The Supernanny State

4 09 2010

Category: Politics, Media

The most important politician in the UK is Jo Frost.

Huh? Supernanny?

There are lots of people who knock ‘Supernanny’ and her programmes. They mock her methods and sometimes accuse her of staging things, they bundle her in the Reality TV genre that has infested the schedules.

They entirely miss the point. Supernanny is the most moving story on television. Human tales of misery and despair, of dysfunctional families at breaking point. It is horrifying, agonising, heartwrenching, uplifting viewing.

But what’s that got to do with politics? Read the rest of this entry »





Clean up the mess

20 05 2010

Category: Politics, Law

The British Deputy Prime Minister has announced that some of the thousands of laws created by the last government will be scaled back.

Good thing too. There are plenty that can be got rid of, but in terms of criminal law it’s the absurd complexity that needs to be addressed head on.

I’ve devoted several posts on this blog to someone who was charged with the most minor criminal offence possible. That case was interesting for other reasons, but the procedures highlight what an unwieldy monster the criminal justice system has become.

I’ll try and break down the case so you can see what I mean… Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton Retrial

25 03 2010

Category: anti-semitism, criminal law, middle east, rowan laxton


To call Rowan Laxton’s second trial an ‘appeal’ could sound misleading. It was a brand new trial, from scratch. Everyone convicted in the magistrates court has the right to this. The whole case is brought again and decided on again.

I’ve had the chance to read some more about the judgment here. I’m puzzled by it.

The bench held that he either didn’t say ‘f——- Jews’ or if he did say it he didn’t think anyone would have been able to hear him.

That sounds like the sort of judgment Bishop Berkeley or Monty Python might come up with – ‘I didn’t do it, and if I did do it I didn’t think anyone would notice me doing it.’… Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton – No Conviction

24 03 2010

Category: anti-semitism, criminal law, middle east, ROWAN LAXTON

It’s ironic that minutes after publishing a post noting that Rowan Laxton had the very best legal representation there is, word came through to me that his conviction had been overturned on appeal.

The appeal was heard at Southwark Crown Court on 5th March 2010. Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton – Invisible Civil Servant

23 03 2010

Category: Anti-Semitism, Law, Middle East, Politics, Rowan Laxton

 

(Update – In March 2010 Rowan Laxton was acquitted of racially aggravated public disorder after a retrial – see here for more)

Senior Foreign Office staff are listed on the internet. Here is a chart of of the top level of the Foreign Office from July 2009 – FCO Senior Management . The spot where Rowan Laxton ought to have been (Political; South Asia) is filled by Philip Barton, listed, diplomatically, as ‘Additional Director’ because Laxton was suspended pending his trial for public disorder.

Having been convicted of that offence, Laxton returned to the Foreign Office, but to what role? We don’t know and we’re not allowed to know.

Influence

This is important because it restricts what kind of job he can be doing… Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton – Secret Official

20 01 2010

Category: Anti-Semitism, Law, Middle East, Politics, Rowan Laxton

I have had the final word from the Foreign Office on my questions about Rowan Laxton: They are not permitted to answer any of my other questions because the information I have requested is ‘personal’ and therefore beyond the scope of the FOA; it’s personal information because it relates to a person. I can’t really argue with that; the logic is flawless. However… Read the rest of this entry »





Newspaper report about Denry’s FOI request

17 12 2009

Category: Anti-Semitism, Middle East, Politics, Rowan Laxton

This is a link to a report based on Denry’s Freedom of Information Request about Rowan Laxton:

‘Race rant diplomat back at Foreign Office’





Convicted, anti-semite returns to Foreign Office

1 12 2009

Category: Anti-Semitism, Middle East, Politics, Rowan Laxton

(Update – In March 2010 Rowan Laxton was acquitted of racially aggravated public disorder after a retrial – see here for more)

It took a Freedom of Information request to find out what happened to Rowan Laxton. I attach the form sent to me (click below), which sets out my questions and their very limited answer.

Freedom of Information Request – Rowan Laxton

The Foreign Office say they take “any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour very seriously” and that Rowan Laxton “was issued with a final written warning putting him on notice for the next 12 months”

It’s not much to go on but let’s have a look at what there is: Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton and Derek Pasquill

30 10 2009

Category: Middle East, Politics, Rowan Laxton

I was hoping that one of the after-effects of  Foreign Office senior civil servant Rowan Laxton’s conviction might be a little more transparency about the culture of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The thing that troubled me is that such views don’t come from nowhere. They don’t emerge fully formed one day in the gym. Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton – Undiplomatic

18 10 2009

Category: Law, Media, Middle East, Politics, Anti-Semitism, Rowan Laxton

(Update – In March 2010 Rowan Laxton was acquitted of racially aggravated public disorder after a retrial – see here for more)

In September 2009 I was idly looking at the BBC website and came across the case of Rowan Laxton. I wouldn’t normally have seen it; it was placed in the London section in the bottom right hand corner, the most obscure position it could possibly have been placed in with a headline “Race abuse diplomat convicted.” When I read the report I was surprised that I had not heard of the case before and that it had been hidden in the remotest corner of the BBC site. I think the case has lots of interesting aspects. Read the rest of this entry »