Why I probably won’t be live tweeting much more of the Hacking Trial

The Criminal Media Nexus

First off, a big thank you for reading this, and for following me on twitter during the opening statements for the Hacking Trial. lt was an honour to be there and report it (even if my keyboard and carpal tunnel says otherwise). I attended many of the pre-trial hearings, and obviously know a lot of background to the saga from researching my book – but being there in court was as electrifying as it sounded. I know I got some names wrong, and had to trim a lot of quotes to fit into 140 characters – but I felt immediacy trumped comprehensiveness in the circumstances.

Maybe it’s my histrionic background as a dramatist, but I wanted you to feel like you were there too.

Throughout my covearge I also have tried to be impartial, and actually tweeted more quotes per minute from the Coulson’s defence barristers opening statement that…

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We no longer have the luxury of Russell Brand

Huzzah! All is not lost….

Love and Garbage - some commonplace musings

When I was asked to write a post for Love and garbage I said yes because it was me asking me. I chose the subject of Russell Brand because love and garbage is a pointless blog and imagining the overthrow of the current media obsessions is the only way I can be enthused about blogging.

When people talk about Russell Brand within the existing media framework I feel a dull thud in my stomach and my eyes involuntarily glaze. Like when I’m conversing and the subject changes from scones and moves on to another topic. I try to remain engaged but behind my eyes I am adrift in immediate nostalgia; “How happy I was earlier in this chat,” I instantly think.

I have never watched Russell Brand. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by the modern media. Like most people I regard stand up comedians lecturing us about how…

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The PIP 20 metre rule remains intact

Well worth everyone’s attention!

Jane Young

Despite hundreds of consultation responses explaining the devastating impact on people with significant walking difficulties of using 20 metres as the benchmark distance for eligibility for the enhanced mobility component of PIP* and therefore the Motability scheme, the Government has decided, as we suspected they would, to keep the assessment criteria the same. Whilst this is obviously a disappointment, there are several interesting features of the Government’s response to the consultation worth highlighting (although it’s impossible to unpack the whole document in one article).

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Being in the audience for BBC Question Time

Seasoned viewers should enjoy the insight..

A dragon's best friend


What the cameras don’t show you (see here if you want to watch the show again)

I got the idea for this from @LatentExistence who blogged about his experience in the audience here. #BBCQT came to my home town of Cambridge, and I applied for a ticket. (See here).

High security

Given Puffles’ Twitter following, I wanted to see if I could get Puffles into the audience. But the signs were really ominous as soon as I arrived at the Guildhall. The front of house staff came across as really unfriendly – the most unfriendly I’ve seen at events at the Guildhall. The security checks – bag searches, ID checks and body scanners – made the audience feel much more tense in the waiting area (the small hall in the Guildhall) than we would otherwise have been. Puffles had no chance. Part of me…

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Guest Post: How to find out if a solicitor is qualified?

Charon QC

How to find out if a solicitor is qualified?


Hiring a solicitor is an important and potentially life-changing decision. Because of this, there is nothing wrong with taking time over the appointment and asking essential questions about the solicitor’s background beforehand.


Below are some important aspects that all clients should consider before hiring a solicitor in the UK:


  1. The initial check should be with The Law Society. This is the professional association that represents legal matters in England and Wales where solicitors will be registered. If you have sought out a solicitor but they are not registered on the site then they are not actually qualified to practice.


Some solicitors and law firms will be classed as accredited specialists. This means that they are experts in a particular field – be it concerning children, criminal litigation or family law – and that the Law Society…

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THE BATTLE to force North Wales Police to launch a corruption investigation against a former Anglesey councillor is being lost.

The councillor was branded “corrupt” by the authority’s own Standards Committee last year.

It said his actions “amounted to the criminal offence of misconduct in public office”.

When the authority refused to report the bent councillor to the police, Rebecca Television did so.

For eleven months, two senior detectives did little but read council documents.

Finally, one of them claimed there were “inherent difficulties” in bringing a case “without the matter being subject of a formal complaint by an individual …”

This statement is false.

In April this year a local resident who claims he lost money as a result of the corrupt councillor’s actions wrote to the chief constable and asked him to investigate.

A few days after Rebecca Television pointed out this glaring error, detectives turned up on…

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As the Bingo Caller said to the Chicken…….

Eyes down… [for a good read]

The Professor

Yous Widdnae Get This at the Big Bingo!

As some of you may know, I do a bit of volunteer barmaid work at the Auld Yins Bingo. For any non-Scots readers that means old people. Thought I’d explain that as communication is the point of the story. Anyway, favourite phrase of the Auld Yins, started up by the Bingo caller is, ” Yous widdnae get this at the Big Bingo!” Apparently, and this is hearsay as I’ve never been, the pace at the Big Bingo is very fast and the caller waits for nothing and no-one, including once, I was told, when an old dear collapsed over her bingo board: they played on around her and even the paramedics hung on to the end of the game before attending to her. Bingo is serious stuff to old people. Unless, of course, you are at our Auld Yins Bingo where there…

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So where was I again?

…education, education, education. But how do you get there…. (insight).

The Professor

So where was I before I was so rudely interrupted by those impudent YoungTory whippersnappers? Oh yes, I was discussing exam results, the attitude of the media and the experts, all just dying to give their opinion. Now, I don’t have a problem with people having an opinion; frankly, I’m very opinionated myself (I’m also usually right which helps!) Results in Scotland were excellent, a tremendous result for our young people and the staff who support them, but barely was the ink dry on the certificates than out came the great and the goodness sake with their derogatory comments and snide remarks about how easy the exams were. Made my blood boil because these so-called experts clearly have no idea what an achievement these results were for some of our young people. Actually, all of our young people.

Colleagues across all sectors from nursery to further education see on a…

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