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2021×18, Monday: Your right to say it.

Three days ago, someone murdered David Amess. We were political poles apart; and yet he strove to be my representative. We owe it to him to remember these are not mutually exclusive. He was my MP. And someone murdered him. I can’t claim any special connection to Sir David Amess. I never voted for him. […]

2021ix11, Saturday: 20 years.

Two decades on from a terrible day, I can’t help remembering – alongside the sick horror – a feeling of professional pride and challenge. Does that make me a monster? I don’t think so. Oh, fuck. Thinking back 20 years, to a sunny September afternoon in West London, I’m pretty sure that’s what I thought. […]

2021ix9, Thursday: the truth behind the lie.

Anyone can lie with statistics. But buried in the numbers backing up the BS, the truth that rebuts it can often be found. And fashioning that into a compelling story can be shockingly effective. One of the great things about numbers is not that they can be used to lie, although they can. It’s that […]

2021viii19, Thursday: A failure of trust.

A brace of Court of Appeal cases highlight both some fascinating litigation points – and why charitable trustees need to trust themselves, and their friends, a little less. Like many people who’ve spent time in counter-fraud, I have a firm but nuanced view of fraudsters. Nuanced, because part of the classic fraud triangle is “rationalisation” […]

2021viii10, Tuesday: When 1≠1.

A judge makes the point I’ve been dying for someone to make about bundle page numbering: make the numbers match. Or suffer the (cost) consequences. Thank goodness. There are many bundling crimes which we’ve now become tediously used to since, in March last year, the world caught up with those of us at the Bar […]

2021vii31, Saturday: Ours, theirs, and attribution.

Our minds play tricks on us. All the time. One trick is particularly pernicious – but recognising it can change the world. I’ve long been fascinated by cognitive biases and logical fallacies: the tricks our minds play on us, driven deep within our psyches like paths trodden across hillsides over centuries of traversing feet. I […]

2021vii26, Monday: now read this.

Not my stuff, obviously. But the piece I’m linking to – entitled “I just learned I only have months to live. This is what I want to say” – is breathtaking. Do yourself a favour. Please. Someone is so, so right on the internet: Another short one. I’d say I’m making up for lost time, […]

2021vii25, Sunday: Take me home.

I spent my Saturday lost in music. Oh sweet Jesus. It was… wonderful. I’ll make this brief. Go to the cinema. Watch Summer of Soul. Soon as you can. For those without the privilege to have encountered this superlative movie, the short version: in the summer of 1969, as hippies and drop-outs were converging on […]

2021vii8, Thursday: Passive, aggressive.

Apologies for the long gap. I may be pedantic, but some words have old meanings that carry genuine value – the more so because of the state we’re in. I’m torn when it comes to language.  On the one hand, I’m absolutely alongside the idea of seeing linguistic evolution on a prescriptive rather than normative […]

2021vi28, Monday: Interest.

Accountability starts with keeping track of conflicts of interest. Fail to do that, and corruption comes next. As the Matt Hancock saga shows all too clearly. Back in my banking days, part of my job – frankly, one of the less fun parts – was to help people understand not only what restrictions and controls applied […]

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