It just becomes more surreal. Not that I am complaining – a most amusing week. Politicians explained the Comprehensive Spending Review – Beaker was filmed doing an interview (Above) with members of the public/activists… whatever…exercising their right to express their views, and twitter broke down, predictably, on tribal lines to debate the merits/demerits of the Coalition Government’s plan to *Wreck Britain/Save Britain* (You choose). Cameron announced that a second aircraft carrier would be built after all – largely because it was too expensive to cancel – but there would be no planes to put on it because it now appears that General Dannatt and others think that aircraft carriers are too vulnerable and we don’t actually need them. Then HMS Astute, a new hunter killer submarine, went aground during tests in the the waters off the Isle of Skye. The good news is, as we are not fighting the Russians in the plains of Germany, we have to plan what to do with 20,000 troops and 350+ tanks etc in Germany. I would imagine that the Germans will be happy to see us leave? A Russian submarine, however, was sighted 70 miles off the coast of Britain – but we couldn’t see it, because our Nimrods are being scrapped…and there is talk of the perfidious French helping to guard our shores – prompting inevitable comment about Trafalgar, Waterloo, Vichy France and general and sundry ‘surrender monkeying’.
And so… to other matters…
We don’t bribe people in Britain… well…. sometimes we may have done… when it comes to consolidating arrangements with foreign regimes in the the Middle East who buy a lot of arms from us. And.. there is a new Bribery Act which is keeping City Co-Co lawyers busy and angst ridden in terms of what advice they can give to their corporate clients. We want to host the World Cup soon…. possibly to ensure that we actually qualify for the first round. It appears that FIFA officials have been taking bribes.. who would have thought such a thing possible? This week we have seen *Shrek Wreck*….. a saga of a rather thick footballer with a predilection for shagging grannies and tarts, apparently,…. posturing with the aid of his agent and, this very morning… pictured in the tabloid press grinning away with his new title of the World’s most expensive footballer on £250,000 a week. This is good news for The Treasury. As Mr Rooney is widely believed to have enough difficulties with English – according to the popular press commenters – it is unlikely that he will be found doing a bit of tax-exiling in Monaco or other exotic parts where *foreign* is spoken. It does seem rather obscene that a footballer can earn so much, yet do so little for the England Team…I suspect that some of his fans, who may well be suffering real hardship soon.. may find the earnings a bit excessive? Hey.. what do I know..? I know nothing about football..and don’t actually care what he does or earns.
Expenses: police urged to reopen prosecution into Baroness Uddin
Telegraph: Police have been urged to reopen a prosecution into the expenses cheat peer who was this week suspended from the House of Lords after illegitimately claiming £125,000 in parliamentary allowances.
I was listening to Radio 4 recently where sundry Lords were explaining – rather earnestly – that The House of Lords had to restore credibility with the cap-doffing, forelock tugging, public. The House of Lords, in my opinion, is an outmoded ‘form’ for the 21st Century and with one peer currently being prosecuted for fraud: Lord Taylor – and three peers being suspended this week, including the truly astonishing Baroness Uddin (quite apart from star jailbird performers from a bygone era, Lords Archer and Conrad Black) the percentage of dodgy peers to ‘good peers’ seems to be growing. Time to get rid of the whole shooting match, including the rather absurd titles, and replace it with a second Chamber where *grandeur* is not part of the realpolitik of government. I have no problem with the good peers putting themselves up for election. There is, without question, a great deal of talent in the Lords.
And..finally… I invited John Hirst, aka Jailhouselawyer, to do a guest post on prisoner votes. It has generated a lot of heat and a fair bit of light. Tomorrow, I am doing a podcast with Carl Gardner, ex government lawyer and author of The Head of Legal blog, on this issue. The Law is the Law – politics and sentiment, a quite separate issue.
Finally… been a long day…. the only cleb I follow on twitter…. at least he engages and I am enjoying his book!
and if you fancy an amusing article with a serious point … here is one from @suzannemoore197
Have a good one
Best, as always