DIET JUSTICE HAS MOVED, YOU WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE NEW SITE SHORTLY

If you don't get forwarded, click here

Decorating complete

I moved into an empty shell of a blog. I have painted, plastered, wallpapered, and installed electrics and plumbing, and the good news is decorating is now complete! We have a new logo, new wallpaper, and new blogrolls. Now we can relax...you're feedback on today's changes would be very welcome


By the way, check out Tim's response to my review of his book earlier today; http://babybarista.blogspot.com/2011/03/nice-review-of-law-and-disorder.html

House move complete!





They say moving house is one of the most stressful 
things you can do, well moving from No Such Word As Kan't, to Diet Justice went as smoothly as anyone could expect, and i am feeling pretty relaxed about it! 










Anyone visiting the old blog will be faced with a single post with a link to Diet Justice. I will be contacting my fellow bloggers in the coming days to ask them to update their blog rolls with my new address :-)


Hopefully Diet Justice will continue to look at issues of justice in an interesting and relevant way, while still giving me room to mess around and post stupid stuff.


Interested in contributing to the Diet Justice blog?
Staff Writer opportunities being planned for the future

Must Read: Law & Disorder by Tim Kevan

I am a big fan of audiobooks. I can't sleep without having the radio on, or an audiobook playing, much to the frustration of my girlfriend. Its also my primary way of keeping sane while i am in hospital. I can drown out the sounds of people being sick, machines beeping, and inane conversation between the other patients. What's more, with my ear phones in, i have an excuse to ignore the other patients, which will inevitably try to engage me in conversation. Audiobooks are a lifesaver.

I was browsing audible.co.uk yesterday, and came across Law & Disorder, by Tim Kevan, a fictional account of a pupil barrister. I was a bit sceptical...i expected it to be an amateur attempt at putting a comedy twist on a usually very dry topic. I was wrong, and pleasantly was surprised!

The author begins by introducing the reader/listener to the cast. None of the cast are addressed by name, but are given a name that described their role or personality. For example; Head of Chambers, Baby Barrister, High Maintenance and Worrier.

The characters are developed throughout the book, and get themselves into various degrees of mischief and trouble. Its a really easy listen/read, and i suspect it gives a pretty good insight into the challenges a pupil barrister will face.


  • Audiobook can be downloaded here at £13.49 for just over 9 hours of listening
  • The book can be Amazon'ed here at £5.25

Newsflash : Newsflash  

Tim Kevan is publishing a new book in May 2011!  
Law & Peace is the story of what happens after the battle for tenancy, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon here




Other interesting links

Babybarista Blog - Wordpress version
BabyBarista Blog - Guardian version


Cabinet Manual...I hate to say i told you so?

Draft Cabinet Manual
I am currently lying in a very comfortable, adjustable, and crisp sheeted bed in hospital. I have today invested in a mobile wireless dongle so i can keep you all updated of my thoughts. So in future you won't even get a break from me when i am ill! Lucky you :D

Anyway, i have been catching up on my podcasts while soaking up the atmosphere of Ward 27, one of which is Today in Parliament , dated 25th March 2011.

At the beginning of the month i talked about the new Cabinet Manual and some risks associated with it. Lets be reminded that the cabinet manual is written by the civil service, working on behalf of the government, and one part of the document will list formally, for the first time, constitutional conventions. Lets also be reminded that constitutional conventions are not written down as such, and exist by consent of those effected by them. When they are no longer needed, those who were effected by the particular convention just stop observing it. Easy.

In my first article about the cabinet manual i was concerned that it would undermine constitutional conventions because it would have them written down. This, in itself, doesn't make it binding of course. My concern is that it would become binding by either custom, or a process of natural normalisation, or by the political heavyweight that I think the manual will become.

I have seen the first evidence of normalisation and custom effecting the manual. The presenter of Today in Parliament was discussing the governments commitment to enshrine in law the requirement for a vote on any military action by British forces. He listed 3 ways the government might go about that; Firstly was a 'War Powers Bill', second was a Resolution of the House. Thirdly, you guessed it, its inclusion in the Cabinet Manual. The Cabinet Manual was described as "...the new rule book for government which would require a vote in the commons [before military action could be taken]".

So he could have just misunderstood what the manual means right? Yes, and its this misunderstanding that is the first step towards normalisation of its binding nature. Once political commentators start to see the cabinet manual as a binding document, it will start to be taken as fact. Will the Civil Service or the Government correct us? Its unlikely, why would they want to give away this new unexpected power that is sneaking in under the publics radar?

I am prepared to be proven wrong on this as the weeks, months and years pass, but at the moment i am bathing in my 'i told you so' swimming pool

Launch: Diet Justice

The Evolution of the Blog...

The day has come for my blog to crawl out of the sea and begin to sprout some legs. Its been 2 months since i started this blog, and since then it has evolved.

So i officially say good-bye to "No Such Word as Kan't", and say hello to "Diet Justice"!

The new format will be focused on Justice, in the broadest sense of the word. Specially i will continue to blog about Law, Student Life, Police and Politics...but will be expanding into other realms which relate to the concept of justice.

I have been playing around with images and designs today, but no doubt it will continue to develop...i am still learning how to be creative!

Anyway, i hope you like it, and continue to visit me and enjoy my ramblings!

One step closer to justice for PC Yvonne Fletcher? Unlikely.

The memorial at the site where PC Yvonne Fletcher died in 1984


Since the Libya crisis it has been easy to forget other significant incidents between the UK and Libya. The release of the Lockerbie Bomber last year, and the shooting of the British Police Officer Yvonne Fletcher who was policing a protest outside the Libyan Embassy in 1984 being two that spring to mind.

No one has ever been brought to justice over the death of PC Fletcher, and as a police officer myself i have always felt like this was unfinished business...unfinished business that i thought would remain unfinished. However it appears that the Libyan rebels have detained someone in Libya for her murder. This is great news, and brings us one step closer to justice for Yvonne and her family, but this news should be taken with some caution.

There are two ways forward from here. Either, the Met Police could take over the investigation and build a case against this person. Once they have got enough evidence to arrest, they would apply to Libya to have him extradited to the UK. By the time this happens, he would no doubt be long gone. The other way forward is; the rebels present evidence to the Met that is capable of forming reasonable suspicion, and that evidence is reliable. Extradition could then be applied for by the UK. Extradition is the issue in question.

The first issue is that of the status of Libya in the eyes of the UK. The UK have/had an extradition treaty with Libya. This is between the UK and "THE GREAT SOCIALIST PEOPLE’S LIBYAN ARAB JAMAHIRIYA". So the first hurdle is to decide if the rebels have the legal power to arrest and detain the suspect, and if this extradition treaty is capable of being exercised between the UK and the rebels. Its important to know this, as it is possible a UK judge would dismiss a trial where the offender was extradited to the UK under an extradition treaty that was excersised illegally.

Lets say, for the sake of argument, that the treaty applies, and extradition would be legal. The next hurdle is evidence. The extradition treaty between the UK and Libya (cited above) says; "The evidential requirements set out in the treaty mean that both the United Kingdom and Libya must provide evidence establishing a prima facie case against any person whom they wish to extradite" This is a simple test in theory, it just means that a reasonable suspicion is capable of being reached from the evidence. What evidence do the rebels have? I suspect that atmosphere in which the evidence was gathered is one that would make any evidence unreliable. Libya is in the middle of civil war, and i doubt the rebels have had the time or inclination, to do a proper investigation...but i am prepared to stand corrected.

That leads us nicely onto the next part of the extradition treaty; "Extradition may be refused if (among other things) it would breach a person’s human rights.". If the Libyan rebels have gained a confession under oppression, for example, that would breach the suspects human rights. Presuming the rebels have a system in place to handle an extradition request, they are not likely to refuse extradition on the basis of their own breaches of human rights law. So in the context of any extradition request, this wouldn't practically be a bar. However, in the UK the prosecution hold the burden of proof to prove that any confession was not gained by oppression. Considering the climate under which this guy has been arrested, i should imagine his defense team will raise oppression as a 'defense' to any confession evidence, and the prosecution will surely be incapable of proving otherwise. Therefore any confession made in Libya at this time would almost certainly not stand up in a UK court.

This news of his 'arrest' is fantastic, but i strongly doubt that this guy will never be brought to trial in the UK. The only way this could be achieved is if the suspect surrenders himself voluntarily, and confesses while in UK custody.


Note: I am writing this at 0200 in the morning because i cant sleep, fingers crossed my reasoning is clear! Please leave a comment if not, and i will tidy up once i have had some kip.

Name Change...



When i started this blog, i chose the title 'No such word as Kan't' as i was watching a program on Kant at the time. I was also being faced with a challenge i thought i couldn't overcome, at the time it had duel meaning for me. As time went on i realised that it had more meaning that i had intended, but now the blog has found its feet, i have decided to change the name next week.

My domain is boring; www.thestudentlawblog.com. I registered this so i had an email address that was at least a *bit* anonymous.

Before i do change the name, i need to clarify what this blog is about. Although this blog covers law, university, police, and politics, i think the theme that flows through it is Justice.

So whatever the new name, it is going to reflect the fact that the blog is no longer just a law blog, a student blog or a politics blog, its a blog about Justice, in any form it presents itself.

My blog...its...evolving *evil laugh*

"You grey haired manky codger"


This is an epic rap, slagging off Andrew Lansley...it comes with a health warning :)

Its an odd combination of style and topic, but its great to see. Well done!

Update: I have emailed Mr Lansley asking for a response to this video...stand by!
Update 2: I have yet to have a reply. What i did see was Ian Hislop on Have i got news for you mentioning that a particular part of Lansley's plans were missing from the rap. I hope this was tongue in cheek as its great to see students using modern media to slag of politicians, unlike Hislop who is so 'old media' it gives me pains in my syphilis. Stupid bald twat Hislop!
Update 3: At the risk of being sued by Hislop, i hereby retract that he is stupid...yet he remains a bald twat.

Weird Site!




I was randomly wondering around the web today, when i came across www.skepchick.org. The website is much like a gaggle of sexy milf dropping their kids off at the MENSA creche. Let me be clearer; they are hot, and clever!

Its successful as a blog for a few reasons. The main reason is that its written by a team/gaggle, so you get lots of different styles. Another reason is that its very geeky, but in a fun way. It says "yeah we are a bunch of 'hot' geeks, but that's fine with us"

Anyway, take a look and tell me what you think, feedback (or should i say geekback?) always welcome!

Apparently the Skepchicks have interpreted this review to mean i want to "fuck" them, and they are very flattered. I was actually being ironic *slash* sarcastic in my first paragraph. 


Sarcasm aside, this blog is interesting and fun even if i do think its undertones are a bit confused

Conspiracy Watch: Extraordinary rendition lives on?

 


The above link either shows  a) A random coincidence, b) evidence of CIA presence in Libya, c) evidence of the return of extraordinary rendition, and the UK's complicity in that.

I tend to swing towards a or b! But its interesting how this article has been presented by the author. 

PS. Like my new image? It indicates that start of regular posts where i share stooopid conspiracy theories with you.

Facial Hair Hilarity

This mustache...against policy *sad face*


This is a great article on the BBC News Website Clickey about beards *slash* facial hair in a uniformed service.

In a police force i once worked for, the policy was this;

"It is not against force policy to have a beard or moustache, however these must be grown on your own time, not on forces time"
This is a fantastically funny example of the sorts of policy police have been faced with in the past...thank god things are changing for the better.

Anyway, it took some musing to decipher what this means, but i enjoyed the debates we had about it!
We do celebrate Movember however...which i guess presented the force with a dilemma...should charity, or force policy win. In a triumph of common sense over policy, they allow us to grow facial hair on force time. Go Team!

Hero to Zero


PC David Rathband is suing his police force for the injuries caused to him by Raul Moat last year (Source)...i think its counterproductive behavior from a Police Officer that the service has been collectively proud and admiring of since he was shot. For me, he has demonstrated pride, compassion and tenacity that embodies what we stand for.

The events of that day were shocking to everyone, and they have led to every police force reviewing its response to that. Its right that they should do so because this risk of so called 'active shooters' is an emerging one.  The last time this happened was the so called Hungerford "Massacre" in 1987, where one Police Officer was killed in addition to many members of the public. Much learning was taken from that day, including changes to gun ownership law and to police procedures. It is not correct that the police forces are reviewing their response because they failed in some way in their risk assessment process, or particularly failed in their response on the day.

It would be inappropriate for every police force to be so risk averse that they spend millions of pounds expanding their health and safety department so that every risk can be assessed, no matter how unlikely it would be to happen. In the real world, the government say that we should be risk assessing any reasonably foreseeable risk. Its not only a matter of what is practical, but its also a matter of the proportionate spending of public money. Prior to that day, there had not been an incident of its type for almost 25 years (Hungerford)...its therefore not a reasonably foreseeable risk.

So PC Rathband is telling us that the police force in question should have either "remove[d] the threat or remove[d] the person that's being threatened." Well any police officer in the country will tell you that a police force will do everything it can to isolate and deal with a threat such as this. He also suggests that if you cant remove the threat, you should remove the person being threatened. I find it crazy to suggest that, at the time of a major incident, when the public are most at risk, that PC Rathband, or any police officer, should have been taken off the streets.

As Police Officers we run towards danger, so the public don't have to. I signed up to the job knowing i might be put in dangerous positions. Any suggestion that police officers should be removed from a dangerous situation purely because they are in danger is crazy, and if that were to happen we would be putting the public in danger.

There are always weaknesses though and the police service is a learning organisation. As a service, the police is very grown up about dealing with its mistakes. When mistakes are made, steps are taken to ensure that mistake doesn't happen again. Due to the nature of the work, we won't always get it right, and people will get hurt. In some rare occasions, like this one, someone is going to get hurt even when we get it right...i think it was correct to leave PC Rathband on the streets during this incident.

We have the benefit of hindsight now, and we could sit here and say "this/that/the other could have been done to prevent PC Rathband from being shot". This isn't the test we should be applying here. We need to be saying "did the police force do everything it could be reasonably expected to do under the circumstances?" Its essential that this question is asked objectively, and asked in isolation of any errors that PC Rathband/the public might feel have been made.

Good luck with that David.

Brown Alert


We have had a beige alert, but now its time for a Brown Alert, and it gives me the opportunity to put my graphic design skills on show for the first time :-D

We are approching April 1st, and in parliamentary circles this means only one thing, the annual hour long speech by the Cutmaster-general. This will take place after Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday this week. Once the speech has been droned out, there will be parliamentary debate that seems to go on for weeks. The big question this year is, will Gordon show his saggy face for these debates?

He has only done one speech in the house since stepping down as PM, and i think has only been to the house twice, for morning prayers. This is a pitiful attendance record.

I want Gordon to suck it up and get back into the house. He has skills, experience and knowledge that would be useful to a budget debate, regardless of his history. But from knowing the man, in so far as i can know him, i don't think he will have the courage to do it.

I am certain that he could have redeveloped his image after leaving office if he had 'accepted' his weaknesses, and thrown himself into opposition with some enthusiasm. He didn't...he has been sulking. But every journey starts with the first step, so its not too late. I would tell Gordon to go to the debates, and participate, regardless of how painful it might be. The alternative is to fade into history as the man who ruined Britain, a legacy that he probably doesn't deserve.

MI5 comes out of the closet



The original purpose of this blog was to share the documentaries i found while procrastinating...things have sort of snowballed from there, but i like to occasionally like to return to my roots :p

Here is a BBC series of documentaries about terrorism The Secret War on Terror. Get in there quick before the BBC achieves it to the virtual bin!

For me, the most fascinating thing about it is the interview with Baroness Manningham-Buller, the former Director General of the Security Service. It may seem obvious why, but let me elaborate a little with a heavily cited potted history of MI5's public presence.

The Security Service was first formed in 1909. It is only until the Security Services Act 1989 that the government officially acknowledged the existence of the Security Service. It wasn't until 1992 that the name of a newly appointed Director General was announced publically, Dame Stella Rimington. The current Director General, Jonathan Evans, lives very much in the public eye, yet seems to take this in his stride. He was appointed in 2007, and has since then given press interviews and given public speeches. So it took 80 years for the security service to be acknowledged publicly, a further 3 years before we knew who ran it, and almost 100 years before they spoke in public. DG's have only been speaking in public, about their time as DG for 3 or 4 years. So you can see why i find Baroness Manningham-Buller's appearance in this documentary to fascinating!

So back to the doc...In this documentary we have Baroness Manningham-Buller talking fairly frankly about the sorts of issues she faced while DG. You can see that she this doesn't come naturally to her, but if you consider the world she has worked in that is understandable. She chooses her words very carefully, and doesn't say more than is absolutly nescesary. However she doesn't stonewall, and she gives the impression of being someone who is comfortable with the concept of the security service being open to the media, but is still learning to get used to it.

I think most law students have considered the arguments of national security at some point, and have probably studied them in const & ad. Its a fine balance between not compromising an investigation, and ensuring that the highest level of public scrutiny is possible. From hearing Director Generals speak, i am encouraged. Modern DG's seem to embrace the concept that openness if the default position, rather than secrecy by default. Because of the nature of what the security service does, we can only ever take this on trust, we can never be sure that they aren't hiding complicity in torture or whatever...but the willingness of Director Generals to be public figures gives me confidence in them. 

Something else that is encouraging is the types of people who are being DG's. Originally they were military MEN. The modern service is not generally one that recruits from the military, it is one that employs from all walks of life. We have had 2 consecutive female DG's prior to the current DG. I am proud that this has been the case.


And the last big development of the security service has to be in recruitment. Its difficult to know how they recruited in the past, but anecdotal evidence seems to suggest it was primarily through university's. These days they have a modern recruitment system, that doesn't appear to be much different from corporate organisations. You can go on line here to find out more information, and apply. This is a huge step forward. 

This once secret organisation has now embraced public opinion by appearing to achieve the balance between national security and openness. There is still progress that can, and must, be made, but i have confidence in them to protect me, my family, my friends and my readers ;-) from harm, and i am willing to give them the space to do that...as long as that space isn't abused.



Baroness Manningham-Buller

Here is a compilation of things i have come across in the past few years about Security Service, SIS and GCHQ;



MI5 BBC Radio 4 discussion on the authorised history of (5:36)
MI6: A Century in the Shadows - This was great, but i am struggling to find the audio files...thanks BBC for putting it in the virtual bin!
GCHQ documentary - The less interesting of the 3, but certainly does give us an insight! (22:34) BBC News Website Magazine article on GCHQ


Beige Alert...Friday



Over the past couple of days i have been noting down lots of things i want to blight blog-land with. Example; what is Muscular Liberalism? and When is a no fly zone, not a no fly zone?

But these serious topics can stand aside! I have found a much worse example of the failures of the human race. Currently occupying the most read spot of the BBC news website is the creative car crash that is the song that shall remain nameless. This level of fame comes from the extraordinary label of "Worst song ever".

At the time of writing this, it has apparently had 29 million views. This is just shy of the entire population of Iraq.

In the past week, the BBC news website has gone from one incompetent extreme to another. They seem incapable of juggling two serious news stories. One day the front page has been dominated by Libya, the next Japan...and now today this moronically addictive song, sung by an auto-tuned daddy's girl, written by a committee of whooping cough victims, occupies the top spot.

*catches breath* That last paragraph has tired me out, but needless to say it irritates me when a website that ought to be focusing on the more serious issues of the day allows this utter crapola to occupy the top spot.

Having said that, i like to laugh at those with a less fortunate singing voice than me as much as the next mildly anonymous blogger, but i do wish the BBC would exercise some editorial control.

I will leave you with the image of everyone in Iraq taking a break from rebuilding to watch this song on YouTube...and an apology for allowing it to interfere on the periphery of your life.




Extra Extra...Quick Quiz;

1. What has Rebecca GOT TO HAVE for breakfast? other than a kick in the face
2. Which seat can you take? Explain and analyst the significant socio-political issues.
3. Which seat did she take, and was she the victim of shotgun rules?
4. Apart from a glorious death that occurs as a result of listening to this song, what is everyone looking forward to? Apart from your first ever business breakfast
5. Fun fun fun? Yes you guessed it, fun. Other things of equal fun value; minor surgery and standing on a plug
6. Surely there is more leg room to kick in the back seat, and therefore to merely sit in the front?
7. What day was it yesterday?
8. What day is it today?
9. What comes afthr-werrrrrrrrrrrrrrrds?
10. Generic bling-clad black dude in what appears to be a mid performance BMW or Merc? Don't answer, it's a rhetorical question...in fact its not even a question Kan't 1 - 0 Reader

If you have been effected by any of the issues raised in this song, there is a complicated and expensive process by which you can arrange a fatwa upon Ms Black.

What's in your bag Angelos?



If you have seen this guy, you will no doubt love him already...if you haven't, you're in for a treat cause he is hilarious.

Keep in mind that he is an ironic caricature and you will be fine :)

Robocops we aint

I was just reading a BBC news article on the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence and two things stood out to me;

"They have no more idea than I do about what has happened to Claudia," he said.
and
The police investigation has been scaled back and no officers now work full-time on the investigation.

I think people forget that the Police are made up of individuals...individual human beings, with all the same strengths and weaknesses as everyone else. Our strength comes from our huge budget, our training, our team work, and our access to technology. But we are still human, just with more tools available to us.

It is totally possible, and understandable, that the police can undertake a competant investigation and come up empty handed. We are not robocops, we work in response to evidence...if there is no evidence, we know no more than anyone else. We cannot create evidence out of thin air. As frustrating as this situation is, its a fact of life for police officers and to persist with a case where there is no evidence would be a reckless waste of public money.

In these circumstances, cases should be handed to a centrally funded team of expert case reviewers who are dedicated to playing the long game. They will check the work of their colleagues, identifying any weaknesses in the investigation and dealing with them. They will keep their eye on technological advances, and implement them promptly. They will speak to people, speak to the media, and keep the case open on behalf of the relevant police force until it is solved.

We owe it to the familys to keep the case open, and follow leads when they are found. Cases will eventually be solved. However we also owe a wider duty to the public to allocate resources in a manner that delivers the best service. It would not be proportionate to keep a full team of officers, working full time, on a case with no leads.

I hope that Part 2 of the Winsor report recommends centralising major investigation teams, in the hope that police skill is not obstructed by force borders. It won't change the fact that evidence cannot be invented out of thin air, but it will reduce pressure on individual forces, and hopefully create a 'streamlined' and robust set of systems that manage the short term, long term and cold case cases all under one 'roof'.

Hurdle 3 - Judge your topic

The Hurdle Series of posts i have done are all written about the hurdles i have faced while blogging. None of the hurdles have actually stopped me from publishing a post, except this one.

This blog was never intended as anything groundbreaking, but on two occasions i have wanted to talk about something, have written the post, and left it as a draft. It has been left as a draft because i realise how thin the veil of anonymity is while blogging. Although i have never written anything that's libelous, in breach of any confidentiality, or otherwise in breach of any trust in me, i have learned that hard way that one has to think very carefully about certain topics.

Winsor Report Part 2 - Using resources

You can probably tell i can't sleep, which is why i am posting at almost 4am!

A Police Officer has to break bad news, take away peoples liberty and deal with dead bodies. These are just 3 of the things that we may not like to do, but do it because its what we signed up to do. Its our job, we are proud of our job, and we know that the public rely on us to do these unpleasant things. There are some things that Police Officers hate to do. We hate to do them primarily because we are highly trained professionals, and we are being asked to do certain tasks that take us off the street, and away from the public.

I am talking about Cell Watch, and Scene Watch. Cell Watch occurs when a prisoner in police custody is a risk to themselves for whatever reason. This could be due to violence, alcohol or self harm risk, to name 3 examples. A Police Officer sits outside the cell, watching the prisoner, until they stop being a risk, or until they leave the custody suite. Due to the risk averse society we live in, the custody sergeants will be unlikely to take a cell watch off until the person leaves custody. In some circumstances, you could have two police officers outside the cell. Cell watches could go on for 24 hours, and often mean that a police officer comes on duty, and spends their entire 8 or 12 hour shift sitting outside the cell.

Scene watch is where a police officer stands at the outer perimeter of a crime scene until investigations at that scene have concluded. This could go on for days, weeks, or months. Some scenes only need one police officer, some need 2, some need 10 police officers.

So whats my gripe? My gripe IS NOT that the police have a responsibility to their prisoners and must watch them. It IS NOT that the police have a responsibility to ensure evidence is secured before a scene is released. My gripe is the fact that sworn in police officers, who should be on the streets, find themselves in the station watching prisoners, when there is a cheaper alternative. The cheaper alternative is using the numerous civilian detention officers who are already employed in those same custody suites to do the cell watches.

So what about the scene watches? It may appear like a waste of police officers, but i actually think it should remain the domain of a police officer. We are there to stop the evidence from being disturbed. Who is most likely to disterb the evidence? the offender.

Hurdle 2 - You don't know what you don't know

My last 'hurdle' post was about getting your facts right...facts are great but often you don't know what you don't know and the more you know, the more you know!

I mentioned in an early post today, about PMQ's, that its sometimes difficult to really understand something until you have your finger on its pulse. I compared a political commentator like Nick Robinson, with the average Joe watching PMQ's on the TV. Nick knows the MP's, their backgrounds, their personalities, their weaknesses and their strengths. He will understand relationships between senior figures. This gives him the background knowledge to see beyond the obvious, and this is what makes him great at analysing politics in general, and in this case PMQs.

My point; to be truly successful at something, be it blogging, law, or political analysis, the route to success is understanding both the bigger picture (wider reading, research, and developing relationships) AND the subject your studying (the face value stuff).

So to be a great analyst, which is what a good student of law should be, you need to move beyond the face value, to the bigger picture.

If i take my own advice, which i intend to do, the quality of my blogging analysis (where i can be bothered!) should take a quantum leap in the right direction.

No, Prime Minister

If anyone saw the series "The Great Offices of State" on BB4 last year, this is a MUST.

The Secret World of Whitehall - BBC4

The big question i hope to be answered is; Are the cabinet office staff the puppet masters, or merely the string makers...we shall see!

Prime Minister's Questions...a bunch of big-cat fighting

I've picked one question from Prime Ministers Questions today

Sir Steve McCabe MP, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Selly Oak, asked the Prime Minister in the House of Commons today "Do you have any sense of the current mood of bewilderment and betrayal felt by rank and file police officers?"

The Prime Minister gave a stock answer. He said that he supports the police, and the police are the finest force in the world, not acknowledging the fact that we have 43 forces, that vary greatly in performance. He said it is necessary to subject the police to the same scrutiny as any other public body. I don't think anyone would disagree with this. He then ended his answer with a standard "if the party opposite is going to...[blah blah]". Political sniping.

Most questions asked by MP's during PMQs are trivialised by the PM. Blair did it, Brown did it and Cameron did it. Questions are rarely answered with something that an ordinary member of the public could not really understand without understanding wider political context, something not always available to ordinary members of the public. So whats the point in PMQs?

I watch it because i like to see the two leaders slog it out for 5 questions at the beginning. People like Nick Robinson, Guido, and Andrew Neil watch it because they are immersed in the Westminster sludge, and have the journalism skills to interrogate the performances in a way the ordinary person cannot. For those of us who have an interest in such things, we get the pleasure of reading their analysis.

So whats my point? Someone once told me that if a Lion could speak English, we still couldn't understand what they were saying...they have a ludicrously different frame of reference than us. Our MP's are merely Lions talking English. Get rid of the TV time given to PMQ's, and replace it with an opportunity for ordinary members of the public to grill the PM properly. Its not acceptable that the PM keeps dodging the question and abusing his soap box.

PMQ's is masquerading as parliamentary scrutiny, and 'change we need'.

Off i go!

This post is a bit personal, and may be a bit boring...but its the single biggest challenge i am facing to date.

Some of you may have seen me mention that i have been unwell recently...well actually i just recently had my 50th operation since i was 17. At the moment, i am having operations under general anesthetic every week, while trying to juggle my second year.

Well i have started to think i ought to cut myself a bit of slack. I don't know of many people who would try and keep working while having an operation every 7 days, and i can see why...its really not possible.

My university has been awesome. I am really proud of what i have achieved this year, i am currently on course for a 1st. Without the help from the uni, it wouldn't have been possible. They often say to me "if there is anything else we can do to help, just let us know". But nothing is a substitute for actually doing the work, and a combination of pain killers, general anesthetics and pain have made be think about how i am going to finish this degree.

I have already found out that i can interupt the degree, which means i stop doing my second year now and start it again in September. This gives me a chance to get better...and i can carry across my good grades from this year which is great news.

Alternatives are 'slowing down' the degree. This means doing two modules of my second year next year, and the remaining two the year after. I would prefer to drop two modules this year, to cut down on my workload while i get better, and then next year i can do the remaining second year modules.

RISKS!

All these options come with an element of risk. I have an obsessive personality, and tend to jump from one thing to the next. This is how, at 25, i am a lifeguard, lifeguard trainer/assessor, qualified health and safety adviser and police officer. I love doing this degree, and i don't want to give myself any room to be distracted, and skitter off to another interest.

Another risk is that i don't get better for next year. I have no plans to go into a purely legal profession, but i would still like my degree to be qualifying in case i change my mind. A qualifying law degree cannot last more than 4 years...the presumption being that after 4 years, the content from your first year may be out of date.

My next step is getting my next operation out of the way, this will be in a few hours. Once that is done, i can focus on making a decision. In an ideal world i would like to cut out EU law and one other module from this year. Do the remaining courseworks and exams for this year, and next year do the remaining two modules.


This blog is a great way of me taking a step back and looking at my successes, my challange's, and coming up with solutions. When i look at the stuff i have written, i can see that i am coping pretty well, and am proud of that.

Cowabunga Miliband Bros

Just watched TMNT and i recommend the Miliband Brothers get a copy, they could learn a lot from Leo and Raph. I am tempted to assign the other characters, but i am exercising editorial restraint :D


Ed Miliband...the Labor Partie's;

Leonardo -->


The younger of the two brothers. He tries to take on his brother, and gains a short term personal win, but at his brothers expense. Its not until its almost too late that he realises that bro business comes before turtle business, which in fact makes them stronger as a turtle team, and the turtle business benefits as a result. As a team they rip the baddies a new ass hole, and vow never to fight again.
David Miliband...the Labor Partie's'

Raphael -->

 
Being the older of the two, Splinter expects him to lead the team of ninja turtles. After having a crisis of confidence he is sent away to a far away forest to learn the error of his ways. He comes back to the sewers to join his family, only to betrayed by Leo *naughty Leo*. Raphael's mistake was thinking that he was better than his bro. He is the natural choice for leader, but will only be ready when he recognises the skill of his bro turtles.

Quote of the Week

Not law related, but it make me lol and i wanted to share!
"Am I Mental?
[S]o in the bathroom here at work we have these automatic soap dispensers, you know, you put your hand near it and it squirts some soap. well, one of the two dispensers has been empty for a couple days now, and every time i go in there, i forget. so i put my hand there and it makes this weird little electric gagging noise and nothing comes out. for some reason this really grosses me out. it's like the soap dispenser has the dry heaves or something."
 The quote itself is unintentionally hilarious...but whats interesting is the replies it got!

Check it out

50 things to do before you die...Kant Style

This took me AGES, but here it is...its my list of 50 things to do before you die. I lost the will to live at about 30. You will probably notice the quality decreasing. Also, by way of warning, some of these are stupid...some might be offensive...some might be sweary...most of them won't make sense :p

Let me know which you have done :D

1. Perform a citizens arrest on your best mate
2. Run into a big window...and pretend it didn't happen
3. Tell your boss to fuck off
4. Do a bit of car insurance fraud
5. Kick a dolphin
6. Lunge wildly at the pope (thank you Bill)
7. Get drunk and sick on every continent
8. Live in the North for a month
9. Learn 10 swear words in a different language
10. Don't go to Peru
11. Walk down a catwalk with a ball hanging out
12. Go to the North or South pole and watch the ice caps melt for 25 minutes
13. Catch a tropical disease
14. Naked skydive
15. Naked bungee jump
16. Walk naked through a cactus patch
17. Offend a celebrity
18. Push over a cow in the night
19. Drunken walk through a field in the middle of the night
20. Read a book backwards
21. Pretend to be invisible and take a trip to the female changing rooms
22. Crap yourself as an adult
23. Drink absynthe
24. Poke a dead body with a stick
25. Fall asleep during sex
26. Wear women's clothes
27. Use an ejector seat
28. Have a general anesthetic
29. Go to a foam party and not get sexually assaulted
30. Go to a foam party and get sexually assaulted
31. Throw a grenade into a pond
32. Get married...dressed as a Star Trek character
33. Two chicks...preferably twins
34. Stand awkwardly in Anne Summers
35. Give birth, dressed as a Wookie
36. Eat a banana suggestivly
37. Walk too close behind someone you dont know (can you tell i am running out of ideas yet)
38. Attempt to shave with burned toast
39. Cook an egg on an aluminum MacBook
40. Use the same chopping board for raw meat and vegitables
41. Draw boobs on an important legal document
42. Prank call Buckingham Palace
43. Become infatuated with someone way out of your league, convince yourself they like you, then get BURNED
44. Carefully position yourself as 'the one who touches everyone's boobs and no one minds'
45. Face v Cake
46. Ask a Police Officer if you can wee in their helmet
47. Get arrested for weeing in a Police Officers helmet
48. Spread a rumor about one of your friends catching a Sexually Transmitted Disease
49. Leak something to Wikileaks
50. Leak something outside Wikileaks

ROFLbox...the first

Top 5...unlikely lasses

Five
Ruth Winters (Casualty)
Shes a mean spirited, uptight, compulsive, obsessive, needy bunny boiler...
...but in her own special way, she is a hottie!

 Four
Alison McGovern (MP for somewhereshire)
 She is a public schooled, Brown supporting, Commons crawler...but there is something about her!

Three
 
Lindsay Lohan (sickening celebrity type)
Everything i hate about Hollywood, celebrities and rich people...but she is fit regardless  
Two
Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory fame)
Shes not so repulsive that i am going to slag her off too much, but i have a phobia of hot blonds and she is a hot blond. Model since she was 6, a bad actress, but well deserved of 21st place on FHM's Sexiest Women of 2008.


Who is in first place? and who do i predict will derail in 2011? Read More to find out!





ONE
Sally Bercow (MP of somewhereorother, and serial meddler in Parliamentary business)
She has poor judgment, lacks integrity, and makes her already buffoon like husband look even more incompetent. But the above picture does make her my top unlikely lass!




 
Sexy Train Wreck Prediction for 2011
 Eva Mendes (a Hollywood sort)
Rehab in 2008...quiet ever since. I predict, in 2011, The Sun will be full of pictures of her falling out of a Yellow Cab showing her vajayjay to the world, or some other Hilton type things.

The Saturday Subpoena

Brown Revelations

I came across "Brown at 10", written by Sheldon & Lodge, published in December 2010. It was the first, of no doubt many, biographies of Brown and his satellites. Despite its quick publication, it is actually full of fascinating little quips giving us an insight into the buffoon that is Gordon Brown.

Take a look at this Guardian article, to find out the contents of Camron's Christmas card to Brown, and what Harriet Harman said about the job of PM...its a great bit of tabloid populist crap :-)

University Interruption Dilemma

I found out last week that i am to have an operation, under general anesthetic, every Wednesday for the next month or two. There are 3 weeks left of the university year, and i am so far on course for a 1st. Despite this, i am wondering if i should cut myself some slack...i don't know anyone who would try and keep working while being operated on every week.

The dilemma; should i interrupt the year so i can focus on getting better? or should i push on in the hope i will scrape through. My lecturers have been gently suggesting i interrupt, so i can get the best grades possible. My auntie has, rightly, reminded me that i have no intention of going into the legal profession, and therefore getting a 2:2 or 2:1 would probably make no difference from getting a First. I don't need to decide immediately...so i am chatting it over with family and friends, and hopefuly will come to a decision over the next couple of weeks.

Multimedia?

I remember the first time i saw the internet. Windows 95 had *just* been released and the two computers in the library had been connected to a noisy dial up modem. During an IT lesson, Mr Earl took a group of 10 of us to the library, and we sat around while he showed us how to use the internet. He asked us to think of a topic. I can't remember what topic we chose, but i do remember being told about another class that chose the word "lace" and got some surprising results. We spent about 5 minutes waiting for an image to load...line...by...line. The internet was considered multimedia. As were the Encarta and Encyclopedia Britanica programs, which i look back on with a fuzzy nostalgia.

It occurred to me today that its been years since i have heard the word 'multimedia' so as is so often my way, i took a trip to wikipedia. I promise you i only every use wikipedia for things that catch my fancy, and of course never use it for my course :p

The wikipedia page says multimedia is, not surprisingly, content that uses more than one media format. The term multimedia has fallen out of use, and the reason is that all media is multimedia.

We are living in the future!

"The Police Misconduct Epidemic"

Ok last one for today, i promise!

Whenever i tell someone i am a Police Officer i get one of three responses...
  1. "My mate/uncle is a police officer..."
  2. "I want to be a police officer..."
  3. "I have huge respect...HUGE respect for the police...BUT [insert stories of being let down by the police]"
This is why i rarely tell anyone that i do it...all 3 responses bore me to death, and i couldn't care less about any of them. Sometimes i come across someone who has had a positive experience with the police, but its very rare that anyone cares to mention us when we do a good job (see below 10 articles)

It would be naive of me to try and suggest there isn't misconduct in the police service. But I am wondering if the very nature of our job, and our role, will lead to an increased incidence of misconduct. Is it due to the higher level of scrutiny we face, from the public, from politicians, from the media and from the Independent Police Complaints Commission? Or is it because we are systemically unfit for purpose?

Its almost certainly the first two...it is my hope it is also the latter, so that we have a chance to fix it during our current 'window for reform'. Below is a list of 10 news articles that tell you everything, or nothing, about the police service.

  1. "Deepcut deaths investigation 'failed to follow leads'"- Devon & Cornwall
  2. "IPCC finds police response to Joanne Butler's emergency calls was 'flawed'" - Leicestershire
  3. "Police accused of breaking boy's arm in cell" - Hampshire
  4. "Scotland Yard admits Daniel Morgan's killers shielded by corruption" - MetPol
  5. "'Safety fear' stopped police pulling man from lake" - Hampshire
  6. "Thames Valley Police Filmed Sledging In Snow" - TVP
  7. "Leicestershire Police Acting [DCC] suspended for gross misconduct and fraud" - Leicestershire 
  8. "Northants Police Blackwell errors apology 'too late'" - NPol 
  9. "Police errors mean girl's killer may never be found" - LancsPol 
  10. "Technicality halts 122mph charge" - Scotland 

They saw me coming!

I have today received a huge box, filled mostly with giant bubble wrap. At the bottom of the box, under the bubble wrap, was 7 or 8 kitten toys i had ordered.

I ordered them because i was worried my kitten wasn't entertained enough, so i got her an assortment of cheap crap...knowing i was really paying for the box as, as predicted, its the only bit she is playing with!

Anyway, this cost me almost £50...what was i thinking...

Update: She is now playing with a single piece of cat litter...i definatly wasted my money on all the toys

Hurdle 1 - Get your facts right

Some of you may have read my post today To the rich, with love from the courts, and noted it has been edited a number of times.

Well i hit my first hurdle today...getting my facts right. My blog has generally been about my opinions, but today i attempted a bit of political commentary...and failed miserably!

With a little bit of help from a famous and influential political blogger (NAME DROP), a man of few words, i refined my article with a bit of research and learned my lesson.

So i thank that blogger, and apologise to anyone who was tearing their hair out at the shocking errors i made :D

Every day's a school day

Constitutional Conventions [finally?] written down

For those of you doing the Constitutional and Administrative Law module for your law degree, you will already know a lot about the apparently unwritten rules that are binding parts of the constitution by implied agreement from everyone effected by them. Well things may be changing when the draft Cabinet Manual is completed.

This seems to me like a chicken-and-egg situation. The cabinet manual is publicised as a manual outlining all the laws, conventions and rules that effect the operation of government. But we already know that constitutional conventions are generally unwritten, and they are unwritten for a good reason. Constitutional conventions are created by necessity...and they last as long as they are needed. They are 'ratified' by conduct, or oral agreement.

One such agreement is the Sailsbury Convention, that agrees that the Lords will not oppose anything that was in the governments manifesto. The commons is elected, the lords is currently unelected. It would be wrong for an unelected house to opposite a policy that a governement was elected on the basis of. This isn't legislation, it isn't royal prerogative, it is a convention. If the House of Lords became an elected house, the Sailsbury Convention would no longer be required...in fact its existence would be undemocratic. The great thing about a constitutional convention is that nothing has to be done for it to fall out of use.

So of the Lords became an elected house, both houses would just stop observing the Sailsbury Convention.

The risk of the Cabinet Manual is that it gains the status of a binding document...a constitutional convention in itself. It gives the civil service and government a way of 'back door' legislating over procedural matters of the legislative branch of our constitution. It could become such a politically powerful convention on its own, that its existence is accepted and never challenged, much like the convention that none of the main parties challenge the speaker's seat during an election. This defeats the object of a convention, as steps would need to be taken to remove it from the manual for it to no longer be binding.

So the Cabinet Manual is risky, and needs to be something that assists the Executive only and does not bind the Legislature in any way. If this is achieved, i can see this manual being a very useful document handed out to ministers at the revolving door of every department.

To the rich, with love from the courts

Reading the Guardian Law article on Fred Goodwin's super-injunction this morning has left me with a feeling of irritation with the courts, and glee with John Hemming MP for his use of parliamentary privilege.

Fred Goodwin presided over the near collapse of RBS, was sacked, and still took with him a huge amount of money by way of pension rights etc. Last week, he obtained a super injunction...the subject matter of which has not been made public (but is widely reported in the rumor mill!). The existence of the super-injunction is public thanks to Hemming, who raised it in parliament protected by his parliamentary privilege.

This raises two significant issues; access to justice, and press freedoms. If we presume, for a moment, that the principle of a super injunction isn't repulsive, it could only ever be accessible to the rich. So poor guys like Chris Jefferies, who might benefit from something like this (admittedly his first step would be a normal injunction) cannot access them, yet the recklessly rich like Goodwin can.

Access to justice goes further. Court proceedings in this country are open to the public by default. There are cases where evidence can be heard in private (national security etc) and where whole trials are in private (some family cases). For a court to deviate from this default position, it needs to be able to give a good reason. Embarrassment at...the subject matter of the super-injunction(!)...is not good enough.

The nature of private proceedings like this is that we cannot scrutinise the reasons for holding it in private. Now this has been made public, we have an opportunity to challenge the judiciary on their reasons. This will certainly add more weight against super injunctions during the upcoming review by the Master of the Rolls and his committee on super injunctions.

Lastly, the media should be allowed to report on whatever they feel is in the public interest. Clearly this is subject to the law, but other than that the free media should be free. Cases like this demonstrate the courts getting too big for their boots...i hope that parliament takes control of this issue so that super injunctions are abolished.

Thanks to those who have informed me of some errors in this post...hopefully i have edited these out!

Winsor Report..for the sake of balanced review

This is the 3rd post i have done about the Winsor report, and as a result i think i may have to change the description of this blog as its becoming half police/half law student, which is a totally unintended direction, but i'm happy with it none the same :-)

My review of Part 1 of the Winsor report was generally positive. This is understandable as i am a Special Constable, i do not get paid, and in the short term any reform is not going to effect me financially. Its therefore only fair to my regular colleagues if i point you in the direction of The Thinking Policeman's blog.

His most recent post is his response to the Winsor report. Its quite long, but its the most comprehensive commentary i have found from a serving regular police officer.

Winsor Report follow up...marching on Whitehall

Some of you may have read my thoughts on the Winsor report yesterday, and i thought i would do a brief follow up after reading the reactions in the papers this morning.

It seems i overlooked the most likely response from my regular colleagues, a march on Whitehall. We have done it many times, and its most effective.

One of the reasons i am proud to be a police officer, is that my colleagues have a great sense of responsibility, and loyalty to the public. We don't want to strike, because it will effect the public. We are concerned about the cuts, because it will effect the public. We do overtime, because the public need us. The public pay us to protect them, and i think its fair that police officers are paid a good wage. I know that a lot of people would disagree with me, but i don't think its anything to be ashamed of that my regular colleagues don't want to have their pay cut. As a member of the public, i want those charged with protecting me to earn a wage to support their family, have a holiday, have hobbies, and generally be well rounded individuals. A well rounded and happy police officer, is the police officer i want on my doorstep in my hour of need.

However, i did start yesterdays post largely agreeing with the Winsor report. I stand by that, reforms are needed. From reading the report in more detail, i think it unlikely that the government will adopt it in its entirety...how they implement the reforms will be make or break for Theresa May, and David Cameron. Cameron has aligned himself very closely to these reforms as he considers them to be unfinished business from his time as a Special Adviser to a previous Home Sec. This is a very brave, or stupid, move as it has been almost 30 years since politicans have successfully reformed the police service without getting their fingers burned.

I reiterate that i will stand side by side with my regular colleagues during any strike, or any march.

The next report we need to keep our eye out for is Part 2 of the Winsor report, which will be about streamlining and efficiency in practical policing and policy. Some predictions;

  • Centralised specialist units, such as murder squads, drug squads, civil contigencys and other highly skilled detective policing.
  • More shared services between forces such as Human Resources, Recruitment, Firearms, Dogs and Mounted section.
  • A national police uniform to save money on procurement. I am certain that Winsor will notice the importance of a service identify, and we wont see our force badges being replaced by a single police service badge.
  • Limited vehicle procurement. At the moment every force used different types of vehicle. It would be dangerous to force all forces to use a single type of vehicle, as this would leave us vehicle-less should the model be recalled. But i expect he will suggest the home office approve a pool of 4 or 5 types of patrol vehicle from which forces can choose. The same done for high spec vehicles for traffic, armed response etc.
  • Rank reform...he would be stupid to recommend rank reform, because police offices are dead against it. The two superintendent ranks are where reform is most focused, with Chief Super being removed. But these ranks are important as a transition phase within which to equip future Chief Constables with the skills they need to lead a force.
  • National Police Improvement Agency...its important to have the NPIA coordinating training policy. We need to have the same standard it training across the country, but i suspect the NPIA will be disbanded and replaced with something centrally. Will he go so far as having a central training strategy, implementation and recruitment unit for the whole country? I see it as a distinct possibility...and i can see many advantages of such an organisation.
These changes are just off the top of my head. I will put my thinking cap on tomorrow and see if i can make some more predictions. Please excuse any spelling or grammar errors, i am recovering from a general anesthetic and feeling a little fragile!

Options Week follow up...

In my last post i told you about my options for year 3. I have narrowed the choices down to Medical law and a dissertation project. I have finally settled on the latter, and have now been musing over what i could do the project on.

My experience in the police is something i wanted to draw on, but i have today started researching International Space Law. I think this could be my subject...our future is in space!

On a side note, i had my operation today and am home and feeling fine. Back to uni tomorrow, until next tuesday when i have to have the same operation AGAIN. I do enjoy a general anesthetic, but that enjoyment has its limits!

/Houston Out/


One little extra thing i meant to post...i have been blogging for a couple of weeks and have been getting more visitors than i expected i would. I do not have a creative flair, and dont consider myself the greatest writer in the world, so its nice to see people find my blog interesting. Any feedback would be welcomed, so i can improve my style etc. Post feedback as a comment, or email me at kant@thestudentlawblog.com

and lastly...options week

The big day has arrived, and it seems only yesterday that i had my first day at uni. I have one option, and about 15 different modules to choose from. However, i have narrowed it down to two choices; Medical Law and a project module.

Medical Law is pretty obvious, its structured in the standard way with coursework and exams. The project is a 15000 word essay on a legal subject of my choice.

I am leaning towards the project, as i have been longing to spend some time researching a topic regarding police. I am currently thinking about doing it on police use of force and human rights. The reason for this is that its the most important skill to grasp as a police officer. Almost every other situation in the police can be done with the support of another officer while you are learning, but when it comes to use of force you are on your own. Its essential that every officer knows what law governs use of force, and how to dynamically risk assess its use when someone is threatening your safety, or even your life.

Mistakes so often happen. They can range from minor things like putting handcuffs on someone when it may be hard to justify, to someone dying as a result of use of force. So i have been fascinated with the subject, but im not convinced its a substantial enough topic to fill 15000 words.

Due to my many visits in hospital, i have a big interest in medical law...it would be a more traditional structure than the project, and would probably be simpler in the long run.

So i am musing over this choice this evening, but i am fairly sure i will settle on the project...i will keep you updated!

New 9/11 Footage

I have just discovered some new footage of the 9/11 attacks on the BBC news website. Its being said everywhere, but i am going to say it again, it still sends a shiver down my spine and is pretty harrowing.

Video click clicky

I have two draft blog posts waiting to be tweaked about 9/11, one day i will fully understand my views on it enough to do a decent blog post about 9/11

The Winsor Report on police pay and conditions...

...was published today, and i have to admit that it is pretty fair overall. It seems to reflect what the public would want by cutting bonus schemes for those officers not on the front line, and financially rewarding those in front line positions.


Having said that, overall this is probably going to mean less police officers overall...as has been said by the Chairman of the fed, and GMP Chief. Less police officers can only be a negative thing for the public, but this is debatable.

At the moment it is unlawful for the police to go on strike, but there has been some talk of either campaigning to have this repealed, or just ignoring it and striking. I can see this debate resurfacing over the next couple of weeks as local fed representatives come under pressure from the rank and file.

Whats more likely is that officers will start to work to rule, meaning there will be no more 'half an hour for the queen' or volunteers for overtime. This will have a massive effect on the public, so i hope both strike and any work to rule motion is avoided.

As a Special Constable this presents me with a massive dilemma. Should there be any strike, or work to rule, the Special Constabularies will certainly be mobilised to fill the gap. Specials are capable of doing this, but is it right that we do so?

A lot of my friends are regular constables, and as i work with them for over 100 hours a month i have immense loyalty to them. On the flip side of that, i have a loyalty to the office of constable, and to the public. I would be disloyal if i were to cross any picket line made up of the regular officers, and my gut instinct is to join them on it. But when i think about it more, i see that the public are going to rely on us even more should any action be taken by the regular officers. So would regular officers see me as a traitor to them if i were to work? or would they respect my loyalty to the public?

I think they would think both, but the legacy of the former would last a lot longer than the legacy of the latter. Relationships between police officers are so important, and i have a lot of love and respect for the regulars i work with...so, slightly reluctantly, i would join any picket line and stand side by side with my friends...i would hope that the federation would negotiate on behalf of the Special Constabulary to find a way we could help the public that would be satisfactory to them. On that note, i shall be writing to the fed.

Winsor Report Link <--clickey clickey

A special constable is a fully warranted police constable, with all the powers of a full time police officer, the only difference being that one doesn't get paid, and is not a member of the federation.

Edit: I have just found a shocking and embarrassing spelling mistake...sorry to anyone who had it inflicted on then :-) 

Back from my week off

Hi everyone,

I'm back from my week off uni so i could have an operation. I had the operation on Monday, and spent the rest of the week dosed up to the eyeballs on pain killers.

Luckily my university has recorded all my lectures, but i haven't listened to any of them and i am back to uni tomorrow! My day of is Wednesday, but i have ANOTHER small operation then...anyway you see my problem, im getting behind. But i am going to do my best to catch up, and im pretty confident i will be able to.

I know this is meant to be a law blog, and that i haven't spoke about law-ey things recently, but i hope you can tolerate my non law ramblings :)

It occurred to me, while under the influence of morphine, that i should make the most of my hospital experiences. So once i have finished my degree, i have decided to write a book...a survival guide to staying in hospital. I am pretty excited, and have started to make notes, but i am not going to get too bogged down in it until my degree is done in 18 months time.

I do have an addictive personality, and tend to get overexcited about new ideas...so i warn you now, i may get bored and give up. But i promise to keep you updated :D

Back to uni tomorrow, i will let you know how i get on with my catching up.

Cheers