Corbyn latest…

A Labour MP has accused Jeremy Corbyn of injecting “unprecedented poison” into his own party as calls continue for his resignation.

Mr Corbyn made a defiant speech on Wednesday evening saying he had a “people’s mandate” to continue in his position, but Jamie Reed said David Cameron had earlier reflected the feelings of Labour MP’s saying: “For heaven’s sake man, go!”

The MP for Copeland released a vociferous letter to the Labour leader on social media urging him to “muster the necessary dignity” to follow the Prime Minister’s example and step down.”

Time to get into that taxi and go home Mr Corbyn.  You are not doing our Labour Party any useful service or favours.


F*ckART: Time Star

With way too much time on my hands this wet, cold, windy morning in Scone, Perth & Kinross – and with no appetite at all to write about Law today – I amused myself first by buying a large RED suede hat in excellent condition from The Salvation Army shop in Perth (£5) and then created some ART by sticking a broken Hunter watch onto a canvas with superglue, and a red Labour Party Star which I obtained from a Labour Party stall in Perth High Street a few weeks ago and smeared some fast drying acrylic paint onto the canvas.  Kept me amused and I like the effect. It is a form of ‘Re-cycling’ ?

It is unlikely that anyone will want to buy this work – but I would be happy to sell at £30 if it would amuse you to buy it.  I will sign it “Charonasso”….in fact, I have signed it twice at the top and at the bottom – so you may display the ‘work’ as you wish – even upside down!

Grayling’s Legacy kicked into touch by Supreme Court

He’s been gone for some time, but yesterday marked the formal inglorious end of Chris Grayling’s tenure as justice secretary and lord chancellor. The last lingering flap of legislative change Grayling tried to introduce was knocked down: The Supreme Court rejected his plan to introduce a residency test for legal aid.

The plan was typical of Grayling: It was mean, it radically reduced access to justice, and it was passed in a manner intended to avoid scrutiny. It would have meant that anyone trying to get legal aid needed to have been in the UK for 12 months. Or at least, that’s how it would have started. Once it was written down in law, it seems likely the requirements would have got longer and longer. The Tories would extend it everytime Ukip had another surge in the polls, a future Labour government would have done so when it needed to look tough on immigration.

Had this policy been implemented, the miscarriages of justice would have been appalling. Take the case of P, an adult with severe learning disabilities. He was regularly beaten by his mother and brother, starved, and kept in a kennel outside the house. It was a legal aid which provided him with the defence in order for him to live separately from his family. But it would have been impossible to ascertain if he met the residence test.

Read the rest of the article

Syringe Art from Charonasso

SyringeArt 1 with SNP key ring and syringe
Charonasso Syringe Period
June 2016

This is what I do to amuse myself when there is no law lurking in the shadows to write about.

The pharmacist in Perth was very worried that I wanted to buy syringes – fearing that I may be a drug taker.  I assured him that I was a professional smoker, did not take drugs and wanted to squirt paint onto a canvas with the syringe to keep myself amused.  He was a young Indian pharmacist and was nervous.  I took this painting into his shop afterwards – about 20 minutes later to reassure him. (One of my nicknames when I painted at School was ‘Risotto’ and sold various ‘creazione‘ to fellow students – ready in 20 minutes)

He asked if I ever sold my ‘works’. My pulse raced, believing that I might be on the brink of making a sale.  I told him that I had sold a few.  He did not offer to buy it!


Ex-Tory MP and barrister Jerry Hayes is always worth reading



For months George Osborne has been pilloried for not having a contingency plan if we vote to leave the EU. Well now it has been revealed. The IFS produced a report that there would be an enormous black hole in public finances and gave a number of projections. Osborne chose the midway one; £30bn. Yesterday theFTSE 100 lost £100 bn and sterling is in trouble with £69 bn offloaded since March. Consumer confidence is hitting new lows and the market investment fear index new highs. ‘Nothing to do with Brexit’, the bellenderage primly say. ‘Markets go up and markets go down…..a low pound will be great for British exports.’ Not when there will be £9bn worth of tariffs from the EU as projected by the WTO matey. Someone is going to have to pay for this home made recession and it ain’t going to be the Mexicans. ’Don’t talk Britain down……you are insulting the ingenuity of the British people’. Yet, it won’t be the British people who will be tipped bloodied into the foaming seas of Euro sharks. It won’t be the British people negotiating with both hands tied behind their backs, it will be total dickweeds like Bozo who has got us into this mess.

It is worth putting on the record just how our manufacturing industry is going to be hammered. Let’s start with aerospace. It employs 110,000 directly and supports 120,000. 47% of their exports go to the EU. They rely heavily on supply chains which means that many of the parts are made in the EU. Tariffs will cripple them. The automotive industry employs 147,000 and supports 300,000. They make 1.6m vehicles a year and contribute £1.6bn to the economy. They are a fantastic success and 43% of exports go to the EU. Their supply chain is a real problem as 41% of the parts are manufactured in the EU. They would be stuffed.

So that is just a snapshot of how manufacturing jobs will be destroyed. Have a look at the agriculture figures and your eyes will pop out on stalks.

Read the rest of the blog post here


An interview for a training contract at Muttley Dastardly LLP

An interview for a training contract at Muttley Dastardly LLP

Eva Braun, Matt Muttley’s PA, elegantly dressed as always in a tailored black suit and high heels, led a young man into the Partner’s Boardoom and seated him at the opposite end of the long boardroom table. He had a brown paper bag over his head. Dr Erasmus Strangelove, director of Psyops, Strategy and Education, looked up from his iPad 2, which held the applicant’s curriculum vitae and the security clearance report provided by a leading specialist security firm, and put his first question.

 Eva Braun, Matt Muttley’s PA, elegantly dressed as always in a tailored black suit and high heels, led a young man into the Partner’s Boardoom and seated him at the opposite end of the long boardroom table. He had a brown paper bag over his head.

Dr Erasmus Strangelove, director of Psyops, Strategy and Education, looked up from his iPad 2, which held the applicant’s curriculum vitae and the security clearance report provided by a leading specialist security firm, and put his first question.

 “Forgive the rather theatrical paper bag over your head. At Muttley Dastardly LLP we operate an equal opportunities policy. We are not swayed by good looks. I will allow you to remove the paper bag when you have answered my first question; assuming that your answer is to my taste.

“If you don’t, my colleague will take you to a waiting taxi, an idea I came up with after watching SurAlanLord Sugar’s reality TV programme The Apprentice the other night. This has the advantage that candidates who I reject do not recognise me should we happen to meet socially or in a nightclub in the West End.

“Contestant… are you ready?” Strangelove shouted.

“Yes, Dr Strangelove” came the slightly muffled reply from the young law student seated twenty-feet away at the opposite end of the table.

 “If you were on the menu in a two-star Michelin restaurant in London, what dish would you be?” Strangelove asked as he glanced at the cricket score on his iPad 2.

The young man, smartly dressed in a newly purchased suit, hesitated and said “I haven’t eaten at a two-star Michelin restaurant.”

Strangelove considered the reply for a moment, sat back in the high backed leather chair and smiled. “At Muttley Dastardly LLP, we assume that our future trainees hold a first from Oxbridge or Russell Group university. We assume, having paid a risibly high fee for your LPC at a purveyor of legal education, that they will be sensible enough, and have the grace, to ensure you leave with a creditable result in that course. We are not that interested in the grade.

“We prefer to teach you how to be a practising lawyer ourselves, but we do like you to start from the entirely reasonable base of actually knowing some law from your university.

“We have a diversity policy here and we expect our future associates, men and women who we rely on to add to the capital value of the firm and a year on year growth in billings of 20%, to have the flexibility to be able to think on their feet.

“That you have not eaten in a two-star Michelin restaurant troubles me not, but there is no phone a friend or fifty-fifty at our interviews. I don’t want to put too much pressure on you, but you are one down. We have a ‘three strikes and you’re in that taxi’ policy rule here – a wonderful concept which I seem to remember our current prime minister, Mr Camcorderdirect, coming up with before he became Prime Minister and wanted votes. Let me suggest another line of enquiry.”

Dr Strangelove flicked back to the applicant’s file on his iPad 2.

 “I see, from your Facebook page, that you have a talent for drinking and gurning. Three photographs of you in a file captioned “Future Employer’s… f*ck ‘em” – I will overlook the apostrophe solecism – shows you dressed in what I am advised is tight spandex gear worn by militant cyclists, flicking a V sign at motorists. Do you consider that to be conduct becoming of a future associate at Muttley Dastardly LLP?”

The young man leaned forward. He was shaking slightly. “I thought I had erased those files”

Dr Strangelove smiled. “Fear not. We are specialists in ‘reputation management’ here. One of my ‘black hat’ departments is most expert at erasing information from Google and replacing it with a more ‘positive’ message. We prefer that more subtle approach to the bludgeon of a superinjunction. After all, we don’t want our clients to be all over Twitter, do we? The question is important. Think carefully.”

The young man sat bolt upright. “Yes… frankly. If I want to go through red traffic lights, cycle on the pavements, and assert my libertarian rights, I shall damn well do so.”

“Correct answer. Well done!” Strangelove said, banging his hand down on one of those old bells found on hotel reception desks in 1950s American movies used by guests to attract the attention of the psychopath who ran the joint.

“Finally… our maxim at Muttley Dastardly LLP is ‘Strength & Profits’. How do you feel about lawyers making exemplary amounts of money during their careers?”

The young man, more confident after his last answer, replied “A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi – a precipice in front, wolves behind. I want to be a wolf.”

 “Young man,” Stranglove replied, a hint of amusement in his voice. “Welcome to Muttley Dastardly LLP. You may remove the paper bag.”

Stone of Destiny, Scone, Perthshire

Stone Of Destiny Moot Hill Scone Palace Perthshire 

Wikipedia notes: “The Stone of Scone (/ˈskn/; Scottish Gaelic: An Lia Fàil, Scots: Stane o Scuin)—also known as the Stone of Destiny, and often referred to in England as The Coronation Stone—is an oblong block of red sandstone that was used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland, and later the monarchs of England and the Kingdom of Great Britain. Historically, the artefact was kept at the now-ruined Scone Abbey in Scone, nearPerth, Scotland. It is also known as Jacob’s Pillow Stone and the Tanist Stone, and in Scottish Gaelic, clach-na-cinneamhain. Its size is about 26 inches (660 mm) by 16.75 inches (425 mm) by 10.5 inches (270 mm) and its weight is approximately 336 pounds (152 kg). A roughly incised cross is on one surface, and an iron ring at each end aids with transport.[1] The Stone of Scone was last used in 1953 for the coronation of Elizabeth II of theUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Clients want more than a robotic ability to perform legal tasks

Clients want more than a robotic ability to perform legal tasks

Soft skills and ‘trust’ are key in the SRA’s new professional development regime for lawyers

It is less than six months before the much-anticipated new rules for lawyers’ continuing professional development come into force (November 1, 2016) and firms are busy gearing up for the change.

The SRA maintains that its new “continuing competence” regime is all about what’s best for clients. “Out” is the old system of lawyers clocking up an arbitrary number of continuing professional development (CPD) hours; “in” is a new requirement for firms to “reflect on their practice and the quality of their work, then undertake meaningful training to make sure they stay up to date and competent”. Plenty of room

Read the rest of the article in the Times

Clare Rodway of Kysen PR writes an excellent blog – The Conversation

Clare Rodway of Kysen PR writes an excellent blog – The Conversation, where she interviews professional men and women about their business lives.  This article is typical of the style – but do have a look at the other interviews


Matthew Kay is a very emotionally intelligent man. We’ve been having a ball working with him to promote Pinsent Masons’ Variothrough an eye-catching campaign urging lawyers to connect with their human side.  “In an age where the legal market is delivering increasing parts of the service through artificial intelligence”, he says, “human lawyers need to be astute about what it is they offer that’s different.  AI can be excellent for increasing efficiencies, particularly in terms of speed and consistency of outcomes for clients, and that’s important, but clients want relationships with people, not robots. This is where lawyers’ emotional intelligence and a nuanced soft-skill-set becomes key.”  (You can catch up with the Vario #NoClones campaign on the@PMVario Twitter stream, or by using the #NoClones hashtag.)

Here is the link

Muttley Dastardly LLP: Preparation for Valentine’s Day 2017


From: Matt Mattley, Managing Partner

Re: Inappropriate behaviour

1. On or about 14th February I received a Valentine’s Day card from a person(s) unknown.  Although signed ‘Eva’ it was not from Eva Braun, my PA.  She is far too professional for such frivolity and would never reveal that we are having an affair, which we aren’t.

2. The envelope, addressed to me personally, had been franked, using the firm’s franking machine. There is no record in the new electronic fees system of this postage cost being attributed to a client of the firm.

3. The card was inscribed with the message “Hi bigboy…. we know you like to give the opposition a hard time. Would you like to give me a hard time 2nite?”

4. The card was accompanied by a bunch of roses and foliage of varied types.

My response to this is as follows:

We have spent a great deal of (otherwise chargeable) time and money positioning ourselves in the market with marketing and what some of our competitors are now referring to as ‘piracy’. As you know, it is my practice to read The Lawyer to see who is acting for whom and then pop over to ‘whom’ and do a bit of negotiation on fees. We have also invested heavily in our innovative and highly popular ‘Trainee Blog’ – which, I am bound to say, while not meeting with universal approval, is very appealing to prospective applicants to our firm and, therefore, ensures that our firm is able to compete with the other leading firms and recruit suitably educated trainees who will contribute to the wealth of the partners. Please bear this in mind. We have to set an example. I would not wish to get up on a Friday morning and find our firm being mocked on RollonFriday.

As to point 2 of my memo: The cost of the postage of the card, while modest, has not been ‘attributed or allocated’ to a client. The cost is, therefore, a drain on the wealth of the partners. This is an important principle. It is also theft under s.1 Theft Act 1968. There is a difference between a ‘toppy bill’ and downright dishonesty in appropriating property belonging to the partners with the dishonest intention of permanently depriving the partners of that property.

As to point 3 of my memo: While I take no personal exception to the statement recorded in the card and may well follow up on the invitation when our internal security unit find the originator of the card, it is important to bear in mind the free advice provided by competitor firm Peninsula in their illuminating Valentine’s Day briefing (we are always grateful when rival firms provide us with knowledge which we can then re-sell. ) Peninsula point out that such a remark could well be construed, to those of a sensitive disposition, as ‘an unwanted sexual advance from a colleague.’ and amount to harrassment – which can be very costly these days – quite rightly. You will, through our excellent CPD programme, be familiar with the right of Employment Tribunals to make ‘uncapped awards’. I also quote Mr Mooney’s comments from the Pensinsula briefing – which sent a shiver down my spine: “And the cost of losing a High Court case for harassment can sometimes run into the millions.”

As to point 4 of my memo: The sending of any product likely to result in physical or psychological injury could well lead to personal injury litigation. I quote from the Peninsula briefing: “In the most extreme example, bosses can even get into trouble if one worker is sent a large bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day.

The leaflet says: “If you have one employee who has bad hayfever, or a similar allergy, sat next to a member of staff who receives a lot of flowers, the employer could be in breach of their duty to provide an amenable working environment.”

I hope that I have made my point?

We must remain in the EU for peace and prosperity. Must we?

Barrister, Matthew Scott, argues that we must remain in the EU for peace and prosperity in a detailed analysis.  Well worth a read.

“The time for agnosticism about the EU referendum is over. Those of us who have been sitting on the fence now need to decide which way to vote.

A few weeks ago I was still an agnostic. Not any longer. The weight of Barristerblogger is very modest – but for what it is worth it is now firmly behind the Remain campaign.”


I went out in the rain to see if there was….any Law lurking in the bushes

I went out in the rain (It has rained for 5 days without stopping – ground waterlogged).  My mission was to see if there happened to be any Law about.  Thankfully, there wasn’t, so I don’t need to trouble you with my observations today on the law.

I am thoroughly enjoying being back in Scotland.  My brother is sending up some of my furniture, paintings, Japanese Samurai prints and a motorbike (A pottery motorbike).  My brother is threatening to actually bring them up.  He was supposed to be here today but his wife forgot that she was in a recital.  She is a talented musician.

I will get back to commenting on the law and covering law blogs from tomorrow.

If I drink some more Rioja, which I will…ineluctably – I may even have a stab at writing about the law blogs later.


Rive Gauche: I don’t need a car in Perth…but I could do with one of these…at times..



I don’t need a car or a motorbike in Perth – the bus, which is free for old gits like me, does the job nicely of transporting me from quiet Scone to the pleasure dens of Perth in but 15 minutes.  Runs like clockwork day and evening.  But…there are times when one of these would be most useful.

I am thinking of buying another motorbike – a Honda Blackbird second hand.  Time to get back on the bike.  Had one accident in 20 years – when a bad driver drove straight into me when I was waiting in a quiet Chiswick road to turn right.  I was riding one of the largest motorbikes on the road, wearing a bright yellow helmet and a yellow leather jacket.  The Police were not amused with the driver who was banned from driving subsequently for a year.  Alcohol issues, I was told.

I got stopped by a Spanish Guardia Civile bike cop at 6.00 am near Mojacca in Spain doing 190 mph.  The road was empty – an empty well built motorway with a good tarmac surface. The Spanish don’t do early working day start hours.  He fired a red flare into the air – which I thought was very stylish of him.  He wasn’t bothered about my speed, although he did say I was probably going too fast. He was just intrigued to find out what bike I was riding! It was Honda Blackbird 1100cc – very fast. Top speed 195 mph with mods.  He was smoking a large cigar which I thought most stylish.  I got my Marboro reds out. We chatted in Spanfranglais for a while, I smoked a few cigarettes, sat on each other’s motorbikes.  He warned me that his Guardia Civile colleagues, particularly the cops in cars, near the bigger cities were not so amusing with bikers who exceed the speed limit by 120 mph and shook my hand and waved me off ceremoniously with a salute! Nice guy. Good policing in my view.

The Honda Blackbird – one of five I had in my 15 years of riding

I bought five of these in my time riding.  Other bikes included Honda Fireblade and a Ducati 916.  None as fast or as comfortable as the Blackbirds.  I went on an advanced bike riding course with the London Met Police – it was raining, poured all day.  Best money I ever spent.  My cornering speeds on country lanes rose from 50 mph in the wet to nigh on 80.  The Police bike cop was a brilliant instructor but warned me that he ‘would nick me’ if he saw me riding at 80 mph on country lanes in future! It was very safe – the roads were deserted.  We only saw three cars and one van in the one hour we we on the remote country lanes.


I am planning to buy another Blackbird if I can get my act together on it. Missed riding bikes.  Cars were fine. I enjoyed the Ferrari 328 GTS I had for three years back in the early 1990s when I was running BPP Law School – fun, but nowhere near as much fun, or as fast,  as the hyper accelerating Blackbirds.

Good to be back online

BT finally managed to send me a Hub that actually works….the first one they sent would not even turn on. They were puzzled and so was I.  They did, however, respond very quickly and sent a new hub the very next day which arrived this morning,  so I am back to blogging and tweeting.