Why Do I Blog?

Where to start?

I became a lawyer in 1988. Since then, and unlike many in the profession, I have maintained an interest in the law and even, on occasion, have been known to read legal cases for other than professional reasons. It does not quite make me unique in Scotland, though it sometimes seems that way!

I also like to talk about the law and recall a drive to Fort William with my wife where I spent the entire journey explaining the significance in jurisprudence of the American and Scandinavian Legal Realists.

In 2010, as a result of a combination of ill-health, financial pressure and stresses of the job, all of which worked together to deepen the problems, I stopped working and my firm closed. A grossly inaccurate newspaper story about me, on a low news day, did not help. I have expressed apologies many times for the mistakes I made, for what that is worth.

My lapses led to disciplinary action by my profession, and that, combined with bankruptcy, left me at a very low ebb.

My wonderful wife, fantastic daughters, family and friends however enabled me to climb out of the hole I was in.

I am hugely grateful to the Hamilton Citizens Advice Bureau and to the Hamilton In Court Advisor. Since mid 2011 I have spent many days volunteering in the CAB and at the court, where my experience was put, I hope, to good use. I have had the experience of countless Sheriff Court appearances as a Lay Representative, combined with conducting an appeal before the Sheriff Principal and even appearing at the Inner House of the Court of Session as a Lay Rep too!

I have now started work in a legal practice again, and am again practising as a solicitor.

I started this blog in 2011 simply because my wife got fed up listening to me waffle on about legal things, or Doctor Who, or baseball, or Douglas Adams and I thought I could share my deep thoughts (or meaningless guff) with the wider world.

My footballing loyalties lie at Cliftonhill, where the mighty Albion Rovers play. I admit to having attended Parkhead to watch Celtic on occasion. I can honestly say that, on every visit, I have been there because of the person I have been accompanying – whether friend or family.

My blog focused in 2011 on Tommy Sheridan’s case

and the anti-sectarian bill.

However the legal travails of Rangers FC and the remarkable Craig Whyte came to occupy much of my time, as it provided a case study in almost every single aspect of the law.

I have since also written extensively about the Scottish Businessman of the Year 2012 – Charles Green.

Green

I can be found on twitter at – @Paulmcc12

And on email at scotslawthoughts AT aol  DOT com (Readers will, I hope, realise how to type the address. Doing it this way seems to prevent spam emails being received, apparently)

Since starting the blog, I have had the privilege of having my ramblings appear on some other websites.

I therefore am very grateful to Scotzine, to Labourhame, to The Firm Magazine and to the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland for publishing pieces by me.

I also had the privilege of being asked to speak to the Scottish Press Club last summer, to describe the experiences of being a blogger caught up in a remarkable news story.

Through the blog I have had the pleasure of meeting many remarkable people – some face to face and some electronically. I still get encouraging messages from some Rangers fans, who seem to credit me with influence far beyond what it actually is. So much so that I even merited threats of legal action from Rangers itself, although this was settled amicably, quickly and fairly after discussions with some very civilised and skilled solicitors for the football club.

It becomes almost like a drug – if I go a day or two without blogging, there is an itch which needs scratched, and that is done by writing.

I have no idea how many hundreds of thousands of words I have written so far, but I hope there are many more to come.

More importantly, I am proud that an online community has developed where issues can be discussed, and where, on almost every topic, the commenters take on and develop arguments I have suggested, frequently enlightening me, and regularly amusing me.

Last update – 22nd February 2013

49 responses to “Why Do I Blog?

  1. Michael

    Hi Paul,

    What is your view (leave your Labour Party hat at the door) on Mark Hirst’s blog (http://www.holyroodconfessions.blogspot.com/) ? Do you think this is a good strategy he is following when he has an on-going unfair dismissal case? I think it is quite interesting that he is apparently happy to show his cards. What do you think? Is there a blog in this for you?

    On a personal note I find it hilarious.

    • Michael,

      Despite posting on Labourhame, I don’t have a Labour hat!

      I saw Mr Hirst’s blog today for the first time, as I am sure many did.

      My view always was that you don’t want lots of press coverage in a run up to a case, for many reasons, but that some client s are insistent!

      Publicity can be a high risk strategy indeed. I have a few thoughts re the Employment Tribunal process that I might hone over the next couple of days, but till then we can thank Mr Hirst for his services to newspaper publishers and bloggers by giving them something to write!

  2. iain mcg

    Paul,

    I have looked at this site before but have never stayed.
    After the c**p u were subjected to elsewhere tonight, (no fault of the host on the one I was on) I felt the need to post and say “god’s strength” and keep on doing what you are doing.

    Iain

  3. macon rouge

    Paul,
    As I posted somewhere before, I got into your blog to gen up on Sots law, just before the football and sectarianism stuff came to prominence.
    Since then I have posted on both this site and RTC’s, depending on the gist of topics.
    I tend to drop in and out of RTC, as sometimes it is a bit too cliquish for my liking and it does degenerate to the level of the usual football email site, without the remedial broad humour.
    I was surprised and disappointed when I checked in this afternoon to see the later comments, although many were in support of you of course. And, to be honest, I couldn’t be arsed to check the earlier ones.

    best wishes,

  4. To those who may care and I think and hope there are some out there, Paul’s stuff on Scots Law is very good. His expose of Esto Law Ltd was instrumental in its demise today. I think Paul, there maybe more blogging on that one to come as Esto’s two days’ of trade have raised unprecedented questions of (dis)honour and ‘inside trading’ in Scots Law.

    • You know, i was thinking of this today and i must say the word ‘instrumental’ came to my mind also. Obviously coming from a source such as this cements the idea in my own mind.

      I hope there is more to come on this issue as it was something that i read with great great interest. ;)

  5. bill brown

    the anti sectarian bill headine.. and the pic you use part of your ‘neutral’ stand on these issues,lol.

  6. Al

    Another Rangers obsessed Celtic fan I see! Albion Rovers my arse.

    • Thank you Al for the contribution.

      You are incorrect re what you say.

      In any event, does that detract from what I say? Did I invent Sheriff Ross’ criticism of Mr Whyte, for example?

      If Rangers fans, as I assume you are, knew all about Mr Whyte prior to the takeover, would you have welcomed him?

      • Al

        You’ve more blogs about Rangers than everything else in the universe combined going by the above list. Are you really an Albion Rovers fan? C’mon, neither be ashamed nor afraid to admit where your footballing sympathies lie!

        Rangers, today, are certainly worth a fair bit of coverage but surely this team and it’s travails don’t take up half your life. They don’t even take up half of mine and I’m a Rangers fan!

    • Joseph

      Hi Al

      Please don’t rush in with your comments. You are obviously not taking in what has been reported on this site. You are jumping to conclusions too quickly and not reading into the nitty gritty on what is on offer. Frankly, this site is educational – I am learning new things every day. Yes I am a Celtic fan, but I am not gloating over what is happening to Rangers. It is a tragedy the way matters are unfolding, and my heart goes out to all those decent fans who deserve better that this.

  7. The good and the great

    Paul – ive posted on RTC but comment is awaiting moderation. Re: Sky Contract: Rangers have defaulted on said Contract – are Sky not creditors?

  8. Joseph

    Re the article on Rangers Day 2 which stated:
    Paragraph 45 of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986
    “Under Paragraph 45, when a company is in administration, all business documents issued by the company and the company website must specify that the company is in administration and who the administrators are. It is an offence by the administrators, officers of the company and the company not to do so.”
    I checked the website yesterday (Feb 16) and there was still no mention of the administrators. Intrigued by this I emailed Companies House for an explanation. The following is the reply:

    THE RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB PLC – SC004276
    According to company records the Appointment of Administrator form has not yet been registered. Therefore there are no details on file yet of who has been appointed as Administrator.
    Regards

    HELEN MORGAN,
    Liquidation Section,
    Tel: 029 20380 905,
    Fax: 029 2038 0515.

    Any thoughts anybody?

  9. watchwhatyouaresaying

    Loving this site – keep up the good work.

    I’m studying law at the moment with a real passion for Scottish independence. For anyone interested in Public Law this is a fantastic time to be alive.

    ps really enjoyed the recent comments and insight on RFC. I will need to come back later to digest some more re Tommy Sherridan case, for example.

  10. Joseph

    30.Remember remember the 5th of November

    Or­ Thereabouts

    Found this on a website. If true, this should be the final nail in the Ibrox coffin.
    “The poppy campaign in November when the Rangers’­ players wore poppies and the faithful went wild buying­ poppy merchandise. Well the proceeds were NEVER paid to­ the poppy campaign and they were added to the list of­ creditors on Friday”!

  11. Joseph

    Hi Paul
    Where are you? Hope all is well. Missing your words of wisdom. Keeping an eye on the BBC update – what a pantomime, what a farce, all cutting each other’s throats. And all fo money – the big evil. A great insight to human nature!

  12. Joseph

    PS This example on how NOT to live should be taught in our classrooms so that we groom our young to become better citizens!

  13. Joseph

    PPS It’s a brillaint case study!

  14. Don

    Hello Paul, I’m a first time visitor to this site today and ‘am already hooked. The subject matter together with the delightful manner in which you have set it out, I find both edifying and compelling. I now have a more enlightened appreciation as to why I haven’t seen you in quite a while, given the volume and wide ranging nature of your internet sojourn or perhaps opuses might be more appropriate description. Seriously, keep up supplying this great stuff.

    • ian millen

      lost for words, another sad person who could easily be a politctian .you talk as if you know what you are speaking about and say nothing constructive , very sad person

  15. J Watt

    Totally agree with you about the Daily Mail – but find the readers’ comments after to be deeply disturbing.

    Minor point, can you change ‘am’ in the first paragraph to ”I’m”. It just doesn’t read well at all

    All the best

    JW

  16. Paul
    As an Airdrie exile now living in New Jersey, I was wondering if a local litigious tendency can bring the Govan Saga to a hard stop.
    Let’s say Doncaster, Duff and Phelps gets their way and a Newco is parachuted into the SPL to great acclaim from their conscience less followers and the Scottish media. (One and the same I think)
    Can Celtic and another side, say Dunfermline and or Hibs, or maybe Dundee take a class action suit preventing the SFA from granting a licence when many of their published rules have patently been broken? eg audited accounts not filed on time, multiple player contracts etc.
    Could or would a judge grant an injunction to prevent Rangers playing in the SPL or the SPL releasing a fixture list with Rangers included?

    Enjoy reading your lengthy analyses late at night. And NO they don’t help me to sleep.

    Thanks and best wishes from the Garden State

    RonnieD

  17. Brendan Brazil

    I just want to say how much I admire your work.

    I never mid a piece…..Especially the current Rangers (IA) fiasco!!!

    Have a good day and a nice weekend.

    God Bless,
    Brendan

  18. jono

    As a footballing neutral (typically only follow newly promoted teams and any scottish team’s in europe) I must say that your commentary on the Rangers crisis is very refreshing when compared to the very biggotted, and very biased, set of views typically seen on the newspapers comments sections following each episode in the saga. Keep up the good work (and commenter’s, also keep up the good work). Some excellent points and debate on this site.

  19. Embry O'Reilly

    Hi Paul,
    first time visitor excellent stuff blogging is the future obviously a tabloid antidote keep it up!

  20. Gary

    Paul, I love your site, better than the DR and DM….

    Can you help by answering the following

    One of your early posts gave a great explanation of how Rangers FC (being the Football club) still exists, and is a separate entity from that of Rangers FC PLC ( the now liquidated financial company ) .. You also stated that Rangers history remains intact.. However you seem to go back on this information on new posts.. So whats it to be???

    According to mr Green Rangers FC is still Rangers FC, Steve Gibson chairman of Middlesbrough FC made a statement agreeing with MR Green is the same situation happened to Middlesbrough in 1986, and Mr Gibson changed the name of his financial company to Middlesbrough FAC.. But has since then changed it to MFC.. There history dating back to the 1800 remains intact..

    As Rangers FC still exist then they will be required to take punishment for the dual contracts( breach of SFA rules ) and for going into administration..

    Any way you can share your random thoughts on .. Is Rangers FC still Rangers FC , will their next year of history be 141 years?
    Can you give explanation as to why if Rangers FC still exists why do they need to Register with the SFA.. It’s what the fans want to know.
    Also, can you explain, if rangers are found to be the rangers of then… So no change, would they then only be banned from Europe for one year or would they still be banned for 3 years, if so why ?….

    Be grateful if you could share your lawful knowledge on it!

  21. Gary

    Still no response……

  22. redetin

    Paul,
    You are now one of my first “go to” websites in the morning.
    First games I went to were at Cliftonhill, having been introduced to the stadium by one of my pals who showed me where to climb the wall. It was not too far a walk fae my home in Dunbeth Rd. I always get to see the Rovers when they come up to the N-E where I now live. I came down to Cliftonhill for the last scheduled game of the season against Stirling Albion. Keep up the good work. How about doing a posting on the state of Albion Rovers?
    Regards,
    James

  23. Peter

    Paul
    I really appreciate all your efforts highlighting the logical and legal issues around the Sevco / Ranger kerfuffle.
    For me, as an Englishman, the absence of investigative journalists and indignant politicians adds an extra dimension to the intrigue – and probably signals much deeper issues that don’t bode well for an independent Scotland.
    Anyway, the adults will arrive eventually (HMRC, BDO, SFO) and call time on this whole pantomime. As we’ve already seen petty SFA/SPL/SFA concerns count for nothing under the scrutiny of the law.
    In the meantime I think the fans will vote with their feet and hard-earned cash.
    Keep up the great work.

  24. Tom

    Great blog. Keep up the good work.

  25. Ray

    Hi Paul,

    Have you any idea why the SFL website are allowed to publish OldCo Rangers history as belonging to NewCo? I emailed the SFL and the response I got was nonsensical, to be kind to it. (Happy to forward on…)

    Any potential NewCo investors (once the IPO is launched) could be fooled into thinking that NewCo was a long established, stable proposition with an illustrious history and therefore a safe bet by looking at the league governing body website….when the exact opposite is the case!

    Any thoughts?

    Ray

  26. Aidan Kelly

    Wee spelling mistake in the about me section.
    ” but thnaks to the involvement of the Press Complaints”

  27. John Callachan

    Hi Paul,
    posted very rarely, but read enough to know your the man to expain this to me.
    I understood (perhaps erroneously) that the company No. SC004276 were in the process of being liquidated, however I find this

    The Rangers Football Club P.L.C. \ RFC 2012 P.L.C. SC004267 31\7\2012
    under the heading
    A1 Certificate of Incorporation – New Companies
    here
    http://www.edinburgh-gazette.co.uk/issues/27132/supplements/8

    How can a new company claim the old number

  28. Robert Smith

    Good stuff Paul,how about doing something stating your thoughts on the parallels between Penn State college football team and Celtic and the different punishments handed to each for the same cover up.Bob

    • Pennsylvania State University

      I will repeat again what I have posted a number of times.

      “Please feel free to write a piece regarding this, if you wish, and if I am happy to put it on site, then I will. However, it’s my site, and I will post what I want to.

      As my comment said, I think the use of this allegation in some way to mitigate RFC’s alleged guilt re totally unrelated matters, is a gross dis-service, and indeed an insult, to the victims of the crimes in question.

      I fail to see what relevance the matter has to the present issues facing the Rangers FC.

      As I said, write a piece if you want, and even if I do not post it, then I am sure there are websites which would.”

      • Robert Smith

        My post has nothing to do with Rangers and I was under the impression that your site was for any important topic within Scottish football and with your knowledge and background I would have liked your opinion on the way the governing sport bodies dealt with both cases,or is your site just another for the Rangers obsessed.

        • Thank you Robert.

          You must not have seen my comments on previous occasions regarding this matter. Various American publications have covered Mr Sandusky’s case and the Freeh Report, with all of the arguments about its alleged one-sidedness at far greater length and in far more detail than I ever could.

          As regards crimes committed by individuals at Celtic Boys Club many years ago, as I have said, I am sure there are many with greater knowledge of what happened or of what has been published.

          I do not see the value in a comparative study of the actions of the governing body of Scottish football in the 80′s or 90′s with the actions of the NCAA in 2012.

          Of course there may be such a value and, as I have said a number of times, if someone wants to write a piece and email it to me, then I will be happy to consider posting it.

          My reference to Rangers comes from the fact that the only people who seem to bring up this “comparison” are fans of the Ibrox team, and they do so with great regularity.

          Is my site “just another for the Rangers obsessed”? I do not think so. You or other readers might think differently.

          Paul

  29. J. Finlayson

    Paul
    Re the ‘Big Tax Case’, to paraphrase Kenneth Wolstenholme’s famous phrase – “They think it’s all over. It is now! It’s 2-1 for Rangers!”
    Give up. Move on. Wait for the writs to start flying about.

  30. cmh64

    Paul
    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the HMV situation and their decision not to honour vouchers. At what point do companies have to stop selling vouchers if they think they may not be able to honour them? Are there parallels with football season ticket holders for a club which goes into administration?

  31. Mr O'Reilly

    Your wife has must have the patience of a saint .

    Just reading about the drive to Fort William with your wife, where you spent the entire journey with you explaining the significance in jurisprudence of the American and Scandinavian Legal Realists.

    Normally a good case for divorce right there, so i’d be very surprised if she didn’t file for it..

    It appears that the only good thing in your life is Celtic Fc.
    Could you please not attach your name to our wonderful institution ,as you do more damage than anything.

  32. portpower

    I envy a learned person. My children are to become their own thinkers. Life is them.
    Thankyou Paul. You`ve woke me……………………

  33. Fisiani

    is the blog really what you want? so many trolls diverting to themes unrelated to the post followed by whataboutery and tit for tat abuse. there are a few erudite contributors like ecojon whose words are worth reading but so so much dross.

  34. prayingforoneday

    Please accept this “The Versatile Blogger Award”
    http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/the-versatile-blogger-award-4/
    Please pass it in. If you don’t do awards PLEASE pass it onto a friend.
    Thank you, Shaun

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