Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Sloping Off

My wife and I have just about finished folding everything and putting it into our suitcases ready to head off on what the press would no doubt call a 'trip of a lifetime'. Of course that suggests you can only have one and we've had at least two already and hope for more.
ANYWAY, all of this is by way of saying that I'll be away from my keyboard for around two and a half months, though I'll be into the occasional internet cafe, so postings will be at best sporadic. So may I direct all of those of you kind enough to visit on a regular basis, to make use of the Feedblitz link on this page. It will save you dropping in fruitlessly, and will alert you whenever an antipodean experience of things judicial seems worth sharing.
In the meantime a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all; to those who do not celebrate Christmas, then my wishes are that you enjoy your own special festival.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

NEET Trick

Another offence is to be created, I learn from the Queen's Speech. The official age for leaving education will be raised to 18 - God help the poor teachers who have to implement this! - and at the same time those not in education, employment or training (NEETs) will be hit by a fine.
Unfortunately, NEETs will not be eligible for any benefit payments and will not be generating any income of their own, so out of what will they be fined? It is after all incumbent upon us to set any fine at a level which is affordable by the offender.
It feels like yet another example of the tendency of this government to declare anything of which it disapproves to be a crime.

Enough of sticks; what about a few carrots?

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Underage drinking

An article in today's Independent on Sunday makes depressing reading, particularly the fact that last year there were four times the number of prosecutions for selling alcohol to children as there were in 1995. If I believed the increase was due to stricter enforcement of the law, it would perhaps be encouraging, but I've no reason to believe that is the case. It's more likely that four times as many sales are being made to these kids. For what? For profit.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Scrambled Laws

This article in yesterday's Independent gives a graphic example of the mess that is created by the government's kneejerk rush to legislation on whatever happens to be the hot law and order topic of the moment.