical that they just think of themselves! How about the impact on their wives? Most of us didn’t sign up to share every waking moment with a down-on-his-luck egotist who spends his days moping around with a pitiful hang-dog expression and constantly relives past ‘glories’ in a feeble effort to retain what little self-respect he seems to have left.”

Excellent nonsense. Too many episodes of Sex in The City and Desperate Housewives?

West London Man 8: Audio version

Charon after dark…. prose… after a fashion…

London – a place where mammon meets government, art meets youth, and the engine of modern day Britain thrives on reclaimed social wasteland - a City now governed by an exuberant, ebullient and eternally eccentic Etonian… the template of future direct rule from Notting Hill and the resurgent Tories who, without revealing any detailed policy(ies), have attracted, possibly, new voters from a people, a nation, in the process of being broken on the wheel of oil prices, food prices, bank charges, falling house prices, credit-crunch and financial armageddon. (For those of you with a taste for Greek: αρμαγεδδων). The Thirteen horsemen from Eton are coming… it is no longer ‘if’… it is ‘when’ they will come…..

I just thought I would try my hand at a bit of hyperventilating political schmolitical hyperbole before the Sunday papers arrive on our butler delivered breakfast trays tomorrow.

**

SEVERE WEATHER WARNING FROM THE MET OFFICE: BANK HOLIDAY SPECIAL

“The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the TOFF-MEISTER comes.’

I like a bit of Revelations

The rains are coming… and the march of change is upon us all. Have a good Bank Holiday… I cannot say it will be our last £1.35 per litre for petrol bank holiday, because of the new Consumer Protection Regulations coming into force on Monday.  Nostradamus…. “You’re nicked, mate.”

I have not revealed this before, although if you were ‘one of us’, to coin a rather unfortunate New Labour electioneering phrase, you would have known – but in addition to blogging, I am a professional soothsayer, relic seller, medium and fortune teller, regulated by Ofsooth. This new consumer protection legislation has wrecked my retirement plan to go on a cruise liner in two months time and talk compassionately to coffin dodgers about what…. ‘life has in store’ and sell them life insurance (with free carriage clock – so they can see the hours counting down, presumably). I mean… I’m a regular sort of a fortune teller and soothsayer and… I like to give people hope with a bit of hyperbole… and help them talk to old friends who ‘have gone over to the other side’ and are now voting for the Toff-Meister. I can’t do that now without handing them a leaflet stating clearly: “My glimpse into your future Is for entertainment only” and not “experimentally proven”.

***

I’ll find something else to do in my retirement… don’t worry about me…

Weekend Review: Bank Holiday Edition (1) 24-26 May

I begin this Whitsun Bank Holiday with a reading suitable for a funeral….

Stop all the papers, cut off the net,
Prevent the backbenchers from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pundits and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the Tories come.

[With many apologies to W H Auden]

I amused myself with a glass of Rioja Gran Riserva at lunch today – to ward off malaria - and decided to branch out into a bit of hyperventilating hyperbolic political punditry myself (Infra or here). I fear it may be a short lived career.

So… when all about you are losing their heads… what is a blawger to do? Max Mosley is in Monaco fending off offers of a thick cushion to sit on, the cricket at Old Trafford is of interest to me (I am listening as I write) SECOND TEST, Old Trafford (day two):England v New Zealand 375-8 – and I am wondering how best to spend my evening. I suspect, given that I made absolutely no arrangements this weekend, that I may end up planning more episodes of West London Man – and, possibly, introduce some unsolicited, gratuitous sex… into the story that is, as opposed to my chaste and pure life. Caroline tells one of her friends at the supper party tonight that George is not really meeting her performance targets. George told Caroline about the MP expenses before they went to the supper party.

And… in a rare exception to my writing on this blawg, I managed to shoehorn a bit of law in with my ‘Clairvoyant Emptor’ analysis of the new Consumer Protection Regulations due to come into force on Monday.

What are the judges up to?

After the high comedy fashion parades of recent weeks, there is little to report, save for a rather amusing piece picked up on by John Bolch of Family Lore on the correct usage of “judgment / Judgement” – of concern to few but lawyers. I won’t spoil it. It is worth reading… visit the Family Lore post for this gem.

And the bloggers?… what are they doing?….

As I try to cover the more serious blog posts each day on the Insitelaw Newswire, I am, of course, free to focus attention here on the more bizarre offerings of the blawgers… Geeklawyer picks up on the Israeli Airforce being scrambled to intercept Tony Blair’s private jet as it moved into Israeli airspace.

J Dan Hull, blogger, attorney, pundit and all round amusing American, continues to mix his serious blog “What About Clients?” with nuggets of lunacy and the human condition. I liked this one, today:

“Is txt msgng the new threat to France?

The Economist asks: “Parlez-vous SMS?” France’s American-like President Nicolas Sarkozy is worried about what “text-messaging is doing to the French language”. Please aim higher, sir.”

We have two non-law bloggers: Knitting With Only One Needle with an eye catching post and, Ms R, ‘A Woman of Experience’ making other bloggers jealous by taking on the responsibility of reviewing sex toys in a well written amusingly observed and sharp post – a blog for those moments in the day when you want to laugh at something other than law, lawyers or, even, attend to the day job.

And then… there is…. White Rabbit… who, after his less than “office safe’ picture of Tony and Cherie in the “Last Tango in Balmoral” pic, has turned his attention to cricket… or, to be more accurate, dental matters caused by playing cricket and has a post about someone being a ‘complete arse’.

***

Well… that is probably enough for Weekend Review (1) – it is a long weekend. More will / shall follow… ineluctably.

The politics of expedience…

Nantwich & Crewe has come and gone. It is a Bank holiday in Britain, coupled to a parliamentary recess. There is time for the men in suits to slip quietly, silently, like deadly clostridium difficile, into Downing St. to have a quiet word. The Sunday newspapers have yet to pronounce their verdicts. The Saturday broadsheets have made their views known.

Employees will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted beyond it, according to Laurence Peter, the author of the concept. The role of prime minister carries no specific portfolio yet requires many talents. It may not require the deep intelligence and attention to minutiae needed of a Chancellor, but it certainly needs an intelligence honed by dealing with people from many backgrounds, it requires good communication skills, the ability to delegate and oversee and, above all, the skills of an orator and the ability to bite when being bitten. An article in The Guardian pointed out that while there is, for the present, the sound of senior members of the government keeping their heads down – even Tinkerbell Blears, wheeled out to do her best on Question Time the other night is silent – that Brown may at best be given a year to sort things out, possibly less, and one commentator wrote that it is time for the P.M to have a re-shuffle, fall on his sword and make way for someone else.

Brown, to my perhaps jaded eye, is a classic ‘Number 2′, the backroom man, the enforcer, the attention to detail man – the man who does the dirty business, who executes the business plan. Number 2s rarely make good Number Ones – and that, in part, is what we are seeing with Brown now.

Backbenchers, worried about the prospect of the Labour Party being reduced to below 100 seats at the next election will, inevitably, as they did with Margaret Thatcher and John Major all those years ago before the ‘nice decade’, begin to yap and then, as more join in, bark until the pack howls, growls and tears what is left of Gordon Brown’s beleaguered and plague infested administration to bits.

Well… I am not, of course, a political commentator. I read newspapers. I watch politics programmes – but I do see Shakespeare… I see men in togas walking up the steps… I see a man, alone, coping with his demons… as the phones fall silent… as those who once sought patronage and favour slink away like jackals…. I see King Lear…. for Lady Macbeth has already gone to write her memoirs…. and, for the present, has sheathed her stiletto(s).

***

I like nothing better on a Bank Holiday Saturday afternoon than a bit of hyperbole and hyperventilation… to go with a lunchtime glass of Rioja Gran Reserva

The end game is close… it cannot, now, be long. It could be checkmate by pawns. … a truly horrible way to end a chess match…. or, indeed, a long political career.

West London Man (7): Pre-dinner….

Audio Version: West London Man (7) – Pre-dinner

Saturday evening 7.00 pm: George and Caroline are having a glass of wine and a dance in the drawing room of their graciously appointed West London home. They are going to a black tie supper party with West London friends. They have cracked open a bottle of fizz and have been discussing the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. George is fascinated by the expenses being claimed by MPs released yesterday, after all legal process to suppress publication failed, under the Freedom of Information Act.

George: Caroline… did you read all this about MP expenses?

Caroline: George… no… I’ve had rather a hard day as it happens with our children. They take quite a lot of looking after and now that Katja has gone and the cleaning agency don’t do nannies I have had my hands full.

George: John Prescott…. claimed £9800 to cover mock tudor boards to his house and his food bill!. Blair claimed £10,600 for a new ivory kitchen and repairs to his Aga and the “Toff-Father”, Cameron, is claiming £1,741.83 a month for the mortgage on his cottage in Oxfordshire…. fantastic…. how do they get away with this?… Hang on… and Margaret Beckett had a £600 claim for plants and a pergola rejected…. a claim was actually rejected I tell you….!

George flicked through The Telegraph, Daily Mail and the FT to see if there were any more reports.

Caroline: George, it is Saturday evening, we are about to go and have a supper party…. why are we talking about the expenses being claimed by MPs?

George: This is important… It is about the government and governance of our country… it is about the principles of democracy…. it is about our future and the inheritance of our children as that strange man on The Dragon’s Den who flogs ladies underwear and stationery supplies keeps saying.

George looked in to the middle distance, a composed, serious, expression on his face…. He turned to his wife and smiled.

George: Caroline… I’m going to stand for Parliament…. hey… I’m a regular sort of a guy… how difficult can it be to be an MP?

Caroline raised her eyes to the heavens, drained her glass of fizz, got up and started dancing… a Polka.

***

Audio Version: West London Man (7) – Pre-dinner

Clairvoyant emptor…

A report on the Law

On this… the last Friday before the new The Consumer Protection Regulations come into force, I thought I’d draw your attention to the fact that anyone selling a bit of wine and a wafer or relics from Monday will have to describe them accurately – i.e. no more misleading statements and fanciful concepts. Hyperbolaters have been hunted down by the government and, from Monday, face the full majesty of the new laws.

Frances Gibb reported in The Times today that fortune tellers and astrologists will be bracketed with double glazing salesmen and will have to act fairly towards consumers. Fortune tellers et al will have to tell customers that what they offer “Is for entertainment only” and not “experimentally proven”. Faith healers, spirtualists and mediums are also caught by this legislation.

“Claims to secure good fortune, contact the dead or heal through the laying on of hands are all services that will have to carry disclaimers.” lawyers other than Harbottle & Lewis, who offered quotes to Frances Gibb in the article, said today.

Solicitors trying to trace beneficiaries under trusts or wills, funerals directors, those engaged in the detection of crime, grieving or non-grieving but greedy relatives, and personnel working for the NHS are not, of course, caught by this legislation – nor, indeed, is anyone offering wine and wafers in a non-commercial context, even if the descriptions given to the wine / wafers are not entirely accurate…. and given that I am a non-believer and a part-time restaurant reviewer…. not to my taste.”

***

Lawyers who are worried about this new legislation, and concerned about being bracketed with fortune tellers and mediums, may wish to consider a disclaimer and state, before ‘engaging with the client, that their advice “is for entertainment only”. That should do the trick.

I can’t eat any more free lunches….

******,

Thank you for yet another unsolicited email invitation to lunch – and follow up enquiring why I am not already lunching with you on a regular basis. The truth of the matter is that after reading about John Prescott’s difficulties, I appear to have decided that I, too, must get an eating disorder of some kind. I really don’t need any more of your complimentary lunch invitations. I do hope you will understand… and be understanding. I am not size zero yet…. But I am working on it.

Also… I am obliged to give you this written warning under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, currently going through the UK Parliament – and I do so now: I am the first UK law blogger cloned under this remarkable legislation and I should warn you that I am part Zebra and part lawyer…. Unfortunately, I missed out on the ‘human’ part of this experiment. Would 500 quid be a completely outrageous amount for me to charge you to attend your lunch? I’ll be there for at least 30 minutes…. Possibly longer if you could mix some hay or tasty morsels of grass or perhaps a bit of Caesar salad in with the fois gras… that I am partial to. I leave to you the choice of wine… so long as it is red… with a bit of body and does the business.

Best wishes

Charon QC

http://charonqc.wordpress.com/

THE INVITATION TO LUNCH

On 22/5/08 10:57, “*****_ ******” <seminars@****.com> wrote:

I recently invited you to lunch to discuss how to take ‘s events, surveys, and marketing campaigns to the next level. Please join me for a complimentary lunch and educational seminar hosted by *****, the leading provider of online software tools in the events and surveying industries.

We can discuss how you can accomplish the following:

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22nd May: Daily news podcast and news….

Police Federation chairman, Jan Berry, praised home secretary Jacqui Smith, for facing the conference, but added: “I am sure… you felt like reaching for a stab-proof vest and perhaps slipping into old habits and lighting up to calm your nerves.”

AND… Bystander JP, of The Magistrate’s blog, had this to say on his blog – “This is a piece of nonsensical bullying by Police who should know better. Being a charitable type of fellow, I am tempted to give the PCs the benefit of the doubt, by assuming that the officer concerned is a tad short-sighted, and misread the third letter of ‘cult’ as an ‘n’.

It was a bizarre news morning, complete with a report from the Bar Council about a bogus Chambers website – inevitably sourced from Nigeria. The Bar Council did, however, issue a warning to all barristers about the matter on the Bar Council website.

***

For this… and more… Insitelaw newswire has the details and the daily news podcast is now up as well.

West London Man (6): At home…

George and Caroline are at home … about to settle down after dinner to look at the architect’s plans to develop their West London home.

Caroline: So you decided not to go to The Chelsea Flower Show?

George: Well… I had a fairly good tip that this year they were going to recycle the show gardens and I thought I might be able to pick up a garden fairly cheaply. But then I read in The Evening Standard that Hilary Blume – a rather appropriate name in the circumstances – Director of the Charities Advisory Trust, organisers of the giveaway, said that only allotment groups, schools and charities can claim the goods. She was very direct about it. The Standard reported her as saying … “We wanted everything to go to a worthy cause – not someone from The Bishops Avenue looking for something for their garden’. [Evening Standard, Monday 19th May]

Caroline: Well… I quite like that burnt out patch at the bottom of the garden…. wild flowers will grow…. it could be our natural garden area…. hedgehogs will come… ladybirds… we may even get woodpeckers…

Doing my bit for democracy….

Apologies for being a bit inactive on the blogging front these last two days…. had to nip up to Crewe, do my bit for democracy and hand out a few leaflets for The Labour Party.

Well… obviously I have not been doing that – but I have been surprised by the crass electioneering by the Labour party in getting supporters to play ‘the toff card’ and dress up in top hat and tails – especially as one of the top hatted brigade was privately educated at the well known Manchester Grammar School.

Far more interesting is the question of what will happen to Gordon Brown if Labour lose the by-election – as may well be the case. Guido Fawkes has an interesting piece suggesting that Gordon may have a visit from Jack “The Lad Chancellor” Straw on Friday if Labour loses and suggests that Straw may have to travel to Fife to find Brown.

I nipped over to Iain Dale’s Diary (“Political intelligence in every sense’ – Roland White, Sunday Times) to see what Mr Dale was saying. The entry for today was “Tonight the Carlton Must Do Its Duty” and discovered that “Louise Bagshawe has stirred up a bit of a hornet’s nest on Centre Right by castigating the Carlton Club for its policy of not allowing women to be full members. She is, of course, totally right. The Carlton is, of course, good enough to allow women into the place, for which I am sure the ladies are very grateful indeed…. “

This did not assist me in terms of the Crewe election, so I scrolled down…. to an amusing post with the headline: “Do You Really Want to Make Gordon Cry?”… I quote from Mr Dale’s Diary…. “The first song played by BBC Radio Stoke in the hour long Gordon Brown phone-in (still going on) was ‘Do you really want to hurt to hurt me, do you really want to make me cry…’ by Culture Club. An amusing coincidence or a deliberate invitiation to voters ahead of polling day on Thursday? Or perhaps a message from Brown to Alan Milburn…”

Who said politics was dull?…. and on that note… I’m off for a walk and then, perhaps, a glass of vino…

***

I don’t think I was imagining it – but I am sure I read somewhere this morning that a poll revealed that 75% of people polled thought Tony Blair was a better prime minister than Brown. Ironic. You wait ten years, walk on water during the floods and then all hell breaks loose….

***

NOT OFFICE SAFE

I’m afraid that I just could not resist this link to White Rabbit