Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Over the last decade or so the Daily Mail reader  has become a euphemism for the eponymous  right winger.  For those old enough to remember,  it mirrors the image once conjured up of the flat cap wearing readers of the Daily Worker (1930-1966) now The Morning Star.  Whilst the latter tries with some vigour to manipulate chosen facts to its political point of view the once fascist leaning Mail seems now to be all too often getting its facts wrong in order to appeal to a hang `em and flog `em remnant of a Tory Party the increasingly ineffective leadership  of which is torn between its attempts of appeasement and its embarrassment.   An item in today`s Mail Online is demonstrative of this editorial attitude to fact.

I would never be described by associates, both personal and professional, by the pejorative term  “do gooder”.  On the bench like the vast majority of my colleagues I attempt to honour my oath of office; “I, _________ , do swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second in the office of ________ , and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will."  And that means,  when it is appropriate,  sending shoplifters to immediate custody for the maximum term allowed in the magistrates` courts; namely six months.  For the Mail to stir up public mutterings against a supposedly “soft” judicial system  by falsely claiming that currently the maximum sentence is stifled by the fact that “current rules say shoplifters should not be jailed for more than six weeks "  is nothing short of disgraceful.  Indeed the whole article smells of having been prepared with some outside input. 

Having some intimate knowledge of the legal  system from the inside, as others within the system also do, I can make reasoned conclusions about matters such as mentioned above.  What is of greater personal concern is not having inside knowledge of what is behind the headlines of myriad other stories in the media whether on the subject of health, defence, environment etc etc.  As a paid up member of the Association of Eurosceptics since I was nine years old I can understand perhaps why the undimmed populist Nigel Farage was deemed to have easily won his contests with Clegg on  points decisions.  For a public facing a general election  a year from now this evident distrust of  the current political class  can be the beginning of a slide into a form of politics  more suited to Athens or Paris or Rome. 

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