A great day…

I have had a great day out with my friend and former Co-director Nicole Rollo in my law school running days. Nicole travelled from Newbury, Berkshire, to see me. Her husband, Major-General Rollo (now dead, sadly) was also a good friend and designed the electronic database for my law school while he was out in the Gulf fighting a war.  A very good man.  I am not surprised he rose to the rank of Major-General.  He was a very popular man, I am told, with his men and  in many circles.



Rive Gauche: The Rain Gods gather like a clan of Tartan Wearers over Scone, Perth & Kinross

I was told by a friend in Perth this afternoon – a fellow cigar smoker – that I must be the only person in Scotland who actually enjoys RAIN.  I do.  After years of living in and working in Hot, sunny, countries – my favourite season is Winter.  I like rain, snow, dark skies and brooding, mildly pissed, calls for Scots Independence! Cry Freedom…. !



Time for some comment from ex-Tory MP and barrister Jerry Hayes

jerryhayes5“I know this is the silly season and I enjoy the manufactured stories about skate boarding ferrets, trampolining squirrels and Diane Abbott having a functioning brain rather than a bowl of custard as much as anybody. The Amish Wing of the Tories nowadays avoid the grouse moors and prefer bespoke baby seal clubbing holidays in Nova Scotia. Corbynistas are in a bit of a dilemma though. Normally they would be off to the socialist paradise of Venezuela, but sadly this gloriously successful country has been systematically undermined by Imperialist American running dogs, forcing its benign government to arrest the traitors, spies and saboteurs that make up the press, judiciary and any political opposition.

So apart from the Trump administration making May’s government look strong and stable and the prospect of a world war triggered by two madman with bad hair there isn’t a lot to write about. Yet there is something bizarre occupying tiny Tory minds. The phenomenon that has become Jacob Rees Mogg. The peculiar case of the Mogg in the night. Now Moggy is a decent old cove and a genuine, rather than manufactured eccentric, unlike Despicable Me impersonator Bozo. Mind you, if someone was brave enough to crack open their sperm banks in 50 years time they would be disappointed. The the tanks would have run dry. These guys don’t come fecund best. Moggy in the sanctity of a catholic marriage and Bozo like an alley cat on viagra. If the the Tory bible, Conservative Home, is to be believed (it’s more Old Testament than New filled with lots of old smite) the Bozo joke is wearing thin and they seem to prefer the cut of young Moggy’s jib. Most sentient folk would scream with hysterical laughter at the thought of a Mogg premiership, but remember we are talking about the Conservative Party many of whom don’t always take their medication and once, when in a floridly Psychotic state, actively considered making Andrea Loathesome their leader.

I haven’t a clue who will be the next Tory leader. But it will be sooner rather than later. This is the most incompetent government I have ever had the misfortune to witness. At a time when we should be in concessionary mode with the EU, Madame is sending edicts from the top of some Swiss mountain about hardening our position. They just haven’t got a clue. And the right wing press cheer her on by calling any of us who commit the heresy of not saying that Brexit will bring us a glorious future traitors. Someone pray for us.

I’m probably wrong but I suspect that Madame will be dissuaded from soldiering on until Armageddon in 2019 by her husband Philip. It will then be too late as we would have been cast into the seventh circle of hell by Barnier and his gang of cheese eating surrender monkeys.

The Tory party conference will be a jittery affair. No great cheers for Madame who will be treated with the respect one gives to a family pet which will have to be put down but nobody has the courage to decide precisely when. It will be dominated by the leadership hopefuls beauty parade. A bit like Love Island for old people. Where everyone gets fucked”

Jerry Hayes Blog 

(Jerry is a good friend.  I’m still not convinced that he is a real Tory – a ‘Secret Liberal’ ?  But a good lawyer and a good friend to me over many years. Helped me greatly some time ago when I needed help.  Did not hesitate for a moment to help.)

Rive Gauche: Trump removing statues?

I will, of course, return to detailed analysis of the laws of our realm when August comes to an end and we move towards an even more ‘dystopian world’ under the Tories and President Trump.

Until then… I shall smoke a few cigars, drink some whisky, enjoy some small Cafe Creme cigars and marvel.   I shall also walk 15 miles a day until the end of the year…rain or shine. I have many rain hats.

Guest Post: What Do You Need to Become a Private Investigator in New Jersey?

What Do You Need to Become a Private Investigator in New Jersey?
Clark Palmer


There aren’t as many careers that can be as fulfilling and exciting as being a private investigator. If you are the type of person who has a sense of adventure, a knack for getting hunches right, and a keen eye for details, then this job may just be for you.


Most importantly, this kind of service is in high demand in many places all over the country, and being a private investigator in New Jersey is one of the most lucrative assignments you can ever have. As a highly populated and diverse state, New Jersey residents have growing needs for domestic investigations such as those involving spousal infidelity, child custody, and the like.


Top pay

According to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are close to 300 licensed private investigators working in New Jersey as of 2012, and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development projects is anticipating this number to grow by a rate of 8% annually up to the year 2020.


It might interest you to know as well that, as of 2012, the annual median salary of private detectives in the state was pegged at $54,370, with the average salary for those in the top tenth percentile reaching as high as $90,980.


Getting licensed

If you are thinking of getting into this line of work, do know that it is a highly regulated and licensed profession. This is justifiably so since it involves handling sensitive information, taking undercover action and interacting with other individuals. Here are the steps that you need to take to become a full-fledged, legally practicing private investigator in New Jersey:


Meet the minimum age and residency requirements. You should be a resident of the United States and at least 25 years of age to become eligible for licensing as a private investigator in New Jersey.  

Attain relevant education and career experience. For you to become a licensed private detective in the state, you must prove that you have had at least 5 years of experience as a police officer with a local or state department, or an investigator within a country, city, state or federal organization. Strictly speaking, there is no requirement for a particular college course or degree in order to become a private investigator. However, having a degree in criminal justice or similar related fields is an advantage because you gain relevant knowledge in the criminal justice system.

Submit to electronic fingerprinting. You need to submit to electronic fingerprinting process before applying for a license. Contact the New Jersey State Police–Private Detective Unit at (609) 633-9835 to request for a temporary agent license number, which will be needed in the Universal Fingerprint Form. You will then need this to set an appointment on www.bioapplicant.com where you can also find accredited MorphoTrak sites that you can visit where the fingerprinting will be carried out. Note that this process will cost you a fee of $67.50.

Apply for the license. After meeting these initial requirements, you may now proceed to actually applying for a license to become a private investigator in New Jersey. Accomplish the form (available online at: http://www.njsp.org/info/pdf/pdet/sp-171.pdf) and submit it to the New Jersey State Police together with the following:

  • $250 application fee (for individuals)
  • Passport-size photo
  • At least 5 professional references on your competency as a licensed private investigator
  • Accomplished and notarized Authorization for Release of Information form (included in the general application form)
  • A Detective Agency License Surety Bond of at least $3,000 (for individuals)

You may mail the submission to the New Jersey State Police: Private Detective Unit, P.O. Box 7068, West Trenton, NJ 08628.

Don’t forget to renew your license every two years, where you must also make sure that your surety bond is updated. You will have to re-submit your fingerprints again through the same online process.

Get affiliated. Once that you have received your license, congratulations! You can now get to work or enjoy gainful employment as a private detective in New Jersey. To enhance your practice and gain credibility, consider joining professional organizations in the state or national level. These memberships can help a lot in terms of networking and continuing training and education through conferences and seminars.

A rewarding career

Embarking on a career as a licensed professional private detective may take some effort, but these are all worth it in ensuring that you present your best, trustworthy self to clients. You may choose to strike it out on your own and build your own detective agency, or you can find rewarding employ for law firms, insurance companies, the local or state government, and even private individuals.


Rive Gauche: The definition of Law

This is not to say that I have not enjoyed my time reading and teaching law.  I have. I have also met and taught some very interesting men and women.  But, frankly, there are better things to study and do in one’s life than be involved in a primitive construct because human beings have not worked out how to behave decently to each other in business, families and life generally.

I studied law at Leicester University for my first degree – turning a place down at Cambridge University in favour of Leicester – a good faculty.  Largely a waste of time.  I went to seven lectures and about twenty tutorials in my three years there.   I found reading the law books far more interesting than attending boring law lectures and tutorials were merely an opportunity for the tutor to prove how clever he / she was and how ‘thick or lazy’ the students were.

I also found that a few of the law lecturers were rather pompous. Most were good men and women, particularly Professor Edward Griew.  I did not find any pompous lecturers when I attended Geology, philosophy or art lectures in other faculties.  I regret reading law now, as I look back.  I would have had a more enjoyable life in another field of study! But there we are.

Would I recommend Law to a young person today? Absolutely not.

But there we are.  I am 64…And one only lives once – although I shall devote some time to trying to work out how to live again…possibly, if a dull hour comes up!

Thought du Jour…

The Great Three Dongle Saga and life in Perth this week

The Great Three Dongle Saga and life in Perth this week

It has been a strange week.  I have had no net access because the mast based in Scone where I live has been down – save for five minutes when a guy with a screwdriver managed to ‘fix’ it for five minutes.  I was able to send one email and publish a blog post.  On my hourly visits to the excellent Three shop in Perth High Street I was given various explanations from the ‘mast is down’, to the the truly fantastic excuse given to me on Monday evening that the farmer won’t allow the man with the screwdriver onto his land where the mast is situated because he is about to harvest some god forsaken cash crop.  The staff at the Three Shop in Perth High St are amusing young people and even they could barely keep a straight face when I burst out laughing.

But there we are – not the end of the world save for the fact that no-one has paid me through Bank transfer, but money was waiting for me in Paypal.  I was able to eat some biscuits which I found in a cupboard and dined last night on Weetabiix (four of the totally tasteless items) soaked in powdered Chocolate drink which was the only item in my ‘larder’.  It was surprisingly good.  Fortunately, I had sufficient in the way of smoking materials –  but no wine or whisky.

A man who begs for money in Perth High Street refused to pay back the £40 I lent him 10 days ago and then tried to assault me when I had the temerity to ask for it back.  He ran up to me and threatened to punch me. That would have been foolish.  I still retain a Black belt in Wado-Ryu Karate and he would have been easy to get on the ground with my boot on his head while I called the Police. I have been attacked twice in my life – once, breaking up a fight in student lodgings at Leicester University.  A housemate was being kicked on the ground in the kitchen of the house I shared with others.  I stopped three people continuing their assault by using my Karate skills but turned when a man behind me from Cambridge University called out and then smashed an empty milk bottle into my face which broke.  I lost most of my teeth, my nose was broken and all the skin on the front of my face below the eyes fell down my face.  I was lucky that the assault did not blind or kill me.  I was with a High Court judge’s daughter at the time.  She was brilliant and got a taxi to take me to hospital where I was  stitched up.  I refused their kind offer to stay in hospital overnight. 

The next morning I was visited by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Sir Fraser Noble and a very senior Police officer from Leicester Police.  While the Chief Superintendent was interviewing me, one of the thugs from Cambridge University of the night before  burst into my room and threatened me with more violence if I gave evidence in Court.  He was promptly arrested by the Detective Chief Superintendent.   My assailant got off with a fine of £50.  He was charged with common assault – a Police error which Leicester Police apologised for – an administrative error. The father of my female friend who was with me on the night of the attack was a siting High Court judge and was  appalled. He should have charged with GBH S18 OAPA 1861 and would probably have been given 6-10 years by an English Red Judge.  A bone splinter from the assault is 1/4 of an inch from my brain but was deemed by the surgeon too dangerous to attempt to remove.  I have lived with it for 40 years.  The surgeon wryly advised me not to fall forwards onto my face!  The QC who heard my application for a grant from The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board was excellent.  He was shocked by the case and awarded me the maximum award then of £1600 which I received by cheque within days. I spent some of it most wisely on fags and cheap wine.  It helped by recovery greatly!

The man on the Sex Offenders Reigister in Perth High St who refused to repay the £40 I lent him backed off and went back to his ‘Begging Pitch’ in Perth High Street when he realised that I was serious about my preparedness to use my Karate skills on him if he tried to assault me. ( I found out from a resident in Perth that he is on the Sex Offenders  Register.)  I did not know this when I lent him £40.. I have a photograph of him conning people in the Street for money and I have no qualms about publishing it.  The local newspaper are interested in the story.

Perth City Council were ‘Useless on an Industrial Scale’ when I told them of the incidents I have related above.  There was a bit of amateur  dramatics hand wringing but they said it was a Police matter. They did not seem to mind that a registered sex offender who begs illegally on their High Street  tried to assault me  in their ‘Fair City on the main High Street in broad daylight.  Pathetic, really.  Park on a street in Perth illegally and they will happily issue a ‘juicy Parking Fine’. through their ‘Army of Uniformed Assault Troop’ traffic wardens.  The City is crawling with traffic Wardens.  One Sunday morning at 7.00 am, I was the only person in Perth High Street – apart from three keen Traffic Wardens armed to to the teeth with electronic ticketing machines. No shops open until 11.00 on Perth High Street – apart from supermarkets and a coffee shop.  No cars to ‘ticket’ though so we had a natter.   I told one of them that I might hire a car so I could drive onto Perth High Street and park illegally early on a Sunday morning to ‘taunt  him’ and drive off when he approached eager to ‘ticket’.  He laughed!  I like the traffic wardens I talk to – friendly blokes.

I gather that ‘local Rozzers’  in the form of Police Scotland lifted him (I am a fan of Police officers generally, and Police Scotland have been particularly helpful to me) – but the registered sex offender  was back conning people out of money in Perth High St within an hour.  His name is Eddie Lines and here is a picture of him in military camouflage gear.

It was suggested to me that I consult a lawyer in Perth and sue the registered sex offender, drug user and trainee psychopath.  I told the kindly resident of Perth  that I knew more than enough law to deal with that myself – having run a large law school for many years and taught law for nearly 40 years. I would win, of course, but I don’t think I could be bothered to wait years to get the damages.  The law moves very slowly in damages cases in Scotland, I am told.

If you are reading this – it means that the Three mast in Scone has been fixed by the man with the screwdriver and I can get back to the very serious matter of commenting sensibly and acerbically (on occasion) on the laws of our fair and wonderfully badly governed  United Kingdom.  I will also be able to access Paypal and buy some food. The Salvation Army in Perth very kindly gave me some food and I did have some Weetabix (4) for dinner. 

RIP Andrew Keogh, Barrister, law blogger and friend

I am very sorry to learn of the death of another very good friend of mine in recent weeks.  Andrew Keogh helped me greatly when I was very ill some time ago and was a very amusing and kind man.  He was also a fine lawyer.

The Guardian Obituary in full
Andrew Milner

“My friend Andrew Keogh, who has died of lung cancer aged 66, was a barrister, blogger, writer and political activist.

He was called to the bar in 1978 and, starting out in law in London in the 1980s, was committed to the legal aid system and to resisting the then often transparent racism of the Brixton police. A friend recalls being astonished at how elegant Andrew looked in pinstripe suit, wig and gown. Andrew explained that “if you’re a poor, black kid being fitted up by the Brixton nick, that’s how you want your brief to look”.

He joined No5 chambers, and became a widely respected jury advocate, known for his integrity and his willingness to devote time to helping younger members of his profession. He was also a writer, author of the longstanding White Rabbit blog, of two published novels, twentytwelve (2006), and The Killing Room (2013), and of the unfinished Diary of a Jobbing Barrister.

Andrew was born in Leeds, son of Austin, a headteacher, and Hilda, a district nurse. He was brought up a Roman Catholic, and was educated at St Michael’s college, a Catholic grammar school, but later converted to Anglicanism. He went on to the London School of Economics, where he studied political science and then law, and to the Inns of Court.

Despite living and working in London, he thought of himself as a Yorkshireman, and was a loyal supporter of Leeds United and Yorkshire county cricket club. Probably cricket mattered the most to him: his parents had lived within easy walking distance of Headingley cricket ground and he regularly went with his father to watch both Yorkshire and England. He inherited a magnificent collection of Wisden from his father, which has now been bequeathed to his sons.

YUU is backing better backs with the launch of their new ergonomic school bag

YUU is backing better backs with the launch of their new ergonomic school bag

With the summer holidays in full swing it won’t be long before parents start thinking about kitting out their child ready for the new school year.  The spotlight has been firmly on school bags in recent years with vast research urging parents to think carefully about their child’s school bag and posture in relation to back health.  In response to this, the leading children’s backpack brand YUU are launching their new ergonomically-designed school backpack, YUUschool, along with their ‘backing better backs’ campaign to encourage parents to reassess their child’s backpack and posture to avoid any unnecessary backpain in the future.

Worryingly, according to research carried out by the British Chiropractic Association

, a third of parents have reported that their child has suffered from some form of back or neck pain in the past.  Whilst backpain can be caused by a number of factors, unsuitable school bags are widely accepted as a common cause.   Studies have shown that up to 4 million children in the UK are walking with school bags that are too heavy for them and could potentially be harming their spines.  Experts have stated that a child should be able to carry up to 10% of their own bodyweight without causing any damage but a survey by charity BackCare UK

highlighted that this is often exceeded, with 11-12 year olds being the highest risk group found to be carrying on average 13% of their body weight (in some cases children were carrying up to 60%!).         

Rachael Withe, marketing manager of YUU comments “Any parent would be alarmed to learn of the unseen damage their child’s backpack could be causing.  Going to school brings with it a need to carry certain items and although we don’t always have control over the weight of those items, we do have control over the way in which that weight is carried.  This is exactly why we have designed the new YUUschool according to ergonomic principals so that weight is distributed evenly and symmetrically over the child’s body.”   

Paediatric Osteopath Annie Khenian adds “Children’s spines grow and develop rapidly, especially in adolescence, and it’s imperative that correct posture is maintained and care is taken in these formative years to avoid problems later in life.  Many children carry substantial weight to, from and around school on a daily basis. Often the weight of the rucksack pulls children backwards which in turn prompts them to lean forward or arch their backs to keep the weight centred.  Over time this position can compress the spine causing pain and discomfort.  We would always advise parents to invest in a supportive backpack”

The new YUUschool backpack is packed full of scientific ergonomic features, including vertical compartmentalisation of the pockets so weight is kept higher up and closer to the spine.  The s-shaped padded straps are sewn close together not just for additional comfort but also to centralise weight to the body.  The deep pockets combined with the secure straps have been thoughtfully designed and positioned to avoid weight falling down into the middle of the bag which causes weight to be unevenly distributed and concentrated in one area causing unnecessary pressure and pain.  The full extent of the YUUschool’s ergonomic design and the benefits this brings can be found at https://yuuworld.com/schoolbags/

Kellie Forbes, co-founder of YUU adds “For most parents this time of year is usually a race against the clock to get all the usual supplies of uniform, stationary and books fully stocked.  However, this is also the perfect time to re-assess your child’s backpack and make sure it offers suitable protection for the busy year ahead.  Our 10-step Backing Better Backs checklist offers a simple risk-assessment that parents can follow to help prevent painful back problems in the future.”

The YUUschool is available to buy from www.yuuworld.com for £40.  There is currently a promotion for a “back to school bundle” which includes the YUUschool backpack, a gym bag, a waterbottle, stationary set and notebook for £49.50 (a saving of 25%).   The website also offers advice and support for back care, including a 10-step backing better backs checklist.