Rive Gauche: I cannot fiddle but I can make a great state of a small city – Lawrence of Arabia

Christmas is coming and in some shopping malls it is Christmas every bloody day. It may have been Christmas for the bankers yesterday when the Supreme Court ruled that they didn’t have to worry about the OFT poking its nose into their sordid dealings with customer recidivists (although, leaving the door open for the OFT to have another go by pursuing a different line)… but today was not Christmas for bankers when Dubai announced that it wanted until May  2010 to repay massive debts – about £60-80 billion, apparently, I discovered on Twitter. European bankers are in for about 50% of that according to a friend of mine who tweets.

Gordon Brown, no doubt, is climbing into his Brown of Arabia outfit and heading off to Dubai to solve the problem. FTSE dropped badly on Thursday with some of our banks losing between 3.2| – 8% value on shares.  Could this be the death knell for Dubai?   Too early to tell and the BBC and other news services seem a bit pre-occupied with what Katie Price / Jordan is up to in the jungle with her cross-dressing cage fighter.The sands of time will tell… no doubt.

On to rather good news. Shami Chakrabarti, who I had the pleasure of meeting and doing a podcast with last Friday (Podcast goes out this Monday),  has been given an honorary degree by the College of Law.

Also rather good news, given that BPP Law School continues to refuse to let anyone look at their QAA report to The Privy Council in connection with degree awarding powers – is that The College of Law has put its money where its mouth is and has published their QAA report on their website – for all to see!

The Irish government has finally moved on the appalling abuse meted out to children by Irish priests over many years.  Four Archbishops in Ireland failed to pass on information about priests with a taste for abusing young boys – fearing that the public outcry would be too much to cope with or control. No longer.  The Irish are now going to root out all the abusers. Justice may have been delayed but the Irish Justice minister has stated that it will not be denied.

The Independent reports: Gordon Brown was accused of strangling the inquiry into the Iraq war at birth yesterday by refusing to let it make public sensitive documents that shed light on the conflict. A previously undisclosed agreement between Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry and the Government gives Whitehall the final say on what information the investigation can release into the public domain.” Independent

The Iraq Inquiry will run on for some time – but we appear to be off to a cracking good start with no lawyers on the panel and a senior civil servant, in the background, pulling the strings for what information can be disclosed. I have set up a widget on my online mag Insite Law to keep abreast of developments – and read it assiduously.  Sir Christopher Meyer did a star turn today with the revelation that Blair ‘hardened’ his position after a private chat with George Bush in a log cabin.  Perhaps they said a quick prayer, turned to each other and said “Right… in the name of God… war!…” Who knows? Hopefully someone will ask Blair when he takes his turn next year.

Sir Christopher Meyer did, however,  state that “officials had been left “scrabbling” for evidence of WMD as US troops prepared for invasion.”

Another Meyerism… “I didn’t tell Wolfowitz ‘we’re with you on regime change, let’s go get the bastard’ ..”

I enjoy reading The Economist and no more so than today when our American fellow bloggers and friends are celebrating Thanksgiving or Turkey Day. While President Obama pardoned a  turkey called ‘Courage’ (covered assiduously, also,  by the BBC) and sent it to Disneyland, The Economist reports…

ONE thing Americans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving is that they have not put on as much weight as the average turkey. Between 1960 and 2008, turkeys bulked up by around 11lb (5kg) to 29lb, an increase of 64%, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Coincidentally, in that same period the average American man gained 28lb, almost the equivalent of a turkey, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, another government agency, and a Gallup poll of 2008.

The Telegraph has rather a good story about two lovers who decided to have a shag in an unusual place. And why not?

And talking of unusual places.  Brian Inkster of Inksters Solicitors, serious tweeter and principal of a modern client facing law firm in Scotland is in Argentina with his wife Nicola. He’s not lawyering… he’s doing some equally worthwhile.

They are assisting the charity, Habitat for Humanity, with the renovation of homes for families living in poverty in Buenos Aires. They will be working alongside other volunteers and with ‘stakeholder’ families who will eventually live in the houses. Brian and Nicola have also been fundraising for Habitat for Humanity. The cost of the trip to Argentina has already been met by Inksters. Therefore, every penny that is raised by Brian and Nicola goes straight to Habitat for Humanity to directly assist the project.

In just a few weeks they have raised well over the initial target they set themselves of £5,000. Brian said “we have been overwhelmed with the interest in and generosity we have received for this Global Village Challenge. My clients and our business contacts have been very supportive in helping us reach and surpass our fundraising target. We have also raised well over £1,000 via Twitter alone with donations coming from lawyers as far afield as Canada and the USA.”

Have a look at their website – and if you would like to help, you know how to get in contact through Inkstersgive

Putting up my Friday Rive Gauche a bit early… because I may escape to London tomorrow morning… but there again, I may leave it until Saturday.  And here is how I might look at a shopping mall in Dubai soon.. they say, advertising rates are going to improve…. Have a good Friday.

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