The Banks Are At It Again

The banks are at it again. Barclays has been fined £38 million for failing to separate investment clients’ funds from its own money. This is the second fine in three years. Apparently the previous fine of £1 million was not enough to encourage Barclays to comply with its legal obligation to separate clients funds from its own money. Continue reading

It is Not Complicated

It is not complicated, although some claim it is. A constitutional convention is not needed. Whatever settlement is thought right and appropriate for the Scots, then exactly the same settlement should be right and appropriate for the English, the Welsh and the Northern Irish. Sauce for the goose is very much sauce for the gander.  Continue reading

It’s about time

Today is the theoretical  equinox; the angle of the earth to the sun is such that at most latitudes we will experience a day divided nearly equally between daylight and night time. It’s about time, In the northern half of our planet the daylight will get shorter for three months as the year progresses and we will see the sunshine less and feel fewer of its warmth on our faces.

In fact the actual equinox this year occurs on 23 September,  later than usual.

These celestial forces continue to operate regardless of what we do on earth, and our wars, our politics and our referenda cannot change or affect them.

The Death Penalty

They keep on executing people in the United States of America and in China and in other nations, but not in those of the European Union nor Russia. Texas recently executed a woman by lethal injection. She took twelve minutes to die, which is a considerably longer period than a dog takes to die when it is being “put down” by a vet. The more I practice law the more opposed I am to the death penalty, euphemistically also known as capital punishment.  Continue reading

Choosing Between Two Eggs

I woke up this morning to find that the United Kingdom is still the United Kingdom; my country had not lost a large chunk of it and there would not be several years of uncertainty which would affect my nation’s prosperity adversely, so for my own self interest I was glad that the Scots had decided to remain in the Union.  Continue reading

Constitutional Reform

It is possible that the referendum in Scotland, whatever its result may be, will lead to constitutional reform over the remaining parts of the United Kingdom. Certainly  there is plenty of scope for reform. The major institutions or practices that need reform or abolition are

  • the House of Lords; if the UK needs a second chamber then it should be elected, for better or worse, and not appointed.
  • the ability of elected politicians to appoint their cronies into offices of power without a proper application process.
  • the House of Commons needs to be elected by constituencies that have approximately the same amounts of voting populations. There should be fewer Members of Parliament who should be paid a decent wage and whose services should be provided by the government direct; we need to abolish the system of grants and allowances.
  • Members of Parliament of the UK should not be allowed to vote on measures that are devolved to their local national parliaments.
  • I would prefer the abolition of all titles, including that of the monarch and those of her family. However, i suspect most of the country would disagree with me on this point.
  • I cannot see the point of expensive to maintain holiday home accommodation for ministers. I know their jobs are important but they do not need to undertake them on estates of luxury surrounded by expensive art that belongs to the nation.

My prejudice is in favour of democracy. it is the least imperfect system of government and its main disadvantage is the insidious corruption that accompanies it, made easy by their being in the United Kingdom, a system to enable corruption to thrive in a perfectly legal way.

I insist on less colour

Rather like a television drama programme which uses background music to make sure that the viewer understands whether to feel sad or happy, our newspapers, and other news media use their own form of background sound and vision to make sure we understand exactly what they want us to understand. of course what someone else wants you to understand is unlikely to be the truth,; at best it is the communicators own vision of the truth. the truth is something an individual discerns by his or hers own thought processes; truth, like experience cannot be foist upon an individual. Simply some partial truths can be offered for acceptance or rejection. Continue reading