A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests
Derek Walker, of Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire, writes in today’s Daily Telegraph:
‘SIR – Why don’t slugs eat weeds?’
It’s a rather brief letter to the editor, but nonetheless, profound. It would surely be much more logical and increase the total sum of happiness if slugs adopted a weed only diet. Yet they don’t (or not exclusively anyway – I’m hitting the limit of my gardening expertise). So we find ourselves battling slugs, killing a few here and there and they are missing out on being loved and encouraged to munch our unwelcome sprouting greenery. Madness. In a week in which we saw the jaw-dropping spectacle of Brett Kavanaugh’s statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, I think we’re all having a bit of a Derek Walker moment.
The FBI investigation of the latest Kavanaugh claims is to be welcomed but it won’t come to any conclusions. We can however come to some conclusions based on his performance on Thursday. The world was glued to the Senate hearings. Kavanaugh managed to blend outrage (which some may sympathise with) with arrogance, a sense of entitlement, astonishing politicised views, an inability to view issues in a non-partisan way, and a temperament better suited to shooting the breeze over a few beers (Kavanaugh was keen to tell us all that he likes beer), than for sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States. He’s clearly not fit for office. Yet, Republicans persist with a nomination for fear that the electorate will give them a kicking come November and they might not get their pick in a few months time. And so, like the slugs reluctance to embrace a weed-only diet, the madness persists.
My Thursday writing day did not go as well as planned thanks to becoming gripped by the testimony of Dr Ford, and then the statement from Kavanaugh. Like many UK-based law academics and lawyers on twitter, I found myself grateful for our rather different system.
I have a new television! This counts as major excitement when you’re 38 (as I stare down the barrel at the big 4-0 I’m increasingly conscious of my age), but I also found my joy quickly overcome by the frustration that everything seems as if it’s been shot on a camcorder. It looks like you’re on set with the cast. Watching Solo last night, it resembled some ‘cheap’ internet fan broadcast. A quick internet search showed this is the new norm. I’ll be hankering for the return of cassettes next. It’s a slippery slope (or as a typo-rich earlier version of this blog said, a ‘slipper slope’).
It was freshers week at work, and although the campus was much busier (which always gladdens the heart) I am in that horrid situation of weirdly being removed from it all. I’m instead ‘liberated’ to do research, think great thoughts, and in my role, attend endless meetings and be part of the management. This week was meeting heavy. One discussion about the preparations for freshers was interrupted by the noise of workers fitting a new sign outside the building. It had a couple of letters missing which made it rather reminiscent of Reggie Perrin and Sunshine Desserts, or a Theresa May speech. The letters are thankfully now all in place, which I guess counts as success.
My teaching kicks off next week and I can’t wait to be talking about public law with our students. For years constitutional law was seen as the ‘concept heavy’ and impractical subject. In the age of Brexit, it’s now all a bit too relevant. Crikey, we might have to all munch those weeds after March 2019.