Gavin Drake

Journalist

Why the Cliff Richard privacy judgment is not a threat to the freedom of the press

The head of news at the BBC, Fran Unsworth, has said that the judgment “creates a significant shift against press freedom.” No. It doesn’t.

How many times can a man get away with killing his wife and girlfriends?

In 1981 Theodore Johnson killed his wife, Yvonne by hitting her over the head with a vase before pushing her off the balcony of their flat in Wolverhampton. He claimed manslaughter by provocation, saying that his wife wouldn’t let him go to church because he…

Game over for Julian Assange’s sexual offence charges? Perhaps not!

UPDATE (9 September 2015): the Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice have been in contact with me to say that the provisions of Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 only apply to crimes committed against people aged under 18. This means…

The legality of invoicing a child for not turning up to a birthday party

A Twitter conversation between a BBC and ITV hack over the threat of court action for non-payment of a birthday party no-show invoice caught my attention. BBC Newsnight’s Jess Brammar wrote “PM [that’s Radio Four’s PM programme, not the Prime Minister] have just trailed a BBC legal…

A journalist with a police caution for domestic violence describes Ched Evans opponents as “morons”

Writing in the week’s Spectator (cover date 10 January 2015, but online now), the columnist Rod Liddle describes opponents of Ched Evans as “morons”. He starts his column with an attack on pseudonymous campaigner Jean Hatchet, saying that her name is “almost certainly too good to…

There ain’t nothing like a dame for tomorrow’s gay knights

It is custom and tradition that the wives of knights are called ladies. It is an honorary title: if your husband is a Sir, then you can be called a lady. And if your husband has a peerage – whether or not it is a…

Devolution and constitutional reform: Is it time to restore the Kingdoms?

Much has been said in the aftermath of Scotland’s “No” to independence about ensuring that the English get a fair deal in any further devolution package. But most of what has been said has ignored the basic question about what our democratic institutions are for….

Abu Qatada’s fair trial

Commentators have been quick to denounce the Home Secretary Theresa May following the aquittal of Abu Qatada on terrorism charges in Jordan. Media silk John Cooper  was one of them, asking on Twitter: “Will Theresa “3 Silk” May comment on the millions of taxpayers money…

Police Interceptors highlights mockery of justice

Watching the fly-on-the-wall documentary Police Intercepters on 5* tonight, it’s impossible not to think that the English justice system is not fit for purpose. In one case, a couple were caught cultivating cannabis in their loft with a full hydroponic kit – lighting, insulation, the…

Ex-gay ad may prove embarrassing to London Mayor Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson may yet come to regret getting involved in the decision to pull an advert for the “ex-gay” group the Core Issues Trust after the Court of Appeal today ruled that he should be ordered to give evidence about his role in…

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© Gavin Drake 2017