Wednesday, 29 October 2008


A tale of woe for those who drive taxis without the appropriate licence
A private hire taxi requires a number of licences, the driver requires a licence, the operator a licence and the car a licence.

My client today was up on 2 counts of driving with no insurance the catch all charge for those who have touted. Insurance is usually not permitting to use the car for private hire. So people may have insurance for themselves but the moment they tout the insurance becomes invalid.

My client intended to plead guilty and well he might as he had no chance of winning, he apparently had been driving in his (well not his an employer's) car on another job, not cabbing, when he saw another cab broken down by the road, he phoned his colleague to be informed that he was stuck and could not get to a job. My client helpfully said that, as a favour (yeah) he would pick up the fare so that they did not miss out and take them home, as a favour and for no money (yeah)

By the time he arrived at the airport, the fare had been waiting an hour or more and was not happy. Not happy being an understatement. The fare then looked at the car and asked why there was no licence for the car, the client tried to bluff his way out of it before agreeing that the car did not have the relevant licence. The fare then decided, due to the hour or so wait, to take the car in any event.

Unfortunately, for my client, the fare was the leader of the W District Council, and the Council take a great deal of interest in licensing. Having taken a ride and paying him, the Council leader reported him. And so he was in Court.

So the moral for this story, is if you do not have the relevant licence do not pick up the leader of the Council, or if you do, do not turn up an hour late!


More bloody weather, mind you we would complain if we did not have any. I am sorry the weather is cancelled today is going to be dark and dull, and not particularly cold. Or hot. Ever.
No I think we actually prefer the real stuff, even if the environment is taking a beating.
Global warming is a bit a misnomer especiall where I am sitting in the snow in London in October 2008

Monday, 27 October 2008

five days later and One Prince

Is it really five days since I have added anything...time flies when your computer breaks. I have now got a small netbook, which looked cute and is, though it is taking me a hard time to work out how to type with the small keypad, but I am sure I will get it, frustrating though it is.

I am now travelling to an East London court to represent a client whose name is that of a member of the royal family, Prince ?? Obviously I am not representing a memberof the royal family as they would have made sure that the prosecution was dropped. He is from Africa. He has the name, and he is sadly mad. The conference went something like this
Tell me guv, give it to me straight, its bad isnt it?
No it is a public order offence, you were shouting at people.
How long am I gonna get?
You are not going to prison (for this anyway0
Long then, I can handle it.
No prison.
Tell me, its your line of work, what its gonna be?
Bad then huh?
Very bad, I suggest you plead guilty.
But I have not done it.
No of course not, but it is your word against 3 policemen.
Well its white man's justice guv,
I am white.
Your different guv,
What not really white?

If he is not convicted I will eat my new computer

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Heydrich - Reinhard / Heinz

Reinhard Heydrich is deemed evil. He was, apparently cultured, spoke a number of languages, was a horseman of some repute, a world class fencer, good violinist, and brave. He also was apparently ruthless, and in seeking to succeed is considered (with good reason) to have been an architect of the holocaust.
He also, according to received wisdom, could discern people's weaknesses and would hold onto information and use it for his own ends.
He piloted an early, and effective form of rendition. Nacht und Nebel, Night and Fog. After realising the abducting with pomp individuals who were either a danger or deemed to be possibly be a danger (sound familiar) created or could dissension, he decided that people would vanish as if in the night into the fog. They unfortunately went into his own system and were killed (7,000 apparently though for obvious reasons the number is not known, small compared to the holocaust, but distressing to those concerned).
But what is evil? Is it amorality.
Heydrich apparently never in determining something would never consider what he was doing was right, this was apparently a waste of time.
Heydrich was an anti-Semite. Many were and are. Does this make someone evil. Many Germans perceived (objectively wrongly, very very wrongly) that they were victims or threatened by Jews or Jewish influences. This has been seen in the context of Germany and Germany's nascent nationalism in the 19th and 20th century.
Germany did not exist as an unified country until recently. And it did not include and does not include all ethnic Germans. Yet they felt German or identified themselves as Germans, but at the time of 1939 they lived in Denmark, Holland, France, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Poland and Russia to name a few countries.
Out of all this came some very very strange ideas as to the threat to the German identity. Jews could be seen as an easy target, they did not proselytise, and had their own culture.
Ideas included such strange concepts as World Ice Theory, wherein the world was created in Ice, the moon is made of Ice as is the Milky Way. The German (Nordic or Aryan race) were made out of ice and were taken out of the ice by (the very bad) fire... This mad theory was adopted by Himmler and pursued. As was the idea that the Aryan race originated in Tibet.
So if one believes one is a victim, notwithstanding that objectively one is not, and then acts to "protect" (again erroneously) oneself and one's culture, does that make one evil?
So, does the mere pursuit of a goal without consideration of others, no matter the consequences of the actions to the others, or is it something more.
Is evil the enjoyment of creating suffering. Or the enjoyment of the infliction of suffering. Such as was found among the guards at concentration camps, such heinous individuals who set dogs on pregnant women, and tortured people for their own enjoyment. Is this evil?
Is evil inherent?
So is a person evil, in the sense of bad.
Or is it the acts that define a person. Can a person who acts in a destructive way in a mistaken belief (and it could be really mistaken) be evil?
And if the person who committed such acts becomes aware that the reason for doing them was wrong and repents, or resiles from doing them again, does that make him no longer evil, suppose he then commits to helping others, does that make him good?

I know not the answer.

Reinhard Heydrich's brother Heinz was a journalist and publisher on Die Panzerfaust (a german anti tank weapon) which was produced and printed on a train. The paper was for soldiers. He was, I am given to understand, a member of the Nazi party (though I am not sure and do not seek to malign if incorrect). After his brother's death, he was given a packet with papers belonging to RH. He read and burnt them.
He then helped Jews to escape.
He printed and made false identity documents on the Die Panzerfaust printing presses, to help Jews to get to Sweden.
He thought he was going to be discovered in 1944 (two years or so after his brother died), and fearing for his family's life at the hands of the Gestapo (proviously under his brother), he killed himself.
Brave, Courageous and definately good.

Tax - Victim

Victim Surcharge, is I realise, a tax.
We are all victims of those dreadful Americans and they way that they forced us to borrow lots of money and spend fortunes of overpriced houses, so I suppose the £15 victim surcharge will go into the government pot to pay for (not hospitals, police or more Courts), or rather go towards the governments enlightened policy of bailing out banks and other rich people.
So again the very very poor will be at last contributing to society as a whole, by giving (back) their benefits to the rich. Unique, circular, justice at last.
The rich can stay rich and the poor, I would say by giving their money away, but it is removed at source (they really cannot be trusted) so they don't get, stay poor.

Victim Surcharge

The wonderful New Labour project has deemed it necessary to enforce a Victim Surcharge on every person convicted of an offence. This is the kingly sum of £15.
The Court inform the Defendant that the £15 goes to the victims of crime. I have been the victim of a crime. When I phoned the police, they did not mention that I was entitled to £15. Nor did they come round and give me £15 when they took details.
I am not sure how to apply for it. It would not surprise me if it was means tested. Or restricted to those under 4 and over 100, who can speak Polish.
It sounds so good...
"For the crime of assault PC, I sentence you to 100 hours unpaid work, and £15 victim surcharge for the victims of crime".
The money does not even go to the victim of the crime to which the Defendant has either pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of.

I do not understand why someone convicted of driving other than in accordance with a licence (a learner driver) is also given the surcharge, who is the victim?

Criminal Justice System - 2

Is really a kind of tax, a stealth tax. The defendants are almost to a tee the dispossessed in society, it is so rare for a defendant to have a job, it is almost a defence in itself.

Criminal Justice System

Where the have's prosecute the have nots.

Remiss I have been

Today I am the Crown Prosecutor.
A fun day awaits, I look foward to seeing the marginalised in society trot before my very eyes in all their glory.
Most plead guilty. This is sensible as they are guilty. All of them.
And most will be fined.
Not very much money, mind, but fined nonetheless, though why they are fined I have no idea because, a. the amount is very small (usually £50 - £200) and b. they can not pay.
After being sentenced the Court will ask if they can pay the fine today. And they will say no. The Court will then ask how they can pay. They will say that they are on benefits. Then they will pay £5 a week.
Only they won't. And nothing will really happen.
After months they will be brought back to Court, threatened with prison for non payment and then have most of the fines discounted.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


An appropriate title for my work, which can briefly be summarised as a mixture of Kafka's The Trial and Dante's Inferno, hardly Pergatorio and definately not Paradiso..


I have seen many things, one stands out in respect of the poor standard of representation in the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal or AIT or Immigration Appeal Tribunal (IAT) before it was reformed, or rather the government shuffled the letters, but everyone kept the same job, with a different name.
The representative, he does not even merit the word lawyer nor could he probably spell the word lawyer, was making submissions on behalf of a East European woman. I could not understand his attempt at English, neither could the Judge, the person who ultimately translated the representatives submissions into English was the appellant.

Thieving solicitors

Sometimes I struggle with who is a greater stranger to truth. Those who seek to avail themselves of the mercy of the Immigration system in the United Kingdom or the solicitors who purport to represent them.
I say purport to represent them, as in the main, and I mean main, as there are indeed exceptions to the rule, though I have yet to meet them and I have been practising for around a decade, as their standard is almost uniformly bad.
I would say that I have never met such venal people as I have had the honour of working for, but this would be a lie, some of my clients are their equal, though they are usually charged with or have been convicted of offences ranging for Sexual Offences, such as rape to violent crimes.
Some Immigration representatives have such a poor command of the English language that you can roundly denigrate them in their own office in front of their clients, though by choosing one's words carefully safely avoid them being aware of the meaning of your words. They key to this is to use words in excess of one syllable. Any word, just as long as it exceeds a syllable. If it contains three or more they will probably admire your intellect and provide you with further work, I would say money, but almost invariably the one thing seek to avoid more than the truth is paying Counsel.
As can probably be discerned I have had the pleasure of being roundly rumped by (another) immigration solicitor. He promised to send payment by Friday last. Did it happen?

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Big Bang

I know of an appellant who is struggling to come to terms with the Home Office's refusal to grant him indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom, harzarding a wild guess, I wonder if it has anything to do with his claim being predicated upon him supervising the manufacture of ordinance for a middle eastern despot (dec'd)?

Nationality, Insanity and Asylum Act 2002

I have had a couple of clients that have (sort of) stayed with me
I opened a brief a while ago (god it is an eternity since I have had solicitors that produce briefs, most probably have no idea of their purpose), it was an Algerian, and yes he had been arrested, though not, unusually for shoplifting (though you will be pleased to know, other peoples' property was found in his house).
No as I perused the brief I was met with the strange introductory sentence...
"Your client was arrested and charged with attempting to manufacture chemical weapons contrary to Section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981..."
And he was mad
And locked in Belmarsh (no surprise there)
He genuinely seemed shocked to be there ("its full of real terrorists")
He was also mad, he believed he was possessed by a spirit a Djinn, which apparently is a spirit which visits, according to the appellant, bad muslims who are either not devout enough or who have mixed to much with the west. Apparently the spirit talked to him.
At least he had company in his cell.
The criminal charges were dropped, but the Secretary of State did not want him being admitted to bail.
At the bail hearing the Home Office representative was attended by a host of young, earnest people in suits, who I have never, ever seen working in the Home Office before and who seemed strangely reluctant to identify themselves...
Bail was obtained - much to everyone (including the appellant, and presumably his spirit's) surprise.
Another victory for liberty.

Bank policy

Following on from earlier ramblings viz banks, it reminded me of a bank policy in force in respect of, mainly Nigerian, citizens of people of Nigerian extraction, apparrently a well known High Street Bank, whose name I would mention, but will probably have been changed by the time you read this so I won't bother, had a policy known as the double vowl rule, whereby if an individual's name began and ended with a vowl, they would not be offered an account.
Given what has happened they are probably grateful of that now

Clients - I have had a few - too few to mention (unfortunately)

Asylum claims have decreased greatly in number recently, mainly due to the government depriving them of any benefits and locking them up, though the later has probably had the largest effect, it is after all hard to work illegally either in a restuarant or picking fruit when locked up in a detention centre.
As an aside, out of a detention population of around 2500 or so, about 2400 are from Africa, why? Actually 2,400 is a bit high, it is probably around 1,000 - 1,500 - though the strange thing is they all have the same name...

Monday, 13 October 2008

Regrets I have had a few

My biggest regret is that I never went into banking. If only I had known. Behave recklessly with other peoples' money. Pay yourself a lot of money. Make an enormous mess. Get government to pay for it with yet other peoples' money. And keep your job. Fantastic, I now know where I have gone wrong

Ice cold in Iceland

Aside from an Imperial desire to seek revenge for the lost Cod Wars, it does seem a trifle harsh to seek to bully Iceland in respect of their less than successful banks.
Goodness knows how many millions of public money, council's money, police money has been put in their banks.
Why, because they paid good rates of Interest.
Iceland has a population of 300,000. About the size of Brighton. Not big.
Iceland is not well known for its thriving industries (apart from fisheries)
Iceland is not particularly well know for mineral deposits.
Did no one wonder where the money for this interest was going to come from? At all.
Now the government asserts that they will seize their assets in the UK, so not only will we nationalise our banks, but also take over other peoples property?
I suppose the rule of law cannot be invoked as the government can just make new ones, bit unsettling though.
Did we not invade Eygpt when they nationalised Suez canal without compensation? Mind you I suppose it was different, they are not UK citizens and cannot vote for GB

FSA - No way

I wait with baited breath for the credit agencies to pursue me for money. I shall let the angry women blow hot for a few minutes in respect of my financial improprieties, wait for them to ask (as if it is any of their business, it is a contract not a bloody social obligation - mind you in the light of the new world banking order, it probably is a form of Rosseau(ian) social contract) why I have run up debts, before informing them that...
I intended to pay, and if I could have kept working and borrowing more I would have paid, but unfortunately, I made a mistake or a few mistakes and now I am stuck"
At this point, if past experience is anything to go by, the lecture is likely to take the following tack...
"Well it is not a very responsible attitude to keep borrowing money in the hope you will be able to pay it off"
But it worked for RBS, HBOS et al


It does seem somewhat perverse that the government systematically buggers the UK's economy over the last 10 years by way of higher taxes, more red tape than you could shake a stick at, at then when it all goes wrong, seeks to take the credit (bad pun, I know) for committing around £20,000 of tax payers money to prop up the system.
It would not be so bad if the PM did not seem so happy with the state of it all.
Mind you it gives the old trots the excuse to blame America for it all, and to embark on wholesale nationalisation. Would it not be better to nationalise something useful, like the trains, or would that upset their (esteemed) business friends?

Bank - Economy - White Rabbit to head Bank of England

The Prime Minister recently appointed the White Rabbit to head the Bank of England, said the PM upon the appiontment
"The Rabbit comes with an incredible pedigree, it has hopped out of the cabinet on two previous occasions in front of the fox and has extensive experience in not only consuming grass, carrots and 10 course meals in Europe but also has made contacts with Rabbits throughout the EU, most notably whilst on holiday with other Rabbits in Corfu"
When challenged as to the wisdom of appointing a Rabbit to this post, the PM replied
"I tried to engage the services of the Cat (Cheshire) as I felt that his smile would cheer up the public but unfortunately he kept on disappearing, and Alice's parents said that the job would involve mixing with undesirable elements in Cabinet..."
The PM concluded that
"The White Rabbit will ensure that that is necessary to be done will be done and the Houses of Cards will rise again..."

New beginnings - bank's paradise

I see that Gordon Brown is seeking world approval for his scheme to get the entire banking situation going again, so that the rest of the world can follow our example...Gordon have done so well with our own economy

Friday, 10 October 2008

Child Support


I am now waiting to see if the aberrant father appears for his trial. He is guilty (well likely to be found guilty) of the heinous crime of failing to provide information to the Child Support Agency. This is a government body that is slightly less popular that the SA was in Germany in the early 30's.
His crime, he did not respond to a letter. Mind you if he did, he would have had to pay for his child(ren). Which apparently, they all do
"I make sure Jonny or Sue (more likely Jordan (a great name covers both boys and girls)) gets everything he wants"
apart from clothes, food, and new shoes.
Sympathy I have not.
To prevent the child would not have taken an enormous amount of intellect. Either do not have sex, or have careful sex. Otherwise you will pay (or not as the case may well be)
Guess who is not blessed with children

The South Asian Shoe Shuffle

or Sri Lankans and the truth - mutually exclusive.
I like Sri Lankans, I have yet to find a people (at the risk of a sweeping generalisation) that are as unfailing polite as the Ceylonese, even when they are robbing you or refusing to pay your fees, they do so with such curtesy.
However, they seem to have a problem with the actualite. Give them the possibility of telling a whopper and the truth and it is the whopper every time. Even when it harms them.
Two recent appeals made my heart bleed (well that maybe overstating the case, a little), both concerned old women who wished to join their families in the United Kingdom. Their families were hard working and conscientious, and British.
There is a provision, in fact there are a number in the Immigration Rules (Statement of Changes to the Immigrations Rules HC395 (as amended)), whereby relatives can join family in the United Kingdom, particularly if the family are not dependant on the state.
Unfortunately, both had decided to gain entry to the United Kingdom as visitors and then apply to stay. Unfortunately, both appellants not only were averse to the truth, but looked when questioned as they were attempting to drink a bowl of sour milk which had been sprinkled with old liver. They also refused to answer my questions, preferring to answer questions that had not been asked...
"When you came to the United Kingdom as a visitor, did you intend to return to Sri Lanka?"
(Correct answer being yes. Next question, what made you change your mind. Answer my son etc..)
Actual answer...
"I am an old woman and the Sri Lankan army blew up my neighbours house fifteen years ago and then I was asked to join the insurgency..."
and so on.
Perhaps unsurprising the appeals failed. Ah well I suppose they can always puruse a career in the insurgency. Not too sure how well they would fare in stripping an AK 47 with dodgy hands, eyes, feet (?) etc.

World of Pain

Two things struck me of my client of two days ago, one amusing, the other not.
I attended a provincial with the aim of getting my client bail. This was going to be difficult given:
a. His antecedents, he was as they euphemistcally say "no stranger to the Court system", indeed he was able to provide me with some procedural information;
b. His admitted drug habit.
Nevertheless, I thought we have a go. His wife turned up, she was pleasant and a bit disappointed that he was in custody, the evidence against him was a bit thin. Fortunately he was produced by video link (so no trip to smelly cells).
He had the usual fixation with irrelevant trivia, i.e. "why have I not had any letters from my solicitor"? Answer "I am busy, you are locked up and there is no point writing to you".
In submissions it became aware that the most recent conviction of my client was for theft.
Of a mobile phone.
In a police station.
In fact the theft took place in the cell block.
He had been arrested, was ill (i.e. withdrawing from drugs) and was dissatisifed that the police had not arranged a doctor for him (i.e. given him enough drugs). I asked what happened
"I never meant to keep the phone, they would get me a doctor so I took the phone, went back to the cell, phoned my girlfriend to get a doctor...."
Glad to see the police are even more vigilant in police stations.
Oh, and after bail was refused I discovered why there were police in attendance:
"Yeah the reason he got x years was when the pensioner refused to tell him where the money was he threatened to cut her fingers off"

and so it goes

The darkness continues, my estranged and soon to be ex-wife cannot seem to understand why I am distant. Three clues maybe:
a. Asking for a divorce for several years;
b. Asking me to move out;
c. Phoning (twice) girlfriend (old) and informing her of what a lovely chap I am.
Funny that

Sunday, 5 October 2008


back in Sussex - odd weekend, more misery, all plans seem to have gone astray, if this carries on I will be compelled to join the Labour party, set against their current forturnes my life will seem to be going well

Friday, 3 October 2008

Dr Faustus - Dis - 9th circle

There is no truth in the rumour that the Supreme Leader of the United Kingdom was turned down by Mephistophilis in recent negotiations for a further term in office, apparently the offer of a number of souls was rejected on the basis that said souls were already in hell, notwithstanding the bodies remaining on earth...


Poor OJ,

spare a thought for poor OJ, who could have imagined that he would be convicted of 11 counts, ranging from conspiracy to a variety of Americanised charges which are essentially amount to false imprisonment, 13 years ago having been acquitted (got away with?) the killing of his wife.
No more golf for him, eh?

Wonderful life - Labour - Renewal

In any other world if you failed to disclose a material fact (such as a large loan) when applying for a mortgage, you would likely as not (especially today) be charged with criminal offence, which one,
Perhaps if there was a smell of assisting individuals in their immigration matters, which caused you to resign,
You would be unlikely to given a high powered European Union position,
and even less unlikely to given a Peerage and a Cabinet position,
However, never let it be said that Labour (new or otherwise) confirms to societal norms.


Today in the advocates room there was a discussion around recent cases, which include -
a. Iranian asylum seeker who claimed asylum on basis of necrophilia, which started a discussion which included;
b. A morgue worker who had pleaded guilty to having sex with corpse, apparently he was finally convicted on the evidence of - a. witness, b. DNA evidence (I bet that was fun getting the sample);
c. Man who had sex with a horse;
d. Man who had sex with a dog (his dog) twice, he was found guilty on the basis that he had recorded the event for posterity on his mobile phone;
e. Family who had sex with each other to celebrate daughters 16th birthday (I bet that was a day to remember)

and finally the mother of the family in e. when questioned by the Judge stated that she no longer had sex with her own sons, of this she was confident assertive and definite. She elaborated
"I no longer do it with my boys, I now do it with the dog, its quicker and less trouble"

Magistrates - Crown Court - New Rules for Defendants

Following news that 60% of all Defendants who plead not guilty at the Crown Court are found Not Guilty the Ministry of Justice has redefined the system for entering a plea in order to best serve the interests of Justice.
A Defendant upon arraignment will be asked to plead:
Guilty - whereupon the matter will move to sentencing
Enter no plea - whereupon the Court will enter a plea of guilty on his behalf - and then the matter will move to sentencing.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

abandon all hope who enter here


N Michaviel - Author

Rodrigo - Principe

Eva-Anita - Queen of Scanda

Miriam - Queen of Bithniya

Savonarola - Adviser to Rodrigo

Lorenzo - Friend of Rodrigo

Hannah - Lorenzo's wife

Giovanni - Suicidal Immobiliare

Katrina - Suicidal Immobiliare's wife

other characters to be added if required (or remembered)


Il libro d'V - Inferno

Molise - Pergatorio

cry freedom

having dragged myself to Court, I was met by a long line of unhappy appellants, witnesses and even more unhappy representatives (the appellants and witnesses were obviously not happy with the representatives, and the representatives were not happy with being there)

Following on from my success with the deaf man of Africa, I received a further brief from the solicitors, I hoped that it might be a proper appeal or failing that a case with some merit. It was another bail application.

The solicitor obviously thought that I weave some magic over the appellant's case. Oh dear.
While it is true that my ego informs me that on a good day I could get the devil out of hell, I was concerned that this client was not going to be sprung from detention.
Unfortunately for him he had been stopped upon entry as a student, and found to have two other passports from G. One had his photo, but not his name. The other was apparently his brother. He had no, and I mean no eplanation as to how they had found their way into his luggage.
His wife attended with his baby son (or at least I think it was his son, it was small and in neutral clothes, I am no expert on babies), and his "adopted" son (her other child). Both children had, what is termed in the trade, as a good pair of lungs. I was later to find out where they had acquired them.
The Judge received me pleasantly, the usher informed me that my previous appearance had been noted
"no one else talks to the Judges like that"
The appellant had a pleasant way of smiling and speaking words in a fashion that can only be described as random. It only seemed like he was making sense. It took a few minutes to realise that the sentences were a collection of words grouped together with various emotive hand gestures. This was probably not the best way of trying to explain how two passports found there way into his bag, indeed after 10 minutes the Judge informed me that he had ceased making notes as it was pointless as he had no idea what the clietn was talking about.
I tried.
"Did you know about the two passports in your bag?"
"Have you seen them before?"
long discoursive ramble (tautaulogous?)
"When were first aware that you had the two passports?"
"After customs found the dried fish I was bringing for my wife...
"Yes, fish, for my wife"
At this point every fibre in my body wanted to ask what type of fish it was, close to the line sail I but...
"You accept that you packed the fish but you do not accept that you packed the passports?"
"No the fish was in the big bag" (suitcase)(must have been a big fish)
My client was unsurprisingly refused bail and the fish was confiscated (it cannot have been a well fish, it had come from G. to Libya and then onto Gatwick in a suitcase)
I suggested to my client that it was perhaps folly to seek to import fish and fake passports on the same occasion as one was highly likely to lead to the others' discovery.
The Judge allowed his wife to enter the Court with his two children for them to have a (brief) reunion, the Judge taking the sensible step of retiring.
The wife promptly burst into tears, did not speak to her husband and then threw herself on the floor wailing loudly. One of the security guards (noted for the tact, charm and people skills) asked me if I could stop her crying. No, you want her to stop you stop her.
He did not she wailed on and was asked to leave and he went back to detention, probably in time for lunch, which was hopefully not seafood.

happy days

today did not exactly see me jumping out of bed with joy, no I arrived back at 130 am and had to be up again at 600am not much time to eat, so I did not. I had spent the evening trying (and failing) to get my car started. I did not succeed.

Yesterday was a bad day

to put it mildly.

My attempt to progress my friendship with an old friend finally, much to my chagrin and the relief of the people around me, foundered upon the rocks. She seemed to be overtly upset by my, divorcing me, wife phoning her and quizing her about what had gone on. A touch sensitive perharps on her behalf or rampant self will on mine. I fancy the latter is true. A pity as I was fairly attached to her (in the way that I am ever attached).
I wish her well, and also my wife, though at the time, I did not. A case of "A story of the death of a relationship (putative) foretold"

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

New Forest - horse

Breakfast tv has just shown an item wherein it is complained that the New Forest (not that new it was, not personally, planted by William the Bastard, or Conqueror as he undoubedtly preferred to be called, around 1066), is being overrun by cars.
A man has just said
"cars are causing all the problems, why cannt people ride horses in the New Forest?"
They do not have horses.
They cannot ride horses.
Would they have to drive to the horses?
Where would they put the cars (in a car park in the New Forest)

Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein F....

What is it about the Austrians.
First we have the NSDAP (National Socialists or Nazi's to history), whose leader was from Osterreich
Following the war, which to put it mildly, was not exactly a resounding success for Austria (nor the rest of the world), one might have thought they would not flirt so outrageously with the right, but
Then we had Jorg Haider and the Freedom Party, which formed part of the government, before falling (not quite so dramatically for either them or the world)
And now the 30% of the electorate have voted for a combination of the Freedom Party and another similar party.
Never let it be said that politics are about prinicples apparently the Socialists are considering forming an alliance with the far right

Not law - Not anything

The weather forecast this morning stated that there was ging to be a lot of rain, the presenter, however, in an attempt to put a gloss on her home country's inclement weather has just informed us that "it is not raining everywhere in Scotland"
No, I imagine that it is not raining inside buildings.

Monday, 29 September 2008


I write this, while sitting in a hotel in the Midlands, I am off to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal up north tomorrow.
Being clever I thought I would drive up here book into a cheapish hotel, and get to Court early.
There are lots of hotels in the West Midlands, it is a Monday night.
It is also the Conservative Party Conference.
There are no rooms.
And I have no papers for tomorrows hearing.
And it is 1.00am

mad litigant in person

I sit in a County Court just south of London, a very pleasant Middle England kind of town, all nice houses and Daily Mail readers.
I am for a bank today in a case that concerns a Mortgage (god my work is topical), and therefore I think that I would stand a better chance of success if I were representing Stalin, Franco or the ruler of Dis.
Fortunately for me, and I am sure I will not be using that word after the hearing, my client is a professional litigant. Not a lawyer mind, just an individual who likes to go to Court.
I read his claim, and then I read it again, and again, and it still made no sense, it did not disclose a "cause of action" (legal term for the basis of a claim), it was a gripe against his bank, which he seemed to view to offer him the best possible deal, in fact he was asking to be put on a mortgage rate that he had himself designed, I am serious.
The bank refused.
I guessed he made other claims, often.
I arrived in the Court and saw a grey haired gentleman with a battered man purse, and concluded, rightly, that he was the Claimant, he had what might be termed, the look of a LIP, a litigant in person, otherwise known as a lunatic.
I promptly decided to hide in a conference room and stare at my computer.
The usher came to take my name, I asked if the grey man was the Claimant
"He is mad isn't he?"
"Yes, he is here often, he lives with his mother and has sued lots of people, the Judges are investigating him"
The George Carman of the populace has sued, among others
A company that makes hair dye for men;
Several supermarkets;
Other banks;
The same bank, and anyone who comes his way.
"Has he sued the Court, or the Court staff?"
"No, but he has made official complaints.
This afternoon will, no doubt, be another life affirming experience.

Arte y Pico

Arte y Pico

I have been nominated, by Matt of its and am pleased to accept the Arte y Pico award.

I am grateful and a little surprised, notwithstanding my rampant, unrestrained and probably undeserved ego.

The criteria for the award are as follows.

1. You have to pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award in terms of creativity, design, interesting material, and general contributions to the blogger community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each winner has to show the award and give the name and link to the blog that has given him or her the award itself.

4. Each winner and each giver of the prize has to show the link of “Arte y pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. To show these rules.

I will therefore later today be searching out 5 recipients

Saturday, 27 September 2008


I have a cold, I wish I did not have a cold, but there is little I can do about it, I wonder if I caught it off one of my clients during the week, I hope not, if I did, a cold is better than some diseases I meet, which some appellants seem only to happy to share
Such as the appellant who attended Court looking slightly worse for wear...I thought he was ill, this did not take a great deal of thought as he seemed to be trying to bring up a lung he was coughing so hard. Also he was ashen coloured and thin, very thin. I could not see much of his face as it was usually in his hands or between his legs. I was worried that he had TB, he had a pretty thin case in any event and I was going to have to cross examine him extensively and I did not relish the prospect of 2 hours sitting opposite him dodging bits of his lung as he answered questions.
Tactlfully (well for me anyway) I spoke to his rep (not a lawyer, given his inadequate grasp of both the English language and Court procedure), and gently enquired after the health of his client.
"He coughs a fair bit, what?"
"Has he got TB?"
"No, he is fine"
"Really, he seems to be doing a passable impression of a sick person"
"No, he is ok"
"There is lots of TB where he comes from"
"No, he is ok"
"Have you asked him?"
I was going to ask the rep what his medical qualifications were, but was frightened he make take me seriously and try to explain, so I returned to my paper, and the rep back into the (small) conference room, where he remained for an hour with his client.
An hour later, our case began, and surprisingly the appellant was still alive, and still coughing (a lot). It was a pity that he could not lie as well as he could cough, as he soon succombed either to my fantastic forensic questioning, or his poor memory. I decided to put to him his account was a pack of lies (useful legal term, defendants and appellants seem to understand the question, but invariably disagree with it though), to which he responded
"The reason I cannot remember is I am not well"
"What's wrong with you?"
"I have got TB"
and he had.
He had lots of letters from various hospitals to support this.
What added to the oddness of the day, was that when I applied to adjourn the hearing on the basis that the appellant was dying (or could be) and I did not want to, the Judge said
At which point I informed the Court that either the appellant was going to leave the building or I was.
The appellant left the Court, and I went to hospital.

Friday, 26 September 2008

meee - life

Is it really 8 years since I embarked upon the relationship with my, soon to be, ex - wife. All very odd, still going to the same Courts, yet time has moved on, I find it all very odd and a bit disturbing. I am now older. I do not like being older. I do not look older (well not that much - apart from some gray hair). I do not act older. However, everyone else seems to have grown up a bit, and I am assailed from time to time with my own mortality. Usually when I am on my own (often now).
I cannot, however, find succour in the old "where did it all go wrong?" bleat, as on any sensible reading, the fault lies with me and my fondness for mood altering substances. Why do they call it substance misuse. I never mis used substances, if I misused the substances I would not have got into trouble, my problem was that I used them all too well.
Ah well, they are not being used or misused today, and that at the risk of sounding positive, is good.
And now, I will have another go at communicating with my client, who has miraculously been smiling at me for the last 30 minutes, wonder if he will be smiling after Court?


I sit in the waiting area of the court at the airport, looking at my client, looking is all I can do as my arabic is shall we say limited, well non-existant, and my client's English is not bad, he answers questions clearly and uses proper English words, unfortunately the questions he is answering and not the questions I am asking.
What disturbed me, was that it took 5 minutes of conversation before it became clear that he has no idea what I am talking about. When he showed me fourth phone bill instead of a photo of his (alleged) wife, I realised that either a. he was married to a phone, b. he did not understand me, inspite of his smiling face (probably a clue there that he had trouble understanding me) and assertions that he spoke "English half and half". I have never heard of a man marrying a phone, so guessed b. was right, obviously he speaks the other "half" of English, the one I don't speak.


Unpleasant call from wife (soon to be ex), who it must be said is not to blame in any way for the breakdown in the marriage, but more of that later - as given that this is supposedly about me, it appears a more appropriate title might be "things meee has seen", who started off by informing me that all of the problems were due to my personality. Intrigued I was, but before I could ask she happily informed me that I was a
"charismatic, self-obsessed, arrogant narcissist"
and I thought she did not like me.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

more meee

Gosh does anyone read this, other than me (over and over again) ... probably not, ah well must try to do better and tomorrow evening I might not miss my station (again)

more Algerian throat

throat still very sore, still not able to talk, but not such a problem as off to Siberia...and quiet

received odd email from soon to be ex, which is, as usual, a bit upsetting, though there is no point responding, not unless I want to be reminded just how poor a specimen of humanity I am (again). Very upset she is, but it is disturbing. Ah well it could be worse I could be in detention and be an Algerian...
The client before mine was such an Algerian, he had been in detention for 2 years waiting for a travel document from the Algerian Embassy. The Home Office said that he would have it soon, they have been saying it for over a year apparently. Unfortunately, for the Algerian, Algeria never issues travel documents, so he is in for a very long wait.
He is also going to be very lucky to get bail as:
a. he has no lawyer (presumably any money he has stolen is now spent);
b. he has criminal convictions (for theft);
c. he has used a number of different names (when stealing things).
He is not an atypical Algerian, Algerians only ever claim asylum when they have been caught stealing (usually shoplifting or robbery on or around Oxford Street (only the best shops /clients for them, no Lidl or Aldis...)). Oh and they all give false names, usually more than one, apparently its a condition of them being allowed in.
As an aside, as if this blog is not one enormous aside, how does anyone know if any asylum seeker or illegal entrant has claimed asylum in his real name or used a fake name as he is / was wanted in his own country for ............(insert offence of choice, anything from assault, through rape to genocide - in the grand old asylum and immigration courts no perversion is too low..I have heard it all from political opinions, through pedophilia ("my 12 year old boyfriend's father objected to the relationship" (Iran) to necrophilia ("I got caught taking the body...(literally) have placed it outside to warm it up in the sun" (Iran) - and all this before lunch).
The answer to the question "how do you know if they have given their real name is ?" is you don't. Sometimes, and again I jest not, the first time you become aware of it is when one of their victims (torture) sees their assailant in the United Kingdom pretending to be a victim as well.

Back to the Algerian. His application was to use a phrase "Doomed to fail". He struggled gamely on in a broken form of South London English - an odd accent for a Francophone. So odd that the Judge (keeping a straight face) asked him where he learnt English.
Given he had been in prison for 2 years 3 months and in the country for about 4 no prizes for guessing where.
The Judge plowed on and complimented the Applicant
"I commend you for your English it stands you in very good stead. When you go back to Algeria it will really help you"
What in the tourist industry?
In Algeria, in one of the all inclusive "shoot as many infidels for a fiver" resorts.

sore throat

On my way into exile last night I my throat started to hurt, and by the time that I had returned to the South Coast, it was as if I had been eating a meal made out of crushed lightbulbs. I was so tired following a hard day's work (or hard day's waiting, which is actually harder - trying to keep awake and not let the clients see me drifting off) that sleep came easily.
As usual, as a result of the pasting that I gave my nervous systems, I woke up at 5.00 (again), and got up, my throat now unable to remember what it was like to have skin.

My poor client today suffers from three serious complaints, the first is that he is deaf and bleeds, charming I know, from both ears, no doubt a unique party trick but not one that I would aspire to, nor did I take him up on his kind offer to show me the blood and puss covered tissue that he kept producing...
the second problem is that he has been working illegally on a French passport and I doubt that he is French,
finally his remaining problem was his lawyer, who had a strange habit of looking at me whilst pushing out his top lip, a feat I thought was not possible, and yet despite being disturbing was strangely compelling. Unfortunately, his lawyer, having mastered the sticky out top lip had not mastered anything useful, such as basic immigration law, or the English language.
None of the above helped him with, what was his third bail application in as many weeks.

At moment of writing I am this in the office of a solicitor surrounded by 4 Tamils and one small child who are all competing to see who can speak the loudest, normally I would win, but I have lost my voice, which given my liking for it, is very frustrating, so I am forced to sit and listen (and type), anyway hope their case has some merit, must read the papers later... back to the clients, as any of them seem to care that I am even here. (And I am the representative)

And my client got bail this morning, though I think it was more down to the Home Office only giving him two paracetamol tablets in 3 months for his bleeding (and) painful ears, and their refusal to let him see a doctor. Mind you I suppose he could always put the tablets in his ears, at least that might stop the bleeding.

I suppose shouting (my client was deaf) for two hours is a contributory factor to my lose of voice, ah well no sucking lemons later and no curry for me today

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


Now I am stuck in Court waiting, I have been waiting for a long time. Unfortunately the case I have has a number of fundamental problems, my client was deported from the United Kingdom for faciltating entrance to the United Kingdom for other illegals. No sooner was he removed than he availed himself of his own fine service and hey presto, he is back! Unfortunately, his application has the following problems:
a. He is subject to a deportation order (i.e. unless he gets it revoked he is not allowed back);
b. He has no right of appeal;
c. His solicitor knows less about the law than him;
d. He is a stranger to the truth.
a. - c. would be fatal on their own, d. merely means adds the icing to his already well cooked cake.
Yesterday's client, a 36 year old father, was unfortunate, he struggled to understand that the insurance document he had purchased in a pub over a game of pool (for £500.00) was false (I joke not). When asked what information the "insurance salesman" asked for he replied "my name".
I explained that this was not a trick question, and what else did he ask for, he repeated his name and then looked blank (a look to which I am not unusued to, maybe it is me after all).
"Well when you bought other insurance, what other information did they ask you for?"
"I have never bought insurance before"
"Ah, that would explain the other convictions then"
His plea of not guilty did not look like it would meet with success, however he was adamant that he thought the certificate was genuine.
It was then suggested to him that to succeed on this basis he would have to demonstrate to the Court a level of cognitive impairment such as would place him, intellectually, on a par with fish. When this was explained to him in simple terms, i.e. "you are going to have to show the Court you are, and I mean no disrespect by what I about to say, daft", he replied,
He asked what I meant and then said "ok, well I can't read or write"


Having experienced divorce both as a representative and personally, I can safely say that I prefer the former over the latter, as at least with the former I can switch off, not listen and make glib observations, in the latter I am the subject of the glib observations...

Monday, 22 September 2008

meee - facebook

It was with some concern that I noticed that Facebook had changed.

This change would appear to be without any reason or basis, it has resulted in great turmoil or at least a number of sites seeking to return to the good old days.

I wonder how many of these "traditionalists" are aware of the origin of Facebook.

Its origins are shrouded in some mystery and some believe that references can be found to it, or at the least alluded to it in Virgil and Homer, though upon closer examination these are, arguably without foundation.
It was rumoured that Basil II, the noted Byzantine Emperor aquired the label "Bulgar Slayer" on account of a Bulgarian monk's unflattering comments posted on a monastic circular, which could be construed as a pre-runner to the modern day facebook, unfortunately the monk, his circular and monastery were put to the sword so confirmation remains problematic.
The Knights Templars, or the Poor Knights of Jesus Christ of the Temple of Solomon of Jerusalem, were the first to identify and properly exploit this "social utility".
While the Knights Templars have long been known as the original western bankers, feared crusaders and (unfortunately for them) heretics, it is not so well archived that the relied upon their own version of this latter day phenomenon, and it has been posited that those behind the modern version borrowed, and in the process anglicised, the name, the Templars using the name "Il libro del viso".
Il libro del viso, as it was called started out detailing promotions and news within the order, it also contained a section where Knights could keep up with social affairs, albeit by way of a code contained within the text. This "utility" enabled the Knights to communicate within the Holy Land also with their lands in Europe. It underpinned the Order and ensurred its pre-eminence in Christian Europe.
It was the Knights decision to refuse to "confirm" or "accept" Phillip the Fair as a "friend" or "fra", notwithstanding numerous requests that lead to his decision to suppress the Order, and the burning of the Grand Master Jacques Molay. It is recorded that Jacques Molay condemned both Phillip the Fair and the Pope who had participated in the persecution to join him in the hereafter within a year of his (Molay's) death. Actually, he delaimed that they would have to die before he would add them to his friends, and so they did.
It was at this point that documented details of Il libro disappear from the world scene. You can see an original manuscript along with a list of "friends" in the da Vinci Code, where Tom Hanks is in the Scottish Church.
However, reality becomes mixed with myth and various bodies have sought to "claim" this monastical, yet powerful "social utility" and to harness it for themselves. It is said that you can obtain a qualification in it in the Freemasons.
One last mention of "Il libro", which has some academic foundation relates to Robert the Bruce's victory at the Battle of Bannockburn 1314. Researchers have found that in the year proceeding the battle a strange document was to be found summoning "ye knightes of christe" to a great cause, a reunion no less. The reunion was to take place on the same day and close to place of the Battle of Bannockburn and it was "ye knightes" on their way to their party, who saw Robert in trouble and charged out of the mist to ensure Scotland's independance.
Next week
The Indian Mutiny - a leading academic argues that it was not cakes or chappatis that preceeded the Mutiny, but a Hindooostani blog
The American War of Independance -Boston Tea Party or irresponsible social networking?


I am not sure what is hardest, staying awake during tedious questioning or pretending to be interested in defendants lives outside of the case. In respect of the former, I am happy to say I have only fallen asleep once and in respect of the latter never.

me and money

Barristers cannot (in general, though for the pendants - yes it is changing and you can sue in some circumstances) sue for their fees. An agreement between a barrister and solicitor is called an honorium (or something similiar - like professional conduct issues - I studied it once and promptly forgot it). This is because the legal profession is a profession populated by gentlemen, it is honestly, I mean who has ever had a bad word to say about a solicitor?)

In theory this means that as solicitors are honest people they promise to pay us the fees that they have taken from their clients on our behalf. In practice, some (a few of these loveable rogues being immigration solicitors) see this as an opportunity to collect what is in effect a bonus from the client.
Barristers therefore have to rely on reporting the solicitors to the Bar Council (a fearsome body - but who it strikes fear into is somewhat unclear, and will remain so for the time being). They then blacklist (if the money is not forthcoming) the solicitor, which as you can imagine strikes the fear of the divine into them prompting immediate payment with interest or not.
One "legal rep" I use the term loosely as he is probably not qualified in any professional sense, owes me substantial sums of money. Quite by chance I saw him today in Court, a brass neck he surely possesses as he seemed quite happy to see me (perhaps he thought I could do some more pro bono (for free) work). He seemed less than happy when I asked him why he had not paid me and had he deceived anyone else. He seemed unhappy, and his clients (standing behind him) seemed less than impressed, at which point he asked whether I was, as a lawyer, aware of the law in respect of defamation. When I stopped laughing, I reminded him for him to succeed in establishing that I have defamed him, he would need to establish that my actions "would make a right minded person think less of him" (close to the test if not the test).
Though I confess to a sneaking admiration for his boldness. After running up a massive bill to a variety of barristers, he arranged a conference with chambers to sort out a payment structure. The conference was to be held on a Friday at 3pm.
He, unsurprisingly, did not appear, his office was called and his whereabouts equired after...
"Where is Mr X?"
"Oh, he is in India"
"He is getting married".
I suppose he used the money for the reception

more today from me


Following, as they would say on Facebook a change in my "relationship status", said change being helped (to put it mildly) by my over fondness to things illicit and not illict but damaging in quantity, a period of exile was in order. But where? What would be appropriate for the penitent man?
A hovel - in London? And where in London? (Which is not one question but 2)
appealing for support, friends and work.
Intensely depressing personally and likely to lead back to the illicit...
A palazzo abroad - nice weather, food, a change of scenery?
Good, but no work, language barrier (but heh - does anyone understand me...) again the illicit is likely to beckon.
Sussex - far away, no friends, old
Yup, sussex, familiar, neat, Not London
And so Sussex it was, a veritable trip down memory lane, having lived there for 12 years or so.
The plan was a good plan, and like so many would have been perfect, if only everyone had done what was required of them, why do they persist in following their own wants, if only they did as I wished.
My house in Sussex had everything and was ideal, well not ideal, given the fact that there were tenants living there. Well, thinks I they will leave, it will be good for them. I will even give some money to assist in their smooth passage. And so I waited for the Estate Agent to give me the good news.
"Have you spoken to the tenants?"
"Good news"
"No, they do not want to move"
"She is going to have a baby in 2 weeks"
"And the problem is?"
And that was that, no amount of persuading, haranguing etc could trouble them to move, inconsiderate or what?
To add insult to injury, I was then asked whether I would prepared to grant them a longer lease or consider selling the property to them at the end of the lease...of course I would, and I will also offer to drive them around and change the baby...
Back to work...grounds of appeal for sex offender facing deportation - I cannot imagine why he lost he case.


September 2008

Domestic Violence

Contacted by solicitor to draft grounds on behalf of client who was complaining that they were the victim of domestic violence and sought to stay in UK on back of Home Office policy to allow people who are victims to stay.
Client was from G in Africa, client had a name which at first blush did not immediately indicate whether they were a man or woman, given the upsetting and unusual nature of case, I decided to research the grounds and was fairly impressed with them when they were sent off.
A month later, a conference was booked with the client, to whom I was going to show the utmost curtesy (as always) and also sympathy, given that she was likely to be a vulnerable woman. The first surprise was that he was a man. The second that he was a large, well built and very relaxed looking man.
Well perhaps, thinks I, that his wife was particularly unpleasant and violent and he, being the perfect gentleman, just took it.
I start by explaining my role and exhorting him to tell me the truth so "I can best represent you..." and then proceed to ask him where he met his wife, to be met with a blank stare. I assure him that it was not a trick question. He stares back. I inform him that most people can remember when they have met their wife. Blank look.
Desperation seeks in.
I try again, reaffirming that he needs to tell the truth and give me as much information as possible and on the papers before me, he has a good case, I also, imagining that he is in pain try a different tack...
"Why did you marry your wife?"
"To get a visa"
Now why I am sure that is the underlying reason behind a lot of marriages (there being a great number of young, tanned males married to large, pale and malnourished British women in the Immigration Courts), noone has ever made so bold as to say so expressly.
Shock...professional conduct issues rose before my eyes...
Maybe he has made a mistake (in telling me the truth perhaps), so one last effort...
"Have you slept with your wife?"
"Did she ever go to G. with you?"
"Right could you just wait outside"
Conference with (panicked) solicitor ensued, at which we both considered a. photos in the Sun, and b. a career change (Tescos).
Client called back in..
"Now thank you for telling me the truth Mr Y. I can no longer represent you"
"You have lied"
And with that he left.
Youth Court
The Youth Court is a particularly strange enviroment, while one is used to being insulted by the Crown, the Judge and despised by all and sundry, the one person who (usually and subject to bail and / or non-custodial sentence) is polite(ish) is the defendant. But not in the Youth Court.
Why it is called "Youth Court" is in itself a mystery. The defendants are not Youths, not in any conventional sense of the word. And it bears no resemblence to a Court, everyone sits and smiles at each other and the defendants are treated as if they are clients.
Also the defendants are generally there for one of two charges, burglary or robbery. And sometimes for having a knife.
Also they view their representative as "one of them", which is indeed not that far from the truth, I suppose we are adults.
What is amusing is that they are required to attend with an adult, either a parent, relative, social worker or some other poor unfortunate who cannot divest themselves of the task. Imagine, parents day at school with criminals (with attitude).
Sympathy, Empathy, Understanding are not respected or even desired, this I found to my cost. I have found that the best approach is rigorous honesty...
Such as when the Youth Offending Team (probation service for young people) lost a report causing everyone to wait hours.
"Whose fault is it we have to stay here, I cannt believe we have to wait, dont they know their job, its a liberty we have to wait, aint nothing that cannt be done, why do we have to wait if they cannt get their act together?"
"Because you keep going into peoples houses at night univited"
"I dont wanna wear a tag. It aint fair. Why have I got to wear one?"
"To stop you burglaring other houses"
"The photo of the knife shows it wiv the blade out, but it was folded when the police found it"
"You had the knife clipped inside your underpants"
"Would you have clipped it inside your underpants open?
"Thought not"
And so it goes, invariably this approach has the client tripping out of Court asking you to represent them on their (and there always is) next appearance, this is after they have asked you for a. money, b. cigarettes, c. a lift.