Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category


December 16th, 2012

I think news should inform us in some way.  It often gets waylaid in entertainment or opinion, but if I watch or read a news outlet my primary aim is to walk away more informed than I was when I sat down.

The coverage of Newtown, Connecticut shooting falls well short of this expectation.  I already know an awful thing happened.  I know how many died and their ages. I know America has an enormous practical and political problem with gun control.  I don’t know how it feels to lose a child.  I can’t imagine a week of pointing cameras in the faces of those that just have will change that.

I am reminded of Ian Hislop’s recent commentary on the Aberfan Disaster in his progamme ‘Stiff Upper Lip‘ which described the first modern media disaster:

Aberfan, where in 1966 local people met terrible tragedy with an old-fashioned resilience and dignity in the face of an increasingly intrusive media which was now insisting that we all had a right to share in other people’s grief.

I don’t think we have that right.  It is different for victims of war or natural disasters to an extent – by reminding those of us well ensconced in our safe homes that there are those desperate for our help keeps the money coming in and the pressure on governments to help.

No outsider can help in Newtown today, other than by staying away and affording these people some privacy for their grief.  I think I will give the news a miss for a while.

I’m reluctant to make a point from any of this but feel I should relate this soapbox moan to the purpose of this blog in some way.  Therefore I will leave you to explore the Daily Mail’s online reporting and ponder the impact of the Levenson Report on their coverage.


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November 24th, 2012

I wrote this in draft some time ago…

I read blogs for three different reasons.

1. They are law related and I am trying to learn from them or think about new things because of them.

2. They are nothing to do with law and I read them for the escapism of seeing what other people do with their lives.

3. They are written by idiots or loons and provide a supply of nonsense for me to mock on this blog.

My next blogroll entry belongs to number two. It is a blog/diary of a commercial airline pilot in the US. He has a wonderful writing style, explains his daily dramas in a simple and amusing way, and often begins a post with a pretty cockpit view of the sun coming or going across his windshield.

Whenever I have a post from him in my feed-reader, I save it until last as my prize for getting to the end of the list – that’s how much I enjoy it. Perhaps this is the adult incarnation of my seven-year-old ambition to become a pilot, the abandonment of which I mourn every time I hear the word pupillage, but I’d recommend it to anyone.

…except I can’t now as the site appears to have gone offline a week ago.  I am quite sad about this, as are folks here.  He occasionally expressed frustration with his employers, but nothing I’d think was especially controversial.  It is strange to think that years of writing can just disappear from the web – all that time and effort – gone.

As for this much neglected space, I have renewed the domain, which cost money.  To prove this was not a complete waste, I will have a think about what to do.  No longer a student, but with a job that doesn’t lend itself to blogging, and a dissertation to finish, things may be light for a while.  However, I suspect the Leveson Report will fill me with the need to rant somewhere, so it may well be here!

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July 8th, 2011

There are three types of documentary films.

The first, and I’m afraid I tend to associate this with the BBC, is basically a stretched news item dragged out with interviews of outraged or distressed victims / or some variation of a freak-show dressed up an a documentary (Channel 4 are the main offenders for the latter).  They are normally as memorable as last week’s news items.

The second, and this is where C4 redeems itself, is an issue based documentary, often with some sort of celebrity endorsement, which tells a good story.  A good example would be Hugh’s Fish Fight.  Sometimes lacking detail and often a sense of balance in addition to the dramatic visuals, overall I would still say these are a good effort.  They also raise awareness because they tend to last long enough to become the subject of office-chat the next day.

Finally, the rarest is the sort of feature documentary which makes the viewer adjust their world view.  The viewer goes to bed thinking about the issue, and wakes up thinking about the issue.  The trouble with these films is they get such a limited distribution or release that hardly anyone sees them. The first I saw like this was the AIDS documentary A Closer Walk, which probably would have been even more unknown than it was had it not been narrated by Glenn Close.

More recently, I’d add the HBO commission Teenage Paparazzo, which aired on C4 at stupid o’clock earlier this year.  It posed some really interesting (and presently very topical) questions about journalism, celebrity culture and how this influences the aspirations of young people.

I wonder if some upcoming documentary filmmaker could be tempted to consider the issue of legal aid?

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Carry on Eating

May 31st, 2011

Alex Aldridge wrote an article for the Guardian this month lampooning the dining requirements of training as a barrister.  Most surprising for me was the number of barristers who appear to read the Guardian who rushed to correct him in the comments, which probably ended up being far more informative than the article – surely a first!

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March 31st, 2011

Test – sorry

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Unions Killed the ET

January 31st, 2011

If you want it badly enough, you can paraphrase this post post as ‘by being persistently annoying, unions have given the government the opportunity to make Employment Tribunals even less protective of employees’.

It may not quite mean that, but it’s a good post from LAG’s blog anyway – do have a read.  I really like LAG, it’s a shame they don’t give bigger discounts to students, I’d be a regular attendee if they did.

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August 12th, 2010

A little slow on the uptake as usual, but do hurry over to Law Actually’s post calling for nominations for the UK Blawggies 2010 – I’ve just spend a most enjoyable half hour making my nominations.  I think tomorrow is the last day – lets see who goes through!

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July 26th, 2010

I know that there is a very very small audience amongst my readers for this, but I watched this five minutes ago and I am still struggling to breathe normally.

Maybe I was too quick to dismiss medical negligence..?

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Family Law Blog – Pink Tape

June 18th, 2010

Inspired by Law Actually’s blog post, and in search of distractions to fill the awaiting-result void, I thought I would try to populate the blog-roll. So, first up, for no better reason than it made me laugh twice in one day recently is Pink Tape, a family law blog.

Having told everyone who would listen during my law degree that I never want to do family law, I confess it feels like it is drawing me in.  The above blog is written by a family law barrister based in Bristol and is a mixture of tales from work, comment on family law stories in the media and reviews of big issues facing family law.  Also, having clung to London like a limpet for most of my life, the idea of practising in the West Country also sounds very nice.  Do I like the blog, or am I my subconsciously incredibly envious of the author?  Probably both.  Anyway,  I always enjoy reading it, do take a look.

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Software Update

June 18th, 2010

Excuse the pointless post, but I’m a hopeless “early-adopter” and will be running the WordPress 3.0 shortly.  If this blog disappears for a few weeks / months I suggest you avoid running the update yourself.

See you soon!

UPDATE: It seems to have survived…

UPDATE 2: – I thought I had fixed a problem with comments a few months ago, but it appears not.  I have shut off the offending plug-in, I hope that resolves the problem!

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