Thursday 24 May 2012

Jacobitical Curmudgeon

You might have formed the impression from this Blog that in my spare time I take exercise, visit the theatre, or benefit from reading an improving book. Well, yes, that is part of the truth but I also spend a lot of time in less edifying relaxation such as lolling on the sofa chuckling at repeats of The Inbetweeners, that disturbingly accurate portrayal of male adolescence.

From that perspective I am awestruck with admiration for those people, including many Hafal staff, who hold down a job and then study hard in their spare time for additional qualifications. One such is Hafal Deputy Chief Executive Alun Thomas who has just graduated with a degree in law from the Open University.

Alun is in a long tradition of distinguished Welsh jurists from Hywel Dda onwards. Indeed his implacable gaze in the graduation portrait reminds me forcibly of one predecessor in that tradition, namely Judge Jeffreys, James II's legal enforcer who came from Wrexham. The "Hanging Judge", as he was known, conducted the Bloody Assizes in which the freedom-fighters (as the Protestant tradition would have them) of the Monmouth Rebellion were tried and routinely executed. Jeffreys went to my school as it happens where it must be assumed that any innate compassion and humanity in the man was squeezed out.

Like Alun Jeffreys was a good scholar with a sound knowledge of the law. And, also like Alun, he didn't waste any time in conducting his professional duties, on one occasion trying and sentencing 144 people to death in just two days!

Mr Alun Thomas - An Apology

This is a statement from the defendants in re Thomas versus Bill's Blog et al at the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division). Bill's Blog and its distributors and publishers Google Blogspot Ltd may have inadvertently given the impression that Mr Alun Thomas in some wise or manner could resemble or otherwise share characteristics with the late George Jeffreys 1st Baron of Wem. We wish to make it known without qualification and in full knowledge of all the facts in this matter that we accept unambiguously that Mr Thomas is in fact a liberal, fair-minded professional of the utmost probity and good character who in no possible way whatsoever (excepting the implacable gaze) could bare the remotest comparison with the Jacobitical and curmudgeonly former Lord Chancellor. In particular we accept that Mr Thomas would never emulate the said Judge by using the instruments of the law to disproportionately oppress his fellow citizens.

(Alun, hope this is enough for you to withdraw the superinjunction, criminal libel charge, and claim for exemplary damages?)