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Simon says …

Since 2009, I have been writing a series of comment pieces for this website. Topics include:

I have also written extensively for the national press and professional journals.

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We disagree … so you must be lying?

From working as an independent expert witness, I know only too well that it is not unusual to find one’s client acting as though nothing the opposing party says can ever be believed. As a mediator, I have seen this attitude taken by both sides simultaneously. Sometimes in a dispute, both sides are inveterate liars. But quite often I would see two parties who were both incapable of seeing that their opponent’s point of view was not built (entirely) on falsehood. It seems that is where we are now with Brexit. Read more …

Lawyers for Alternative Facts?

It seems that, when it comes to Brexit, we can’t trust anyone to get their facts right. Not even lawyers. At least, not Lawyers for a People’s Vote (LfaPV). Read more …

A Few Good Men – but this one?

Brett Kavanaugh, the current presidential nominee for the US Supreme Court, faces a series of allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to his youth. He denies them all. He denies them emphatically. But he denies them in a manner which raises questions about his suitability for senior judicial office, let alone the highest judicial office in the land. Read more …

Chaos – what did you expect Brexit to look like?

It is common parlance these days to describe the UK Government’s Brexit negotiations as chaotic. And that is certainly how they appear. But how would they look if they were going swimmingly? Read more …

Friday fiascos

A couple of matters caught my attention this morning, from the world of journalism and coffee shops. Read more …

Hard Brexit is dead. Long live … hard Brexit

I keep hearing that last Friday’s agreement between the UK and the EU 27 means that a hard Brexit is off the table. Well, I’m looking at the table and I can still a hard Brexit resting atop it.  Read more …

Nothing new to see – unless you haven’t seen it already

Today, I am issuing a set of four collections of articles which have been published on this blog over the past eight years. Each collection is available here for download: Read more …

Reporters Sans Frontieres: not my idea of a knock out

I was disappointed to read recently that the UK has dropped to 40th place in the World Press Freedom Index. Among the 39 countries which are said to offer the press greater freedom than the UK are South Africa, Surinam and Namibia, according to the ranking body Reporters Sans Frontieres.  But then I noticed that the UK’s ranking was three places ahead of the USA which guarantees freedom of the press under its constitution. What’s going on here? Read more …

Marx out of ten for the attack on price caps?

When the Thatcher government privatised British Telecom in the 1980s, they created a regulator to cap prices. They did the same with the privatisation of water, electricity and gas. No one suggested then that Thatcher’s policy was Marxist or State intervention. So is there any justification for such accusations now that Theresa May is proposing that the energy regulator should reintroduce a cap? Read more …

Is that you, Bobby?

Like many people, I thought parts of 2016 had been something of a nightmare. It had been so unbelievable at times that, when I woke up on 1 January, a part of me even wondered whether I might find David Cameron back in Downing Street, Donald J Trump a rank outsider at the start of the Republican primaries and Bobby Ewing back in the shower. Could the whole year have all been just a dream? Read more …