Monday, 15 August 2011

Jack's Diary - 15 August 2011: Riots, Without Prejudice, and Privacy

Last week, to my surprise, I spent a lot of time blogging about riots.

On Sunday I wrote a post here about how the difficulty in predicting a riot never translates into reluctance by pundits in explaining why they occurred (usually in accordance with the views they already hold).

On Monday at the New Statesman, I warned of the sentimentality one will encounter with those with partisan views on rioters and the police.

On Tuesday, again at the New Statesman, I urged that the riots needed to be kept in proportion, and on Thursday I argued that one need not panic and one should instead treat the offences as normally as possible. In between, partly in response to my friend Evan Harris, I blogged here that the army should not be brought in. And today I also blogged here that the key to explaining casual unlawful behaviour is to look at attitudes to law.

But my most popular post of the last week was none of the above. It was a post at the New Statesmanabout a riot that didn't happen.

However, I have no wish to become an inverse Laurie Penny: with me playing down the politico-socio-economic significance of civil disturbances and reporting regularly on outbreaks of civil peace. So that may be all the riot reportage I will ever do.

The legal podcast Without Prejudice goes from strength to strength. This week's special was my favourite one yet, with regulars Charon QC and Carl Gardner (and me) joined by human rights barrister Adam Wagner, experienced criminal lawyer David Wales, and Evan Harris providing a broader policy perspective. If you haven't listened to it yet, please do download it and give it a try. We have great hopes for this podcast series.

Outiside of blogging, podcasting, and work as a practising lawyer, I have made a renewed go at the (wretched) book. This one will be on privacy law in the round - not just hacking and celebrity injunctions - and it is already going better than the aborted libel book and the slow-moving wider 'Bad Law' book. Let's see if I get any further with it. To do so I may have to stay off that awful time-eater, Twitter, as much as I can, as I like the idea of finishing and publishing an actual book...


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Tony Lloyd said...

I have no wish to become an inverse Laurie Penny

Ha! Laurie Penny discussing football:

A. N. Other: Did you see the match? An absolute disgrace. That goal should never have stood, it was miles offside.

L. Penny: Yes, I agree he was in an offside position, the ball was passed to him and he was interfering with play. But the real offside is this governments attack on the....

Chris McCray said...

Agree about Twitter. It's all good fun (or annoying and tedious, depends on your perspective and whether you've stoked the trolls this week). But it doesn't pay the bills, or get your book(s) written.

Sweyn Hunter said...

A great summary of your recent posts, and very welcome. (Does the production of "meta-blog-posts" contribute any more to book completion than does twitter, though?)


Michael said...

Twitter is a terrible time eater, David. And my own latest book is running a little late because of it, because of your blog, and CharonQC as well. This week I've weened myself off it for a little, to try to catch up.

I recommend that you set specific time aside to write your book. I know you've enough experience of writing, but to write a book, you need separate time to consider the flow and your next words.

Anyway, all best of luck with the project. I'm sure it'll be a good update to Pollock & Maitland . . .

Alexander Hendry said...

The relative popularity of your posts says more about the appetite of your audience than it does about the posts themselves; having been marauded by a mob of stories of stolen 46" plasmas and ransacked JD Sports, I personally found it very refreshing to read your article about an uneventful evening in Bromley!