Preparing for speaking in front of a camera

Today, I have started to search for some resources that may help staff who have not presented a video before that includes their voice, face, body. These may supplement physical training.

Collating a youtube playlist for speed for now, also at




White washing of the depraved

Destruction of evidence in the most serious inquiry in the UK into violence against children, playing into the hands of technology companies who assist the depraved in many ways

– connecting the depraved to other depraved to threaten, harass and more to witnesses and providers of evidence

– helping lawyers of the depraved by demanding silence on social media or using comments twisted to suit their evil purposes

– hiding evidence from those who need to hear or see it in many ways

– helping the depraved manage their reputations whilst simultaneously permanently ruining the lives of others trying to find ways to bring them to justice

No wonder we have no faith

Ecology monitoring meets martial arts

Riverfly monitoring training today so we can now start monthly pollution monitoring.

And who knew – there’s kicking methodology – called kick sampling.

Our group got a great sample on the first go which I’m of course putting down to kicking experience and nothing to do with me getting in the water first and nabbing everyone else’s riverflies.

The national project

“The role of the Supreme Court in turbulent times” inaugural Lord Toulson lecture at Surrey – notes

Lord Neuberger former President of the UK Supreme Court who retired in 2017 and presided over Miller vs Government in Article 50 case towards the end of a very distinguished career.

I don’t know if lecture recorded but will share link if / when.

It was nice to see him engaging with the law students and interesting lecture on one of most important days since the referendum in terms of consequences. At time of writing I haven’t seen the results of tonight’s vote.

Please forgive straggly notes but posting because of timeliness:

Everything has to be set / assessed in context

Rule of law Lord Bingham book
Can mean different things, not timeless definition
Systems are made primarily by parliament, administered by civil service, judges apply

Properly made legislation made open, published and made by democratic legislature, not corrupt.

Fundamental that judges are independent not influenced improperly by the govt.

Confusing because minister runs a civil service dept. In US can’t be in cabinet and in Parliament.

Executive makes decision, Parliament makes the law. Gina Miller decision in Supreme Court.

If Exec pull us out of EU laws but only Parliament can change the law. Some confusion from EU Parliament Act.

Judges – economic success and social cohesion.

Deciding claims by citizens that their rights have been harmed by govt – local and national as well as protection against improper claims.

In most countries there is a written constitution. Only UK, Israel and NZ don’t have one.

We have reacted to crises and socio-economic changes.

We do have constitutional rules – Parliamentary supremacy in making laws and independent judiciary. But not clear, taken for granted.

Magna Carta – 68 originally now 3 left. Courts less powerful now. In US Supreme Court can overrule Senate & Congress.

Get round it – don’t overrule it, interpret it and accept political cost in absence of express language. So some influence.

Common law – uniquely English concept – used in Commonwealth and some of in US. Judges can develop some of the law. Can modify, bring up to date on previous judgements – one of reasons why UK legal system is successful especially in commercial law. 40% of commercial contracts use English law.

1966-2016 huge changes in legal landscape, then cases mushroomed – people being treated unfairly by govt – due to more executive control and disruptive 60s.

Judges became much more active and influential. Then late 90s, big changes e.g. devolution – 3 Parliaments outside Westminster and powers devolved by statute. So judges having constitutional role in deciding devolved powers. Particular role for Supreme Court, so devolved courts initially before SC. Only UK court is Supreme Court.

2005 Constitutional Reform Act – judges more power from Executive, Lord Chanceller role replaced by President of Supreme Court and Lord Chief Justice for England & Wales.

2005 Creation of Supreme Court replacing top Lords Court. Public recognise court and proceedings televised, easier physical access than HOC/HOL.

Freedom of Information Act

EU Convention on HR became law in 2000. Binding on this country on international law but not under statute until Parliament decided. Introduced new rights and extensions of existing rights. Required judges to look more carefully at what the govt was doing.

Pushed Common Law into the cupboard for a bit. Roger Toulson realised this was wrong, revived common law. Showed that HR & CL are complementary.

In other countries who have constitutions, rarely refer to HR because already there.

Court of justice overruling us seen as alien because we have not been invaded, tyrannies. Other EU countries see it as pooling not losing sovereignty.

Current situation unique outside war time. Preceded by referendum. Caused problem to system because majority of MPs wanted to stay in EU but result went the other way (first time in UK referendum this happened).

Statute referendum act said we had to have one but didn’t say what the effects would be unlike Scottish independence referendum which had a schedule. Left in the air.

On leaving side – not going to have deliver what they said with a referendum. In theory with GE have to do what is in manifesto. Parliament not used to and undermines confusion.

Politically questionable to serve a notice before deciding what will happen. Some political pressure acknowledged.

Problem in negotiations – govt doesn’t understand that EU see laws of Union are complied with because it is a legal construct. Failure of meeting of minds.

Now another period of dysfunction where Parliament about to make foreign policy e.g. vote tonight.

What law faces in long term – effect of electronic media. Slander. Loss of privacy. Globalisation of businesses, tax havens, gig economy. Internationalalisation of law. Moral problems and AI, genetic manipulation.

One of biggest problems is speed of changes and law moves slowly – cases takes time to get to court, parliament takes time to decide. Rule of law not under threat but under challenge.

Rule of law – may not be noisy and exciting, but stabilising and we need to keep it.

Not good at doing horses for courses. Need proportionate justice – Lord Rupert Jackson leading.

Written constitution – argument getting stronger – getting more complicated – could it all be put together?

Possibly but nervous where judges can overrule Parliament. Seems to work in US but doesn’t mean it will work here. Also another massive Brexit argument. Think on the whole, if it’s not broken don’t fix it, can rationalise legislation but don’t need a constitution.

Can appoint an English judge to apply Common law in other countries now and will also apply in future regardless of Brexit decisions.

Can have expert witness who is bad at giving evidence. Juries may be easily swayed by good advocacy. In perfect world will have two good advocates.

F-Secure labs report on far-right involvement in Brexit using twitter in the last three months

It’s a good report and you don’t have to be super techy to get the gist of it

It shows pro Trump and the European far right retweeting pro-leave tweets. It shows how several accounts have managed to get thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers then retweet at different times of day. Whilst anyone can schedule tweets for when they are not around, some of these accounts retweeting many times between 1-30 seconds.

The authors point out the report limitations and how difficult to get long term patterns from twitter data, but is a source of evidence of a co-ordinated manipulation.

4 questions:

1. Where was the analysis for e.g. anti-Russian tweets circulating the WADA investigation, Skripal, pro Clinton, suspicious automated activity?

As I have said previously, I observed multiple tweets over seconds throughout the day – from May 2016 until now and no doubt future.

2. F-Secure have criticised attempts for US & Russia to have joint work on these kinds of activities. I completely agree that Trump would use this entirely for the benefits it would bring to himself, his family, his friends and far right around the world, especially in Europe right now.

The rest of us don’t have time to do what F-Secure do, so how are they expecting us to have a balanced objective view if they don’t find a way of co-operating and sharing data with some official Russian authority?

3. Or Chinese or any other country that isn’t subservient to Silicon Valley technologies designed to benefit US intelligence?

4. If Trump is impeached and wasn’t replaced by another right wing candidate, would F-Secure be more likely to find a way of working jointly with equivalent Russian partner in some shape or form?