Muttley Dastardly LLP: Age is not a factor at The Firm

Muttley Dastardly LLP: Age is not a factor at The Firm

The government is planning to abolish the retirement age of 65. As with many things the government does, this will not affect us. Partners may retire when they wish. If they haven’t retired by the time they get to 50, they haven’t been billing hard enough and, in the highly unlikely event that such a faux pas should be made (and it has not happened to date in the glorious history of this firm), the individual will be invited to visit the library or leave.

Managing Partner, Muttley Dastardly LLP

To: All staff


1. The government is planning to abolish the retirement age of 65. As with many things the government does, this will not affect us. Partners may retire when they wish. If they haven’t retired by the time they get to 50, they haven’t been billing hard enough and, in the highly unlikely event that such a faux pas should be made (and it has not happened to date in the glorious history of this firm), the individual will be invited to visit the library or leave.

2. My attention was drawn to an article in Legal WeekLocking out older partners? The least-defended minority in the Square Mile:

“Given the level of debate generated by law firms’ treatment of gays, ethnic minorities and women, a neutral observer wandering into the Square Mile might wonder why there is so little comment on the deal dished out to older lawyers.

“After all, many City firms have hardly any partners over 55, law firms are notoriously lax at implementing the employment laws they lecture clients about and the long-hours culture of commercial practice is hardly conducive to career longevity.

“Yet it’s hard to see how the status quo is sustainable. The forces pushing for reform are too many and too fundamental. Aging Western populations, longer life-spans, later retirements, tougher employment laws and changing attitudes to age – it’s all pointing in one direction…”

3. While it is always of interest to me to read and listen to reports of travail, angst and difficulties at other City firms, we simply do not have an issue at this firm with age. Associates destined to join The Partners are selected most carefully and those who do not make the cut, on closer inspection of their own contract of employment with us – what we call a contrat d’adhesion – will discover, if they were not already aware, that they do not enjoy many rights in the event of termination of the relationship. If they did not realise the one-sided nature of the contract, this merely serves as evidence of their unfitness to continue as a member of the firm. For particularly recidivistic associates who have managed to find a copy of a book on employment law, they will face the arcane and complex and obscure world of ‘restructuring’ will stand in their path for a successful prosecution of a claim.

4. As this memorandum raises issues of age and termination of the employment relationship, I would like to take this opportunity of reminding associates about Clause 482 (1) (b) (x1) The Faustian Pact, the contents of which, were inspired by a note I found on Faustian pacts on Wikipedia:

“You undertake, by this pact, to kill children or consecrate them to the Devil at the moment of birth, take part in Sabbaths, have sexual relations with demons, and sometimes engender children from a succubus, or incubus in the case of women. The pact can be oral or written. An oral pact is made by means of invocations, conjurations, or rituals to attract the demon; once the conjurer thinks the demon is present, he/she asks for the wanted favour and offers his/her soul in exchange, and no evidence is left of the pact; but according to some witch trials and inquisitions that were performed, even the oral pact left evidence, namely the diabolical mark, an indelible mark where the marked person had been touched by the devil to seal the pact. The mark will be used as a proof to determine that the pact was made.”

5. Clearly, we do not believe in any form of superstition here. There is no question of the devil, or indeed ourselves sui generis, exacting enforcement, should same even be possible in an English Court of Law. I cannot speak for some courts in other countries, but our contracts are governed by English law.

6. Just see how successful you are at getting a job in The City, if you try and sue us and we make it known to potential employers that you signed a contract which included clauses, inter alia, whereby you promised “to kill children or consecrate them to the Devil at the moment of birth, take part in Sabbaths, have sexual relations with demons, and sometimes engender children from a succubus, or incubus in the case of women.” I rather suspect that this takes care of any age-related discussions?

7. That is all.

Matt Muttley
Managing Partner, Muttley Dastardly LLP

Strength & Profits

Rive Gauche: Ex-Biglaw Partner Sues Over ‘Destroyed’ Reputation Thanks To Overbilling Scandal

Ex-Biglaw Partner Sues Over ‘Destroyed’ Reputation Thanks To Overbilling Scandal

It’s been three years since DLA Piper’sbilling practices came into question and made big waves thanks to a litigated billing dispute between the Biglaw firm and a former client. Normally, such a pedestrian suit wouldn’t have produced major headlines in the mainstream media, but this case was different — this case involved serious allegations of a “sweeping practice of overbilling,” supported by internal emails from DLA Piper that were peppered with phrases like “[t]hat bill shall know no limits,” and “churn that bill, baby!”

DLA Piper quickly denied that any overbilling had occurred and denounced the emails in question as “an offensive and inexcusable effort at humor.” The lawsuit between DLA Piper and Adam Victor, an energy industry executive who’d been accused of not paying his legal bills, has long since been quietly settled.

Read the rest…and marvel 


Rive Gauche: It seems that the Trump camp are even more ‘Camp’ than was thought?

It seems that the Trump camp are even more ‘Camp’ than was thought.  This augurs well for the future of the USA if Trump becomes President. A hissy fit?

Twlawyer sleeps…

The cartoonists are not kind to Cameron….rightly.

No idea why Chancellor Osbore looks catatonic…perhaps he had just got back from a visit to Colombia’? Jolly Snorting weather? Who knows? would be rude to leave Ken out….

And a bit of John Redwood MP

Wikipedia entry

And here is this unusual MP trying to sing the Welsh Anthem – and failing spectacularly.  Never tire of seeing this



Consider the Next First Lady

Consider the Next First Lady

By Michael Cavendish

The Republican half of the American primaries for President has turned against women.

Against two women, Melania Trump and Heidi Cruz, in particular. They are the women married to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the—as of mid-March—two Republican party frontrunners.

A spat of misogyny erupted against Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Cruz after a Cruz-friendly political committee put a photo ad onto social media showing Mrs. Trump in a shot from her pre-Donald days.

It is a barely-short-of-Playboy Magazine skin shot of Mrs. Trump, from a feature in a British ‘lad mag’ from 15 years ago. She was formerly a model. The photo was accompanied by blocked white meme letters asking, ‘is this who you want as your next First Lady,” or something like.

Two days later, the Trump camp shot back at Cruz with a split-screen image of Melania Trump in perfect golden ratio / high-cheekboned facial repose, next to a video capture still of Heidi Cruz making a hideous grimace. An old trick from an episode of The Simpsons; grab the worst, least flattering shot of the takedown target and make that your news agency’s “file photo.”

Democratic processes being what they are, courtesy of Trump and Cruz’s shared lack of maturity, taste, perspective, and statesmanship, one of these fundamentally decent, respect-worthy women might ascend to the position of First Lady of the United States. With instant baggage and unwanted notoriety.

When Bill Clinton emerged to run for President in the 1992 primaries, Hillary Clinton got misogynist attention as ‘the candidate’s wife.’ She was criticized for being too un-wifely, un-motherly, political, assertive, and arriviste. But that was only an attitudinal misogyny—basically a set of gripes over the fact that the nascent First Lady tied to the male candidate with momentum was an assertive professional person with independent opinions.   

This month’s misogyny is not attitudinal, the husbands are attacking the looks of their counterpart’s wives.

The Cruz allies messaged ‘this woman is a sex pot, look at her, how can she host a state dinner?’

Trump counter-messaged, ‘I think Mrs. Cruz can be made to look like a howler monkey, and howler monkey First Ladies are for losers.’

Attacking someone’s physical features, part of the universally shunned form of disputation known as ad hominem, is misogynist when the target is a woman.

Donald Trump would not dispute that in her worst photograph, Heidi Cruz is light years more attractive than Trump himself. But to Trump men get to be ugly, homely, or lacking aesthetic charms. And women?  No, if a woman can be criticized for looks, that becomes her failing, it is her shortcoming, her disqualification.

It doesn’t matter that Trump’s ‘looks’ slur on Mrs. Cruz is incorrect (most people find her attractive) and the result of photo-trolling.  The clear subtext of Trump’s comparison shot was that her visage in this one photograph is a weakness, a disqualifying, unforgiveable weakness.

The Cruz-for-Prez-PAC was up to the same tricks with the Melania Trump bedroom photo. That group just went misogynistic from a different angle. ‘Too sexy!’ ‘An attractive woman is not a respectable woman, so a really attractive woman is really embarrassing.’

Do you remember when Nicolas Sarkozy took office in France, and his wife Carla Bruni—another former model turned ‘first spouse of a republic’—was treated similarly?

Here’s the definition of the term misogyny at Wikipedia:

Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, hostility, male supremacist ideas, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.

Sexual objectification. Belittling of women. There is no question that this is what Donald Trump’s and Ted Cruz’s camps just unleashed on the other’s spouse—even as Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Cruz are potential next first ladies of the United States.

You can say, ‘what a tragedy of civics, this hurts America.’ And perhaps this ‘let’s humiliate the wives’ episode will.

But consider, the vote hasn’t happened yet. November is seven months away.

America is hurt far, far less if the vote happens and the losers include any candidate who gleefully shames role models (and what is an almost-First Lady if not a role model, given the dignified and virtue-laden history of that role) in a way that denigrates their base humanity.

‘Too ugly.’ ‘Too hot.’ That is what the anti-Melania, anti-Heidi photo-strikes conveyed this week, to as many potential primary voters as would look.

So both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have made the noticed—now widely reported—error of reminding us that in their worldview, a view so real and personal and foundational that they will allow it to be politically messaged, a woman can’t deserve our approval if we don’t approve of her looks, one way or the other.

Trump and Cruz, these two men, these two candidates for the Republican Party nomination, they can demean themselves all they want if they desire it.

But should the next President be a man, that man is weak, stupid and unfit if he fails to consider the basic dignity of the next First Lady, and anyone who identifies with her.

Michael Cavendish is an American trial lawyer appearing specially for Charon QC.  He lives in Florida.

Muttley Dastardly LLP: Hugo de Vertback on the Vickers Report for Reform of the Banking Sector


Hugo de Vertback, Partner and Head of Capital and Private Wealth, Muttley Dastardly LLP – The Vickers Report for Reform of the Banking Sector

In the early morning of Monday 11th April, a group of hitherto unknown men and women – unknown outside City circles – filed into a room for a press conference and released a document which could, in time, be as subversive to the interests of bankers and City lawyers as Gallileo Gallilei’s  championing of Cupronickelism: when a large majority of philosophers, noble statesmen and assorted money launderers still subscribed (rightly in the view of the Partners at Muttley Dastardly LLP)  to the Citycentric view that lawyers and bankers are at the centre of the universe.

Students of law, philosophy and fundamentalist capitalism will recall that when Gallileo Gallilei later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two World Banking Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found (pleasingly)  “vehemently suspect of heresy”, forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

It is a matter of some regret that his thought descendants, among them one Sir John Vickers, will not be subject to a similar fate for this latest report into reform of our revered and world class banking system.

I read the article in Legal Week with mounting dismay, which turned to anger when I looked at some of the ‘extraordinary comments’ appended to this ‘article’.

I quote the apostasy and heresy put forward by Legal Week  for analysis:

“City lawyers have reacted critically to the Vickers report’s proposals for reform of the UK banking sector, highlighting the potentially damaging impact on the City’s status as a global banking hub.

Key proposals contained within the interim report from the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) include the suggestion that UK banks should ring-fence their retail divisions from their investment banking arms and that there should be increased capital requirements for “systemically important banks”.

The report also concludes that a higher level of competition is required in retail banking, and in particular urges Lloyds to sell off further branches.

The report’s proposals are designed to reduce risk in the banking sector, mitigate moral hazards, decrease the likelihood of future bank failures and promote competition in retail and investment banking….”

While a competitor (and ordinarily I would not, of course, do anything in public to advance the cause of a fellow lawyer),  I find myself almost in full agreement with Nabarro corporate partner Alasdair Steele who said: “The ICB acknowledges that implementing its reforms will cost the banks. Shareholders and investors are unlikely to bear the full brunt of these changes so, if they are followed through, we can all expect to pay more for our banking through higher costs and fees and lower returns on our savings.”

These are dark days for bankers and City lawyers. While bankers can f**k off to other countries to ply their profession;  global mobility isn’t quite as easy for City lawyers, despite the best endeavours of our empire building forbears.  For one thing, the Chinese have cottoned on to how easy it is to train lawyers and are producing millions of them.  India already has several million lawyers and appears none too keen to import any from London or even let us in as ‘tourists’.

As to the preposterous suggestion by Robert Van Persie in the comments section in the Legal Week report where he wrote: “I think that City lawyers are the last people who should be moaning about this since they were partly responsible for causing the financial crisis and have never been punished for it. The law is not just something for partners to make money out of – it was designed as a system to govern and protect society. That includes lawyers involved in corporate and banking law.”
“The law is not just something for partners to make money out of”  – Good grief. Does Mr Van Persie think that City lawyers studied so hard at university and later on the LPC to NOT make money out of law?

Some will be attracted by Mr Van Persie’s apparently sensible analysis. This is why such thinking is so subversive.  There can only be one response to this.  Lawyers are merely the instrument of the client’s desire – so long as such action is within the code of ethics, best practice and, of course, we should not forget,  ‘the law’.  To suggest that we lawyers were in any way responsible for the collapse of the  Western banking system and be held accountable along with bankers is, quite probably and possibly, actionable.  I have asked my fellow Partner – Dr Erasmsus Strangelove, our Director of Education, Strategy and Psyops –  to log onto Lexis-Nexis or Westlaw and refine his thinking on defamation.

As for the totally absurd idea, advanced by Mr Van Persie, that we City lawyers would buy a holiday home in Cyprus on the back of our billings to our revered banking clients – Cyprus?  Ludicrous. Cyprus is for holiday makers.  City partners do not buy villas in Cyprus.  We might try to buy Cyprus – but we would not be interested in the modest returns a villa would bring.

I rest my case.  We were only following orders.  We have not been punished –ergo, we are not guilty of anything at all.  Editors of national newspapers and the legal press should be most careful in publishing any subversive material which suggests that we are in any way complicit in anything. That is all.


Note to Editors:

Hugo de VertBack was educated at Eton, and Oxford.  He took a First in law and would have taken more, had he developed the skills for taking more in those early days of his career.  Muttley Dastardly LLP is a niche boutique City firm.  WE are known as ‘the Silent service’ because our clients know that we say nothing about anything at any time in public about them and regard it as failure to end up litigating commercial contracts or banking documentation in court.

If you would like a picture of Hugo de Vertback – please contact Eva Brown, PA to Matt Muttley, Managing Partner of Muttley Dastardly LLP.  We shall do our best to accommodate your request to have a non-exclusive temporary lease of the photographic rights.  We take Amex.

Muttley Dastardly LLP: The Partners meet……

A group of 24 suited men are seated in the Muttley Dastardly LLP boardroom next to the penthouse office of Muttley Dastardly LLP managing partner, Matt Muttley.   There are no women partners at Muttley Dastardly LLP. It is unlikely that there will be in the  future.  There are no female solicitors at Muttley Dastardly LLP.

Time is money and money is time. There is a hissing sound.  A panel in the wall opens.  Matt Muttley walks into the boardroom, followed by his PA, Eva Braun. She is dressed, elegantly as ever, in a Thierry Mugler suit and black court shoes.

Below is a transcript of the Partners meeting….

Muttley: Gentlemen, good morning.  Turmoil continues in the legal world, to our advantage.  The Coalition continues to scythe through perfectly sensible ideas in their ideological quest for small government.  The Supreme Court, once ‘under review’ as a quango, appears to be spared.  Legal Aid is a shambles and Ken Clarke may well preside over the biggest release of prisoners since The Great Escape.

“Law firms need to be ‘porous, virtual, multi-sourced, adaptable and agile”. – Gentlemen…these words were not spoken by some professorial guru on the make for his next gurubook on how to run law firms.  These words were spoken by the Linklaters’ head of strategy and business transformation Rupert Egerton-Smith

I have spoken with Dr Strangelove, our beloved fellow Partner and head of strategy, and I agree with his analysis that these words mean that the big law firms are also concerned that the gravy train of the last decade, the stampeding bull run where even the most mediocre lawyers In The City could bathe in champagne, is coming to an end.   Some of the leading law firms are even warning…. more of an apostatic gnashing of teeth than apostolic conversion orDamascene revelation… that there are too many lawyers.  We would never suggest such a thing…. the maxim ‘never apologise, never explain’, is always a wise one when it comes to talking to the legal press.  The fact that law firms are suffering will not gain much sympathy with the public.  We do not give the public any information apart from strategically prepared disinformation and we only give people satisfaction when they pay for it… preferably on account or in advance.

Inevitably, the new sharp MBA suited brigade in  the Law Schools are onto the matter…. never let it be said that we at Muttley Dastardly would be critical of law schools et al finding rich new sources of highly paid course design and consultancy work. The Law Society Gazette…I read it so you don’t have to…. reports…  that these ‘porous’ law firms… whatever a porous law firm is….will have to develop a whole set of skills apart from law…..and I quote…“Their skill-sets will need to include people skills, coaching, mentoring, leadership, delegation, project management, sound financial acumen, time management – to name but a few, says Jason Maley, director of professional development programmes at BPP Law School: ‘They will also need the ability to think strategically and laterally to take advantage of new regulatory flexibilities and opportunities offered by technology.’

Given that many lawyers, let alone law students,  are not known for their mathematical abilities, think that management is done in some back office by *Untouchables* and many have the bedside manner and communication skills of the lead character in “One Foot in the Grave”, this could be a most amusing entertainment to watch.  The good news for us is that this will put further pressure on law firms at a time when money is tight because they will have to pay fantastic fees for this latest ‘gurudom’ and it will also cut into their billings time.

Gentlemen…. as you know, we have a very simple strategy at Muttley Dastardly LLP…  Partners supervise, associates work, trainees assist and my team does the management.  We call it ‘Focus on the Bottom Line’.

Gentlemen…, let me quote another passage from The Law Society Gazettearticle….which, I hope, will give you comfort for our future….

For those who feel their prospects are poor, training in business development and marketing skills is essential, says Professor Penny Cooper, associate dean of the City Law School: ‘The more clients you win and keep, the better your prospects, while knowing how to market yourself will ensure your prospects remain good.’

Other critical areas are strategy, people management and managing risk, says Colin Davey, director of business development at the College of Law: ‘They are potentially a passport to work elsewhere. Those who have had good incomes during better economic times may need to dig into their own pockets for worthwhile training.’

Is this not wonderful?  Students are going to be encouraged to train in additional fields, lawyers are going to be spending time, at great expense, developing their skills, so they can work elsewhere when they get fired…as, ineluctably, will happen if the law firms can’t afford to keep them on.  Think about it, Gentlemen… if you were running a serious business, would you want to hire a lawyer to operate in your business division who has half baked skills in business, who can barely count, and whose head is full of ‘guruspeak’?  If we want our people to learn about business, we’ll buy Lord SirAlan Sugar’s new book and require them to read it on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Gentlemen… a pleasure as always.  That is all. I know that you have no questions…so all that remains is for me to bring proceedings to a close.  Gentlemen… Strength and Profits!

Muttley turns and walks towards the wall.  The hidden panel opens with a hiss and Muttley walks back into his office.  His PA, Eva Braun, smiles at the Partners, turns and follows Muttley.  The hidden wall panel closes with a hiss and The Partners return to supervise their divisions in the light of this latest Intel briefing.

Man arrested over ‘mealy mouthed’ Brussels tweet

A man has been arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after allegedly posting a tweet in response to the Brussels attacks.

The BBC reports: The tweet read: “I confronted a Muslim woman yesterday in Croydon. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said ‘Nothing to do with me’. A mealy mouthed reply.”

Matthew Doyle, 46, was arrested on Wednesday night in Croydon.

He remains in custody at a south London police station, according to a spokesman for the Met.

Police would not confirm whether the arrest relates to the tweet which went viral or to other statements on social media posted by the same user.

At least 31 people were killed and scores injured when bombs went off in the Belgian capital on Tuesday.

The post was widely mocked on social media and spawned a wave of parodies.

One man wrote: “I confronted an Irish women yesterday in Camden. I asked her to explain Bono. She said ‘Nothing to do with me’. A mealy mouthed reply.”

Lisa Holdsworth wrote: “I confronted a woman in Croydon and asked her to explain shredless marmalade. ‘Nothing to do with me’. A peely-mouthed reply.”

Marvellous responses….

From The Man In A Hat: The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism.

The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
Raymond Chandler

Dear Reader,

I spliced the main brace last night in a bar and ended up three sheets to the wind. The broad I met in the bar  was taken aback. From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away. Thought I was for the high jump when I lurched past a cop working undercover in a PCSO hi viz jacket.  As Raymond would have said…He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food. It was cold enough outside to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. I was at a loose end,  and our work is, after all, money for old rope. Hadn’t had a square meal for hours which is probably why I was over refreshed… Normally, of course, I accept all drinks invitations at the drop of a hat and I am sure  a friend who was holding a goddam fireworks party  took my excuse on the phone that I was on a CIA Extraordinary Rendition flight  with a pinch of salt.

But hook or by crook, I was determined to get to a bar for a spot of grog. Needed a hair of the dog anyway, but at the risk of flogging a dead horse and not wishing to be a fly in the ointment I did make the call to excuse myself from my friend’ssoiree en famille avec le fireworks… I don’t do en famille…period.  I made my way over the water to get to the bar at World’s End.  I used the bridge.  I save the Jewish magic tricks for Easter.  I don’t have feet of clay and these days one has to stand up and be counted, throw one’s hat into the ring…. you understand, I am sure. Anyway… I would not be worth my salt if I had chickened out of hitting the bar. I grasped the nettle, knowing that I would not have to pay through the nose there and it is not as if I had drunk a Mickey Finn…

And talking about Mickey and his Finns…. today I woke up in the dead of dawn and took a walk along the river.  It was cold, but it was quiet…and I turned up my collar.  The homburg kept my thoughts and heat in my head.  I read Raymond Chandler as a lousy kid…and when I say lousy… these were middle class lice… some of them had even been at Eton judging by their effortless arrogance as they scrummaged in the Wall Game of  my hair.  OK… I may be lying… about the lice…. but at least I am not a prospective parliamentary candidate for a part of Oldham...wherever that is.

Raymond…. we got on first name terms when I was young….even though I never met him….. Raymond could be rude about the English…. “The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers.” I’d say that was fairly rude…. but he had a good way with phrases…” She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.” I was younger then….. These days when a broad smiles… I check behind me…..and if no-one is behind me I check to see if she is wearing a parking attendant outfit.

On that note…. I leave you with one final Chandler quote…. one of my favourites…“Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.”

Best, as ever…have a good week

Charon in a hat

The quotes and sentences in italics are pure Raymond Chandler….

Rive Gauche: “We can let you have some great content for your blog – FREE”

It is usually pleasing to hear from Law firms.  I had one today …“We can let you have some great content for your blog – FREE”   I particularly liked the use of capitals for FREE.

I wrote back:  “Thank you for your email.  A fascinating concept.  Can you also send over some buns for me to eat?  I like buns.  As your ‘great content’  will, inevitably, contain links to your site or the law firm’s site, I would actually prefer you to send me some peanuts because I often charge ‘peanuts’ for these image adverts and  guest posts on my blog.

I particularly like salted peanuts…or those peanuts coated in Chilli available from the grocer,  Mr Sainsbury.  I’m not sure if that other grocer, Mr Tesco, does peanuts – but they do sell wine in convenient quarter bottles which slip nicely into a coat pocket and can be drunk while perambulating along Perth High Street eating the aforementioned peanuts.  I look forward to hearing from you.”

I have a feeling that I won’t be hearing from the SEO ‘genius’ who wrote to me today.

Muttley Dastardly LLP – from 2010


From: Matt Muttley, Managing Partner

To: The Partners

It is with pleasure that I report this day that plans by other law firms to ‘Take The Indian law market’ may have been stymied by the quite brilliant idea cooked up by our esteemed fellow partner and Director of Education and Strategy, Dr Strangelove;  that I visit India last month to seek to set up Muttley Dastardly (India) LLP. I thought it tasteless that I arrive on an elephant, wearing a pith helmet, because I felt fairly certain that Indian lawyers are really rather shrewd and could see no particular advantage to themselves in having a ravening horde of English law firms competing with them.  Strangelove was right.  It did irritate them.

We shall continue to co-operate with our best friends in India as before – but secure in the knowledge that our competitors in London are probably displeased.

I reference the article in The Law Society Gazette for your delectation and delight. James Dean has excelled himself with this raportage.

Indian legal services market to stay closed

The Indian government has no plans to allow foreign law firms to practise in the country, it said in a statement on Monday.

Veerappa Moily, minister of law and justice, said in response to a question in the Indian parliament that ‘at present there is no proposal to allow foreign law firms into the country’.


I particularly liked the text I have put in bold in this extract…

A statement on the Indian government’s website read: ‘Dr M Veerappa Moily, minister of law and justice, in the Lok Sabha in a written reply that under section 7 of the Advocates Act 1961, the Bar Council of India is responsible to lay down standards of professional conduct and etiquette for advocates; to safeguard the right, privileges and interests of advocates; to recognise on a reciprocal basis foreign qualification in law obtained outside India for the purpose of admission advocate and to manage; to exercise general supervision and control over state bar councils and invest the funds of the Bar Council.

We meet this Friday to consider our weekly business.

Matt Muttley

Strength & Profits


Rive Gauche: Look back to May 2010…

Big Society: Good afternoon, Lord Chancellor. Any “xenophobic and legal nonsense” being cooked up today in The House?

Lord Chancellor: Good afternoon, Big Society. While I had anticipated that I might be doing something with George at the Department of Business,  that has gone by the board to accommodate dear old Vince.  I am, however, delighted to be at the Ministry of Justice.  I am a Bencher of my Inn and my legal experience should, after all, give me a bit of a head start in my new department.  It is not as if I will need to read Law made Simple unlike Theresa over at the Home Office.

Big Society: Indeed.  Did your predecessor leave you a letter saying that there was no money left?

Lord Chancellor: hahaha… no… nothing like that… although there was an absurdly large report on the reform of Civil Justice in the drawer with some very amusing comments in the margins.

Big Society: So.. you’ll be getting down to business, trawling through american websites, to see where you can buy pre-fabricated prisons and prison ships to accommodate all the “have a go heroes” who  don’t quite come within the provisions of Theresa May’s new ‘Good Samaritan’ law?

Lord Chancellor: We will have to wait for  the draft legislation on this.  I suspect it will not be that different from the present law by the time she finds time to get around to it.  She has rather more pressing matters to attend to.

Big Society: Indeed.  Been boning up on the unwritten British Constitution and your Human Rights Law?   Your predecessor, Charlie Falconer was accused  of designing the new Supreme Court on the back of a fag packet over whisky with Tony Blair.  Are we going to be seeing reports of you enjoying a beer and a large cigar with David Cameron and then revealing a Bill of Rights with so many holes in it  that even a recidivistic first year law student  with a bad hangover could see the problems?

Lord Chancellor: Hahaha.  No, I think I can safely say the the future of our constitution is safe and the Human Rights laws will also be in safe hands. Government tends to bring about a re-assessment of the more ambitious manifesto claims.

Big Society: The Coalition agreement talks about repealing a raft of laws, preserving the right to jury trial and curtailing the misuse of anti-terror legislation.   You are going to be fairly busy are you not?

Lord Chancellor: Modifying a statement I made some time back… I have certainly not got re-elected to retire, and I shall certainly start trying to push my influence in government as far as I possibly can

Big Society: You said some time ago..and I quote..“The Conservative Party have got to ask themselves, ‘How do we persuade people who at the moment are voting Labour and Liberal Democrat to vote Conservative?” It seems that your party pulled a blinder and didn’t need to get the people who voted Lib-Dem to vote Conservative, they just had to persuade the people who the voters voted for to come in with you.

Lord Chancellor: Hahaha. We live in remarkable and interesting times, Big Society.

Big Society: You are a Big Beast in political terms and Cameron took a risk in putting you back on the shadow front bench, given your well known views on Europe.  Not a great deal of European dimension in the Ministry of Justice is there?

Lord Chancellor: No… I don’t think I’ll be troubling our friends in Europe on too many Justice issues… but a re-shuffle may come along soon… and…modifying something else I said some time ago… of course I’d have loved to be Chancellor or Business Secrtary. But I’m not nursing a grievance.  I’ve got to go…. The Chairman of the Bar wants to talk to me about legal aid and a few other matters.

Big Society: Good luck… he knows what he’s talking about.

Lord Chancellor: Indeed… we’ll have another chat soon, Big Society

Big Society: I’m always here.


Lawyer’s disclaimer! All, well some it,  entirely fictitious and made up… obviously.

Scotland’s position on EU? Stay or leave?

Scotland Can Be Persuaded To Leave The EU, Says Campaign Chief

tomharrisoneuTom Harris, the new director of Vote Leave in Scotland, denied that the EU referendum result north of the border is a foregone conclusion.

“Scotland can still be persuaded to vote to leave the European Union in June’s referendum, according to the new campaign chief north of the border.

Polling has consistently shown that voters in Scotland are more likely than the rest of the UK to vote to stay in the EU, but former Labour MP Tom Harris, who was appointed director of Scotland’s Vote Leave campaign last Friday, told BuzzFeed News he is eyeing victory.

“I think it’s possible, we’re certainly going to close the gap,” said Harris. “If we win in Scotland we’ll win everywhere. I’m not going to make a prediction of percentages but we’ll certainly close the gap and I’ve not ruled out the possibility of us winning.”

Harris, who lost his seat to the SNP in last May’s general election, said the EU referendum debate is yet to begin in Scotland, where all party leaders, except UKIP Scotland’s David Coburn, are backing a Stay vote. He believes that as more people are exposed to “moderate and sensible” arguments for Leave, the momentum will gather on his side.

“We just haven’t had a debate in Scotland yet,” said Harris. “We’ve been thinking it’s a debate for England, and when you start speaking to people, like I have since my appointment, people just haven’t really thought about it.

“I’m not saying the whole nation is rejoicing because Tom Harris has been appointed, but people I know are saying they haven’t really thought about it. If we can replicate that across the country, if people who are moderate and sensible start campaigning for a Leave vote, that’s how you win hearts and minds.”

Read the rest….

A bit of legal news…and The Boaty McBoatface Party

Legal Cheek reports: Junior criminal lawyer pleads GUILTY to conspiracy to supply cocaine

“A rookie lawyer has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to supply cocaine at Nottingham Crown Court.

Omar Khan, 31, appearing in court via video link from Nottingham prison on Friday, admitted to conspiracy to supply a Class A substance. Having been charged back in December 2015 by police, Khan was remanded in custody and spent Christmas behind bars. He will be sentenced on April 15.

According to local newspaper The Nottingham Post, the conspiracy took place between October 1 and December 1 2015, and involved the “recovery of one kilogram of cocaine”.

Khan was called to the bar in 2009 and went on to qualify as a solicitor in 2012. Prior to his run in with the law, the fledgling lawyer was in the process of opening his own firm called Quantum Chambers Law, based in the Khan’s hometown of Huddersfield.

Read the rest…

Carl Gardner on Head of Legal: Let’s have proper no-fault divorce

“MPs are due today to debate the principle of Richard Bacon MP’s No-fault Divorce Bill.

What’s interesting about this bill is how very unradical it is. When we talk about “no fault divorce” most of us mean taking any notion of fault out of the divorce process altogether so that when you decide you want a divorce, you can get one quickly without having to accuse your partner of infidelity or unreasonable behaviour. This is the approach Ellie Cumbo took when we discussed last summer her Ground of Divorce and Dissolution Bill. It would bring in no-fault divorce for all. Notice that Ellie’s bill entirely replacessection 1 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 with a single new, no-fault ground of divorce.

Bacon’s bill does not do that. It leaves section 1 of the 1973 untouched, and simply slots in a new section 1A, creating a new way of jointly petitioning for divorce. If a married couple are agreed and cooperative enough to apply jointly for divorce by this new route, then it will be granted to them on a no-fault basis. But that’s surely a very big “if”. It’s likely the great majority of divorces would be initiated unilaterally by one of the spouses, leaving him or her still having to establish infidelity or unreasonable behaviour……..”

Read the rest here

David Allen Green on his Jack of Kent blog: The Boaty McBoatface Party

“The British public are trying (and succeeding) to have a £200 million boat named Boaty McBoatface.” (A viral tweet)

*This is not a party-political blog – there is good and bad, and liberal and illiberal, in all main UK parties.

But domestic politics, especially in Westminster, seem to be in a state of chaos.  The Conservative Government, in the days after Duncan Smith resigned, is imploding; Labour provides no effective Opposition; and the post-Coalition Liberal Democrats are a discredited irrelevance.

Shambles everywhere.

One may well sneer at American Trumpery – but we can’t be that far off having a similar ‘anti-politics’ mood here.

It would then just take a charismatic genius to start a populist, say, Boaty McBoatface Party and our political class would be buggered…….”

Read the rest 

Injected paint squirted through a syringe at a canvas II 2016

Injected paint squirted through a syringe at a canvas II 2016 – Charon QC 
After a most enjoyable walk to Scone and back – a good few miles, and a quick pint of Guinness…I thought I should fill my syringes with coloured acrylic paints and do another painting.  I’ve not painted by using syringes to fire paint at a canvas before – kept me amused for a good half hour earlier ‘thinking and executing the work’.  The canvas is 3t x 1ft.  Paints used – acrylic.

Happy to sell for £30 + posting.  Equally happy to keep them and hang them in the new flat in Scone when I move….soon.

Charon’s “Lost The Plot INJECTION ART Series”

Having exhausted myself reading a rather dull law report – so dull, I can’t even be bothered to write about it. I decided to amuse myself by doing a new painting – not with a brush, mind – but with a plastic syringe purchased from a Local Pharmacist.  the pharmacist asked me why I needed a syringe – suspicious, perhaps, that I was going to ‘inject something into myself’.  He seemed even more baffled when I told him the truth – that I wanted to squirt acrylics paints at a canvas for a new series of F*ckART paintings I am doing.

The first in the series “Charon’s Syringe Period 2016′ is pictured. The ‘Work’ – took about 1 min 50 seconds to execute.  I suspect that it may well be my last…?

The painting is 3ft x 1 ft… 


For Sale £30 + postage. Email Me

A flower for a good friend

I am doing a painting of a flower for a good friend of mine…watered down acrylic on canvas.  Should be dry by tomorrow evening….and then I’ll post it to her on Monday

The flower sits 2/3 of the way up on a long thin white canvas. Enjoying doing it.

Later, when I have enjoyed some more Rioja and a few Marlboro Reds… I will be doing ‘my take’ on a Jackson Pollock’… which means I can throw paint at the canvas and see what happens.  I shall put the canvas on the floor and lob paint in many colours at it,…

I may draw inspiration form this Jackson Bollocks…which I like very much.


I’ll also be posting the Jackson Bollocks painting to her… I suspect that it may take up residence in her garage…..

Rive Gauche: Tomorrow is POETS Day….Piss Off Early Tomorrow is Saturday

Feeling laid back – and try as I did, no law on Perth High Street to write about…so…


Taxi…for Mr Mercer…


Justice 2016…

A typical family…


The Tory Party…

British fascists…not terribly good at being fascists…

And we must not forget about Tory disabled parking space abusers…

And finally…Dickie Whitebook QC…



Why Does Everyone Want to Go to Law School?

Why Does Everyone Want to Go to Law School?

For some reason people in America and the UK people have come to regard Law School as some sort of panacea. The pinnacle of academic learning and the route to meteoric career earning: the ultimate career backstop that offers glamour, big respect and guarantees a bulging bank balance.

Let’s call this ‘Law School Think’: the reason why everybody wants to go to law school.

However it’s all a myth.

The idea of Law School being a panacea is a perception ingrained so deeply that young men and women enrol in the face of hard facts that scream out: “Don’t go to Law School!” Slate writer Eric Posner provides a great prefatory note here.

Senior Partner and Director of Education, Muttley Dastardly LLP

Dr Strangelove wrote this some time ago.  It still seems to reflect the current state of affairs?

Dear Prospective Applicants,

It is that time of year again.  You are back at university.  The long summer holidays are over.  Binge drinking in Cornwall is a long distant memory.  Your *Gap Yah* is finished and your parents are now able to get on with what is left of the rest of their lives knowing that you are safely on the treadmill called life.  Now you are back at your cash poor universities or are attending one of the shiny new reassuringly expensive law schools doing your LPC.  If you haven’t already been snapped up by one of the big law firms,  sponsoring you, you are probably sick with worry about your future prospects – and, frankly, you have every reason to be.  We are not out of the bears shitting all over the credit crunch woods yet… Lord Browne is about to release his entirely predictable report to allow the Vice Chancellors to increase their fees, law firms are still reeling from  the credit crunch… well…some law firms are…we at Muttley Dastardly LLP are fact, to be honest, we are rather enjoying it.

Over the next few weeks, on The Lawyer, Legal Week and websites you will be able to find lots of shiny brochures to download from BIG law firms and BIG law schools – implausibly showing pictures of glossy potential lawyers smiling away….possibly even sitting on the grass…although why they should be sitting on the grass when they should be inside working is a matter of some surprise to *US* at Muttley Dastardly LLP.

There will be lots of pictures of young people in suits, carrying briefcases, looking busy and important. Our Psyops team has replicated the genre below…. we’ve gone for the lawyers happy on a beach look… (right).

OK… we talk straight… expensive… but straight at Muttley Dastardly LLP.  Listen up…. and, I cannot resist using that dreadful phrase so beloved of cliche ridden writers…and smell the coffee.

1.  The economy will improve

2. Law firms will recover

3. Universities will raise their fees – and so will the BIG law schools for you (although not for us!)

4.  The Legal profession is changing – read the journals and keep up to date.

5.  You have to get a 2.1 to even stand a chance of selection for a decent law school at LPC level and, being honest, a decent university if you are going to get into a City law firm or any major commercial firm.

6. Being really honest… you haven’t a chance of getting into Muttley Dastardly LLP unless you went to Oxbridge or a top Russell Group university – why would *WE* take second best?

7. Be realistic… City practice is not for everyone – there is a wonderful world of law out there for lawyers who don’t want to be rich beyond the dreams of avarice, who don’t want to be movers and shakers in the City and business world, who don’t want to rub shoulders with the likes of Duncan Genocide from The Dragon’s Den. [Good one, Harry & Paul] We don’t have a clue what these lawyers do… but hey.. there must be a Facebook group.. or Twitter hashtag… and you could always Google?!  FTW!…as, I believe, some say…..  LMFAO, ROFL  etc etc etc…..

8.  We will always be honest with you…. if we take you on as a trainee, you will be worked beyond the limits of The Human Rights Act, you will learn a great deal about *OUR* type of practice and if you don’t cut it… we will give you a black plastic bag to take your belongings away in and that’s it.

Good luck with your studies this year.  I look forward to hearing from you… if you think you are hard enough.

Dr Erasmus Strangelove

Strength & Profits

Rive Gauche: The Flying Squad…and other matters


From March 2nd 2010

So… with the Bar wanting a level playing field, a senior judge against referral fees and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority voting to ban referral fees – there is now the prospect that these wise men and women may have actually harmed the legal profession? – Mon Dieu!

The issue is, I suspect, still rooted in the hoary issue of whether the law is a business or a profession…but, as ever, I could be wrong.  You can buck the market if you want to shoot yourself in the foot, but remain a professional – albeit a poorer one.

It seems appropriate to end with this..from the Bar Council

Bar Chairman Calls for Bar to Modernise
(1 March 2010)
The Chairman of the Bar, Nicholas Green QC, will today call for the Bar to continue to modernise as it enters a new era of legal services provision.  Speaking at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Legal and Constitutional Affairs in the House of Lords, Green will set out the challenges facing the Bar following the implementation of the Legal Services Act and will outline how the Bar is responding.
And it was all so long ago…

And Nigel Farage, of course, has a good way with words…

And now The Minister for The Disabled – Justin Tomlinson MP – voted for ESA cuts to disabled people –

I marvel at the deeply unpleasant nature of these Tory MPs. 

And here is his Wikipedia entry – which I can only assume is accurate. 

Tomlinson stood in the 2005 general election, but lost to Labour MP Michael Wills by 2,571 votes. He won the seat from Labour in the 2010 general election, defeating Labour candidate Victor Agarwall by 7,060 votes. In total, Tomlinson received 22,408 votes (44.6% of the vote), with a swing of 10.1% from Labour to the conservatives.[5]

Along with fellow MP Chris Kelly, Tomlinson placed a bet while at university that he would be Prime Minister before the year 2038. He stands to win £500,000 should this happen.[6]

Tomlinson sat on the Public Accounts Committee between 2012 and 2014.[7]

He reported fellow MP Sadiq Khan to the police in 2014 after Khan was photographed apparently driving whilst using a mobile phone. Tomlinson said “those who make the laws should certainly not be above them”.[8]

Tomlinson was given the role of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Disabled People in May 2015.[9]

Tomlinson faced calls for his resignation in October 2015 after it was revealed than he had leaked information from the Public Accounts committee regarding regulation of short term high cost credit “payday lenders” to back in 2013. Tomlinson accepted he had broken the rules and apologised, claiming that his “strongly-held belief that action needed to be taken on payday lenders” had caused his “judgement to be clouded”.[10] Tomlinson arranged £30,000 of sponsorship for Swindon Supermarine F.C., a local football team by the same payday The football club’s chairman, Jez Webb has made donations of £30,218 to both Tomlinson’s and local Conservative party funds since 2014. Webb stated that he donated in a personal capacity and that the very similar amounts “were coincindental.” [11][12]

Tomlinson was subsequently accused of trying to remove references to previous links to Wonga from his website, including the arrangement of a sponsorship deal with Swindon Supermarine F.C. in 2011[13]

Iain Duncan Smith MP – a rather unpleasant politician

Full story in The Mirror

I cannot recall there being so many unpleasant Tory politicians in previous Conservative governments.  Duncan Smith is but one of a large number of  unpleasant people in the Tory government. The present crew seem to be deeply unpleasant.  Fortunately, they are extinct in Scotland – long may that continue to be the case.


This entry from Wikipedia, which I assume is accurate, will give you an indication of the ‘honour of the man’.

Controversy over qualifications

According to the BBC, Duncan Smith’s biography on the Conservative Party website and his entry in Who’s Who originally stated that he had studied at the University of Perugia in Italy. A BBC investigation in 2002 found this statement to be untrue.[7] In response to the BBC story, Duncan Smith’s office stated that he had in fact attended the Università per Stranieri, a different institution in Perugia, for a year.[7] He did not complete his course of study, sit exams, or gain any qualifications there. Duncan Smith’s biography, on the Conservative Party website, also stated that he was “educated at Dunchurch College of Management” but his office later confirmed that he did not gain any qualifications there either, that he completed six separate courses lasting a few days each, adding up to about a month in total.[7] Dunchurch was the former staff college for GEC Marconi, for whom Duncan Smith worked in the 1980s.[7]

Rive Gauche: In just seven days….The new Rocky Horror Show

Seems so long ago when David Cameron and his new Tories promised so much. They haven’t done so well. Not many Tories in Scotland these days.  It is unlikely that the Tories will ever regain their influence in Scotland. But will Labour, Nu or otherwise, do any better?

A bit of a horror show.  I wasn’t too wide of the mark when I put this Photoshopped image from the famous Rocky Horror Show – which I have seen on stage  and many times on the video – all those years ago

Judges feel undervalued, says retired court of appeal member

While I have every respect for those who take on the difficult work of a judge – I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for judges when they moan about being underpaid.  They do not need to take on judicial office.

Two-thirds of judges feel their six-figure salary is too low

The majority earn between £100,000 and £200,000
Many people do just as important work – some would say, more important work – for very modest salaries.  Social workers, nurses, teachers and many other categories of work that make up our society ?

It is ‘inelegant’ for judges to complain about their six figure salaries – and, frankly, lowers the reputation of the legal world in the eyes of many.

My advice to  those who seek judicial office – don’t apply / accept the post if you do not feel you are adequately rewarded. Retire and amuse yourselves in other ways.

Strange Tuesday

Strange Tuesday

by Michael Cavendish

Today is “the Tuesday,” Florida’s every-four-years Presidential election primary for the Republican and Democratic parties.

Since the Bush v. Gore debacle of the 2000 election, Florida is seen as a key, perhaps “the key” battleground state for votes, and something else too. Florida is lately seen as a place where, in general but especially electorally, The Doors’ song “People Are Strange” is something of a Fodor’s guidebook of what to expect.

Example, two years ago, the race to be Florida’s Governor featured a debate where one candidate insisted on using a small electric fan beneath the podium, and the other candidate refused to take the stage out of a sense of outrage at such a rampant and parlous gambit.

This cycle, there are, as ever, Democratic party candidates in the running. But The Doors’ cosmic prophecy has mostly been fulfilled by Republican candidates, and especially Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

Donald Trump, even his ardent supporters will admit, is a very, very different sort of person. And that of itself does not amount to strangeness, but then he does strange things, in Florida, with regularity.

For instance, he runs on a populist’s message but holds press conferences and events that discuss his populism from his super-opulent properties, like the famous Mar-A-Lago, on the blinged-out island of Palm Beach.

The other week, he gave his post-Super Tuesday “interim” victory speech (after picking up more delegates than any other Republican) while stage-managing that Chris Christie, his former sworn rival and the sitting Governor of New Jersey, would, after introducing him, stand obediently and sort of “sitteth-at-the-right-hand” like behind him, on camera, for a full thirty minutes of speech, press questions, and answers. It looked strange.

For his part, Marco Rubio offended a large swath of Florida voters last October, by calling out as inferior and ready for ridicule nothing smaller than Florida State University, the state-funded college which about half of the state’s high school aged population aspires to attend, and at which perhaps a fifth of the state’s in-state educated college graduates hold their degrees from.

And Rubio dissed FSU—he cast his aspersions toward it (speaking from the standpoint of a booster of the older, larger, rival university, the University of Florida)—as Florida’s sitting U.S. Senator. Needless to say, Floridians who wear the garnet and gold (FSU’s colors) found it all strange. Strange, and grudge-worthy.

After the second to the most recent debate to today, Trump and Rubio merged their strange ideas over getting votes together. They held a 24 hour Twitter-war over such issues as which of them sweats more at the debates and the proper spelling of the word “choker.” During this intense set-piece battle, the voters were hoping to get concrete positions on defense spending and immigration reform, but whatever.

So then today is “the Tuesday,” and somehow these two strangers got near to me. First, I had just left home to drop my son to his school before heading to work, when the radio news reported that Rubio was an hour or two away from holding an open rally at a coffee and biscuit shop not 100 yards from the front door of my house in Jacksonville. Deep unease set in.

Now understand, Rubio is very welcome to my locale, but just a few days ago at Trump’s rally in Chicago, all manner of fistfights broke out between protesters and counter-protesters. And I can’t have fracas in the small streets where my kindly neighbors and the odd lawn truck are just trying to get on with a Tuesday, even “the Tuesday.”

From reports, the Rubio biscuit rally seemed to be peaceful. He stood on a chair, he addressed the assembly in English and Spanish (some of his Jacksonville volunteers might have been school kids who take Spanish as an elective, so that was a nice touch). There was a press photo of the attendees; Rubio, our Mayor, Rubio’s brother Mario Rubio, and several dozen volunteer-types holding placards could be seen. A sheriff’s deputy gave a quote to the newspaper, “Nobody is punching each other.”

Not much is strange about that, you’d think, except perhaps that the “rally” was all but unannounced in advance and was so lightly attended by non-volunteers that it seems a waste of half a day in a state with a population of 17 million; “the” state that will break or continue to make Rubio’s campaign, by the time the ballots are counted later tonight.

And later, I had taken a break from the office to walk over to our riverfront. The heat and sticky air have just started to return to North Florida, and I wanted an iced tea. I bought my cool drink and walked to the sidewalk fronting the water to get back to my building when I saw it. Racing by in the glittering river water was a yacht.

Well, some might quibble with “yacht.” It was a big white boat, larger and more expensive than I might ever purchase or run about in. Technically it was an “open express cruiser,” but you point it out to the average passerby and they will look and say, “a yacht.” This motor yacht raced by and it looked for a second like an America’s Cup sail racer because of a Red and Blue Banner Bearing Bold, Big Lettering; the fluttering banner said “TRUMP: for America.”

Now this yacht initiative surely was not the work of Donald Trump himself. For starters, Trump would have been none too impressed with the size and condition of the vessel as a brand platform.

No, this spontaneous ‘yachters for Trump’ messaging was surely the brainchild of a Trump supporter or volunteer, someone seaworthy, but who also knew that today was “the Tuesday,” and who perhaps knew that Rubio’s folksy bilingual rally was unfolding just a mile or so from the river’s southern bank.

But it struck me as exceedingly strange, and pointless, for any supporter of Trump’s to yacht about with a giant Trump banner on the voting day in Florida following Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz’s consistent criticisms of Trump as an entitled –arch or –garch of some sort, someone who can’t form sound ideas or make problem-solving plans, because he just buys or lawyers his way out of whatever problems confront him.

And, have I mentioned the populism? Trump wants all the votes of people he stereotypes as the commonest of the common men and women of America. He dog whistles to their unease around foreigners and minorities. He shames their lack of employment and steers their ire and blame over joblessness toward, in part, his vision of uncontrollable Wall Street financiers. And then in the next breath, he admits that he, Trump has spent most of his career building a licensed luxury portfolio of properties and mass-produced products that both celebrate the wealth chasm in the United States and that rely on the very same globalist ingredients—foreign manufacturing, job-cutting finance, and imported low-wage workers—that he has told these voters are the enemy.

It is a strange, albeit, so far, all too resilient core message. And perhaps a yacht flying a Red/Blue banner is the perfect visual metaphor for his message. Perhaps were we in waterless Kansas today, it would be a Rolls Silver Wraith, and not the yacht, towing the brand of ‘the people’s champion.’

It was expected that on this strangest of pre-election days in Florida, the most normal candidate left in the field, John Kasich, was to be found in Ohio. Good for him. But maybe that is bad for Rubio.

Kasich is tied with Trump in today’s Ohio polling, and Kasich won’t endorse voters over to Rubio in Florida, even as Rubio’s campaign has fallen back to the electoral math redoubt of urging Rubioites in Ohio to vote for Kasich. Maybe this is Kasich saying “later, Rubio” and also “whatever, Florida” and living to stump another day with his, in this year, only too rare decency and sanity-of-approach. 

News outlets are reporting that Ted Cruz has also jettisoned himself away from Florida at the last minute. The stories speculate that Cruz has looked at the data and is comfortable that Rubio is bound to lose, and that Trump looks unbeatable, so, his thinking goes, why fly around and interrupt biscuit breakfasts or take questions about yacht-messaging when he could be elsewhere?

Elsewhere as in Ohio, where Cruz today has stumped against Trump and local favorite Kasich, not twenty-four hours after his campaign sent out a message to supporters that would have been—dang it—the most “Florida” strangeness of all. Cruz-the-candidate asked his supporters (he calls them “prayer warriors”) to fast—to, uh, not eat any food—during the day leading up to today’s Tuesday primary.

This is 2016. This is Florida. Biscuits vs. fasting, bare-knuckled blazons from the yachting set, the retreat of decent men, and a long-distance muezzin call to stop eating.

Today is Strange Tuesday. This is real. All of this; it is all too real.

Michael Cavendish is an American trial lawyer in Florida writing specially for Charon QC.

And another deeply unpleasant Tory MP…the list grows. Time to get rid of Tories

Conservative MP Kit Malthouse has been told to resign his position as patron for the Andover MS Society.

The decision comes after the Tory MP voted in favour of cuts to ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) that will see MS sufferers amongst hundreds of thousands of disabled people to lose £30 a week in the WRAG (Work Related Activity group).

The Conservatives argue that stripping disabled people of financial security will incentivise them to find work quicker.

This man is /  appears to be yet another deeply unpleasant Tory politician. Certainly he is well nourished judging by the picture – something which some of those reliant on ESA to stay alive are not.  Thankfully the Tories have been wiped out in Scotland – and hopefully…never to return.  I am joining the SNP after supporting Labour for 40 years.  Labour appears to have given up in Scotland – which is rather sad.


I will certainly vote for Scots Independence next time, vote to get rid of the nuclear submarines and hopefully our country will develop stronger ties with Europe and The East.  India and China, particularly.

Another deeply unpleasant Tory MP – an endless supply, it would seem

This is Owen Paterson MP – another Tory MP who wants to rob the poor to feed the rich. Hopefully, Labour in England & Wales will manage to muster enough energy to actually do something useful for a change and win an election and rid our land of these Tories.  Fortunately, in Scotland, The Tories are pretty well finished.

“Owen Paterson put forward the idea as a way of cutting eastern European immigration and even said they should be paid less than the minimum wage

Owen Paterson stunned even hard nosed Tories with his ­heartless plan to make pensioners do gruelling crop picking on the cheap, David Laws revealed.

The Environment Secretary proposed his barmy idea to stunned Cabinet colleagues as a way of cutting eastern European immigration .

Mr Paterson suggested exploiting the elderly by plucking them out of retirement to pick crops for less than the minimum wage.

He told a Cabinet meeting he planned to scrap a scheme that allowed EU migrants to come to the UK to do ­unpopular jobs in the fields.

When a colleague suggested the move would be unpopular with farmers, who would no longer find it easy to employ cheap labour for the back-breaking work, defiant Mr Paterson replied: “Oh, but I’ve thought of that, I think I have the answer.

Owen Paterson even wanted to pay the pensioners less than the minimum wage
“We’ll try to get more British pensioners picking some of the fruit and vegetables in the fields instead.

“Of course, getting pensioners to do this work could lead to an increase in farmers’ costs. After all, they may be a bit slower doing the work. I’ve thought of that too.

“We might arrange to exempt British pensioners from the minimum-wage laws, to allow them to do this work.”


Another deeply unpleasant man…thoroughly unpleasant. is a report on how he feathers his own nest:

MP Owen Paterson paid back £8,000 in expenses

MP Owen Paterson paid back almost £8,000 in profit he made from his taxpayer-funded home, according to figures released today.

Shropshire Star

Owen Paterson’s expenses 2004-05 | 2005-06 | 2006-07 | 2007-08 |2008-09

The Telegraph: He then switched his second home designation to another property in 2005, and his monthly payments rose to £1,236.

Mr Paterson bought one flat in Westminster for £370,500 in 2001. By the time he sold it just over four years later, its value had risen by over £114,000 to £485,000. He then bought a new flat – also in Westminster – for £625,000 and this property is now believed to be worth around £740,000…”

I suspect that Mr Owen Paterson MP – having feathered his nicely while working in the national interest won’t have to pick fruit in his Autumn years.  The word ‘prick’ comes to mind.

Rive Gauche: If Donald Trump ever needs to do a ‘Cover Up’ – he has had some practice

The picture reveals that Mr Trump is well qualified to run for President of The USA – should there be a need for a ‘Cover Up’…

Trump is an aggressive man… and, it would appear, from his own ‘utterings’ – a rather unpleasant man. Here is one quote.  I provide a link to others.


“If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’”

Other unpleasant and stupid Trump quotes

And then we have Mr Duncan Smith…

Norman Lamont claims German ‘sado-austerity’ is pushing support to the far right after Michael Gove warns the EU is fuelling ‘Hitler worshippers’ in Europe

  • Justice Secretary escalates war of words with David Cameron over the EU 

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So…how would you like your DYSTOPIA?  Well done or Rare? 


Muttley Dastardly LLP: This game’s in the refrigerator! The door’s closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard and the Jell-O is jiggling …

Matt Muttley, managing partner of Muttley Dastardly, has returned from from a two week business trip to America.  In the partner’s boardroom at their City offices are ten partners and 25 senior associates.  The partners are seated at the boardroom table on a raised dais. Muttley sits in the only chair with arm rests, an affectation he designed into the furniture after being shown The Cabinet Room when Tony Blair was prime minister. This chair is in the centre of the  black polished ebony boardroom table.  The associates stand by the wall facing the partners. Muttley’s PA, Eva Braun stands behind Muttley dressed in a black skirt suit, white silk camisole and five inch heels, her expression impassive.

“Listen up. This game’s in the refrigerator! The door’s closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard and the Jell-O is jiggling … I’m pleased to report that the partners have had a good year. In fact we have managed the quite remarkable feat of increasing our profit per partner by 28.5% despite a downturn in revenue of 18.2%.  This is, in part, due to the great cull of last Summer and in part to increasing your billable hours requirement.  Two of you have failed to meet those targets and your desks are being cleared by security now. Levison and Edmondson, I’d be grateful if you would make your way to reception… the game is over for you.”

Muttley paused while the two shocked associates left the boardroom. No-one spoke.

“We’ve had a change of government and the new clowns have already lost one guy who couldn’t read the rules, or chose not to, or chose to give the rules a different spin to others. This is what happens when people don’t check with lawyers about rules. The new clowns are going to slash budgets, slash spending and in all likelihood there will be strikes ahead.  We’re beefing the Employment division.  There will be some fairly spectacular business failures as well… football clubs and airlines are worth a look and don’t be surprised if BP litigation comes our way.  I’ve been Stateside and I can tell you… it is going to be a turkey shoot.  Big Law are alternately wetting and crapping themselves. One CEO…. their ‘word’ for managing partner, I spoke to was calling for oxygen at one point so excited was he at the prospect of work when he took a call from The White House while I was there.”

Muttley sipped some Perrier from a glass to his right, put his hands together and continued.

Let’s take a look at the markets.  I’ve been doing some key reading, a guy called Paul B. Farrell of MarketWatch.  Let me summarise, using his rather colourful language.   Are we heading for the bear or is the bull going to run? I quote...“…you decide: As you stare from high up in the nose-bleed bleachers watching the game, staring at a Dow that not long ago was above 11,000 and heading for 12,000. Now the Dow’s sitting on the bench, ready for the showers, weak after a couple air balls around 10,000. No more timeouts. “This game’s in the refrigerator……

Main Street lost 20% last decade … yet like sheep keep going back. Yes, if you’re channeling Chick, here’s your “mixed metaphor” cue card: “This game’s in the refrigerator … Wall Street won (proof, Goldman’s $100-million-profit trading days and Blankfein’s $68 million bonus) … Main Street’s headed for another losing streak … Congress’ lights are out … the refrigerator door’s closing on financial reforms … the lobbyists are laying some rotten eggs, poisoning capitalism … the Tea Party-of-No-No ideologies are hardening … the bull’s Jell-O is jiggling to a flat line … and this market’s going into hibernation, with the bears … run, don’t walk, to the exits, folks.”But will Main Street exit? Will we ever learn? No……

Economist Gary Shilling said price-to-earnings ratios are at a “nosebleed 22.5 level.” The Dow was around 11,000. Money manager Jeremy Grantham recently said the market’s overvalued 40%. That could mean a collapse to 6,600. Last week in Reuters’ “Markets Could Be Derailed Again,” George Soros echoed a “game over” warning with a “stark warning … that the financial world is on the wrong track and that we may be hurtling towards an even bigger boom and bust than in the credit crisis.”

Now Dow Theory’s Richard Russell is warning the public of an imminent crash: “Sell … get liquid … by the end of this year they won’t recognize the country.”

So… are you feeling confident that Danny Alexander, a man who has absolutely no experience apart from sending PR bull out about somewhere in Scotland For fuck’s sake and negotiating a coalition with a group of grasping, desperate, politicians who would short-sell their mothers if they hadn’t already done it while in opposition?!  Cable is simmering like a tin of beans on the back burner with about as much effect.  We know nothing about Osborne.  The good news is that they are going to cut legal aid budgets to buggery, slash spending on the courts, and encourage Tesco and the Coop to package and commoditise legal services.  It’ll be a car crash… we’re probably looking at the equivalent of Emmerdale Farm or Pot Noodle… an emollient but hardly exciting.

Muttley paused to look at the sleek iPad beside him.  He looked up and spoke in lowered tones, forcing the associates to lean forward slightly, expectant.

“What does this mean for us..and when I say us, I mean of course the partners of this firm? We gear up on insolvency and taxation – the clowns are going to ‘simplify’ the system.  When governments say that there is always work for lawyers.   We talk to a few senior barristers and get them into our version of a Procureco. Where there’s money there’s barristers as my father used to say.

We’re going to look at buying a few small regional firms, or rather, turn them into an alternate business structure and go for the very lucrative personal injury market.  We’ll use our Megaladon Direct brand for that.   The good news is the idea of banning referral fees has been kicked into touch.  This will give us an edge. This will also irritate the hell out of The Law Society and The Bar Council who have both been pressing for abolition.  This could keep both these august bodies frothing for months. Again, good for us because their eyes will not be on point on other reforms to ‘suggest’ to government.  Our black psyops unit is putting out articles on blogs and in the legal media about  the future of the legal profession…. lawyers love this stuff and it is always good to get our competitors a little worked up and frothing.  I’m pleased to report that our Twitter presence will soon sow dissent in the profession so we may reap the rewards of keeping lawyers busy responding to our nonsense.  It is amazing how lawyers like to engage on twitter when they should be at the coal face digging coal for their partners. We won’t need to trouble any of you with this.  Eva Braun has found five or six people to put the word out and stir things up a bit.

Finally… let’s put the squeeze on the law schools. We are hiring 125 trainees next year.  50 will make the cut, 20 may even survive the first year PQE.  We are paying far too much for our LPC training.  The law schools are getting greedy.  This is fine for law firms, but most inelegant in the public consciousness when it comes to legal education.  We’ll place some psyops about the fact that we’re looking to partner with a law school for our LPC training.  The water should froth a bit at that and then we’ll send in a team to have a look at the facilities, the staff, do a bit of teeth sucking and promise a three year deal on our terms.  As you know, we are specialists in shark repellent, exactitude and ‘zone of uncertainty’ clauses which will deter any law school from suing if we want out.  I would hope for at least a 40% discount against their published rate her head on the LPC.  This saving will, of course, go towards the partner bonuses.

You know what you have to do.  Same time next week. Oh… and remember…. “Sell … get liquid … by the end of this year the clowns won’t recognize the country. That is all.


I would like to point out, for members of the public who are fortunate enough not to need the services of  Muttley Dastardly LLP or Megaladon Direct that the event described above was, in ‘its entirety’, a fiction.

Back to painting again…canvases…not walls…

I am going back to painting – sensible and mildly odd…. my paints etc are being posted to me from London. Have missed painting.


Here are a few lines on a piece of paper…

I’ve been studying minimalism over the weekend – I think I shall turn this into a very large painting… won’t take long. It’s not an original concept, of course – this style is used in fashion art, where I drew the influence from.  It could look quite striking on white canvas about 6ft x 3ft?

I do, however, have to try my idea of making a life size torso and head of a barrister out of wire coat hangers first.  I suspect that this may prove beyond me… we shall soon find out.  I have to buy some wire clippers and solder.  This will give me an opportunity to buy one of those welding torches….



And here I am using my new Pay As You Go Phone… not very good….in fact, useless…



Jerry Hayes, Barrister and former Tory MP, is a good friend.  I enjoy his writing which is direct, colourful and very much to the point.  I make no apology for quoting his latest post in full and urge you to bookmark his excellent blog.  You will laugh and I have a feeling you will enjoy and learn.  I do.

” Is it just me or is there too much clown porn infesting the media these days? I suppose it could have only been a coincidence that Bozo was launching himself (sorry the OUT campaign) in Dartford on the same day that a gasman had caught the largest rat in Britain. And for what it’s worth, those those of us who live in Essex affectionately call those who scuttle through the Dartford tunnel ‘tunnel rats’. But that’s enough rodentry for now.

The Bozo experience is becoming more bizarre by the day. Yesterday’s wheeze was to drive a red lorry to symbolise moving away. But hang on, Boris hasn’t got an HGV, (which is not a a sexually transmitted disease) so he would have to be in the passenger seat. Ho, ho, still not ready for the driver’s seat. What larks. There is always a ripple of excitement at a Bozo event. Is he going to fired, dressed as a bulldog in a blue tutu, from a cannon into the back garden of Number 10? Are the wheels going to come off the lorry? Will it leap through a burning hoop into a lake of Old English Marmalade? In other words, is this going to be a truck up? As it happens it wasn’t too much of a disaster except that the lorry was a Renault.

Then comes the speech. Advisers are now telling him to be a sort of up beat Willy Wonka. Once we are free of the Johnny Foreigner jackboot our green and pleasant land will be brimming with milk and honey, businesses will boom, the girls will get prettier and men’s penises will be allowed to grow by an extra three inches. Free, walking tall, standing proud. And this was the build up to the shuddering climax which would put the cream (full fat and English) into his éclat. And then it came. ‘I want Britain… be…..(oh, God the thrill of it)…..Europe’s……..(oh, this is too much)….Canada’. Mmm. Doesn’t quite have that thrill factor. But the choice wasn’t all that encouraging. Iceland? Sounds a bit to much like a frozen food chain. Norway? Barrels of oil rather than laughs. Switzerland? Cuckoo clocks, Nazi gold and a sense of humour that would make Chris Grayling sound like a funster. What about Liechtenstein then? Stamps, goats and sounds too foreign. So Canada it is then. Well, at least they share our Queen. Only one or two minor details. It took seven years to negotiate a trade deal, they have no say on the regulations that govern them in the single market and they pay for that privilege. Oh, and the deal doesn’t include services. Sounds very attractive. But of course little England will have a bigger, better, wonderfully fantastic trade deal, far, far better than Canada. And we will do it in a few minutes on the back of a fag packet. A bloody great gold crested British one with the severed head of Juncker on the front. That will learn ‘em. So in others words we won’t be like Canada at all. It’s all so confusing. But like the Mounties Bozo will always get his van.

On Thursday I had a splendid evening debating with Andy Burnham and Chris Smith at the Cambridge Union. The place was packed and much more fun than the Oxford lot. I’d forgotten just how good Andy is when he speaks with passion. Half way through my speech I remembered that a Cambridge college was having a bit of bother with a Nigerian cockerel. ‘Anyone here from Jesus?’ A few hands went up and I prayed that one of them wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness. ‘I read in the TIMES that you are negotiating the removal of a cock. When you’re done could you turn your attention to a fellow called Boris?’ Well, I thought it was quite funny.

So thank you Cambridge Union for a wonderful night, your warm welcome and far too much wine.”

Jerry Hayes’ Blog

Rive Gauche: Michael Fabricant MP all but confirmed he had been a spy for four years

Senior Tory MP claims he was forced to flee Russia after bid to turn KGB agent was rumbled

Michael Fabricant all but confirmed he had been a spy for four years

“A SENIOR Tory MP has revealed he was forced to flee Russia after a failed attempt to recruit a KGB officer during the Cold War.

Michael Fabricant hinted he had been employed as spook for four years before becoming an MP in the late 1980s. The colourful MP revealed he had been warned to leave the country within 24 hours after his attempts to persuade a security agent to defect to the UK were rumbled.

In his first broadcast interview on the subject Mr Fabricant told RT’s Sam Delaney: “I was told I ought to leave within 24 hours.”

He added: “I don’t want to get this guy into trouble, but this was someone who used to work [at Gosteleradio] – in fact I think he still might – and I wanted to get him to defect because he was a reserve officer in the KGB signals brigade.

“Someone found out what I was up to, but I’m not going into too much detail and I had to leave the Soviet Union within 24 hours and duly did.”

The outspoken Tory, who hit the headlines this week for his foul-mouthed outburst in the Commons, quipped: “You realise this is being recorded right next to MI5 Headquarters. I’ll probably get shot!” is Mr Fabricant MP again… Wonderful nonsense…

Tory MP Michael Fabricant says sorry for shouting ‘b******s’ in Parliament



Michael Fabricant
British Politician ·
Michael Louis David Fabricant is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the member of Parliament for the Lichfield constituency in Staffordshire. Wikipedia
Born: June 12, 1950 (age 65), Brighton

Another deeply unpleasant Tory MP. Time to rid our land of these dreadful and derply unpleasant people.

I really do find many Tory MPs to be deeply unpleasant people.  We will be a far happier country without them in power..The sick and disabled are not sick and disabled out of a ‘lifestyle choice’.  They are sick and disabled. We should support all our people.


I wonder if this deeply unpleasant Tory MP has been fiddling his expenses.  probably not – but Google should provide the answer? I shall do some research in the interests of ‘openness’. 


Google reveals: “MP apologises for diabetes ‘avoidable’ comments

“An MP has apologised for his “very offensive” and “damaging” comments on diabetes.

Conservative MP for St Ives, Derek Thomas, claimed diabetes is “completely avoidable through good diet and exercise” on his Facebook page.

Dozens of constituents in Cornwall complained that his comments were inaccurate and “insulting”.

He said he was “sincerely sorry” and would raise the issue with government to prevent confusion in future.

Mr Thomas’ post provoked more than one hundred comments, many of which pointed out that type 1 diabetes “is genetic”, and type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to obesity, is “not preventable for all”.

Orson Cornick commented: “Being an ignorant human being is avoidable, not type 1 diabetes!”

Marianna Baxter whose daughter has type 1 diabetes said she was “very angry and hurt” at the “very offensive” remarks.”

Clearly,  Mr Thomas is not too bright.  This article reveals an insight into his ‘mindset’… I shall give him some credit for having a mind, even if he is a Tory.  Perhaps he could use it to do something useful for our country?  We pay the man enough.

How complicated will a Brexit make the UK immigration system?

By WM Immigration Ltd
Currently most people in the UK, Europe and interested parties overseas are focused on the arguments for staying in or out of the EU. News stories will daily bash either side stating how staying in Europe is good for the UK or how a Brexit will help the economy. It’s likely either side doesn’t know the real answer.

What will a Brexit mean for immigration?

The current UK immigration rules are complex and can be difficult to navigate for the average migrant. To further complicate our immigration rules the Home Office have to also apply EEA immigration rules alongside the UK immigration rules. If the UK stays in the EU then the rules will most probably stay the same. If the UK left the EU then the rules would change. If the UK left the EU then the rules overall would be the same, but the Home Office would not be required to process any EEA applications, in turn reducing their workload. Alternatively, they may then receive an influx of new applications under the UK immigration system for those who no longer qualify under the EEA route.

What effect is the possibility of a Brexit having on current EEA citizens in the UK?

There has been a surge of EEA nationals applying for Permanent Residence in the past few months. It’s important to understand that EEA Permanent Residence is different from Indefinite Leave to Remain. Permanent Residence is a term the Home Office specifically use to explain how an EEA national or their family members become settled in the UK and free from immigration restriction. Indefinite Leave to Remain (otherwise known as ILR) is the term used by the Home Office to explain how a non-EEA nation obtains settlement in the UK. There is a fear among EEA nationals that if the UK leaves the EU then they may be subjected to regular UK Immigration rules and require visas to work and live here. Due to this concern many are applying for PR and then after 12 months they will qualify for British Citizenship.

The sticking point for many EEA nationals is that when they came to the UK they never foreseen this situation and never kept records or planned accordingly. To qualify for Permanent Residence they must have spent 5 years exercising treaty rights so if they were self-sufficient (a method of exercising treaty rights) but had no comprehensive medical insurance then they would not qualify essentially meaning many will either have their PR applications refused or will have to wait another few years until they have 5 continuous years of exercising treaty rights.

How could the UK immigration rules change?

Currently the UK has a huge amount of EEA nationals working and living in the country. There are many high skilled EEA nationals working in the UK. Currently there is a cap around 20,000 for Tier 2 general sponsorship. If the UK left the EU then the UK would have a shortage of highly skilled labour. Therefore the Home Office would have to raise the cap from 20,000 to numbers closer to at least 60,000. Without this increase in Tier 2 certificate of sponsorship limit the UK would suffer from a massive shortage of much needed skill from within the EEA countries that it freely accesses.

What are the weirdest UK laws?

What are the weirdest UK laws?
Sam Williamson, Accident Compensation Scotland

As Law professionals, we are fairly used to dealing with some slightly strange situations every now and then.

But sometimes, laws crop up that you simply can’t believe still exist – let alone that they could be the subject of a legal battle one day.

I’ve always considered us to be a fairly normal and straightforward nation, but some of the UK laws that are still in existence have reaffirmed my worst fears – we really are a bunch of eccentrics who sprout a load of nonsense.

Take a look at some of the weirdest:

It is illegal to keep a pigsty in front of your house – A strange law, but not one I necessarily disagree with. I’d argue that anyone who insists on keeping a pigsty actually deserves to be arrested.  Unless you’re providing your entire neighbourhood with extra fresh bacon sandwiches every morning, then it’s perfectly reasonable.

All beached whales must be offered to the monarch – This one might seem weird, but we don’t know what the Queen is into. Plus, whale blubber tastes amazing on a bit of toast (so we hear).

It is illegal to enter the House of Commons wearing a suit of armour – David Cameron made fun of Jeremy Corbyn’s suit the other day, claiming his mum wouldn’t approve of it. I’d suggest that Corbyn turns up in a suit of armour next time, not that I think it will please Cameron’s mum – she sounds like a bit of a dragon.

Cyclists must dismount when a horse-drawn carriage approaches them – This is another law that sounds strange, but could actually make sense. Horses are easily startled creatures, and the sight of a reflective Lycra-clad middle-aged man is enough to give even me a panic attack, so it’s probably for the best that they dismount nice and early so we can see them coming.

Ding-dong ditch is illegal in the UK

The oldest game in the book (but still one of the best) is actually illegal. But if you get caught, you could just use the next law as your excuse….

It is illegal to turn someone away at the door if they ask to use your loo – ‘I wasn’t playing Ding-dong ditch, I just really need the toilet!’ That should have you covered.

It is illegal to let your dog mate with a dog belonging to the Royal family – This one is a shame. Think about how much those puppies would be worth!

It is illegal to carry a plank along the pavement – Since 1939, it has been illegal to carry a plank along the pavement, the same year that the Second World War started. Perhaps the government wanted people to know that guns are slightly better weapons.

And finally:

It is illegal to handle a salmon suspiciously – But handling a salmon roughly, gently, tightly, carelessly, gingerly, tenderly or erotically is perfectly acceptable. Carry on.

East Park Communications publishes an extensive range of local Law Society magazines.

East Park Communications publishes an extensive range of local Law Society magazines.  They are well produced and informative, particularly to solicitors in the regions  covered.  I am sure that Simon Castell, who runs East Park Communications, would be more than happy to assist you if you  have any questions.

Simon Castell has been a long time and enthusiastic supporter of my blog.

Here is the current selection of Law Society magazines.



Rive Gauche: Scottish Freedom?

One day…I may even manage to shoehorn some law in…but, to be honest, my interest in law and writing about law is waning….far more interested these days in other things – photography, art and the like – although still enjoy reading law bloggers and doing podcasts with lawyers.

My interest in writing about law may revive.

Rive Gauche: Chef Charon – 7 Stars – shares his cooking skills…

When I start ze restaurant Maison Charon, I specify that ze entrance must have ze big glass doors, pas de valeur architecturale… zut alors!… non!…. mais… so my maître d‘ can see ze punters coming in more ways than one.

You English have ze saying… less is more… I take zis to my heart….so in Maison Charon…. we are, how you say…. minimaliste…. minimal decoration, minimal service and ze minimal portions pour la haute gastronomie.  You English have been watching too much of ze Masterchef avec Chef Michel Roux, so I am more than happy to, how you say, fart about with your food and construct ze tours absurde on ze plate and smear ze sauce avec merit artistique. Zis allows me to give you less and charge more…. you see?… I am anglophile!

It is also important… pour ze clientele who frequente Maison Charon zat I ensure there is bollocks complète on ze menu, so I hire l’expert en marketing to write zebollocks complète to describe ze dishes I prepare.  Zis is one exception to ze ‘less is more’ rule.. here… more description means we can serve less…..

I give un exemple of how less is a lot more.  Zere is a chef in Denmark… Chef Rene Redzepi of Noma…. amusingly ze best restaurant in ze world… mon dieu!…… and he collects ze seaweed, berries, grasses and other delectations du nature, serves zem up on a plate and… Voila!….. ze hyperventilation of ze clientele est superbe!.

I do zis at Maison Charon..only se ozzer day. I send a sous chef to Wandsworth Roundabout and Hyde Park  avec a book on  foraging and say I want grass, berries, anything edible…..   I get anuzzer sous chef to go to B&Q to buy some Welsh slate roof tiles et Voila!…. ze Cuisine naturelle a La Suède. I wanted to put ze description a La Pseuede… mais…. maître d‘ he says to me…. “Chef Charon… you have eighteen Michelin stars to your name…. even though you give them to yourself… this is a step too far….. to mock ze punter is Le Sport… to ridicule ze punter is not good business.”  So… with free ingredients from Wandsworth Roundabout, a few absurd smears of sauces, berries arranged at each corner of ze welsh slate from B& Q and much pantomime from maître d‘… we serve three tiles of grass, and edible leaves and berries and charge £38.50 per portion…. who needs an amuse-bouche when one can do zat?!

Ze best part?…. when I come from le le salon de la gastronomie….avec mon chapeau de chef on my head to take ze adulation of ze punters…. and tell zem how much they have enjoyed l’experience du Maison Charon.….. and tell zem we take ze  AMEX.   Aussi… I try very hard not to drop my fake  accent français

I wish you all a good gastronomie

Chef Charon

It won’t be “God Bless America” if this weird geezer gets to be President…it will be “God Help America”


Alex Salmond – a man respected for his common sense – is very critical of Trump.


“In an interview with the Times, Mr Salmond said:

He behaves like a petulant child. The idea of a spoilt brat in charge of the world’s greatest nuclear arsenal is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

Trump is impossible to deal with in any coherent way because of his wild changes in position. He can move from total support to complete attack, if not exactly on a whim then certainly with little regard to any sense of proportion.

Mr Salmond added that while Trump can be “fun” to deal with he would be impossible in international relations, summarising: “In short, he can be — depending on the occasion — sad, mad, bad and dangerous to know.”

Charlie Brooker nails it on The Tories

I am a Labour voter…or was…but I am in Scotland now and live in a one party SNP state.  It would be good to see Labour actually win some seats…perhaps a novel idea…but enough to actually win and run Scotland?

I will say, though, that I like David Cameron… is he really a Tory?  He seems sensible, kind and sane compared to Mr and Mrs Nutjob MP – of whom there appear to be many in the Tory line up.

‘This is a court of justice not a casino,’ judge tells lawyers over £1.1m fees

The Guardian: “A judge has chastised individual lawyers for charging up to £400,000 in their successful defence of a billionaire sheikh accused of being involved in the torture of a British citizen, saying the high court was a “court of justice not a casino”.

Judge Blake ruled last month that Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, a former Qatari prime minister worth an estimated £8bn, could not be sued in London over claims that agents acting on his behalf falsely imprisoned and tortured Fawaz al-Attiya, a former official spokesman for the emirate.

The high court said that since the sheikh had been appointed to a role at Qatar’s London embassy in November 2013, he was shielded by diplomatic immunity.

Hamad bin Jassim, known as HBJ, had hired David Pannick, Britain’s most prominent human rights Queen’s counsel, to head his defence team. Lord Pannick shot to fame in the 1980s when he appeared for the Sunday Times in the Spycatcher case and has since acted for the Queen, and defended the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the rights of gay soldiers.

Court documents show Pannick charged £407,250 for a defence involving a two-day trial, which he did not attend. His colleague Monica Carss-Frisk QC, who did appear, put in a fee for £228,150.

At these rates of pay, Pannick would appear to be more expensive to hire than Jonathan Sumption, who was paid almost £8m – the highest fee in British legal history – for defending the Chelsea football club owner, Roman Abramovich. Lord Sumption, now a supreme court judge, charged that sum for work over a period of 10 months – about £40,000 a day in court….”

Rive Gauche: A top of the morning to you….now..or when it comes..and The Smoking Ban Got Him…

I enjoyed digging graves to pay for my fees and living costs.  It was hard work but I was fit in those days. I put on a lot of chest and arm muscle and upper thigh muscle.  It was the very hot summer of 1976. The ground was hard – no rain.  I think that the rains finally came when the then Minister of Sport did a rain dance.  Dennis Howells MP ? We used to have lunch in the grave – sandwiches and some fruit.  The Irish gravedigger I worked with always wore a black tailcoat, beaten up old jeans and a black funeral top hat.  It kept the sun off him he said.  He was a nice guy…drank a lot of Guinness..thoughout the digging day.  We started at 7.00 and finished at 4.00. . Occasionally a lovely old lady would pop over and ask us who was going in today.  She told us that she hoped that we would be her diggers when she finally left the planet.  An amusing and lively lady – 92 years old, I seem to recall her telling us.   I remember going into the Law School after a hard day of digging with my grave diggers spade (I bought my own – the ones supplied by the council were very old and battered. )  The blokes were amused.  Two lovely female law students liked the muscles – they told me !

I am going back to weight training…SMOKEDO style.  I fancy getting fit and put on some muscles again…. why?  No idea…. but, why not?

I add that we fell through an old coffin in the grave… we had to stop digging while Police were called.  The Investigating Officer, a Detective Inspector, found it surreal and rather amusing, but seemed satisfied that we were not ‘grave robbers’…which he found amusing. .  It was a very old grave…dust to dust etc.. just old bones and shreds of cloth.