Saturday, 20 September 2008

Tony Blair on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Tony Blair recently appeared on what has to be my favourite thing on television at the moment: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I really can't get enough of this show: it is just so funny in its righteousness. I've watched the show religiously pretty much all through this year. Yep: I can remember the early primaries in the current election cycle and how they were 'documented' by the show. Basically, Stewart takes to town lots of different television commentators on political issues and demonstrates how ridiculous some of their ideas and views are. There is, obviously, a continuous thread of Bushisms which is always very funny.

I have seen Ricky Gervais appear a couple of times as guest on the show and both times it was such a treat - it really made me laugh my heart out. This week Tony Blair was to appear on the show and so again I thought it would be quite interesting. Maybe Stewart was really going to take him to town over his relationship with George Bush or maybe focus in particular on the war in Iraq. It turns out both of these issues were covered equally and the interview segment of the show was especially doubled to accommodate this. Having not heard Blair speak for such a long time, it was quite strange hearing his voice. He looked pretty fit - I think he's lost weight and got a bit of a tan. However, he was also pretty hesitant and not at all that engaging with Stewart like some of his other interviewees are. I guess that's because not many of his interviewees are former leaders of countries though. There was a great part in this interview where Blair says: 'No two democracies have ever fought each other'. Stewart points to Argentina and England, Blair manages to wiggle himself out of that one though.

I really recommend the show. Here is the Blair interview (its in two parts):

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

A decision made...

So I guess I haven’t done well in keeping by blawg up-to-date recently. For that, I apologise. Basically I have had a lot on my plate. Big decisions to make; different legal experiences to complete; and, of course, lots of enjoyable summer reading to do.

Regular readers of my blog will recall that I was a late applicant for a place on the BVC. For a long time, I simply believed that I wanted to be a commercial solicitor and blindly went about trying to secure a training contract. This Summer I did a vacation scheme at an international commercial law firm. I also completed my first mini-pupillage. I finally decided to take a year out. My intention is to commence the BVC in September 2009. I am not completely sure what I will do in the meantime. I will endeavour to complete more mini-pupillages. I should probably find some gainful employment somewhere which could either be a useful addition to my C.V. or, more likely, helpful in paying the BVC fees.

This was one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. Looking back now, I feel there was a period whilst at university where I should have been more forward-thinking like many of my peers. When you consider how much law students at the same institution talk amongst themselves about their future career plans, it is quite shocking how I have been able to delay giving even a small amount of thought to what I want to do after university. I ask you to forget though, dearest blogreader, how late I came to the party and instead to rejoice in the fact that I turned up at all.

I should add a note of appreciation for some of the other bloggers whose blogs have been useful in helping me come to this decision. Through reading your blogs and understanding the difficult journey to becoming a barrister has been very, very helpful. Its not just the particular details of what it is you are doing and how you feel about it that has been helpful, it’s the fact that you chose to pursue a career in a profession that is notoriously difficult to enter into. As someone who blindly accepted a potential legal career as a commercial solicitor because of the obvious perks and supposedly glamorous lifestyle, I do value the determination and passion that someone who is looking for a career as a barrister needs. Beyond any other means, it has been through reading many of your blogs (especially those listed down the side of this blog) that I begun to understand this.

Actual experience of the different sides of the profession has been very helpful too. In short, I absolutely hated the two week vacation placement that I did at a commercial law firm. In contrast, I wholeheartedly enjoyed the time that I spent on a mini-pupillage. I loved every minute of the time I spent at chambers and in different courts I visited. At the end of the vacation scheme I was on, a fellow student asked me:

“So, Lackie, what was your favourite part of the scheme?”
I thought about some of the fantastic individuals I had met at the firm: the partners and associates who did their best to involve me in the deals they were working on and the trainee solicitors who went out of their way to ensure that I enjoyed the two weeks I spent at the firm.
After thinking for a while, I replied:
“Well, I thought visiting a Court on Monday to observe that commercial case and have a chat with a Judge in his chambers was the highlight. How about yourself?”

What can I say? I told the truth and really that was when I realised that I’d finally found something I felt good pursuing. A career as a barrister, that is.