The Equaliser

The Labour politician Frank Field (Lord Field of Birkenhead) has died aged 81. He had prostate cancer.

Back in 2015 I had my own fight with that disease. Actually, it was less of a fight, and more a minor altercation. A fracas, or an array. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and had an orchidectomy the next day. 


An instant cure, which I’ve always thought as Nature’s cruel contribution to the inequality of sexes. Some uniquely female cancers are not so easily dealt with and are just as deadly as they were a generation ago

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Democracy vs Ochlocracy

Simpsons Angry Mob

The Government’s hideous Rwanda asylum plan has been ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court.

Under the plan, people who applied for asylum in the UK after arriving via an irregular route would be deported to Rwanda, and have their claim processed there. Not everyone realised that successful applicants would be granted asylum in Rwanda.

My view is that the policy is wrong on the most fundamental level. We take far fewer refugees than we should, if they were dispersed proportionally throughout the world. There are reasons why people choose particular countries for their asylum claim and it’s often to do with prior links to that country. It’s absurd that a person who already has family living in the UK, and who applies to the UK government for asylum, should be sent elsewhere.

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Rationing Immortality

Written in September 2023 but for some unknown reason not actually posted until January 2024.

I’m not long back from a beach holiday, which was the excuse — well, the impetus — to do what I could do on any idle Tuesday: put down my phone and pick up a novel.

If my own, slender attempts at fiction have anything in common, the theme is immortality. In The Good Shabti, Pharoah Mentuhotep takes the after-life for granted, while amoral scientists attempt to reignite dead brains. ‘Round Trip’ considers, inter alia, what one might do with eternity, and what could animate someone to want to live forever. ‘Frozen Out’ is about cryogenics.

Immortality is also the theme of Void Star by Zachary Mason. This is spec-fic where two variants are presented: anti-ageing; and the possibility that one might upload one’s consciousness into a computer, to be preserved and propagated (and perhaps, if one suffers a catastrophic injury, to be rebooted).

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Call to the Bar

Both readers of this blog will have noticed that posting has slowed in recent months. Only three additions in all of 2022! A decade ago I would easily post that many in a week.

The reason for this has been a major distraction: I’ve been studying for a Bar Practice LLM. This year I conceived of myself as living in a movie study montage, with a singular focus on the work required for upcoming seminars. Resisting the urge to distract myself with a 2,000 word blog-rant about free speech or the Bill of Rights (et cetera) has been difficult but necessary. And I haven’t read a novel in months.

But the sacrifice paid off. I was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in July. Here’s the proof:

Of course, the demands on my time have not been alleviated. I’m now doing advocacy work and seeking pupillage, so logging my thoughts on current affairs is still a lower priority, and the paucity of posts will be prolonged.

Reversing the Ratchet

Busy times for me at the moment, but this is an aide memoir / place-holder for some later posts.

Its now undeniable that the current British Government is damaging our democracy. Several measures either proposed or enacted that strengthen the power of the executive, reduce accountability and/or threaten free speech.

  • The intent to scrap the Human Rights Act
  • The measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 which allow the suppression of protests which cause a ‘nuisance’
  • Eroding the independence of the Electoral Commission
  • Insisting on the regressive ‘First Past The Post’ method for elections that previously used something more proportional.
  • The Online Safety Bill, which would impose impossible moderation standards onto social media companies and hand too much power to the Government to suppress speech it doesn’t like
  • Measures to constrain Judicial Review
  • New plans to curb the rights of workers to strike
  • The undermining of ministerial standards and accountability, as demonstrated by the way the Prime Minister ignored the findings of a report that the Home Secretary bullied civil servants
  • The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021 allows the security services to authorise criminal conduct in new, unaccountable ways.

These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. There are probably more.

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