Free Speech Wars – Caroline Farrow

The airwaves were buzzing in the last day or so, with the revelation that a prominent Catholic journalist and conservative social commentator, Caroline Farrow, was reported to the police for allegedly “misgendering” the adult child of a woman who is an ardent campaigner on transgender issues. The adult child is named Jackie. The name “Jackie”…

TO HELL AND BACK AGAIN – part 2

It will not surprise you to learn that a 5-judge Supreme Court gave the Court of Appeal’s gagging orders in the landmark freedom of speech case James Rhodes & Anr v OPO & Anr short shift. The appeal was heard in January 2015. Three NGOs concerned with freedom of speech – English PEN, Article 19 and…

TO HELL AND BACK AGAIN – part 1

Pianist James Rhodes is a survivor of multiple sexual assaults and horrific abuse as a very young child, which tragically (but unsurprisingly) had an extremely damaging effect on him. His adult life was marred by a series of mental breakdowns, necessitating a number of admissions to psychiatric hospitals.  But he is fortunate to have a…

Tadpole Of The Bailey

I was going to postpone any more blogging about, er, a certain person, at least until I had done my Nativity blog. But after another tweeter came up with this magnificent description of You Know Who, a sense of mischief crept up on me. So (without naming full names – perish the thort!), I will…

THE PROBLEM OF QUERULANTS

This is a subject of general interest. It is also a matter of considerable personal interest to me, you will not be surprised to learn. What is a querulant? He or she is a vexatious litigant (sometimes known as a “barrator”), or an unusually persistent complainer. The word’s root is from the Latin querulus, and…

Esther Baker – “led… to believe”

According to a determination by Alexis Jay, Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) on 16 January 2018: Ms Baker alleges that she was sexually assaulted by persons of public prominence associated with Westminster and that there were institutional failings in connection with that alleged abuse by police and law enforcement services….

A note on the sentencing remarks on R. v N.

I have only had time today to consider the sentence in the recent FGM trial at the Old Bailey, which was passed on 8 March 2019. The judge was Mrs Justice Whipple, of whom I confess I have never heard, but who I see attended St Mary’s Ascot, before Oxford and working at a top…