Site menu:

Site search

Subscribe

Register here to subscribe to this Blog.

Archives (month)

Archives (topic)

Connections

Simon says …

Testing times for the Director of Public Prosecutions

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Alison Saunders, says that juries apply a “much higher test” than prosecutors do when deciding whether to pursue a case. If that is true, it seems bizarre. More likely, it betrays a lack of logic on the part of the DPP. Read more »

Has the press done to Miller what police did to Mitchell?

It is not that long ago that the press were pointing to Andrew Mitchell MP and asking: “If the police can do that to a government minister, what chance the rest of us.” I now find myself asking whether we shouldn’t just substitute “press” for “police” and “Maria Miller” for “Andrew Mitchell”. Read more »

Journalists in a tiz at Supreme Court’s win-win decision

I’m not sure quite how to say this. So I’ll say it twice: Read more »

When did you stop ****ing your wife?

I don’t know how to put this politely, so I’ll follow The Times and use a lot of asterisks.

My attention has been caught by a recent news item (£) in which a vicar was taken to task for describing the Archbishop of Canterbury as a w****r. Read more »

Leveson – Is the battle already lost?

What are the chances of being able to write a 2,000 page report on press regulation and walk away with all-party support (or even all-Party support)? Plainly, not very high. This final stage of the inquiry could have been – should have been – handled differently. Read more »

Harry’s Bottom and the Right to Privacy

Today’s big argument is said to be about privacy and the public interest. I think there must be more to it that that. Most commentators seem to be going round in circles. Read more »

Leveson could legislate for a non-statutory regulator

The press are against statutory regulation of their activities. That is the message they have been sending to the Leveson Inquiry. But most people fear that, without a legislative underpinning, press regulation will be toothless. How then to reconcile those two opposing views? Do it like this … Read more »

Accountants in a tangle with Webb

Regular readers of this blog must be sick to death by now of me repeating how much damage accounting standards are doing to pension schemes (here, here, here and, even on video, here). So I’ll be brief this time – very, very brief. There is finally light at the end of the accounting tunnel. Read more »

You mean we’re NOT supposed to avoid tax?

Tax avoidance has become a hot topic. The Times newspaper has recently unmasked a scheme in which income tax is avoided by the ludicrously simple means of saying the salary is only a loan which might have to be repaid (but never actually is). One of the newspaper’s columnists, David Aaronovitch, has been writing about the immorality of tax avoidance (both links behind a paywall).

I used to think it was easy to spot the moral dividing line when it came to tax avoidance. If our government had created the exemption, that meant they positively wanted us to take advantage of it. Anything else was almost certainly a loophole and morally objectionable, even if it was legal. But does that distinction still apply?  Read more »

Leveson and the Living Trees

Like many people, I have been following The Leveson Inquiry intermittently. As someone with a background in regulatory policy, I am particularly interested in the way that many witnesses have expressed a concern that regulation of the press has become inseparable from regulation of the individual because the internet has given any individual with a website (or even just a Twitter account) the power to be a journalist. I think the argument is flawed. Read more »