LONDON (The Borowitz Report)—In an unexpected televised address on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II offered to restore British rule over the United States of America.

Addressing the American people from her office in Buckingham Palace, the Queen said that she was making the offer “in recognition of the desperate situation you now find yourselves in.”

“This two-hundred-and-forty-year experiment in self-rule began with the best of intentions, but I think we can all agree that it didn’t end well,” she said.

The Queen urged Americans to write in her name on Election Day, after which the transition to British rule could begin “with a minimum of bother.”

Elizabeth acknowledged that, in the wake of Brexit, Americans might justifiably be alarmed about being governed by the British parliamentary system, but she reassured them, “Parliament would play no role in this deal. This would be an old-school monarchy. Just me, and then, assuming you’d rather not have Charles, we could go straight to William and those children of his who have mesmerized you so.”

Using the closing moments of her speech to tout her credentials, the Queen made it clear that she has never used e-mail and has only had sex with one person “very occasionally.”

Steven Barker – solicitor given Suspended Sentence for faking parking permit

This is the report from The UK Criminal Law Blog


We have frequently looked at cases of ‘dodgy lawyers’ – those that find themselves on the wrong side of the dock (start here for a QC who found himself in prison).

On 27th October 2016 we had another addition to that particular ‘rogues gallery’ – newly qualified (but probably soon to be ex-) solicitor Steven Barker.



Steven Barker lived near Southampton but was working for insurance company Ageas on the Isle of Wight. He would drive to Southsea and, leaving his car there, get a hovercraft to his office.

This area requires a parking permit. Mr Barker had one last summer but it seems that that when that ran out, due to health and financial difficulties (as he told the Court), he decided to fraudulently change the old one.

You can see the amended permit above – it’s not particularly sophisticated, being done with a felt tip pen to change the ‘5’ in the ‘2015’ expiry date to a 6.

He was caught parking with the altered permit on the 7th and  15th October and the 3rd and 4th November, which gave rise to four charges of fraud.

It seems that at some point Mr Barker got a penalty charge notice, which he appealed. It is not clear if that was one of the above dates or not, but it is perhaps surprisingly didn’t seem to deter Mr Barker.

When he was caught, it seems that he told the Council that the permit was water damaged, which is why he altered it (it isn’t quite clear why this means he would have changed it to a different date however).

He then said that he had parked in other roads (where presumably a permit was not required), but pleaded guilty earlier this year.



On 26th October 2016 he was sentenced in the Crown Court to 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years on the condition of undertaking 150 hours unpaid work. There was also an order for £986 costs, as well as a victim’s surcharge.

What to make of the sentence? The Sentencing Guidelines for Fraud are the starting point – see page 6. It does not quite fall neatly into a category there, but on the face of it is Culpability B, and presumably Category 5 as the cost of a parking permit (which is the amount of the value of the fraud) must be under £5,000.

This would give a starting point, and a range, of a noncustodial sentence. Why did Mr Barker get so much more?

It’s not clear. The Judge said, in sentencing, “Effectively you are ruined as far as being a solicitor is concerned. It’s highly unlikely you will retain that position.’

‘The public expect a higher standard of honesty and integrity from members of the profession and this matter means that you plainly fail to achieve the high standard expected“.

All that is true, and is the reason why Mr Barker will almost certainly get struck off – the legal regulators are not very forgiving of dishonesty. But it doesn’t explain the sentence here.

The fact that Mr Barker was a trainee solicitor does not impact on his culpability – it wasn’t a breach of trust in any real sense. The breach of trust that the public has in solicitors in general does not apply – that’s what the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal is for.

If anything, the fact that he is probably finished in his chosen career (for which he may well have tens of thousands of pounds of debt with no means of repaying) is, if anything, a mitigating feature. We would have thought a Community Order would have been the most that would have been needed in a case such as this.

If it is culpability B, this would equate to defrauding another of about £25,000. Even it is culpability A, it is still the sort of sentence that one would expect for a fraud of £3-4,000.

It is likely that Mr Barker may just leave it and not try to appeal, as he didn’t go to prison (which was presumably the main concern at that point), but we will keep an eye on it.

It may be, of course, that there was more to it than is reported and the sentence was well deserved, or at least in the range of what on would expect.

Theresa May lied and lied again to become PM – Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen writes in The Guardian: Theresa May appeals to a stereotype that has a deep grip on the English psyche. Sober and commonsensical, she behaves with the moral seriousness we expect from a vicar’s daughter. She may be a little clunky, but what a relief it is to have a straightforward leader from the heart of the country after the flash, poll-driven phonies of the past.

I am not saying her public image is all a pretence. No focus group told her to campaign against the modern slave trade when she was home secretary. There were few Tory votes in stopping the police targeting young black men, either. But the dominant side of Theresa May is more superficial than David Cameron and more dishonest than Tony Blair. It is a tribute to the power of cliches to stop us seeing what is in front of our noses, that so few have noticed that the only reason she’s prime minister is that she put ambition before principle.

Last week, Downing Street spin doctors were trying and failing to downplay the importance of a secret speech she gave to Goldman Sachs on 26 May, which was leaked to Nick Hopkins and Rowena Mason of the Guardian. In private, May was unequivocal. “The economic arguments are clear,” she told the bankers. Companies would leave the UK if the UK left the EU. In public, however, she made just one speech during the referendum campaign. You forgot it the moment you heard it. May never mentioned the danger of companies fleeing. Her economic case, such as it was, came down to a flaccid, pseudo-impartial argument that “there are risks in staying as well as leaving”.

As an orator, May was hopeless. As a politician on the make, she was close to perfect. When Craig Oliver, Cameron’s former chief of communications, wondered if she was secretly an “enemy agent” for the Leave side, he was being too Machiavellian. May was just making the smart move. She kept her views about the economic consequences of Brexit quiet, so that the Conservative right would accept her as leader if Cameron lost.

Failing to state your honest opinion on the most important decision Britain has taken in decades may seem cowardly enough. But the consequences of May’s pretence do not stop with one referendum.

 Her manoeuvres have forced her into a position where she must make arguments she cannot possibly believe, on behalf of causes she cannot possibly believe in. Her behaviour shows that, far from “taking back control”, Brexit is depriving us of the ability to take decisions, giving privileges to the special interests the Leave campaign claimed it was fighting against, and imposing burdens on the taxpayer far greater than the mythical £350 million a week that Vote Leave said we sent to Brussels……”

The 25 mile walk today and pics of Perth and en route

The Maid of Perth bronze in Perth High Street – a beautiful bronze. The detail in the work is extraordinary.

The cows were taking breakfast as I walked past as dawn broke this morning on the first few miles of my 25 mile walk today.   I had cigars and I had a bacon roll in Perth from a good cafe (£1.25p).   I particularly enjoy walking.  It keeps me fit and mobile and it is always a pleasure to stop and natter to people en route or up early and sitting on the wooden benches in the High Street. I do think that Perth Council  has made the right decision to ban cars, vans etc from the High Street. Providing benches in the street for people to sit on is a clever idea.  People do sit on the them and chat to people passing by who stop for a natter.  I’ve met some marvellous people – many, fellow smokers.  So much more civilised.  Plenty of parking in nearby streets for shoppers and visitors.

And here is a photograph of Perth High Street looking towards the river.

Excercise while smoking “Smokedo” – The Art of Smokexcercising

WARNING: Do not try this at home without first consulting a specialist like me.  This is only for professionals or for those who have been given the secret scrolls of Smokedo

I can tell you this though, when I have completed the drills, I shall be a lot fitter and slimmer.  It is working…. ripping that flab as I type.

Well on that note… as I clearly appear to have lost the plot… I have to go into a trance like state now, drink a few glasses of Rioja and spend some time with my paint brushes and watercolour pad.

Have an excellent week.

Regards as always

Sensei Charonaka

Smokedo Master
30aday Dan

Rive Gauche: A 19-year-old student who crashed her car into a police vehicle told the officer she was snapchatting a topless selfie.

The Independent reports: “A 19-year-old student who crashed her car into a police vehicle told the officer she was snapchatting a topless selfie.

Miranda Kay Rader, listed as a freshman at Texas A & M University, was charged with drunken driving and possessing alcohol as a minor following the incident in Bryan, Texas.

According to the police report, the officer was responding to a reported disturbance when he heard brakes squealing and a 4 x4 slam into the patrol car behind him.

While approaching the vehicle, he noticed Rader with her bra unfastened trying to put her top back on, The Eaglereports.

An opened bottle of wine was found in the vehicle.

She told the officer she was driving back to her dorm and had decided to send a Snapchat photo to her boyfriend while stopping at a red light…..”

One can only marvel….

Rive Gauche: Council error directs residents to hardcore porn site

The Independent reports: “A council letter sent to residents to encourage them to check their eligibility to vote directed them instead to a hardcore porn website.

Mid Suffolk District Council sent approximately 80 reminder letters to residents in the Claydon and Barham wards, which included a link to pornographic content.

The error was discovered when one resident, who wished to remain anonymous, typed the address into his web browser.

“Quite humorous from my perspective but might give some of your older listeners a bit of a shock,” he told BBC Radio Suffolk.”


One can only marvel… I do a lot of ‘marvelling’ these days.

Deerstalker Hat and Walking stick for 10 mile walks

I enjoy walking.  Do 10 miles each day rain or shine.  I have seven hats – my latest, used when it is dry, is a Tweed deerstalker hat. The walking sticking I bought from the Salvation Army shop in perth for £7.  It has sheep’s horn handle.  A fine stick fashioned from a very straight piece of a tree.

Equipped thus, with a tartan covered hip flask containing whisky or rum and with my trusty camera slung around my neck and a good waterproof jacket I walk each day.  Today, I have managed twenty miles.  It keeps me fit and it is interesting to natter to people en route – cyclists, runners, other walkers,  In perth itself I talk to many people – young and old.  Many of them are smokers, so always pleasant to sit on one of the benches and have a natter.

In the rain, I wear a fine Green Barbour hat – a gift my my cousin Ronald who used to run two very good hotels on The Isle of Arran on the West Coast.  Ronald refused to sell his hunting lodge hotel to Madonna because he didn’t want the island crawling with popular music stars.  he was supported by most of the island population in that decision!


I know Arran well.  I lived in Fairlie, Ayrshire near Largs just 14 miles from Arran on the mainland.  I’ve climbed Goatfell 3000ft about ten times – an easy walk up – could even do it at 63 with a stick to aid me.

And here is a shot of Goatfell from Lamlash


And here is a shot of Fairlie, where I lived when  my parents came over on leave from Malaysia where my father was a director of Dunlop.  I have used a stock photo as theirs was much better than mine angle wise.

And, finally – a shot of Largs, two miles up the coast from Fairlie – a seaside town with much beauty and the famous Nardini Cafe which sells, coffee, cakes, and excellent ice cream and fish and chips.  I was down in Largs for a while about 8 months ago.  Wonderful place.  Going to take a trip back there for a few days in a fortnight.




Pictures of Nardini’s 

And the interior – Art Deco?




Managing Global Mobility Risks

Managing Global Mobility Risks
By DavidsonMorris

As the British Standards Institute issues new guidance for employers on managing the health, safety and security of travelling employees, it serves as a timely reminder for companies to ensure their global mobility programmes as a whole remain compliant and fit for purpose.

Employers have to manage a wide range of risks to meet their duty of care toward travelling employees; from medical, political, personal safety and security, through to immigration compliance.

And as companies deploy more and more personnel abroad, particularly to emerging markets, risk factors are set to grow and become even more complex.

The challenge for employers remains managing the risks of business travel while ensuring the flexibility and agility to maximise the commercial opportunities that a mobile workforce brings. Which is where an effective global mobility programme becomes critical.

The Value of an Effective Global Mobility Programme

A well-developed global mobility programme will deliver value by:

  • Helping you maintain standards across your operations.
  • Minimising the impact on ‘business as usual’ in the event of an incident – however minor or major.
  • Keeping your employee’s focus on the commercial purpose of travel and maximise return on the investment.
  • Opening up opportunities otherwise not possible, for example employees reluctant to travel to certain locations without support and infrastructure.
  • Managing the cost of issues and crisis management.
  • Reducing potential damage to reputation and stakeholder relations.
  • Avoiding the risk of criminal liability.
  • Improving employee morale, reducing turnover through investment in supporting and safeguarding your workforce.

Business Travel Risks

Anything which has the potential to impact, delay or prevent employees from carrying out the intended purpose of their business trip constitutes a risk – from the relatively minor (e.g. delays at border control, petty crime), to the more serious (e.g. illness) and the major (e.g. natural disasters or terrorist attacks).

Your global mobility programme needs to deal with it all, and everything in between.

Your programme needs to incorporate working plans of action that are both operationally clear, and enable strategic aims of protecting your workforce, ensuring legal compliance, minimising costs and losses, avoiding the threat of reputational harm, and loss of market share and confidence.

How Effective is your Global Mobility Programme?

To deliver value, global mobility policies and protocols must be continuously reviewed and improved upon in the context of current and emerging risks.

Areas of focus include:

  • Coverage – are all risk profiles and relevant geographical locations covered? Are all relevant activities on record?
  • Crisis management – how will your organisation respond to an emergency situation? Has the plan been tested?
  • Debriefings – are you benefiting from the first-hand experience and insight of travelling employees and those returning from overseas assignments? What is their experience of local areas, and of your mobility programme?
  • Destination intelligence – is there sufficient, up to date detail about each of the locations your employees are visiting? What are the medical, security and political risks to be aware of?
  • Local networks – have you established and made accessible a network of local contacts for employees to draw on where necessary?
  • Cultural awareness – have your employees received training on local customs and traditions which may impact the success of the trip?
  • Medical – are employees aware of vaccination requirements and timescales for the areas they are visiting?
  • Communications – what systems do you have in place to enable communication with travelling employees before, during and after trips?
  • Travel arrangements – how effective is your approach to sharing details of employee’s trip? What steps do you take to support employees with travel within a country, including driving and public transport?

How Employers can Manage the Risks of Travelling Employees

In addition to the areas of focus, the following can help employers ensure their approach to global mobility risk management remains effective:

Be Clear on Responsibilities

For employees, being aware of and understanding the policies and procedures that apply when traveling overseas on business should encompass both what they can expect from you as well as what expectations are on them.

Everybody has a part to play in managing travelling risks, being safe and compliant. Make clear what should happen before, during and after a trip.  

Keep Informed

As companies expand their reach and venture into new emerging markets, new areas of risk present themselves. Your global mobility programme needs to take account of these, not least to maintain consistency in company standards and approach.

You need to have a handle on the complexities of different countries and jurisdictions, and be aware of the legal requirements and systems of the countries your employees are travelling to.

Again, this knowledge should be used to keep your policies and processes up to date, and should be shared with employees through training and communication programmes.

Be Proactive

With the best of intentions and preparation, incidents can and do happen, particularly for multinationals with highly mobile workforces.

In all instances, the objective has to be minimising disruption to business while keeping your traveling workforce safe.

Continuously review and update travel risks to take account of changes in legislative duties, emerging risks, new standards, and ensure your employees are informed along the way.

Some forms of minor incident are avoidable with adequate preparation and collaboration between the travelling employee and the global mobility/HR function. An employee being refused entry can be averted with pre-travel immigration advice on relevant work permits and visas.

Other risks however will remain unpredictable yet inevitable, and your plan should clearly address what happens in those events.


The most effective approach to business travel risk management is to treat it as an ongoing concern. Undertaking regular reviews of your global mobility programme will enable you to be in a position to protect, advise and support your travelling employees, in the interests of safety, compliance and commercial advantage.

DavidsonMorris is a specialist firm of business immigration solicitors experienced in advising multinational organisations on global mobility strategy and immigration compliance.

Inksters shortlisted for three awards at the Law Awards of Scotland

Inksters shortlisted for three awards at the Law Awards of Scotland

Inksters Solicitors have been shortlisted for Litigation Firm of the Year at this year’s Law Awards of Scotland. In addition Brian Inkster has been shortlisted for Solicitor of the Year and Alistair Sloan for Trainee of the Year.

The past year has seen Inksters’ litigators involved in a number of high profile and significant legal decisions. This included WF v The Scottish Ministers where it was held that medical records are protected under the right to privacy given by the ECHR, and any disclosure must be restricted to the minimum necessary for a specific purpose to balance the interests of justice for one person against the privacy of another. Also of significance was The Firm of Johnson, Thomas & Thomas and others v Thomas Smith and others where it was successfully argued that the principles set down in Moncrieff v Jamieson (in which Inksters also acted) could extend to an independent free-standing servitude right and not just one ancillary to a right of access.

Brian Inkster’s nomination for Solicitor of the Year recognises his endeavours in crofting law over the past year and in particular his quest to see justice done over the alleged abuse of power within the Crofting Commission over the sacking of three grazings committees. Brian has been very vocal in the press, radio and on TV over the issue. He has written 96 blog posts on this topic alone over the past six months. The Crofting Commission recently issued an apology to the crofters affected by their decisions which they have accepted as being wrong. However, conflict continues within the Crofting Commission with a clear divide between their convener and the other commissioners. 

Alistair Sloan has demonstrated skill, dedication and the assumption of responsibility in a wide variety of litigation cases beyond what would normally be experienced by a Trainee. During the course of his traineeship Alistair has studied for and obtained his Masters in Law with his specialism in Data Protection.

Ronnie Murison, director of Sheriff Officer Services, Stirling Park, offered his congratulations to every firm that has been shortlisted across all categories, in particular, those in both the Litigation and Debt Recovery awards, which Stirling Park is sponsoring this year. He said:-

“The quality of entry has been extremely high, which is testament to the high standards within the legal sector throughout Scotland. The final will be a real celebration of the achievements in 2016 and we are very much looking forward to the evening”.

The winners will be announced on 24 November at a gala dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow.

Rive Gauche: Politics in SNP anti-Brexit Scotland

Sitting here on a wet night in Scone, Perth & Kinross in a soon to be Independent Scotland if Nicola gets her way after the Brexit fiasco, I regret the death of The Labour Party in Scotland. They will recover eventually.  Scotland is a One Party State – and One Party states tend not to do well from that system.

3rdrunwaydoshI did see a Tory campaigner in Perth.  Nice chap.  Asked if he had ‘done any business’.  He laughed and he said…”This is Nicola Country.  We are extinct.  I just do this for a laugh and to get out.  Would you like a free Tory Blue Balloon?”  I was delighted to accept his gift. I had the bad manners to ask if he had any free Tory Blue pens.  He smiled ruefully and said…”No pens, Unfortunately.”  Then added..”I like your tweed deerstalker hat!” 

roluprollupThe Blue balloon was a pale gift compared to the Bright Yellow Nicola SNP Pens, key rings etc handed out at similar Party stalls in the High Street.  Even Scottish Labour managed a plastic pen, a Red Plastic star and red balloons with the Scottish Labour logo printed on them.  I have a drawer full of these gifts at the desk I am writing at now.  I like ‘Free’ gifts.

And finally…I enjoyed doing this drawing some years back… still holds true of some advocates, I suspect.


After Trump, an American National Front

After Trump, an American National Front

by Michael Cavendish

In the space of twelve months, major party nominee Donald J. Trump has moved from Republican primary disruptor and bedeviler of Jeb Bush, to one of two choices for the 48th President of the United States.

The Donald, as he was un-affectionately named by his first wife Ivana and his press pack admirers even prior to his television-boss epoch, has approached to within five to ten polling points of the American Presidency by, first, politically assassinating each of his serious RNC primary rivals, from Bush, to Rubio, to Cruz, and second, by unleashing a torrent of opinion and invective all summer and fall, nominally aimed at Hillary Clinton but squarely aimed at America’s hitherto ignored racist, misogynist, ultranationalist, and conspiracist sub-cultures.

It does look, one week away from the vote, as though Donald Trump will lose the election. After The Donald personally moves on from the campaign and into his next industry, it does not appear that his most strident core of followers will retire from their new political lives.

Trump started his campaign with a focus on stopping illegal immigration from Mexico and his pledge to “build a big, beautiful wall,” both as a practical barrier and as a replacement for the Statue of Liberty as America’s symbol.

He has used the dog whistle technique of campaign speech, signaling barely-concealed concerns about Latinos (job theft, rape, corruption), blacks (violence, sloth), and Muslims (terrorists in waiting). On the stump he has offered anecdotes of “amazing” or “fantastic” victims or survivors, of ordinary crimes committed by members of the racial and ethnic groups he rings his warnings out about.

And he pulls no punches against supposed political allies, same-party Republicans not supporting him or his views. In this way, he campaigned in perfect alignment with the most xenophobic, reactionary individual members of the former Tea Party, and in broad sympathy with some self-described “ordinary” or “working class” Republicans everywhere, folk who had long felt utterly ignored by the Republican Party’s “country club” elites.

Sometime in 2016, at some point during Trump’s general election campaign, the hard right or far right element of the Tea Party—the movement that first elevated and then dumped Marco Rubio as a candidate of national stature, the group that Ted Cruz went all out to capture all spring—forgot about the Tea Party and its post-2007 economic concerns, and became something somewhat confusingly labeled the “Alt-Right.”

Currently, at this moment, one week out from the vote, the U.S. “Alt-Right” is a very small (relative to America’s 300 million people), uncounted, non-organized jumble of activists and would-be opinion shapers who pump out memes, hashtags, Facebook slides, and “think pieces” on conservative web media championing the anti-immigrant, anti-crime-against-whites, and anti-Obamacist vision The Donald’s debate and speech points paint as the new path for a broken America.

These Alt-Right activists are concerned with, purvey, and are refining a uniquely Americanized version of identity politics.

To be an identity politician is to begin political thought from the view that ‘my country is for people who look like me, have DNA and ancestry like me, speak my language, join me in my religion, and respect, if not revere, all of my political traditions.’

In Europe, this kind of political thought was long ago organized into formal political parties of substantial size called national fronts. The most oft-cited example is the French National Front, long faced by the Le Pen family. Some of the earliest specimens of these parties were also the most successful. Recall that some of them started that thing that many American Gen Xers’ grandfathers fought in; yeah, the Second World War.

While center-right or mainstream conservative parties all over Europe and in other places of the world concern themselves with limiting government, lowering taxes, minding military affairs, and finding a slower, more tradition-laden approach to allowing cultural mores and values to evolve, national fronts follow the brutally binary and scare-based approach inhering in Trump’s “wall.”

Their message always is, either you are a nation, or you aren’t, and if you are a nation, it is only because everyone has the same skin tint, hair, family history, religion, and respect for that group’s cultural hegemony, which must be permanent.

Old Germany’s National Socialism, aka the Nazis, and Mussolini’s Italian blackshirts of the 1930s were extreme examples of national fronts. In contrast, most recent examples of national front-type parties making election bids may have resulted in the turnover of some provincial legislative seats, but not in any kind of significant or lasting national success. And these days they are de-militarized. So far.

America has never had a national front. It certainly looks as though one is arriving very soon.

If, and more likely when, a national front arrives in America (and by “arrive” I mean that point in time when any American adult is able to drive to their local Supervisor of Elections to change their voting registration to “National Front,” or whatever party name its organizers ultimately settle on), it will change how our political process looks and feels to us.

Modern day national fronts typically do not win elections. Rather, they threaten to destabilize the larger mainstream conservative party by siphoning votes away. Or they succeed by provoking the mainstream liberal party into some reaction that will cause the progressive causes to lose votes or influence. To do all of this, to threaten and thus gain concessions or capitulations on issues, or to provoke reactions from their mainstream prey, a national front needs voters’ attention.

National fronts get the attention needed to draw the interest of voters—who may not share their activism or even their core beliefs—by marching, confronting, accusing, name-calling, circulating real looking “shock” news stories, and attacking all “non-pure” political targets.

The favored negative label Alt-Right activists give to normcore Republicans, “cuck,” or “cuckservative,” a crap portmanteau borrowing “cuckold,” is very national-fronty stuff, tactically speaking.

At the top of a national front party pyramid, the leaders are expected to continue to insert themselves into media coverage, making unsettling policy proposals, victimizing the plight of their ideal base voter at the hands of an actually less-powerful minority group, and of course, keeping up Twitter-able personal attacks.

Donald Trump’s “Lyin’ Ted” and “Little Marco” campaign names for Senators Cruz and Rubio epitomize the constant  stream of cheap shot devaluation that political minds drawn to national fronts accept and even enjoy from their leaders, the world over.

Because they are small, national fronts need to be loud. Because they are fueled by anger, suspicion of “the other,” and resentment at being ignored by the mainstream, national fronts are caustic.

They blithely take the most extreme positions because those positions are, if you don’t suffer embarrassment from being, for example, a willing racist, the easiest to defend, and the simplest to remember. And anyway, who needs nuance to govern the not-at-all-complex civilization that is America?

What would a soon-arriving American version of a national front look like?

Please, must we preview our own nightmares? Are bad dreams not rotten enough to endure once they actually arrive? In truth, I can’t, even as a seventh-rate de Tocqueville, as a pop political anthropologist, or as a lawyer psychically flaneuring a path through the sounds and smells of “America’s Choice 2016,” predict with any confidence or even entertainment factor what might actually arrive.

What I can say with clairvoyance is this.

There are enough American voters uncovered by Trump’s 2016 campaign who want immigrants out, who don’t want to live near or have to hear from blacks, Latinos, or Asians, and who certainly do not want any such folk—or their women, or, maybe, any women!— in the White House or on the Supreme Court, and who otherwise want to “take back their country,” whatever that means to them, to form a third or splinter party out of the old-growth ashes of the RNC’s voter and donor rolls.

There are highly motivated, energized, blood-in-the-water smelling would-be leaders of these newfound American identity voters, leaders in waiting like this guy, and also this other guy, any of whom would like to be America’s Marine Le Pen (think of the book deals, your likeness on an arm band), or at least the person who sits behind her chair (think of the power lunches, the hotel points) in case our Madame Le Pen is someone like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or, indeed, Ivanka Trump.

Willing followers and willing leaders, exposed to one another like coordinates within precise star maps, courtesy of the cynical foibles of “Trump/Pence 2016” and the viral power of social media. What could possibly keep them apart and away from becoming, through each other, the political planet’s next national front, leaving a traumatized Republican party to get on with repairs and reshaping? Perhaps nothing can.

A more profound, and I think, more Tocquevillian question to ask is, how will what is left of the American professional news media cover such a group once corporeality is achieved?

Because the American media has made billions from the Trump news cyclotron.

Ratings on televised news channels have been sky high, while even the slightest of The Donald’s speeches, passing comments, and late-night Twitter takedowns, always ending with a sardonic “Sad.”, have elbowed in front of typically more newsworthy content like The Fed, the empty Supreme Court chair, life with the Affordable Care Act, and much of U.S. foreign policy.

Trump, the Alt-Right candidate with a Republican running mate, holding the golden ticket that is a major party’s nomination, took much of America’s Fourth Estate, if the journalism industry still merits honorific, by surprise. No legitimate candidate in memory has ever acted like this, and said so many … things.

But then, as the surprise tingled through their news rooms and editorial conferences, the American media prioritized their coverage of him. One estimate calculated Trump had been given two billion dollars of media exposure through press coverage by March, before the primaries had even ended.

Surely a Donald-less American national front party will not be gifted with anything near that type of editorial preference in 2017 and beyond.

But the question for newsrooms is, will what coverage the media extends to the whither-ings of an “American ultranationalist establishment” comport with their actual levels of membership, support, and influence?

Or will their novelty and noise still earn them reporting that principles of journalistic probity and the Tocquevillian tradition—of looking for evidence of civics within America’s townships and cities—would cut to an editor’s waste bin?

If chronicling the passions of tiny but loud groups of racist demagogues with no policy proposals other than reprisal, arrests, and deportation is the new sure path to quarterly media profits, the blistered psyches of the rest of the viewership and readership be damned, then America’s new national front, when it fully arrives, is going to fester in our midst, quite away from the cure of the public’s studied indifference.

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

Muttley Dastardly LLP: Law firm overcharged by 1000%


To:  The Partners

From: Dr Strangleove, Senior Partner

Monday 24th October 2016


We have a competitor.  I read today in the excellent Legal Futures website that “SDT strikes off partner who faked ledger and “overcharged by nearly 1,000%”

The partner made an error, of course, in getting struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and thereby is not able to do any more billing.  An Amateur.

Dr Strangleove

Strength & Profits


Rive Gauche: A fine Sunday…. sunny in Scone

I did my usual walk from Scone to Perth and back – about 10 miles today in all.  It was a cold morning.  I went in to see if The Clowns who run the Co-Operative Bank, where I have the misfortune to have an account, had sorted the mess out on my account resulting in my being unable to draw my money out or allow clients to pay into it.  They had not done so. I am taking it further and hope to organise an account at a ‘real bank’ in Perth this Thursday, the earliest time I can get a new account.

Fortunately, a good friend, Simon Castell of East Park Communications whose magazines I feature regularly was able to have food and wine supplies delivered to me by ASDA,  so I could eat.  I had only had sugar to eat for two days. I am irritated by the Co-Op Bank and I am going all the way with it remedy wise.  They have still not sent me the statements I asked for.  The clowns who re-designed their websites did so without realising that some customers use iMac computers and I cannot now access my account online to see what is going on.  I am surprised, frankly, that the Co-Op Bank continues to hold a banking licence.  I preferred the days when The Clown Chairman, reverend Flowers was caught snorting coke and doing weird stuff.  At least that was amusing.

And here I am on a trip to Florence many years ago with a BBC newsreader, a lovely ex-girlfriend doing my bit for art, as always.  In retrospect, I think that my life would have been more amusing had I stayed with art and gone to The Glasgow School of Art.  I was advised by a careers officer at school, who knew absolutely nothing about anything, let alone careers, that there was no money in art.  Tell that to the geezer who puts dead sheep in tanks – Damien Hurst.  Met him at The Groucho Club,  a private members club in Soho, London, one drunken evening many years ago with my friend Nick Nosh of the Nosh Brothers fame. (I was a shareholder in their restaurant in Notting Hill back in the day – a venture which collapsed after a year because the directors appeared to have drunk all the profits and didn’t pay for their meals, apparently.  None of the rest cared.  I think I was the only shareholder who did pay the bill each time I dined there.   Damien Hurst is a nice guy.  He declined the opportunity to embalm my plastic lobster which I had with me for some reason I can’t remember, in perspex.  He said he would do it – but not sign it.  Can’t blame him.  I’d probably have left The Groucho Club  more pissed but £50,000 richer had he signed it and I had sold it to some gullible art collector in Knightsbridge.  I still have the plastic lobster.  It hangs on the wall of my bedroom to this day.




Sarah Fox writes: Can We Win The Battle of Forms?

Can We Win the Battle of the Forms?

Although the English Court of Chancery started to interfere in and comment on contracts about 150 years ago, the contents of those contracts as well as the process by which they are formed and then used remains something of a mystery. The judges have described contract processes as ‘haphazard’, our agreement to specific terms ‘cavalier’, and risk management is too often driven by price not consequences. The battle of the forms is a common visitor to our courts and we still haven’t found a clear answer!

One way to resolve some of the legal and practical problems is simplify and organise the process of contracting. A Contract Process Maturity Model (CPMM) can help guide businesses towards more effective contracting and contracts.  As a contract expert, who focuses on trust and simplicity, I am particularly interested in how a CPMM framework could foster simplified and more trustworthy contract processes and contracts.

Three Ages of Contracts

As a process, contracting covers:

  1. Contract inception: from idea to choosing a supplier
  2. Contract creation: from which contract to signing on the dotted line
  3. Contract operation: from first call to happy client (or dispute management).

During the contract inception age, businesses struggle with an almost overwhelming choice. In the UK construction industry there more than 100 standard forms from 10 publishers (and counting). In the land of Google there are nearly 1bn pages devoted to terms and conditions. There are hundreds of sites offering downloadable contracts of often dubious quality.

Each tasks, purchase, or project requires the paying client (who decides the contract) to balance issues such as payment, responsibilities for selection, potential risks and task management… and then choose the best contract to meet its business’ needs and brief. More often than not, the client chooses the contract it is most familiar with, or the last one it used on a similar project, or recycles something from its computer, rather than one that really meets its strategic objectives.

Businesses need to have processes which make decision-making easier, including a range of contract options depending on the types of tasks, purchases and projects they get involved with.

During contract creation, the client’s contract choice may be overtaken by commercial pressures. Who has the time to write, negotiate and agree specific terms each time we do business? There are considerable benefits to a one-size-fits-all ‘standard’ contract or T&C – but at the cost of creating a monster.

Standard contracts avoid decision paralysis, but encourage poor contract analysis.

Things may be even worse when we are faced with T&C from the company with whom we want to do business. The figures show a startlingly small percentage of users read the T&C for software they download, merrily clicking ‘I agree’ before discovering whether Apple can delete their favoured tracks or signing a lease without realising they have a provide an annual birthday cake for their tenants… These habits leak into our business lives and you may end up signing catastrophically one-sided contracts just for an easy life, or because you don’t really believe you can change a thing.

Under English law, freedom to contract means you can decide with whom and on what terms you do business.

Businesses need to take back control and create contracts that help them do business.

As the contract is operated and the project proceeds, the terms of the contract are rarely implemented effectively. In the construction industry, the annual ARCADIS Global Disputes Surveys repeatedly highlight that the major causes of disputes are failures of the supply chain to read, understand and properly use those contracts (no matter where you live).

Once a dispute arises, the culture within an organisation is rarely one of ‘what can we learn from this’ and becomes one of ‘who is to blame’? Businesses need to review complaints, disputes and near-misses to learn from those transactions and decide how to do things better. For example, I worked for a company who had received a bruising multi-million pound law suit (largely paid by their insurers) but who were still using essentially the same processes and contracts that had got them into that mess.

Businesses can take gradual steps to read, understand and use their existing contracts, and learn how those contracts could be changed to make their lives easier, without losing their legal impact.

Next Steps

With scope for improvement in each of the three ages of contracting, a Contract Process Maturity Model is a tool designed to future-proof contracting. It will encompass smart and intelligent contracts. It will adopt technology, software and new ideas. It is evolutionary, as progress can be made and measured in small steps towards more mature contracting.

Although a fully-developed CPMM includes a framework of levels and an assessment tool, this article only covers the framework. It applies to all styles of business, from those with an immature contract process to those with a mature contract process, in all types of industry. These are the general features of the five levels:

Reactive: processes are ad hoc and chaotic

Developing: processes are established and can be repeated

Efficient: processes are documented, standardised and integrated

Measured: processes are understood, measured and controlled

Proactive: there is continuous process improvement

To move towards a more mature level, your business will need to implement both strategic and tactical changes. Each higher level creates greater trust and transparency in the supply chain, clearer contract processes designed to avoid disputes, and a measurable strategy to meet your business’ needs.

Which level best represents your business and what can you do to make contracting simpler and more effective for you?


Sarah Fox
Author of How to Write Simple and Effective Letters of Intent in Just 500 Words

e: sarah@500words.co.uk
w: www.500words.co.uk
skype: sarahjvfox

tw: www.twitter.com/500wordlawyer

September 2016

Dr Strangleove of Muttley Dastardly LLP has a ‘Billable’ conversation with an Associate at the firm

Dr Strangleove has a billable  conversation with an Associate solicitor at the firm, a young man in his late twenties..


Dr Strangleove:  Good morning, young man.  I’m sorry…well not that sorry…but I can’t remember your name.  I tend only to remember the names of partners. Don’t bother telling me your name because I haven’t got my iPad with me to type it down.  Send me an email with your name in it.  Thank you.

Now what do you think about this proposition?  The proposition is this: “I’m not interested in where you come from, whether your father is a QC or a senior partner at another law firm… if, however, your parents are connected with a leading PLC or multinational, we would like to know that.”

The Associate hesitated before reply, conscious that his answer would not meet with Dr Strangleove’s approval.  “I’m sorry Dr Strangleove, my father is a barrister, a Silk as it happens, My Mother is also a Barrister and will be applying for Silk next year.  She has a good chance, she thinks.”

“Good grief, young man.  I wish them both well, of course. May God – a Member of The Law Society and a Past President, I understand, have mercy upon your soul.   The future in law is solicitor led I’m afraid.  We even have solicitors who can perform badly in court as solicitor advocates, particularly in civil courts.  The only real advocates are those who ply their gruesome, but necessary, trade in the Criminal Courts to ensure that we meet International Human Rights standards in relation to the prosecution of guilty people in our criminal courts. ”

Dr Strangleive paused for a moment.  “Can you get yourself adopted by a childless couple in their early fitties who are connected with a leading PLC or multinational?  if you can, your path to partnership will be, shall we say, enhanced…. particularly if we can grab them as clients.  Come back to me young man.  Managed to do 25 billable hours today, yet?”
With that Dr Strangleove repaired to his firm’s large boardroom to make a call to Lord Sugar. to ask him if he could fire US Presidential Hopeless/ful Donald J Trumpenstein for a laugh. He needed a laugh.  It had been a hard morning.



Law Review: Brexit Lies

The Metro reports: :

Theresa May is facing a challenge from a group of MPs who insist that parliament must have a say on the EU referendum result.

Six years ago, former Prime Minister David Cameron’s government agreed that referendums are advisory only and ‘cannot be legally binding’.


Now senior Conservative MPs have seized on the pledge and argue that parliament should decide ‘whether or not to take action’ on Brexit.

Mrs May is reportedly in a legal battle over the right for her government – and not parliament as a whole – to trigger Article 50, according to The Independent.

But an inquiry by a House of Lords committee in 2010 found that ‘because of the sovereignty of parliament, referendums cannot be legally binding in the UK, and are therefore advisory’…..”
Read more:

Ministry of Justice “can get house in order” on Brexit, says top mandarin

Legal Futures reports: “The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) can get its “house in order” on Brexit, permanent secretary Richard Heaton has promised MPs.

The comment came as Mr Heaton told the justice select committee the MoJ hoped to raise £300m from its latest round of 86 court closures, in an attempt to meet further budget cuts.

Giving evidence on the MoJ’s annual report, he said the main elements of a “pretty solid Brexit workload” were the network of treaties for enforcing civil and family judgments, agreements on choice of jurisdiction and promoting UK legal services….”

Read more by Nick Hilborne…


I read Astronomy with Geology and Geochemistry  before changing to Law. Foolishly, I turned down a place at Cambridge to read Law – Leicester was great.  I was in love with a lovely Irish woman who later became my first wife.  I was taught by Dr Heather Coupar and Prof  Frank Meadows,  A fascinating subject.  I still retain an interest.

In later life, post my time as founding CEO of BPP Law School,  when I visited The Law Faculty at Cambridge as part of a contract I did for the seven Magic Circle firms to decide who should be the ‘selected LPC providers’ for the ‘Magic Circle’ firms. , Dr Tiley of Revenue Law fame – opened proceedings by stating “I looked you up.  You turned us down!”  Faux outrage.  I replied that we are capable of errors. As it transpired, Cambridge decided not to do an LPC Course. Pity.

Here is Saturn.  Remarkable photography

One of my favourite blogs – Barrister and ex Tory MP Jerry Hayes is always amusing…

Here is a recent post – He may have been a Tory MP – the most ‘liberal’ of men I have met and a good friend.  I always enjoy Jerry’s robust blogging.  Like me, he manages to avoid serious legal analysis in his blog – we can leave that to the serious law bloggers…and there are many good ones out there.


“Well, the great ship of state sails on at full speed ahead. The captain is in her chair but her navigators are nowhere to be seen. But she has instructions from her shareholders set a course to an unknown destination known as the promised land. Nobody has worked out where it is. Every now and again a navigator briefly appears on the bridge. ‘What progress Davis?’ she barks.
‘We are so close. Just get there quickly. Have faith.’

By now the sunny skies have turned cloudy and their is something beginning to appear on the horizon. Is it the promised land or the rocks? Dorsal fins are circling the ship. Are they sharks or dolphins? The crew are muttering mutiny and are looking lovingly at the lifeboats.If the shareholders are sending us to certain death shouldn’t we have some say in which course to navigate? If our instructions are flawed don’t we have the right to save the ship and crew from destruction?

It is pretty obvious that Britain is on a collision course with reality. The warnings given to us by business and the financial sector are slowly coming to fruition. Prices are beginning to rise because of a weak pound and inflation will soon gnaw at the rotting bones of our economy. There is talk of us reaching parity with the dollar.

This morning we were warned by Tusk that there will be no special concessions for Britain. ‘There will be no cakes on the table’. We are either in the single market or out of it. No deals. Tariffs will slaughter our exports and food prices will rise. Any fool knows that if we are forced to trade under the WTO rules that in as inevitable as night following day.

But I don’t want another referendum. I want the Brextards to be given every opportunity to deliver their promises. I want them to go right up to the line. I want them to come before parliament and explain what they have achieved and then I want parliament to do what it is paid for. To decide.

I would be amazed if the Supreme Court did not rule in favour of parliament having the right to decide whether to trigger Article 50. It is settled law that referenda are merely advisory. It is settled law that one parliament cannot bind another. It’s called sovereignty. If the government is defeated, if May decided to call an election over it the electorate wouldn’t miss out. They would decide the issue of whom they want running a government.

But would May really want to risk going to the people on something so unpredictably dangerous? When people see their living standards fall, lose their jobs and face a decade of uncertainty they might just vote for change. Surely Corbyn or Farron can’t be as bad as the destruction of our economic base? It would be different if May could give us some evidence based answers. She can’t. It’s not her fault, but there will be a time when people will expect straight answers and not a leap of faith.

Corbyn played a master stroke by making Keir Starmer shadow Brexit minister. He is incisive, charming and bright. He will be in the spotlight and centre stage of the whole debate. He will make a very powerful name for himself. I know this is early day’s fantasy, but a party lead by Starmer would be a serious force to reckon with. I suspect that IDS was so unpleasant towards him shows the true fear Brexiteers have of him. For a genuinely decent guy to gradually turn into an arrogant condescending bully has quite shocked me. His boorish behaviour towards Farron on Marr last week was a disgrace.

So the high priests of Brexit have until March to come up with a workable plan. If they can people like me will support them. If they can’t then May is going to have to be courageous and say that this nonsense must stop and put it to a vote. The stock markets will go through the roof, the pound will recover and she will win a stunning mandate in 2020 as the woman who had the guts to save Britain.

Visit Jerry’s blog – you will enjoy it.  It will certainly make you laugh and think!

Rive Gauche: Let’s find a plot and then lose it…

Politics.co.uk reports:  ‘Remainer treason’ plan shows Brexiters are losing the plot

Ian Dunt writes: “On the face of it, it is just a foolish demand from an unknown councillor. Christian Holliday, a Conservative representing Burpham on Guildford Borough Council, set up an online petition this weekend demanding anyone still supporting EU membership after Brexit is charged with treason.

“Amend the Treason Felony Act to make supporting UK membership of the EU a crime,” it reads. The Act would apparently be amended to include the phrases: “To imagine, devise, promote, work, or encourage others, to support UK becoming a member of the European Union” and “to conspire with foreign powers to make the UK, or part of the UK, become a member of the EU”.

It’s easy to laugh. Sometimes laughter is the only thing that keeps you in a tolerable mood when your country seems to be having a protracted emotional breakdown. And yes, we have always had overexcited, foolish councillors around us. But Holliday’s totalitarian petition should not be viewed in isolation. It stems from a history of eurosceptic thinking which has always viewed the lending or giving up of sovereignty as intrinsically unpatriotic. For some reason they do not feel the same way about bilateral treaties, or WTO membership, which also often involve giving up some sovereignty. But regardless of their consistency, this is a standard form of thought on the eurosceptic right.”

Rive Gauche: US Presidential contender Trumpenstein now claiming that election is rigged against him – BBC Radio 4 reports

BBC Radio 4 News reports that Trumpenstein is now claiming that US Presidential  election is rigged against him.  I know that we have bizarre elections, even more bizarre politicians (One only has to consider Corbyn for an example of ‘Bizarre Nu-Labour’ ) but Trumpenstein really is a very odd man.

Unreal, indeed…

Just when you thought it could not get more surreal…along comes one of the great British Political Success stories… Ian Dunkin-Donut MP…to endorse Trumpenstein.  It can only get more amusing and more surreal…

Trumpenstein tweets…22.45 on Saturday night UK time…

Surely most people just respect others and many other things….without the need to brag about it…or Big it UP… Trumpenstein may be very rich…but he does not come across as a decent man.  To be fair,…he probably is OK outside politics….But IDS just baffles me..and many others…

Rive Gauche: A bit of this, a bit of that…Twitter trolls AND…it seem that Britain is now a global joke…

ducktrumpThe Huffington Post reports: “The Donald Trump clips are only getting worse.

In a 2004 interview with Howard Stern, a 58-year-old Trump had a lot of disgusting things to say about an 18-year-old Lindsay Lohan, according to CNN’s KFile.

Stern isn’t exactly known for his great commentary on women, but Trump’s are downright horrifying. In his discussions with the talk show host, Trump said that he would not pay comedian Rosie O’Donnell to give him oral sex and teased the model Anna Nicole Smith for her large lips.

This is our current GOP nominee.

The misogynistic rhetoric doesn’t stop there. In a December 2004 clip on Stern’s show, Trump brought up Lohan. The actress had been in “Mean Girls” and was on the front cover of many magazines that year, which is likely why Trump felt inclined to talk about her.”

AND..then there is this…

Always good to see Trolls on Twitter being dealt with with style and finesse…


And…it seem that Britain is now a global joke…well…at least we going global with some after Brexit…

The Guardian reports: “The former royal chef Owen Hodgson reveals that our monarch likes a touch of Marmite with her mushrooms.” Not my words, readers, but the words of a Hello! magazine article from last year, which really takes you back to an era when Britain wasn’t living under the constant threat of post-Brexit commodity rationing.

Of course, the Queen is a trouper. If push comes to shove in the great Marmite war, she will knuckle down with the rest of her subjects, just as her mother once did. One must be able to look the Yeast End in the face.

endofworldnighStill, at least Brexit isn’t all bad news for Her Maj – she always liked the royal yacht. On Thursday, Boris Johnson expressed regret that refloating Britannia “is not a priority” for the government, apparently confused that it should have taken second place to things such as Liam Fox’s trade policy moodboard and an urgent mission for the markets-whisperer, Philip Hammond. But Boris revealed he is hoping a consortium of rich delusional weirdos (not his exact words) will club together and get this symbol of our glorious yesteryear touring the world again….

Read the rest of the story…


I like to keep an eye on what Putin and The Russians are doing..





The UK’s most exciting digital human rights project is recruiting a Chief Executive.

rightswatchThe UK’s most exciting digital human rights project is recruiting a Chief Executive.


RightsInfo builds support for human rights in the UK by producing engaging, accessible and beautifully presented online human rights content. In just a year and a half, we have built a new digital media space for human rights, featuring award-winning infographics, video, animation and news content. Now we are recruiting a Chief Executive to drive the project to the next level.

Here are the headlines:

  • Salary: £50k-£60k per year dependent on experience
  • Hours: Full time
  • Location: Central London
  • Closing date for applications: Friday 4 November 2016, 5pm

Full details, including how to apply, are here

Muttley Dastardlly LLP senior partner, Dr Strangleove is looking for an SEO consultant


Subject: Interweb link Jockey

From Dr Strangleove, Senior Partner
Wednesday 12 October 2016

It occurred to me, while attending to a fully chargeable matter matter this morning in relation to the Interweb, that we need to set up a website and employ someone to buy links from leading bloggers to promote it.

The qualities I am looking for in this Interweb Link Jockey may be summarised as follows:

  1.  An ability to use the web to find known law bloggers
  2.  An ability to send them an email asking for a quote on placing a link on their law blog
  3.  An ability then to lose the reply sent by the enthusiastic law blogger who is keen to do a deal
  4. An ability then to fail to reply to said law blogger at all and thereby irritate the aforesaid law blogger.

It occurs to me that this Interweb Jockey should be aged between 21 and 24, male or female, possibly even with some rudimentary form of education to GCSE level at least    We would not want to employ anyone with a law degree in case they have absurd ideas that they could move from being an Interweb Jockey to a position as an associate in our firm.

Of course, some may take the view that we are a City law firm and don’t really need a website. That I accept, but it might be fun to have one designed for us and then use it and the Twitter to disseminate misinformation about other law practices in The City.

Do, please, come back to me with your thoughts.  We can charge your time on this to any number of clients.


Strength in Profits



Word du Jour: Are you a Hierophant?

hierophant |ˈhī(ə)rəˌfant|


a person, esp. a priest in ancient Greece, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles.


hierophantic |ˌhī(ə)rəˈfantik| adjective

ORIGIN late 17th cent.: via late Latin from Greek hierophantēs, from hieros ‘sacred’ + phainein ‘show, reveal.’


I am a retired hierophant. Tried my best to reveal the mysteries of The Law of Contract, Sale of Goods, Consumer Credit Act 1974 and Human Rights over a teaching career of nearly 40 years.  Sometimes, I succeeded…other times, not.

Law Scotland – publish your posts and papers on my blog.

While I read English Law, I am a Scot and have returned to live out my life in Scotland.  I am learning a fair bit of Scots Law by reading Scots Law textbooks.

I am interested in posting Scots Law reviews and invite all Scots lawyers – whether you blog or not  – to publish (or-republish their posts if they blog) on my blog.

All you have to do is email me your post and I will publish.  Email me from here

Four Reasons You May Need a Motor Lawyer

Four Reasons You May Need a Motor Lawyer

Most of us who are old enough drive, the way we live our lives means that, for many, driving is essential. In many places, not being able to drive makes it hard to find and hold down a job. It also makes day-to-day tasks like shopping all but impossible, and severely curtails your social life.

Therefore, being able to drive is important, and is a right you really want to protect. Alarmingly, in the UK, every year over 200,000 drivers are disqualified or have their licences revoked. It is surprisingly easy for a series of events to lead to losing your driving licence.

Being accused of a driving offence is not something you should ever take lightly. If you have been sent a summons, of fixed penalty notice for a motoring violation it is always wise to seek legal advice, and do so at an early stage. Here are just a few of the basic driving offences that could ultimately lead to a driving licence suspension, in the UK.


Usually driving slightly over the speed limit will not immediately result in a licence suspension. You are more likely to be sent a fixed penalty notice, and have points added to your licence.

However, if you receive a court summons instead, or already have nine or more active points on your licence, you are in danger of being disqualified from driving. As a result, in these circumstances not seeking the advice of a motoring lawyer would be very unwise.

Driving without insurance

Driving without insurance is another offence where it is wise to consult a lawyer. The fines for this offence are high, and you can end up with up to eight penalty points, and in extreme cases can actually lose your licence for a period.

Most people do not realise that these sanctions also apply to the car owner. If it can be proven that you allowed someone to drive your vehicle without the proper insurance, you could also be sanctioned in this way.

Penalty point disqualification

If you have nine active points on your licence, and are accused of another driving offence, you will be asked to attend court. If you are found guilty you will be at risk of at least a 6 month disqualification. However, a good motoring lawyer can usually provide an effective defence, and help you to avoid that sort of severe sentence.

Finding a good motor lawyer

As you can see, it is all too easy to be accused of a driving offence, and the consequences of this can potentially be serious. Therefore, if you receive a summons or fixed penalty notice it is always wise to consult an expert like motoringoffencelawyers.com. They are example of a specialist law firm that can help you to defend yourself with faced with traffic related convictions.

You need to look for a company in your area that offers a similar service. To find a good one, that will mount an effective defence, look for a solicitor with plenty of experience. A good lawyer will have a strong track record of defending clients and winning cases.

You can read more about what happens if you do not take effective action and end up losing your licence, here.

RightsInfo Is Recruiting A Chief Executive

rightswatchThe UK’s most exciting digital human rights project is recruiting a Chief Executive.


RightsInfo builds support for human rights in the UK by producing engaging, accessible and beautifully presented online human rights content. In just a year and a half, we have built a new digital media space for human rights, featuring award-winning infographics, video, animation and news content. Now we are recruiting a Chief Executive to drive the project to the next level.

Here are the headlines:

  • Salary: £50k-£60k per year dependent on experience
  • Hours: Full time
  • Location: Central London
  • Closing date for applications: Friday 4 November 2016, 5pm

Full details, including how to apply, are here

The 6.00 am Sunday walk Scone to Perth and back


It was cold and dark at 6.00 am this morning, a degree or so above freezing,  when I set out with my walking stick and tweed deerstalker hat for the four mile walk to Perth from Scone Thankfully, I had gloves  but even so my hands needed warming in warm water when I got to Perth.

I enjoy the walks.  I try to walk 8-10 miles each day.  Time to think, take in my surroundings, take photographs and make notes for future watercolour paintings – sensible paintings for a change.

Autumn is underway.  Beautiful colours in the leaves of a tree next to the Bus stop in Scone this morning when I nipped back into Perth to buy some food.


Lord Shagger writes to Dr Strangle-Ove, Senior Partner, Muttley Dastardly LLP

Dear Strangle-Ove,

I discovered while reading Charon’s ‘law blog’ this morning – perusing, I call it – that solicitors at a London City Law Firm are charging clients for thinking while they are on the lavatory or in the bath.  No idea what they are thinking about, the news item does not record this.  Do lawyers really think about law when they are in the bath?  God help us.

It matters not.  I think that you should send a memorandum to all partners, associates and legal executives to start time recording all their lavatory breaks and baths so that appropriate bills can be sent out to clients.

Trust all well at the ranch. Must go, have a lunch to attend  with some tax evaders down in Monaco. I am paying for the lunch – or rather Muttley Dastardly LLP is.  I shall send in a bill by email this afternoon.  Shall we say £500 for perusing Charon’s blog,  £1000 for the advice and £2000 for the lunch?  Excellent.  Please pay by Paypal.  we don’t want HM Revenue & Customs to get excited at the prospect of hauling in some shekels to
HM Treasury.

Be in touch


Rive Gauche: Lawyers taking the piss here?

“Lawyers at a top international firm were told to charge clients even when they were taking toilet breaks – because they would still be thinking about work.

Major commercial firm Nabarro instructed its lawyers to record any breaks of up to six minutes, prompting critics to question whether the company is “taking the p—”.

It was revealed earlier this year that top law firms are charging clients as much as £1,000 an hour, meaning a six minute toilet break could cost up to £100.

Nabarro’s ‘Time Recording Policy’, which was leaked to legal website RollOnFriday earlier this year, read: “Any short break, e.g. coffee break, of up to six minutes should still be recorded to the matter you are currently working on, on the basis that you would still be thinking about it”.

The full story here


And here’s another vapid and rather rapacious solicitor who charges for ‘thinking in the bath’.  These lawyers really are rather unpleasant.  They are not a credit to the profession.

Goatfell – The Island of Arran, West of Scotland

I’ve walked up Goatfell many times. – it is not a climb –  3000ft from memory.  I am going to do it again with my walking stick.  Arran is a very beautiful island on the west coast of Scotland.  ‘Scotland in miniature’. My cousin Ronald Stewart  owned two hotels on the island – The Lagg Hotel  being one of them . Now retired and has left the island, sadly.  A great character who refused to sell a hotel to Madonna.  He did not want the island to be ruined by ‘Popular music stars’.  He was right to refuse the sale.   He also gave me several hats, including a fine Green Barbour hat, when I last saw him in the early Summer.  Family is important.  I used to live in Fairlie, near Largs, as a child  – and could see the islands of Cumbrae and Arran most days. ..when it was not raining.  The famous BBC reporter  Ffyfe Robertson used to say in a broad Scots brogue “If you can’t see the hills it is raining.  If you can…it is going to rain”. 

Other images from Google

Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle is his silliest yet – which is saying something

Ex-RealLabour MP Tom Harris – who writes well…hits the nail on the head here:

Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle is his silliest yet – which is saying something

The Telegraph: 

Today is day two of Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle. Optimists predict it will all be over by Christmas. I’m less confident.

The Labour leader, it’s fair to say, isn’t very good at reshuffles. This is not unusual in Labour leaders: Tony Blair reorganised too often, frequently moved the wrong people to the wrong jobs, and failed to move or sack some who deserved to be.

His successor started off his tenure at Number 10 with a sure touch in matters of personnel, as he did in other areas. But in the aftermath of the Election That Never Was in October 2007, Gordon Brown’s ability to reverse engineer the Midas Touch afflicted every aspect of government, including reshuffles. This culminated in the Promotion That Never Was in June 2009 when, despite energetic briefing by Downing Street that Ed Balls was about to replace Alistair Darling as Chancellor, Brown told an unimpressed press conference that such a move had never even been contemplated.

Rive Gauche / Breaking News : President Trumpenstein latest….


The story…

All of the offensive comments Donald Trump has made about women over the last decade was all part of an elaborate performance in service of the character he played on The Apprentice – at least, that is what he said in a recent interview.

May The Lord have mercy on American souls if Trump is actually given the reins of power. He doesn’t come across as a pleasant gentleman.

Rive Gauche: Breaking news from UKIP – “Send in the clowns”

The Daily Mail reports :

‘I didn’t touch him’: Ukip’s Mike Hookem DENIES punching fellow MEP Steven Woolfe during scuffle at party’s ‘clear the air’ meeting before leadership favourite collapsed and was rushed to hospital

  • Ukip leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe has collapsed at the European Parliament in Strasbourg
  • The MEP was rushed to hospital and is thought to have suffered serious head injuries  
  • Interim leader Nigel Farage says there was an ‘altercation’ at a meeting of Ukip MEPs beforehand
  • Mr Farage has launched an inquiry into the incident and said it is not the way for ‘grown ups’ to behave 
  • But a spokesman for Mike Hookem denies claims that he punched Mr Woolfe during the row  
  • Mr Woolfe says he ‘feels brighter’ and is ‘happy and smiling’ despite initial fears injuries life-threatening