Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On legal aid

I felt sickened when David Cameron blurted out his populist rhetoric when denouncing the grant of legal aid to the three Labour MPs accused (that's accused) of fiddling their expenses. One might argue that it would have been politick and PR-savvy of them to have not applied. But the fact remains they were free to apply and have their entitlement determined just like the rest of us.

Yes, it hasn't helped their image in the public eye that they asked permission to be spared sitting in the dock (the district judge swiftly declined the request) when they made their first appearance. But to start to say some people don't deserve legal aid before judgment has even been pronounced, is one step on the path to mob justice.

Christian Khan solicitor Katherine Craig writes on the subject in today's Guardian.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On 'an invitation to join the government of Britain'

You've got to hand to Cameron, it's a great line. But then we already know he's the consummate PR man. However, does it risk taking for granted what isn't theirs yet? It could sound that way. Afterall, they're not the government yet.

But let's think about it for a moment. Not happy with your child's school? Take it over. Not happy with your local police force? Replace those in command. Not happy with your NHS hospital? Sack the managers.

Who does this appeal to and potentially benefit? The middle classes. Only those with the wherewithal, income, and the luxury of time can afford to mobilise to run a school, police force or hospital. These proposals do nothing to help those least able to help themselves.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

On burning election questions

Why did the BBC pick an election logo that looks like a meteor shower painted by Jackson Pollock?

Why do those diamond Lib Dem placards always come out orange and not yellow?

And who cares to be treated to Michael Caine's views on, well, anything?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

On stag dos

As I approach 30 a new ritual has entered my life. One that I had only previously heard of through the secondary and primary accounts of others. Tales of reprehensible conduct in the unwitting capitals of former-communist Eastern European countries. Of prostitutes. Of Bratislava. Of what was coined the Bratislava palaver. The ritual, of course, is the stag do.

Since last June I have been required to attend three stag dos, all that of friends of many years. So one of course feels at the very least obligated. But my experience of each is that of negligible difference.

In each case I and my cohorts would arrive in a British town, roughly equidistant from each participants point of origin. From there three days drinking would commence, punctuated only by various intervals whereby the hoard would re-fuel in one mediocre eatery or another. The cuisine would be much as you would expect: Chinese or Indian; anything that could be washed down with lager without too much fuss. The result, of course, being something akin to the tales that were once peddled about the results of drinking the water in Spain. A whole weekend of it from which it takes a further two days for the digestive system's natural equilibrium to be restored.

Perhaps I'm slowly easing into my long (eagerly) anticipated curmudgeonhood. But really what is the point?

On starting again

So the answer to the question below may well be 'no'. Much has changed since I last posted regularly on here but I think I'll have another go, perhaps only weekly.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

On inertia

It's been a while. Does anyone still swing by? I'm considering starting again. Perhaps.