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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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I learned to write

I have been rather quiet on these pages, lately. I have been working on another writing project. Read more …

Is this the way to maintain public faith in the lockdown?

Yesterday, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps led the daily Downing Street press conference with news of new transport infrastructure to help us in the current crisis and beyond. But the mainstream media used up all of their questions to ask about the decision by the Prime Minister’s adviser, Dominic Cummings, to isolate himself and his family in Durham, rather than in London, when his wife fell ill with Covid-19. Read more …

I’m partial to a bit of Beeb

On a day when I am learning it may be OK to eat red meat after all, I’m also having to re-think my attitude to the BBC. Read more …

Preventing social media harm – an idea

There are widespread calls to regulate social media. Hardly a day goes by without some new outrage which eclipses what we have seen already. One of the great problems for anyone wishing to put a stop to the abuse is that social media users can easily make themselves anonymous. If they are ejected from a platform, they can re-enrol under a new identity. All it takes to open an account on a platform is an email address. And all it takes to get an email address is … absolutely nothing at all.    Read more …

Invitation to a duel

A few weeks ago, I spoke at an international conference on regulation. One of my fellow panellists told me, as we took our seats, that he was against regulation. I rubbed my hands with glee in anticipation that sparks would soon begin to fly. Read more …

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 …