Post hoc ergo prompter hoc


A wonderful thing has happened. Law and Justice have co-incided to the shattering relief of the innocent.

In 1999 Post Office, as we must call it, installed flawed computer software from Fujitsu called Horizon. It made sub-postmasters & -mistresses appear to be defrauding the company through false accounting. Many were prosecuted and jailed. More had their lives stripped of dignity. All will carry the damage for life. On Friday, the Appeal of 39 (from 335) found their convictions to be “an affront to the public conscience” and overturned them. It was professional negligence on an obliterating scale.

We love guddling new words. The Meaning of Liff was the formal accumulation of what millions of us lacked the energy or where-withal to do, namely compile a volume of words with illustrious, riotously fresh&frisky definitions. Written by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, it was published in 1983 as ‘a humorous dictionary of toponymy and etymology’.

Well, yesterday we were delivered of a new compound noun whose grave meaning, alas, is anything but joy-padded enginuity. Rather, it compasses

keeping silent when validating acknowledgement is professionally & empathically required

Protected by the Church and the Cabinet Office, there is a living (sic) embodiment of that description captured above whose compound noun (… or adverb, mebbie?) is


Let us all hope that in virtue of this, no such moral bankruptcy will suffocate others’ lives again.

Nick Wallis, journalist&broadcaster has done heroic work revealing this catastrophic episode, making an astounding contribution to national life through his series of radio programmes, The Great Post Office Trial. Dogged, fearless: remarkable investigative journalism.

☆ To be clear, emotional intelligence demands the courage to be straightforward with the world. Clarity of communication dissolves the need for hiding. When possessed of that resilience, all is brought into the light. Life and Liff : both easier as a result.

Not just a Jungle VIP


Whom among us hasn’t fed fruit to a child?

A scientist on the radio this morning carefully explained why animals in general and primates in particular must be used in development of pharmaceuticals. His calm reassurance almost had me persuaded; it was just the words which clanged.

While vivisection deserves a balanced argument for which I am perfectly ill-qualified, it seems a pertinent moment to think about our treatment of creatures.

Catholicism mandated animals lack a soul; from which cascaded centuries of denial of dignity to most … OK, practically all animals.

If the essential quality of life is LIFE, an unstoppable, irrepressible force which barges its way into existence, then the notion it grades itself depending on the casing it inhabits seems far-fetched. Life just wants to live.

It is true, alas, I’ll never grasp the enormity of universe. Equally, I shall never be able to catch the trace of an aroma belonging to a particular thing left weeks since. Nor see in the dark, nor know a Tsunami qua earth event is on its way. Neither communicate through thousands of miles of ocean nor at sub-sonic level. Nor wheel n deal to reap from my institution millions before it goes under. My sentience lacks those sophistications.

That every living creature has innate or instinctive prowess pertinent to its species is a plain fact. Sense of fear and pain are separate from intellect. Is this not a ready indication that every living creature possesses such heightened sensitivities as to make living its life balanced and genial?

The life force or mind or soul or faculty by which we know we’re alive, this thing enshrines the integrity and dignity of its owner allowing each to reach the very summit of its limitations. [Further reading]

It seems inconceivable, therefore, that subjecting an animal to wild, fierce torture can be excused as an expedience for medical research. Strapping a monkey to a chair and placing electrodes onto its brain is exactly akin to strapping a child to a chair and placing electrodes onto its brain. Both will feel the pain and fear, neither will comprehend the cruelty.

Another day, Enola Gay


Don’t they look all shiny and clean?

Brace yourself. We said in the last Blogos we’d return to the puzzling politics of box-ticking.

Did you listen to the Commons debate on Renewal of Trident? What think? What did you think of the paper-thin – I’m talking Rizler – arguments put forward to justify this monstrous waste?

Laying waste to humanity, uniquely achievable through use of nuclear weapons, doesn’t miss the point of Deterrents. But producing their next generation of Deterrent does seem to miss the point of humanity.

The fizzing indignation sentient voters experience in light of the intellectual vacuity which won the day is as nothing to the dismay with which our next generation will view our actions.

Burdening them with such a twentieth century legacy is as laudable as giving expectant mothers Thalidomide long after its effects were understood.


Hiroshima after Enola Gay’s shiny contribution