Saturday, 26 March 2016

Craven Conflict - half price on Kindle Countdown

For the next seven days, Craven Conflict is going to be half price on the Kindle Countdown deal.

If you're searching for a good legal suspense drama, and you've already read every one of John Grisham's novels, or if you'd rather read something set in the UK, look no further.

Here's the Amazon link:

Friday, 25 March 2016

A Brexit speech for Penny Mordaunt?

One claim to fame for Penny Mordaunt MP, undoubtedly a rising star in Parliament, is that she once made a rather unorthodox speech in the Commons about poultry welfare in satisfaction of a forfeit that she incurred as a Royal Navy reservist. Specifically, she managed to use the word "cock" within that speech on more than one occasion, without arousing undue suspicion at the time. Here's a link: -

Now that she has nailed her colours firmly to the mast of the Brexit campaign, she might be in need of another inspirational speech. It might go something like this...

"Fellow British patriots, we should no longer tolerate the Prime Minister’s cock and bull stories about his EU reforms. His shuttlecock diplomacy has achieved nothing.

The Remain camp can do little more than strut around like peacocks and peddle the arrogant propaganda of Project Fear. They know full well that we Brexiteers can use reason and common sense to knock their scaremongering into a cocked hat.

We can now see what a cock-eyed scheme the EU was all along, serving a hideous cocktail of regulation and waste.  It is high time we commandeered the stopcock and diverted the flow against its legislating cockroaches.

Just take a look at the almighty Cockaigne in Brussels. Do we want to take orders from that cockalorum Jean Claude Juncker? Or from that cockatrice Angela Merkel? Is it befitting for our Prime Minister to solicit their treats like a cocker spaniel before returning home to cock his leg against Parliament?

The battle ahead will be more than just a cockfight. I call upon my Conservative colleagues not to spin aimlessly like weathercocks in a gale. I call upon Scousers and Geordies, Brummies and Cockneys, to climb into the Brexit campaign cockpit. Let us cock a snook at the powers that be, and reject their poppycock for once and for all. Let us ensure that we will be cock a hoop on Referendum Day. Victory will warm the cockles of our heart.

One final word for our cocksure Prime Minister. If you really think you are cock of the walk, take me on in a debate. And if you don’t have the courage, send Matthew Hancock."

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Pointless Professional Awards - with hidden extras

Last week I was treated to the news, via an unsolicited email, that following months of research by the in-house awards team at the Spennymoor & Cricklewood Combined Pigeon Fanciers’ Association International*, my law practice had been named the “Most Innovative Law Firm of 2016, your region”.

Well, whoopeedoo. There’s something to crow about. Even if they were so bird brained as to omit a specific reference to the West Midlands. If they really want to describe us as one of the UK’s “most competitive, cutting-edge and inventive law firms…most deserving of one of our prestigious awards”, who are we to bury our heads in the sand? Especially when we are reminded that we can put a further feather in our cap by announcing this news publicly?

Now for the catch. Publicity from the makers of the award comes at a price. It starts at £300 for a basic package comprising a listing in print and online, a trophy, and a “Most Innovative Law Firm” logo. The creative package, a bargain at £800, would bring a “full page inclusion” of an article that we were evidently expected to write. If we really wanted to push the boat out, we could go for the cutting edge package with a front cover headline and a double page spread, which we would again evidently be expected to write. Quite a lot for £1,400?

Well, perhaps not. Even if it could be taken on trust that the makers of this prestigious award did in fact have over 100,000 subscribers and 40,000 monthly website visitors, it’s still a lot of money to pay for some here today gone tomorrow advertising. Especially without any guarantee of a worthwhile return that was actually generated by the advertising.

“Oh, but it’s not just advertising! Don’t forget the award!” But let’s get some sense of perspective here. It’s not the Oscars. And many potential clients would quite reasonably think that professional advisers’ awards were, frankly, not that much of a reliable illustration of true quality and skill, but were more comparable to an exercise in mutual backslapping and self congratulation, often fuelled by an excess of food and drink.

That may be the main reason why the Most Innovative Law Firm award will, deservedly, fall flat on its face. Not the Nigerian scam undercurrent of the unsolicited email. Not even the unfortunate acronym that the award’s trophy would no doubt graphically illustrate. Think again, lads. If you’re going to give us the perfect chance to waste money for your benefit, at least give us an excuse for a booze up.


*Name changed to protect the innocent/guilty. For all the commercial benefit likely to have been generated from the award, it may as well have made by the SCCPFAI. One small clue: the award peddlers’ actual name is two words, the second of which is International, and it sounds remarkably similar to one ending in Monthly.