Patronising politicians irritate me..and this Tory, particularly…

Thankfully I am back in Scotland and moving towards the Independence for Scotland  route with the SNP so that we don’t have to be ‘governed badly’ by this man and his ilk.    It is a free country – at least for the moment.  I rarely allow my anger with the Tory ‘Government’ to surface – but I am not alone in loathing them.  And I certainly have no faith in the man above.. none whatsoever.

The Tories have very little support in Scotland – thankfully..,and long may that attitude from my fellow Scots continue.   The SNP and Labour and Liberals can run Scotland without Tory ‘assistance’.

The truly sad thing is…the man above will end up dicking around in the Lords and be even more irritatingly smug.  We should abolish the Lords now…or, at least, stop politicians cluttering the place up and using it as an addition to their generous pensions.


AND let us NOT FORGET this… Telegraph report (which I assume, not unreasonably,  is accurate and fair reporting)

MPs’ expenses: Michael Fallon claimed £8,300 too much in mortgage expenses

Michael Fallon, a senior Conservative MP, claimed £8,300 too much in expenses for the mortgage on his second home.

Probably an oversight rather than evidence of natural criminality? I do hope so….. Either way…hardly fit for government?


Even more absurd this :  “Michael Fallon to fees office: ‘I claimed £8,300 too much? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?’




Do follow James Bell – always good for a laugh…

There is an outside chance that I may even find some law to write about – but I am recovering well from recurrent malaria and would not wish it to come back – caused by reading a law report – so I may leave Law until 2016…possibly 2017!

OK, so we’re all a bit messy from time to time …

OK, so we’re all a bit messy from time to time – and some are a lot messier than others.  I often see clients’ desktops that are strewn with files and folders, downloads and clutter, running into several hundred individual icons, files and folders.

So why is that a problem?  Well, your login times are likely to be slower, the messier your desktop is.  It may give you more time to boil the kettle in the morning but, if you prefer to grab a coffee from the shop on the way to work and want to start working more quickly each morning, then read on…

A major consequence of having a ton of files on your desktop is that you’re slowing down logon.  This is because Explorer has to load up all the icons for your desktop when it starts up.  Fewer icons, quicker load.

All those files on your desktop are scanned at logon, to identify any shortcuts associated with a hotkey.  Additionally, information is gathered regarding the programs that the shortcuts refer to, allowing the provision of a grouped icon on the taskbar.  Fewer icons, quicker load.

So cleaning up your desktop will give you a quicker logon time each morning AND it will keep your IT Admin much happier, with data saved in secured and backed-up locations.

The world won’t stop spinning if you keep your messy desktop.  Mind you, the spinning Windows icon will hang around a bit longer each day too, for you to watch as you brew that cup of tea.

matttorrenssproutitWritten by Matt Torrens, Director.


RIP The Labour Party….

Death of a political party: Jeremy Corbyn has killed Labour

“It’s all over. In fact, it was over before it ever really began. I knew it, you knew it, and even many of the poor fish who voted for Jeremy Corbyn knew it. And now everyone knows, as Morrissey put it, That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore.The Labour party, it should now be obvious to everyone, no longer exists as a functional political organisation. Order has disintegrated and it’s every man – and woman – for themselves. Save what you can while you can because things are going to get worse – a lot worse – before they get any better. It is a shambles; a once great party reduced to competing rabbles of independent gangs scavenging for whatever meagre comforts they can rescue from the rubble. Love, peace and harmony? Very nice. But maybe in the next world.

All of which is no great surprise. The notion Jeremy Corbyn could ever become Prime Minister was always preposterous. Not in this lifetime; not in this country. Even so, you begin to marvel at the thoroughness with which he is destroying the Labour party….”

Read the rest of the article

(The bike pic is appropriate.  Mr Corbyn in style?)

Blundering British crime unit now has to investigate itself…

Blundering British crime unit now has to investigate itself

The Independent reports: “The National Crime Agency is reviewing all of its criminal investigations after a succession of blunders led to the collapse of multi-million pound money-laundering cases.

The NCA accepted yesterday that “incompetence” was to blame for the collapse of two cases and said it was reviewing all current warrants used to raid homes, search houses and seize banking records.

The review was launched in September and officials are expected to examine more than “2,000 different parts of documents”, amid concerns that further court cases could collapse.

Lynne Owens, the Chief Constable of Surrey Police, will head the NCA from January next year

In May, i reported the scathing criticisms of the agency by a High Court judge after officers unlawfully used search warrants to plant a surveillance device without warning magistrates. Mr Justice Hickinbottom described the agency as “remarkably ill-informed” and “ignorant” about search warrant procedures.

The case related to an NCA money-laundering investigation involving a family that runs a £60m business empire including hotels and nursing homes. The judge said the NCA “acted with patent and egregious disregard for, or indifference to, the constitutional safeguards” and that the failings were highly likely to occur again.

The NCA said yesterday that it had improved training as a result of the mistakes.

The NCA review comes as Lynne Owens was appointed director general of the agency. The chief constable of Surrey Police will become Britain’s most senior woman police officer when she takes over the £214,000 a year role in January.

Rive Gauche: The Duke of Edinburgh – my favourite Royal

queen28novThe Duke of Edinburgh has given great service to our country – quite apart from the excellent D of E Award Scheme.  He has also given us many laughs.


A selection for you from The Telegraph


When asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union: “I would like to go to Russia very much, although the bastards murdered half my family.”


The Duke said to Tom Jones after his Royal Variety Performance: “What do you gargle with, pebbles?”.

He later added: “It is very difficult at all to see how it is possible to become immensely valuable by singing what I think are the most hideous songs.”

On the Royal Family’s finances: “We go into the red next year. I shall probably have to give up polo.”


On a tour of Canada: “We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.”


During the recession he mused: “Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed.”


When accepting a figurine from a woman during a visit to Kenya he asked: “You are a woman aren’t you?”


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their 1986 Tour of China (Rex)

He told a World Wildlife Fund meeting that “if it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and flies but is not an aeroplane and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”

While on an official visit to China, he told a group of British exchange students living in the city of Xian: “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty–eyed.”

His thoughts on Beijing: “Ghastly.”

Duke of Edinburgh defends ‘slitty-eyed’ gaffe


To a British tourist in Hungary in he quipped: “You can’t have been here that long — you haven’t got a pot belly.”

To survivors of the Lockerbie bombing he told them: “People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still drying out Windsor Castle.”


“Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”, he asked an islander in the Cayman Islands.

To a Caribbean rabbit breeder in Anguilla, he said: “Don’t feed your rabbits pawpaw fruit — it acts as a contraceptive. Then again, it might not work on rabbits.”


He asked a Scottish driving instructor in Oban: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”


Following the Dunblane massacre, he questioned the need for a firearms ban: “If a cricketer, for instance, suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, which he could do very easily, I mean, are you going to ban cricket bats?”


The Duke asked a British student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea: “You managed not to get eaten then?”


In Cardiff he told children from the British Deaf Association, who were standing by a Caribbean steel band: “If you’re near that music it’s no wonder you’re deaf”.


To guests at the opening reception of a new £18million British Embassy in Berlin: “It’s a vast waste of space.”

At a Buckingham Palace drinks party, he told group of female Labour MPs: “Ah, so this is feminist corner then.”

On being offered fine Italian wines by Giuliano Amato, the former Prime Minister, at a dinner in Rome, he is said to have uttered: “Get me a beer. I don’t care what kind it is, just get me a beer!”

“People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.”


To Elton John: “Oh it’s you that owns that ghastly car is it? We often see it when driving to Windsor Castle.”


While touring a factory near Edinburgh he said a fuse box was so crude it “looked as though it had been put in by an Indian”.


The Duke of Edinburgh talks to Aboriginal performers in Cairns in 2002 (Fiona Hanson/PA)

To Australian Aborigines during a visit to Australia with the Queen he asked: “Do you still throw spears at each other?”

To the Aircraft Research Association, he said: “If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort, provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.”


Said to black dance troupe Diversity at the Royal Variety Performance: “Are you all one family?”

To a young fashion designer at Buckingham Palace he told him: “You didn’t design your beard too well, did you? You really must try better with your beard.”

On asking a female Sea Cadet what she did for a living, and being told that she worked in a nightclub (as a barmaid), the Duke asked “Is it a strip club?” Observing her surprise he dismissed the suggestion saying that it was “probably too cold for that anyway”.


At a prize-giving ceremony for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards a girl told him that she’d been to Romania to help in an orphanage. He replied: “Oh yes, there’s a lot of orphanges in Romania – they must breed them”.

Asked Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Tory leader whether she was wearing tartan knickers when welcoming Benedict XVI to Edinburgh.


On approaching his 90th birthday: “Bits are beginning to drop off”.

To the managing director of a wind farm company, the prince said wind turbines were “absolutely useless” and “an absolute disgrace”.


David Miller (Eddie Mulholland)

When meeting a 60-year-old disabled man: “How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?” David Miller, a trustee of the Valentine Mansion in Redbridge, said he took no offence.

Others that are undated:

“YOU have mosquitos. I have the Press.”
– To the matron of a hospital in the Caribbean.

“If it doesn’t fart or eat hay then she isn’t interested”
– speaking about his daughter, Princess Anne.

“Can you tell the difference between them?”
– The Duke’s question after President Barack Obama said he met with the leaders of the UK, China and Russia.

“The problem with London is the tourists. They cause the congestion. If we could just stop the tourism, we could stop the congestion.”
– on London traffic.

“Well, you’ll never fly in it, you’re too fat to be an astronaut.”
– to a 13-year-old whilst visiting a space shuttle.

“You look like you’re ready for bed!”
– To the President of Nigeria, dressed in traditional robes.


Views of Perth, Scotland

The Sally Army – marvellous people, great staff.


The River Tay

Excellent local pub

The quiet High Street on a Sunday afternoon

Festive wellies.  The clue ?  It rains a fair bit up here?

The High Street at 4.30 pm 

Bronze sculpture in the High Street – above and below

David Annand’s sculpture, High Street, Perth.
Soutar’s poem is engraved inside the ring of the sculpture.

Nae day sae dark; nae w�d sae bare;
Nae grund sae stour wi’ stane;
But licht comes through; a sang is there;
A glint o’ grass is green.
Wha hasna thol’d his thorter’d hours
And kent, whan they were by,
The tenderness o’ life that fleurs
Rock-fast in misery?

High Street

And my daily pizza with hot chilli oil at Pizza Express, Perth – a fine restaurant

The pizza is being made as I take the picture.  The ‘thing’ on the table is a tweed cap I have taken to wearing !

The centre of Perth and the main High Street and surrounding streets  are almost entirely car and motorbike free – very civilised!


Failure of QC appointment system to deliver diversity “should cast doubt on future of status”

Neil Rose on his Legal Futures site: ” Abolishing the status of QC should now be seriously considered in the light of research that shows male Oxbridge-educated junior barristers from London-based chambers are still far more likely to take silk, according to a new study by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The research, by former Linklaters solicitor Michael Blackwell, assistant professor of law, said the appointment regime put in place in 2004 has failed to improve diversity, with women still less likely to be appointed than their male equivalents, and the advantages of being Oxbridge-educated and London-based actually becoming even more entrenched….”
Read more