I have deliberately avoided writing about privacy so far because it looked like a far too thorny issue that I really knew too little about. But I was shaken out of my reluctance after reading about Kopimism, the world’s newest religion, which was officially recognised by the Swedish government on 5 January.
I imagine the offices of the LA Fitness HQ last Wednesday morning were quite fraught, with lots of finger pointing, a few red faces and a lot of emails to sort through. If ever there were an example of when companies should deviate from their rulebook, this was it. And if ever there were a salutary lesson in risk management in the age of social media, you couldn’t do better than this one.
I am one of the 4.14 million self-employed workers in the UK. I was feeling rather special and especially courageous for going it alone, but now I am one of over 4 million I don’t feel quite so amazing. Having said that, and even though I was somewhat ‘bounced’ into doing it by being made redundant, it is something I had thought about for a long time and I have a fair idea of the drawbacks as well as the benefits. That probably sets me apart from quite a few of this growing band of freelancers.
As it’s Friday, and I’ve had a busy week, I have decided to write a post that isn’t too taxing for me (or you) as an easy segue into the weekend. If you are a lawyer, I apologise for its likely uselessness. Nor will it be much use to people who have to use lawyers all the time (I commiserate with you wholeheartedly). But it might be helpful to people who don’t ever think about lawyers and really don’t have the first idea how to find one, or what to ask them, if and when they do.
It’s rather a British thing to support the underdog. I’m pretty sure most of us feel a natural affinity for David and get a warm glow when he manages to land one on Goliath. It’s nice to know that when the little guy takes on an injustice done to him he can be sure of a fair hearing thanks to Lady Justice and the principles of magna carta. At least that’s what it used to be like.
Sometimes I despair, I really do. It may not seem like it but I do try not to be too political on this blog but when you are faced with the sort of nonsense the government is coming out with regarding the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (LASPO) all you can do is have a rant. So here’s mine.
Here’s a cheery thought as the Christmas and new year holiday recedes from memory, apparently more people die in January than any other month of the year. It seems that divorce rates also spike in January. Whether these events are related is not clear, although the reasons for the high number of marriage breakups just after Christmas are more obvious than the reasons for dying.
Despite my previous post, it turns out good things can happen in 2012. It is a qualified good, however, as the convictions of Gary Dobson and David Norris for the murder of Stephen Lawrence in South London in 1993 have taken 18 years and followed one of the most notorious crimes and bungled police operations in living memory. That said, there can hardly be a person in the land who wasn’t relieved to hear that, at last, two of the racist thugs guilty of the killing have been sent down.
Well here we are, 2012 is up and, while not quite running yet, gingerly poking its feet out from under the duvet. It’s fair enough to be a bit cautious about rushing headlong into January if the last year is anything to go by. The first full year of the coalition government has been something of a rollercoaster, whichever side of the political divide you sit and whatever your area of concern. Looking at it from a legal perspective, it’s hard not to conclude that we are heading for a derailment in 2012 as we rush headlong, and blindly, down the tracks of reform.