UK Blawg Review #10 – Part 4

HUNT THE DRINKING & SMOKING LOBSTER COMPETITION

In Part 4 – the last of my reviews – I am hiding a picture of a  lobster that smokes and drinks in one of Parts 1-3 of UK Blawg Review #10 from earlier in the week. 

The challenge, for which there will be a prize of Professor Gary Slapper’s book -  More Weird Cases – is as follows:

1.  Locate the lobster and email it to me. The lobster wasn’t there when I published Part 1-3 – but it is now!

2.  Write in no more than 140 characters (as in tweets) – your opinion of the Justice system

3.  The best 140 ‘opinion’ on the Justice system will win

4.  Charon Rules – as per the Caption Competition in Part 1 – apply.  (PS There is still time to enter the Caption Competition as well)


I’d like to thank Michael Scutt, who set up the UK Blawg Roundup concept,  for giving me the opportunity to have a romp through a few UK Blawgs.  I can’t cover every blog – but as my Weekly Law Overviews  starts next week, bloggers can be sure that I will be highlighting a few UK law blog posts each week going forward.

So it seems appropriate, given that practising solicitor Michael Scutt also blogs, to start with this post from his Jobsworth blog: Vince Cable: In the Eye of the Storm

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A barrister’s job is to put the case for the defense as effectively and clearly as would his client if he had an advocate’s skills. The barrister’s belief or disbelief in the truth of the story is irrelevant: it’s for the jury to decide this often difficult question. 

Sir John Mortimer QC

Since I still have ‘something of the random’ about me since I started writing UK Blawg Review #10 last Sunday – a post about coffee which keeps many lawyers at the grindstone,  written by Jon Bloor of Peninsulawyer, caught my eye: Coffee week

And so to more serious matters…

I like a bit of dirt… and while I am not a Property Lawyer (Although I defeated the Land Law examiner who said I would fail because I attended not a single of his Land Law lectures or tutorials by getting a First in the subject.  He was even more astonished than I was. I got lucky,  revising five subjects with all five coming up for the four questions required – not a technique I recommended to any of the many students I taught over 30 years!)…

I do read Jon Dickins’ Digging The Dirt from time to time: Apparently – Al-Jazeera to Become First Tenant of The Shard?

And since we are in this together – I thought a trip over to Bearwatch ( a blog I enjoy visiting) would cheer me up.  It didn’t!  UK debt far worse than USA’s

Milly Bancroft, a regular on our Without Prejudice series of podcasts (and short listed for The Orwell Prize this year),  has an amusing post from her Beneath The Wig blog which I just cannot resist: And I am not making this up…

Paul Bernal, an experienced academic, has a fascinating blog on human rights, privacy and the internet.  This latest piece gives a flavour: Who goes where???

Nick Holmes who runs the Infolaw websites, blogs from time to time:  I enjoyed this post: Scooping up work online with the “long tail”

I believe that most, if not all, lawyers need to be up to date on financial and economic matters.  I am a regular reader of  the excellent Capitalists@Work blog.  This post provides a very good taster: U-turns are healthy

Fill My Days in Legal London can provide amusing diversions in the day.  This post illustrates: Lately, I’ve been mainly reading erotic literature

And on that note… time to move on to my next semi-structured section….

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Barristerman! (2009), Oil on Canvas
Charon

Charon read too many Marvel comics when he was a kid…and he likes Roy Lichtenstein also….nuff said.

If you are planning a career at the Bar – a good starting point would be visit a visit to Simon Myerson QC’s blog Pupillage and How to Get it blogFilled with top quality advice and guidance.

The Pupillage Blog is another ‘must read’ for intending barristers.

AND since we are talking about barristers… I am delighted to punt Tim Kevan’s Babybarista book.. Law and Peace currently just £1.19 on the Kindle for the Jubilee!

Family Law barrister Jacqui Gilliat continues to amuse with serious and odd snippets on her Bloody Relations blog: D.I.V.O.R.C.E: the mother of all separation songs

And we must not forget about the clerks… this from the energetic Jeremy Hopkins -  who has recently moved from 3VB to be Director of Operations at Riverview LawClerkingwell is a pleasure to read.  Try this for size: Psilkology

The Free Movement blog is written mainly by barristers in the immigration team at Renaissance Chambers. In a recent post they ask: Can the UK suspend free movement?

And.. an essential resource from Inner Temple’s Current Awareness Library team – a very good source of news, casenotes and other law materials

The Barrister Bard continues to analyse and provoke...The New Jerusalem

Come the New Jerusalem, when I am elected Divine Leader, I shall abolish all Public Inquiries as a complete waste of time and space.  They are excruciatingly boring, and for the most part, they tell us nothing we didn’t already know…..

Barrister James Vine on thebungblog – a lightheartedly serious look at the Bribery Act 2010: “A QUESTION OF INTERPRETATION”

I don’t usually write about my own cases, because I have never been a big believer in blowing my own trumpet. In addition to that, this blog is supposed to be about the Bribery Act, although with the caveat in the “About” section (which nobody reads) that I may wander off at a tangent from time to time. Well this is that time…

Read more…

In parts 1-3 you will find many examples of blogs written by barristers.

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A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect.
Walter Scott

A knowledge of what is happening in Europe - apart from irritating shield munching tory beserkers on the backbenches is always useful to a lawyer: IPrivacy4IT – Clarinette’s blog: French Presidential elections a successful story of divorce

International Conflict of Laws is an important subject for many lawyers. Conflict of Laws. net is a remarkable resource edited by Martin George and others.  The old cliche..”the devil is in the detail’ is a useful aphorism to remember.  This website is detailed: Folkman on International Judicial Assistance

Written by Jon Harman director of The College of Law Multi-media unit, – Digital Adventures is a delight to dip into: The Dinner Guardians

I read Law Actually most weeks.  Always incisive.  A recent post delivers a taste of the analysis provided: Fighting back against the PI claims scandal

 The personal injury niche generally comes in for a lot of bad press – deservedly so at times. As well as the infamous ambulance-chasing antics, sketchy client care and extortionate success fees, the dubious business of cross-referrals can badly impact the credibility of firms which work in this area.

Perhaps most pernicious of all is the practice of insurance companies selling potential claims to the firm of solicitors with the highest bid. (Think of it as exploiting claimants via e-Bay)…..

Law & Sexuality written by Chris Ashford, Reader in Law and Society in the Department of Law at the University of Sunderland in the UK, provides a clear and critical analysis of the application of law in this field: A Conspiracy of Silence

LawBore Future Lawyer, edited by Emily Albion is a most interesting and eclectic resource worth dipping into.

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And so to a few blogs from the USA, Ireland and Canada – which I read and enjoy….in no particular order.

UK Blawg Roundup will be, I am sure,happy to tip a hat to Blawg Review, edited by the mysterious ‘Ed’.  I have had the pleasure of writing six Blawg Reviews over the years and will do so again if invited so to do.  It is an exceptional blog – hosted each week by a different lawyer (in the main from the US – but lawyers and academics from other countries  are often invited to host.)

WhatAboutClients? – which transmogrifies at weekends into WhatAboutParis? is written by good friend, US lawyer Dan Hull – an anglophile who claims roots in East Anglia, from the Normans and, like me I suspect – from whatever stock du jour it is which pleases him.  We are all, thankfully, mongrels at heart.

The client focused side of Dan’s blog is direct, blunt and to the point. The WhatAboutParis? side is thoughtful, suggestive, provocative, informative and, above all..an interesting read.  please do have a look:  a post from each side – 12 Rules of Client Service: You don’t get to have a “bad day” and Remembering: What do you remember about childhood? Does it matter?

And so to one of the most incisive and direct legal minds writing on law blogs anywhere in the world – Simple Justice.  Scott Greenfield does not mess about – except when accepting Earldoms from me or playing himself as a US defense lawyer representing the hapless George in West London Man (infra) – but that is another story.  He is direct..very direct… and he accepts criticism and takes it on.  Simple Justice is an excellent read – even if you know nothing about US (New York) law or criminal defense work. Scott Greenfield is wide ranging in critical analysis.  The post that follows will give you a very clear taster!

If You Say So

Some clients want to tell their lawyer everything under the sun, using tens of thousands of words to express thoughts that require maybe a dozen. Some answer questions posed to them succinctly and clearly.  Some don’t say much.  Some lie.

The liar isn’t malevolent. He’s manipulative.  Maybe he survived on the street by his wits, and can’t quite give up the tools that kept him alive thus far.  More likely, he believes, as many do, that if he convinces his lawyer that he’s an innocent man, his lawyer will love him more and represent him better.  It’s not that he views his lawyer as the enemy (though that often becomes the case as the lawyer is the messenger for a miserable system, and comes to personify all the client comes to hate), as much as he can’t quite bring himself to trust someone.

And so the lawyer asked the client questions, and the client responds.  The lawyer knows that the client isn’t being forthright with him, and pushes the client. Sometimes, he even tells the client that he’s lying, and that his lies won’t serve his cause.

Do you really want your lawyer to be the stupidest guy in the room?

They can’t help it. This isn’t an intellectual choice, but an emotional one. The believe they can beat the system, outwit it, by lying to their lawyer

Read more….

Colin Samuels, a good friend, has won five Blawg Review annual prizes for the exceptional quality of his writing.  I had the pleasure of doing an Unsilent Partners collaborative Blawg Review with him and we are now collaborating on the social atrocity satire of George aka West London Man.  (Episode 26 is here: West London Man (26): THE ADVENTURE OF THE FINAL PROBLEM)

Colin Samuels writes on his own blog Infamy or Praise. (The service was down this afternoon – hopefully a temporary glitch)

Finally in the US selection:  Gideon – A Public Defender

Another good friend and fellow blogger, Antonin Pribetic is an enthusiastic supporter of UK law blogs.  His Trial Warrior blog is thoughtful, analytical and incisive – a very enjoyable read. His recent Blawg Review #319 will also give you an insight into his views and thoughts.

And finally… a must read for all interested in Human Rights Law:  Cearta.ie (Irish for Rights) written by Dr Eoin O’Dell a Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin.

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AND really finally… Chef Charon présente

Originally, I awarded myself 21 stars. But upon reflection and coming to the view that readers would find this preposterous ‘cheffery’ on an industrial scale – I have reduced the number of stars to a more credible 18.  Here is a recipe for my ‘famous’ Boeuf Buggerorf

Not that I need a reason for introducing complete nonsense into my UK Blawg Review #10 – but, as it happens, there is a reason…. Nicky Richmond, a property lawyer, writes a very amusing blog about Law and food… well… mainly food – Saying It Straight.  The reviews may assist you in deciding where to dine.  The writing is wonderful.  Most enjoyable.  Dip in and read… you won’t regret it: The Arts Club. Do you have to be a member to join?

Time to say goodbye for UK Blawg Review #10.  I leave you with two pieces of nonsense wot I knocked up some time back.

I have enjoyed reading and writing about the blogs in parts 1-54.  I’m only sorry I can’t cover every UK Blawg. Reading and writing  for all Blawg Reviews (US and now UK) I have done takes a fair bit of time.  (I often get asked how long blog reviews take. These four parts took just under 24 non-billable hours! -  for me – a pleasure.

A Bar & Dining Room
Somewhere in London
Meal for two with wine: £90
Nil points

Charon goes to a restaurant run by East European border guards?

“Have you booked?” asked the black silk shirted Maitre D’ guarding the entrance. The abruptness of the greeting took me by surprise.

“I have not booked. Do you have a table?” Blackshirt’s eyes narrowed as he flicked open the diary. The page had one entry. Blackshirt looked up, eyes darting. “How many of you are there?” It may seem to the casual observer that I suffer from dissociative identity disorder, but I was alone. I heard Sir Alec Guinness in the recess of my mind: “Charon” he said, “Use the Force….”

“I am one.”

The Maitre D’ surveyed the dining room. It was that sort of place… Not a restaurant, but a Bar and Dining Room. It was 12.30. Only two tables were occupied. “Do you smoke?” Blackshirt snapped.

“For England.” I replied.

I was escorted to a table in the corner of the room – a table for two. An East European border guard, dressed as a waitress, appeared with a menu. I selected a bottle of Claret and asked for two espressos and a glass of tap water, no ice. “You want espresso?” the waitress asked, unsmiling. “Now?”

“Yes please.” I watched her walk towards the bar. Well it was more of a march… more Red Square than Sandhurst. I was not invited to taste the wine when it arrived.

The menu was fairly typical of many gastros – a mix of “Confu**tion cooking” with a bit of thai/vietnamese nonsense thrown in. I enjoy reading Anthony Bourdain… but his books, do on occasion, get into the wrong hands… and so it was, today. Couscous and polenta featured heavily. One day I am sure that I will find a gastro pub with a dish called “Irish tagine”.

A couple were seated at a table nearby – both late twenties, both City professionals. I know this because they managed to tell me, indirectly, by relating events to each other of their successes during the week. They talked at each other; he admiring himself repeatedly in the mirrors lining the walls on our side of the restaurant. They obviously knew each other well – at least one assumes so, because, later, declining the offer of pudding, they started eating each other.

I have no idea why nutters on trains, tubes, buses and restaurants gravitate towards me – but it happend again today. The East European border guard escorted another customer to the adjacent table – a man in his early sixties, blazered, highly polished Oxford shoes, grey trousers, Turnbull & Asser shirt, silk tie and a traditional ‘British’ haircut. One could almost smell the George Trumper cologne.

“Good day to you.”

“And to you.” I replied.

“Writer?” the man asked, pointing at my laptop. I learned long ago not to answer that question.

“Just doing a bit of surfing.”

“Surfing Eh?…. yes… I used to surf when I was a junior partner with X&Y in Hong Kong…. on trips to Australia…. tied up a few M&A deals, I can tell you… out there…. those were the days…”

God in heaven. I know I drank a bottle of cider in Church once when I was at Prep school… but I had no idea, then, that I would continue to be punished for that sin nearly 40 odd years later on Easter Sunday 2007… in the form of a retired City lawyer, from the days of Tai Pan, sitting at the next table.

“Really…? good stuff.. ” I replied, affably, but with what I hoped was the correct tone to indicate that I wished ‘to be alone’. It was too late to pretend I was Bulgarian and could not speak English.

So there I was… a couple of young professionals, but a few tables away, talking at each other and Mr Drone, to my right.

“Been to Church?”

I was looking intently at my laptop screen. The words appeared to come from above. I looked at the ceiling. I looked at my bottle of Claret. I had only had one glass.

“The Vicar had a few of us back for a glass of sherry after the service”

“Really…?”

“Yes… quite a few actually. Have to splice the mainbrace after sitting through all that without being able to charge fees at the end of it! ” a statement which provoked so much laughter from the speaker that I was concerned I may have to do a Heimlich manoeuvre on him.

“Oh Yes… Vicar did us a good sermon today…”

Mr Drone told me at length that he would have been in New York to advise on a merger but the US firm had ‘cocked up’ on timing… adding that he liked to take on important cases on a consultancy basis from time to time…

“Ah….”

I drained my glass, re-filled and lit a cigarette.

“Smoker Eh?…yes… used to smoke until the Doc said to me ‘My dear chap, unless you pack in the gaspers now you won’t be able to get it up when you are 65′.” Another burst of self satisfied laughter, gave me the opportunity to wave at the waitress and explain to the gentleman seated at the next table that I needed to concentrate on my work. He made a curious signal, tapping his finger against his nose and said “Got it…Roger… mustn’t stop a chap from his work “

“You are ready with your orders?”

I smiled at the waitress, trying not to look as if I had something to declare, and ordered a main course. I justified my lack of a first course, when questioned, by explaining that I may have a pudding. She seemed satisfied with my explanation and marched off.

It takes a rare talent to cook roast lamb badly, but only inhalation of super strength cannabis would suggest beetroot risotto and chilli jam is a sensible, or even suitable, accompaniment to lamb. The waitress looked at my plate, barely touched. The lemon meringue pie had the merit of being bought in. The wine was more than drinkable and, after negotiating my release without the aid of the Foreign Office, I returned to familiar surroundings.

I often listen to The Shipping Forecast on Radio 4 before heading for sleep.  Here is my Drinking Forecast, complete with ‘Drinking By’

listen (3-4 mins)

Well.. there we are.  Fin.  Adios for now…

Part 1 of UK Blawg Review #10 is below and linked  here

Part 2 of UK Blawg Review #10 is here

Part 3 of UK Blawg Review #10 is here

I am delighted to be hosting #10 of the UK Blawg Review roundup

Chrimbo with Charon (2): The Frenchie flag.. a study in white

The French Flag – a study in White (2011)
Acrylics on Board
Charon

In the wake of the truly absurd Frenchie comments about our absurd economy and government… I was inspired to do a study of the Frenchie flag.  It is, I have to admit, the fastest painting I have ever done in acrylics – 42 seconds.  Sorted!

Another addition to my series on F*ckArt and here are some more recent ones

As it happens… I am a fan of the French…always enjoy visiting France… but their politicos are just as dull as ours.

BUT… I did manage to shoehorn in a thought this morning…at dawn… and it was this…

Postcard from The Staterooms: Lord Chancellor Disingenuous F*ckArt edition….

Dear Reader

Lord Chancellor and  Secretary of State for Justice, Ken Clarke QC MP, one of the ‘big beasts’ in the Tory party, has been in politics for a long time – a former Chancellor of The Exchequer – and (until recently?) regarded as one of the more liberal and informed members of the current government.

It was therefore a surprise to watch him express the extraordinary view on a YouTube film briefing a group of backbench peers in the House of Lords  (I paraphrase) that an “army of lawyers were advancing behind a line of women and children…not concerned with the income of the profession.. but are  only concerned that these vulnerable clients  will be adversely affected if they are not paid at the rate they currently are.”

I don’t practise law and, therefore, I am not open to the disingenuous charge of ‘cowardice’ implicit in the ‘advancing behind a line of women and children’ metaphor.

We live in difficult times.  Money is tight.  We also live in a country proud to assist the vulnerable and poor overseas.  The overseas development aid budget is protected.  The cynical may see this Tory policy to be part of a strategy to project ‘soft power’ abroad and to ‘facilitate’ enthusiastic commercial involvement with Britain. We live in a country where charity thrives, where provision is made for the vulnerable not by government but by the people.  We live in a country where lawyers like the author of the Pink Tape blog – thankfully – are prepared to write in detail about the erosion of access to justice through the pillage of the legal aid budget.

Barrister Lucy Reed, author of Pink Tape, does the biz with this most interesting blog post.  I don’t really need to comment further, save to say.. using the old cliche… “I concur”.

Above is a working draft / construct for one of the paintings I shall be doing in December as part of F*ckART Returns.. I shall do some law blogging, of course… but I fancy taking a break from  the daily grind and return to the more surreal side of law and life…. there is no shortage of material to comment on.. be sure.  I have the first paint down on the canvas for the painting above. Francis Bacon aficionados will, of course, recognise the inspiration and derivation of the ‘style and setting’. I am toying with the idea of calling the painting…. Disingenuous 2011..

The original F*ckArt series may be viewed here... this year it may well be darker?   We shall see…. I may find that I get the Christmas spirit…and change my mind, of course!

Best for the coming Advent..

Charon

It isn’t always sunny in Tuscany… F*ckart returns in December….

Not a sunny day in Tuscany
Charon 2011 (ish)

I developed a taste for Italian wine and the language (which I speak astonishingly badly having completed 16 Chapters in the BBC book Buongiorno Italia) some years ago in Tuscany. Interestingly… it isn’t always sunny in Tuscany.  The Italians did, after all, have a word for ‘Ombrella’..and it wasn’t always for sun…

I feel like painting again… so… I hope to bring F*ckart back from 1 December…

 

I haz paints, boards, brushes and a KNIFE!!

 

 

The Times we live in…. bring back hanging? Dear gawd….. whatever next?

#Hackgate continues with coverage of possible computer hacking in the papers this morning Yesterday Christopher Jefferies, the man ‘monstered’ in some tabloids as the suspect in the Yates murder, has won substantial damages from eight newspapers and The Lord Chief Justice has handed down a very critical judgment holding The Mirror and The Sun in contempt of court

The Guardian reports:

Earlier on Friday, Jefferies accepted substantial libel damages from eight newspapers – including the Daily Mirror and the Sun – over stories relating to his arrest.

In the contempt ruling handed down at the high court on Friday, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Owen described the Daily Mirror articles as “extreme” and “substantial risks to the course of justice”.

The judges said the Sun’s coverage of Jefferies created a “very serious risk” that any future court defence would be damaged.

“These articles [in the Sun] would have certainly justified an abuse of process argument, and although their effect is not as grave as that of two series of articles contained in the Mirror, the vilification of Mr Jefferies created a very serious risk that the preparation of his defence would be damaged,” the judges said. “At the time when this edition of the Sun was published it created substantial risks to the course of justice. It therefore constituted a contempt under the strict liability rule.”

Attorney-General Dominic Grieve led the prosecution himself, unusually, and appears, rightly, to be taking a very hard line on the issue of contempt of court in relation to press and media reporting.

And then, this morning, the political blogger Guido Fawkes has started a petition to bring back the death penalty in the United Kingdom Apart from the irony of a blogger using the name  Guido Fawkes as a nom de plume to suggest such a petition, many have observed that this will do his blog stats no end of good, given the desire of many to bring back the death penalty.  I suspect that PM Camcorderdirect, relaxing in his Tuscan lair, having spent some time de-toxifying the Tory party, will be groaning as various (and sundry) Tory MPs have come out in favour.  The Sun has taken up the story.  Is Guido re-toxifying the Tory party for his own ends to bait them, to trap Tory and other MPs into declaring their position for subsequent vilification in media and social media?

I am against the death penalty on three grounds: (a) It is a barbaric penalty, suitable only for countries living under medieval concepts of justice (b) judges and juries are not infallible and (c) it goes against the foundations of  modern humanitarian and moral precepts of justice.  Quite apart from the fact that Britain would have difficulties remaining a member of the European Union if we bring back the death penalty (Members are required to sign up to the European Convention. Protocol 6  – restriction of death penalty. Requires parties to restrict the application of the death penalty to times of war or “imminent threat of war” -  Edit: and Protocol 13 – Complete abolition of death penalty in Council of Europe states) one just needs to remember the reason why the death penalty was abolished in Britain in  1965the case of Timothy Evans being but one important reason.

They say that 70% of the population in Britain would welcome a return of the death penalty – the argument of the ‘executioneers’ is that Parliament must impose the will of the majority.  To that, I have to repeat a statement I have used before – “5 million flies eat shit, but it does not follow that shit is good for us to eat” .

I suspect (I have no empirical evidence) that few High Court judges would seek return of the death penalty and, I suspect, that few barristers, defence barristers in particular, would welcome the return.

To use a ‘populist’ argument – as a fair few twitter users did this morning… “You don’t trust MPs on taxation, expenses, governance…so why do you want to hand power to them to hang people?” Res Ipsa Loquitur?

Well… there we are.  We shall see what happens with this latest ‘wheeze’ on the part of the right wing to bring our ‘green and pleasant land’ into their vision of control.   If the death penalty does come back… I suspect that Norway with  their mature, humane and inspiring  way of handling serious issues would be a good place to live in?

I did like this sensible tweet from a labour MP… he has a point!

And this is the level of debate that those who want to hang people rely on?  Absurd…. (Me, elitist?  I think not!)

Mr Gaunt is, apparently, a columnist…

I look forward to more ‘gems of reason’ from ‘Gaunty’…. I may have a long wait?

A human rights nazi?  Now that is a concept that may give Mr Gaunt something to chew on?

My fellow blogger, friend and podcaster – David Allen Green – takes up the theme, sensibly,  in a very well reasoned blog post…… I quote his ending…“The devil may well have the best tunes; but the liberals will usually turn out to have the better arguments.”  Well worth reading.

UPDATE Sunday 31 July 2011

Unfortunately… with public opinion… law gets in the way. Guido suggested that Article 2 permitted executions.  As @ObiterJ pointed out in the comments…. Protocol 13 ECHR makes a rather important legal point which public opinion should consider

Yes.. this is right…

PLEASE READ THIS…  excellent… beautifully written with some wonderful imagery… 

Hanging’s Too Good For ‘Em

Jerry Hayes is not a fan of the new e-Petitions. Not at all.

F*ckART…. a dead shark isn’t art… nor ‘Stuckart’… but it is topical at least?

By the way… if you didn’t know… this might be of interest…

STUCKISM

“Eddie Saunders caught a shark in 1989 and displayed it in his J.D. Electrical Supplies shop in Shoreditch, London (i.e. two years before Damien Hirst’s shark, a.k.a. The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living), but Eddie’s shark received no wider attention, until it was borrowed for A Dead Shark Isn’t Art exhibit in the window of the Stuckism International Gallery, 17 April – 18 July 2003. This exhibit opened the same day as the new Saatchi Gallery at County Hall, a centrepiece of which was the display of Hirst’s shark yet again.…”

It is unlikely that News Corpse will be buying this piece….

Met Boss Faces Questions Over Wallis Links

‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello what’s this then?

Would anyone like to give some money to Comic Relief for this self portrait?

Charon Self Portrait (In Three Colours) 2010
Acrylics on canvas board
20 x 16

Charon, with new tache,  goes to a field in a yellow shirt and jeans on a sunny windy day in May and paints a glass of red wine.  That is all

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All you have to to do is undertake to give some money to Comic Relief.… you choose the amount  (I don’t mind how much you give – £1 or £1 million !)  and the first person to email me can have this bizarre self portrait from my F*ckArt series

Note: I will need your address to post the painting in a jiffy bag to you!

DELIGHTED… IT HAS BEEN BOUGHT! AND MONEY WILL BE SENT DIRECT TO COMIC RELIEF BY BUYER!  Catherine Naylor  of Justgodirect.co.uk who is fun!

F**kART: Dark Tuscan Sky 2010

Dark Tuscan Sky 2010
Charon
Acrylics and Dulux paint on Board

I went to Tuscany several times in the 1990s.  I enjoyed visiting this part of Italy – but I would have enjoyed it more had the skies been dark and slightly surreal.  I found an old photograph, drank some of Infobunny’s Damson Gin and some wine and painted.  Still not quite finished….. as I may make the sky even darker.  Doing the poppies was fun…. applied  with a cake icing bag full of undiluted Crimson RED as I wanted them to stand out on the board surface!  (Sky was Dulux paint mixed up applied with spray gun  – Obviously had to do that first. So.. if I want darker sky… a lot of brushwork ahead of me…. time consuming)

As I don’t have kids and can’t clone myself… I thought a Statue *In Memoriam*

Quite how I managed to come up with the idea of cloning myself and buying some petri dishes on twitter this afternoon… I have no idea – save, that I had done a decent day’s work, having started at 3.30 am this morning as usual, and felt that I may as well have a couple of glasses of Lebanese red wine at Mazaar in Battersea Square this afternoon  ( an excellent caff where I take breakfast every day, cooked by chef proprietor Marlon who is  very amusing and smokes Marlboro Red) – a late lunch, if you will.

I also noticed that there is now a very large (and fine) Christmas tree in the square.  There will be lights, I am told. This was another reason to celebrate.

As I don’t have children and do not have any plans to have them… my thoughts turned to the end of my *Line* when I finally go to the great Bar in the sky…. My line, I can trace to…. the time of my ancestor Julius Charonus who invaded Britain covertly long before the days of CIA rendition flights.   I have, therefore, as my *legacy*,  amused myself by doing a working ‘construct’ for a sculpture…. of myself…. drawing, rather heavily it has to be said, on the work of another of my ancestors Charonangelo.

It is entirely possible, if I continue to drink Lebanese red, that I shall be making this sculpture later……as part of my December 2010 F**kART series – coming soon!

That is all.

F**kART: “Evil Dave”

“Evil Dave” came from a well known web pic of David Cameron. Using my new *Painting by Numbers* technique; reducing tone and shape to essential colour blocks – I can knock these out quickly enough to stop me getting bored.  When I was in my early twenties one of my nicknames was ‘Risotto’ – ready in 20 minutes.  I tend to favour paintings or drawings which can be done quickly.  I blame all forms of government, modern technology and an inbuilt, but very British, tendency for shallowness and ephemera!

The split down the middle reflects my view that Cameron is, actually, a rather nice chap and  a true liberal;  but has to play Tory and do the business because he just happens to be our prime minister and leading a party, whose members, some of them, judging by their comments on blogs and other media, are orf the bleeding wall when it comes to humanity and caring for the interests of the wider community.   The title of the piece is a deliberate falsehood; consistent with the times we live in of smears, obfuscation, smuggery, Toby Youngery, venality, brutal self interest and crassness! (Just to get a few thoughts orf my chest)  – I don’t think Cameron is evil at all. In fact… I’d be quite happy to vote for him if he defected to Labour!

Having a glass or two and doing a bit on nonsense art (mixed media these days!)  keeps me amused.  I could be out raping the people of Britain by working in an investment bank or making things using child or foreign ‘slave’ labour and hedging my earnings offshore.  I’d rather earn a lot less and enjoy Britain.

F**KART: LEG!

This is LEG! – At the moment it is now in poster paint format and about 24 inches high….. BUT….  I am planning to turn it into a painting 6ft x 4ft.  This, I can tell you, is not going to be easy.  It is a friend’s leg, obviously – it is not easy painting one’s own leg… not even Picasso did it…nor Monet, Manet, Turner, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Mondrian, Constable, Leonardo Da Vinci Code, Damien, Nick Leg…. none of them…. not one great artist has ever painted their own leg…. I am not a great artist, ipso facto… I paint other people’s legs…. or only one of them… in these days of CUTS… BIG SOCIETY… *We are all innit to win it*… sorry…. *We are all in it together*….  That is all.

Coming soon…..

OK… as @infobunny tweeted it – it is her leg!  I am always discreet….. and did not wish to reveal the owner of the LEG!

F**kART: A study in ‘Real Politik’

A study in ‘Real Politik’ (2010)
Charon
Painting by Numbers in Acrylics on canvas board from a photograph

Charon demonstrates here a technique not often used by artists these days. In the good old days the artist would have hidden himself in a darkened room and used a Camera ObscuraCharon did not wish to paint while hanging upside down like Holbein , so used 21st century techniques to roughly the same effect…except he made it even simpler for himself.  Here,  he takes a photograph from the net of a popular politician, faffs about in Photoshop to make it easier to paint later, and then, using a restricted colour palette and a ‘painting by numbers’ technique, produces a graphic image of a popular politician in the prime of his decline.  It was then a relatively simple matter to stick a speech bubble on with glue.    It may be that this ‘work’ will attract international interest and will be priced accordingly when Charon returns from the bar in Chelsea where he has now gone to reflect upon the meaning of art, life and the text he had from a well known footballer who sent him a picture of his penis.  As I am neither gay nor a football fan I can only assume that the footballer is (a) both (b) thinks I sing in a girl band or (c) can’t work his mobile.

F**kArt: Assertive Banana

I was a bit irritated this morning after phoning five accounts departments to see why they hadn’t dealt with my invoices as requested.  Two didn’t even have the invoice.  One said that the department had my invoice but had forgotten to deal with it and two of the departments were in India.  Dealing with accounts departments in India – outsourcing they call it – is wonderful for the organisation’s cashflow.  For the supplier who expects to be paid it is sheer hell dealing with them.  I gave up and reached into my fruit bowl for a banana.

It was at this point, as I peeled the banana, that I thought to myself…“If this banana could speak… what would it have said to the accounts departments?”  It was but a short leap to get my clay and paints out and make a talking banana.

What would the talking banana have said?   I can tell you… it would have said this….

“Get your farkin ass in gear and pay the man…. or the other bananas get it….Capische?!!”

F**kART: Smokedo – Elephant with attitude

Regular readers will be familiar with the fact that I am a 30adayDan in Smokedo. I still continue to practise the arcane art of smoking while I do weights and press-ups et al.  Now, a recycled elephant is in on the action.  Discerning viewers will note the subtle touch of using a match with the tip painted red for a Marlboro.

To be honest… I was a bit bored this afternoon.  There is only so much writing about Tort a man can stand.

F**kART: F**k Nose?

F**K Nose?
Charon
Green nose, and playing card cut into a ? mark shape.
2010

I appear to be having a *Nose* period… and to complement my recent Who Nose?... here is another…. more subtle… a sense of scale being provided by a pint glass nicked from a pub, possibly, and a bottle of orange squash – empty.  The 1960s retro kitchen tiles provide an element of kitsch… but they aren’t mine… sadly.  The King of Clubs playing card (cut into the shape of a ? mark)  – from the 1960s -  was a deliberate choice… but I won’t say why.

I’d like to be able to say that amusement at recent Coalition government pronouncements on Justice  prompted the thought ‘Who knows?”and inspired the ‘piece’ … but that would just be silly… of course our new government knows what it is doing…..

Observations at the end of a grey day on T’Square – The World Cup

I haven’t become a Mason over the weekend – being on T’Square in this instance is a reference to Battersea Square.

At the end of a cold grey day, I went off to sit in the  Square with some paper to make a ‘to do’ list over a cup of coffee and a few Marlboros.  I soon got bored with my ‘to do’ list after solemnly heading it “To Do List” and underlining it in black felt tip. I crumpled it up and stuffed it into my ‘man bag’ – a rough canvas thing which allows me to transport all the essential of my life should I leave my Staterooms.  And then, at a table nearby, I heard a  couple of blokes chatting about football over a beer.  When I say chatting… it was more guttural;  a language and style I enjoy listening to but not wholly familiar with in terms of its finer points. Listening discreetly, and drawing on years of forensic nosiness experience,  I came to the conclusion that both men were suffering from terminal Tourettes.   There was mention of Lampard, Rooney, Ferdinand (this was accompanied by the commentary…“What a f**king wanker… wussy f**king f**ker for getting f**king injured….f**ker and the response… “Yeah… what a f**king f**ker.”) and Fabio… or Eyetieman as one of the blokes was calling him in a spirit of European co-operation and gratitude.

I am, of course used to this language – Chelsea and Chelsea FC being just across the bridge and….  being involved in the law, the nouns and adjectives used are  those I have heard in more august surroundings and Inn dinners and, indeed, in Leith’s at The Law Society.

I got my felt tip pen and biro out and a sheet of A4. The drawing of two blokes talking bollocks is too cruel for publication, so I crumpled that up as well.  I drew a Munch parody instead (with a twist of law … this being a law blog and that) – mustering as much detail as I could remember from my private study of ‘Fine Art’ many years ago – and there’s another racket if ever I saw one.

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

I do, however, have to try my idea of making a life size torso and head of a barrister out of wire coat hangers (my earlier post) first.  I suspect that this may prove beyond me… we shall soon find out.  I have to buy some wire clippers and solder.  This will give me an opportunity to buy one of those welding torches…. which could be interesting if I decide that I have to make ‘things’ with it later on in the evening.