We’ve all kicked ourselves on occasion for missing the chance to ask about the thing that’s really important. Although sometimes the answer is too obvious for words… Sometimes it’s a few seconds. Sometimes half an hour. And sometimes it’s not till the following day. But I can’t be alone – either among reporters (my former […]
Politicians shade the truth. Fact of life. But that’s different from deliberately seeking to mislead. Option one is excusable. Option two isn’t. Kwasi Kwarteng: I’m looking at you. Expecting politicians to be wholly straightforward is a mug’s game. That’s not to parrot the common canard about them “all being the same”, or that “you can’t […]
Weight isn’t just a matter of physics. It’s a matter of heart. Anyone with a smattering of physics knows there’s a difference between weight and mass. Mass is how much of something there is. It doesn’t change. A litre of distilled water masses a kilogram. Here, on the moon, in microgravity. Everywhere. Weight, though, is […]
The best and worst things in life. They trip you up, if missed. They redeem your soul, if marked. This isn’t a New Year’s resolution. I don’t do them, as a rule. Nor is it a review of the year, or an anticipation of the one we’re entering. If the past couple of years have […]
Let me tell you a story. I think it’s about corruption. But do decide for yourself. Once upon a time, there was a man in Harare. His name was Edwin. He was a ZANU-PF member of Zimbabwe’s Senate. Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash Edwin had a friend who ran a business in his constituency. […]
Words change the world. Sometimes they do so as a result of malice aforethought. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a word for that… We lawyers love words.* It’s an professional deformation. Perhaps particularly (but certainly not exclusively) for us barristers; our working lives consist overwhelmingly of finding precisely le mot juste for every situation our clients […]
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. […]
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. […]
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 […]
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” […]
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