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Everything posted by Uilleam

  1. Does anybody know anything about the history, practice, and philosophy of the Revolutionary Communist Partry? Thought not. I didn't take Furedi and his devotees seriously then, and I have no reason to take him seriously now.
  2. Sorry, I refuse to take this broken down crypto-Leninist, one time leftest of the leftists, at all seriously.
  3. I assume that he will have had a significant pay off. Imagine, therefore, the first line of the inevitable (auto)biography: “We were somewhere around Harthill, at the top of the brae, when the drugs began to take hold.”
  4. That would be Frank Furedi, leader of the now defunct Revolutionary Communist Party, and contributor to Russia Today? Forgive me if I don't hang on his every word.
  5. First the Polis, then the Crown Office, now the BBC... Any other publicly funded organisations that they can target? I suppose it beats working. BBC targeted in multi-million pound damages action over Rangers doc that sparked failed fraud case By Martin Williams @Martin1WilliamsSenior News Reporter PREMIUM Paul Clark, David Whitehouse and David Grier 2 comments THE BBC are facing a multi-million-pound defamation action over a documentary that sparked a failed Rangers fraud investigation and led to malicious prosecutions. Three business turnaround experts from financial consultancy firm Duff and Phelps are expected to pursue the claim later this year which has been lying dormant for over six years. The rest of this article is behind a paywall. https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/homenews/19851046.bbc-targeted-multi-million-pound-damages-action-rangers-doc-sparked-failed-fraud-case/
  6. It seems to me that it has outlived most, if not all, commercial usefulness. Moreover, was it not rasellik which went on record (OK, Twitter, but officially) to declare that it was 'not half of anything', and made, elsewhere, pointed reference to 'the Glasgow derby'?
  7. I do believe that he would, and that, in all probability, he has.
  8. "Compensation in Rangers case excessive, claims MP" MacAskill's eyes, finally, water. Compensation in Rangers case excessive, claims MP Kieran Andrews, Scottish Political Editor Saturday January 15 2022, 12.01am, The Times Football https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/compensation-in-rangers-case-excessive-claims-mp-n9rq5r7h6 Compensation paid to business experts wrongly arrested in the botched Rangers fraud investigation was almost 70 times more generous than similar “malicious prosecution” cases in England, new research has revealed. David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, of Duff & Phelps, a global financial consultancy firm, were arrested in 2014 in relation to allegations of fraud linked to the Ibrox club’s financial collapse and subsequent sale. They were cleared of all charges. Whitehouse and Clark, both 56, received a settlement worth more than £24 million and an apology from James Wolffe QC, the lord advocate at the time, after the Crown Office admitted their prosecution was “malicious”. This included £10.5 million each in damages, plus legal costs of at least £3 million. Wolffe also admitted Charles Green, the former Rangers chief executive, and a former director, Imran Ahmad, should never have been prosecuted, with Green receiving more than £6 million in compensation plus legal costs. Research carried out by the House of Commons for Kenny MacAskill, the former Scottish justice secretary, found that comparable cases south of the border appeared not to pay nearly as much. It highlighted the case of Jonathan Rees, who was one of three men charged with the murder of a private investigator, who took action against the Metropolitan Police. Rees lost an appeal to increase his award of £155,000 after seeking damages for distress, humiliation, anxiety and loss of liberty as well as aggravated and exemplary damages. His co-accused Glenn Vian also received £155,000, while Garry Vian was paid £104,000 after they won their malicious prosecution action against the Met. MacAskill, now an MP for the Alba Party, said that the money paid out in the “white-collar” Rangers case also “dwarfs what’s paid to victims in Scotland whether in related matters or personal injury cases”. He called for an explanation of why so much was given to those in the Rangers case. “An extraordinary amount of public money has been paid out,” MacAskill said. “It seems significantly more than in cases south of the border.” Russell Findlay, Scottish Conservative community safety spokesman, said that an inquiry into the bungled Rangers investigation “must leave no stone unturned”. He added: “People deserve to know how these figures were calculated, why innocent men were hounded by the state and who is responsible for this costly debacle.” The Court of Session ruled this week that the police investigation into David Grier, 60, also of the consultancy firm, had been riven with “incompetence” and a “lack of professionalism” but he had not been prosecuted maliciously. He had launched a £9 million damages claim against Police Scotland and the lord advocate. He said he would appeal against the decision. Almost £40 million has so far been paid to settle claims made by businessmen who were arrested and faced “malicious prosecution”. The final cost to the taxpayer is expected to rise significantly, with Duff & Phelps seeking considerable redress for damage to its reputation. A public inquiry has been commissioned into the scandal. A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “The damages paid in this case reflect the circumstances of the pursuers as high-earning individuals.”
  9. "Prosecutors privately expressed a wish to “nail” the businessmen at the centre of the disgraced police investigation into the takeover of Rangers FC..." "Grier claims (this)......proves his arrest was motivated by ill will" Is that not what we wish the Procurators do do? Nail criminals in Court? The language, arguably, may be intemperate, but, really, is it evidence of anything more than a bit of macho posturing in the Crown Office? The really interesting question, of course, is what would have happened if these guys (D&P, Green, et al.) were actually found guilty of the fraud, etc. charges? The layman is tempted to speculate that successful prosecutions would have resulted in a massive legal and financial tangle, a Gordian knot which would have been tortuous to unpick and impossible to cut; and all to the absolute and utter detriment of Rangers. At best it would have delayed the renaissance, at worst.... Rangers prosecutors wanted to ‘nail’ Duff & Phelps businessmen Crown Office minutes ‘prove arrests were malicious’ Marc Horne Friday January 14 2022, 12.01am, The Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rangers-prosecutors-wanted-to-nail-duff-amp-phelps-businessmen-2fz5kkbn3 Prosecutors privately expressed a wish to “nail” the businessmen at the centre of the disgraced police investigation into the takeover of Rangers FC, fuelling claims of a major miscarriage of justice. David Grier, David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, of Duff & Phelps, a global financial consultancy firm, were arrested in 2014 in relation to allegations of fraud linked to the Ibrox club’s financial collapse and subsequent sale. They were cleared of all charges. Whitehouse, and Clark, both 56, received a settlement worth more than £24 million and an apology from the then lord advocate, James Wolffe QC. The Court of Session ruled on Tuesday that the police investigation into Grier, 60, had been riven with “incompetence” and a “lack of professionalism” but that he had not been prosecuted maliciously. Grier will now appeal against the decision after minutes from a Crown Office meeting in 2015 emerged which featured the phrase “Nail the three Duff & Phelps people”. Grier claims the document, which has been seen by The Times, proves his arrest was motivated by ill will. “If anyone in the street was to say that they wanted to ‘nail’ someone, wouldn’t that be judged as an act of malice?” he said. “It would be regarded, quite rightly, as an attempt to do harm. The only thing that has kept me going throughout this whole ordeal is the knowledge that the truth would come out eventually. “I will not give up and will now be appealing this judgment.” Details from the meeting between Crown Office lawyers and representatives of the forensic accountancy firm Aver were ordered to be handed over by Lord Bannatyne, who dismissed the criminal charges against Grier. Handwritten minutes confirm the reference to “nailing” the three Duff & Phelps employees was made at talks on September, 11, 2015, to establish the Crown’s instructions to Aver. One legal source close to the case claimed it was entirely improper. “It is absolutely scandalous and shows clear malice,” they said. “It is totally improper for an expert organisation to be given a brief to ‘nail the three Duff & Phelps people’ rather than to simply investigate and report back. “The way this prosecution was conducted should shame the Crown and the police. Those who broke the rules need to be removed”. Russell Findlay, the Scottish Conservatives’ community safety spokesman, described the revelation as “deeply concerning”. “This evidence will doubtless feature in any planned appeal by Mr Grier and will also be of eventual interest to the public inquiry into this extraordinary and damaging scandal,” Findlay added. Grier launched an unsuccessful £9 million damages claim against Police Scotland and the lord advocate, insisting he was wrongfully arrested. In a lengthy written ruling Lord Tyre made no reference to the desire expressed by the Crown to “nail” Grier, Whitehouse and Clark. However, he found that Detective Chief Inspector Jim Robertson, who led the bungled fraud inquiry, had given evidence that was “patently untrue” and had acted in an “unacceptable, intimidatory and threatening” manner. Tyre also found that some evidence given by Detective Chief Inspector Jacqueline O’Neill, the second most senior officer on the case, was “untruthful”. Craig Whyte was cleared by a jury in 2017 after he was accused of using money coming from future season ticket sales to buy the club while claiming the funds were his Craig Whyte, who bought Rangers for £1 from David Murray in May 2011, was cleared after a seven-week trial in 2017. He had been accused of using money coming from future season ticket sales to buy the club while claiming the funds were his. Seven men were arrested in 2014, but Whyte was the only one whose case went before a jury. Almost £40 million has been paid to settle claims made by businessmen who were arrested and faced “malicious prosecution”. The final cost to the taxpayer is expected to rise significantly, with Duff & Phelps seeking considerable redress fo damage to its reputation. A public inquiry has been commissioned into the scandal. Both Robertson and O’Neill went on to be promoted by Police Scotland. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “The judge in this case was satisfied the actions of prosecutors were not motivated by any purposes other than the pursuit of the interests of justice. The previous lord advocate committed the Crown to support a judge-led inquiry once all litigation is over and apologised for the cost to the public purse. “There are longstanding and robust processes in place to ensure the integrity of prosecutions. “We have strengthened these through case management panels which provide additional scrutiny and direction from senior prosecutors.” Comments for this article have been turned off
  10. Australian Open 2022: Novak Djokovic’s visa is cancelled updated Bernard Lagan, Sydney | Stuart Fraser, Melbourne Friday January 14 2022, 7.10am, The Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/australian-open-2022-novak-djokovic-makes-late-appeal-avoid-deportation-covid-s87dpwj26 Novak Djokovic has lost his battle to remain in Australia and defend his Australian Open title after the government said that it would cancel his visa for a second time over breaches of coronavirus rules. The world No 1 tennis player now faces being deported and, potentially, a three-year ban on returning. Alex Hawke, the immigration minister, said that he cancelled the visa on “health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so”. The Serbian star’s legal team indicated that they intended to file an injunction against the minister’s decision in a bid to allow him to stay and play in the Australian Open, which starts on Monday. If he doesn’t challenge the decision in the courts or is unsuccessful in doing so, he will be deported immediately. Djokovic’s lawyers had spent the day preparing for a court battle to keep him in the tournament. He has been under threat of deportation since Monday, when Hawke said that he was considering using his powers to cancel his visa. The star, 34, who is not vaccinated against Covid-19, was originally detained by border officials last week after arriving at a Melbourne airport and had his visa revoked after failing to claim a medical exemption. After days spent in a hotel used as a detention centre for illegal immigrants and asylum seekers he was freed by a Melbourne judge who ruled that he had been treated unreasonably by Australia’s border authorities. They had refused to accept he had a lawful exemption from being vaccinated against Covid-19 but failed to allow him to seek legal advice. The treatment of Serbia’s most famous sportsman caused uproar in his home country, while his family complained that Australia was treating him “like a criminal”. It later emerged that Djokovic made a false travel declaration his arrival in Melbourne, which he blamed on his agent. He also admitted an “error of judgment” and confirmed that he broke Covid-19 isolation rules in Serbia last month by attending a photoshoot after testing positive. In the eyes of many Australians, the 20-time grand slam winner had flouted the requirement that all arriving travellers must be vaccinated. A poll published by News Corp Australia today showed that 84 per cent of the more than 61,000 respondents believed that the government should try to deport him. Hawke had earlier delayed his decision on the star’s future, amid reports that the government received conflicting legal advice on the chances of successfully defending another legal challenge from Djokovic. Any injunction filed by the player’s lawyers against his deportation could now be dragged into next week. That would leave open the possibility of his case being heard in the midst of the Australian Open. Despite the controversy, the Serbian star was named in the official draw for the Australian Open tournament yesterday, as Hawke continued to review whether his visa should be cancelled over breaches of coronavirus rules. The Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese said that the length of time to make a decision reinforced the impression that the government had “acted too little and too late.” Crowds at the Australian Open will be capped at 50 per cent after a surge in Covid cases. Victoria recorded 37,169 new cases and 25 deaths yesterday.
  11. Djokovic makes Australian Open draw as he awaits deportation decision Bernard Lagan, Sydney | Stuart Fraser, Tennis Correspondent, Melbourne Thursday January 13 2022, 7.35am, The Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/novak-djokovic-i-knew-i-had-coronavirus-during-photoshoot-bvt98f6jv Australia’s immigration minister has again delayed a decision on whether to re-cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa, allowing him to be named to play in next week’s Australian Open tournament. The world tennis men’s No 1 has been confirmed in the official draw for the tournament, despite the uncertainty surrounding him. Alex Hawke is now not expected to make a decision on his right to remain until tomorrow at the earliest, eight days after his visa was cancelled for breaking Covid-19 vaccination rules. Lawyers for Djokovic, the defending men’s champion, are engaged in an eleventh-hour appeal to allow him to stay The defending Australian Open champion won a legal case in the federal circuit court to remain in the country on Monday on procedural grounds but Hawke has been considering cancelling his visa for a second time. Djokovic, 34, who is not vaccinated, made a false travel declaration before his arrival last week. He also admitted an “error of judgment” and confirmed that he broke Covid-19 isolation rules last month by attending a photoshoot after testing positive. A decision on his visa was widely expected when Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, called a press conference just before 4pm today, but instead he spoke about the nation’s Omicron wave of the coronavirus and said that the immigration minister was still mulling Djokovic’s future. Speaking before the announcement of any decision by Hawke, Morrison refused to comment directly on Djokovic’s visa but said that he expected immigration officials “to implement the policy of the government”. Morrison added: “I will refer to Mr Hawke’s most recent statement and that position hasn’t changed. These are personal ministerial powers able to be exercised by Minister Hawke and I don’t propose to make any further comment at this time.” The Australian Financial Review newspaper reported that Djokovic’s lawyers were engaged in “an eleventh-hour appeal” to the minister. Hawke is investigating whether his medical exemption from a Covid-19 vaccine meets Australian border rules. Morrison was pressed by a reporter today on whether it was safe to permit entry for an unvaccinated citizen from overseas. “Where fully vaccinated eligible visa holders could travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption and enter those states, allowing them to enter quarantine-free, the individual has to show they are double vaccinated or must provide acceptable proof that they can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons,” Morrison said. “That is the policy and we would expect authorities to be implementing the policy of the government when it comes to those matters.” The draw for the tournament was delayed by more than an hour, apparently in expectation of an announcement at Morrison’s press conference. When it went ahead Djokovic drew fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round and the rising American star Tommy Paul in the second. He is in the same half as Rafael Nadal, meaning a potential meeting with his great rival in the semi-finals. Both are level with Roger Federer on 20 grand-slam men’s singles titles. Djokovic, the winner of 20 grand slam titles, said that he attended a basketball game on December 14 where a number of people contracted Covid-19. He took a rapid antigen test on December 16, which he said was negative. Then out of caution he took a PCR on the same day. The following day he attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present children with awards. “I was asymptomatic and felt good,” he said. He attended an interview and removed his mask during a photoshoot with the French newspaper L’Equipe in Belgrade, despite knowing that he was infected. A day earlier he was at a tennis event and presented awards to children after taking a PCR test but before getting the result, he says. In an Instagram post the player said that he sought to clarify “misinformation” and claimed that it wasn’t until after the event with the children that he learnt that he was Covid positive. However, he did admit to conducting the in-person interview while knowing he was positive. “I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken,” he said in Melbourne. “On reflection, this was an error of judgment and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment.” Djokovic wore a mask during his interview on December 18 in Belgrade but took it off for the photoshoot. He took part in the interview and photoshoot despite knowing that he had the virus He also denied that he personally lied on his entry form. He said that his support team answered “no” to a question about travelling outside Serbia in the fortnight before his arrival when they should have put “yes”. The Australian government is looking into reports that he was photographed training in Marbella on December 31. José Manuel Albares, the Spanish foreign minister, said that he had no record of the player visiting Spain and he had not been contacted by Australia. Djokovic was forced into detention hours after arriving in Australia when border forces claimed that he had failed to produce proof that he had a lawful exemption from being vaccinated against Covid-19. On Monday a judge in Melbourne ordered his release after finding that the border officers had denied him access to a lawyer. He claimed a medical exemption from being vaccinated because he contracted Covid-19 in December but the Australian government has argued that this does not constitute a valid reason for an exemption. Moreover, his positive test has been brought into doubt, with digital data analysed by the German news website Der Spiegel suggesting that his results were from December 26, not December 16. His documentation for entry claimed the test was from December 16. Der Spiegel added: “The test results also include QR codes, and when Der Spiegel scanned the QR code for the test from December 16, things got strange. On Monday, the result from the scan was ‘test result negative’. Such a result would have destroyed Djokovic’s case for being allowed into the country. About an hour later, though, a second scan of the QR code returned a different result: ‘test result positive’.
  12. TENNIS | MATTHEW SYED Novak Djokovic is exposed by his toughest opponent – the truth Matthew Syed Wednesday January 12 2022, 3.30pm, The Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/novak-djokovic-is-exposed-by-his-toughest-opponent-the-truth-53gd2z98p Is anyone else’s head spinning? At first, Novak Djokovic told us he had arrived in Australia obeying all the rules, even if he didn’t necessarily agree with them. He had followed the protocols laid down by the organisers of the Australian Open and the state regulators in Victoria and was simply there to play a bit of tennis. Judge Anthony Kelly, based on what we knew at the time, sided with the 20-times grand-slam champion, albeit on procedural grounds. Then, like the early stirrings of a sinkhole, the terra firma on which the world’s top tennis player was standing started to fall away. Like many people who feel they are above the rules that apply to the rest of us, Djokovic had forgotten that a paper trail had been left that would place events in a very different light. In this case, the trail had been unwittingly offered up by Djokovic himself in the form of the social media feeds that all sportspeople maintain to maximise commercial revenues. It didn’t take long for a photo to emerge of him standing, unmasked, at an awards ceremony in Serbia, one day after he claimed to have tested positive for Covid. Then another photo, unmasked, from an interview and photoshoot in Belgrade. More photos came to light, and more. At a press conference on Monday, his family smirked — in not dissimilar fashion to Boris Johnson when questioned over Downing Street parties — when asked about these incidents. With a flourish, they announced: “The press conference is now adjourned,” and then linked arms to sing a Serbian folk song. The problem, though, was obvious to anyone watching this affair from afar. You can shut down a press conference, but you cannot so easily shut down the truth. Truth is an unusual opponent, and rather more tenacious than the usual suspects that you might see on the other side of a tennis net. It is resilient, persistent and highly adept at discovering inconsistencies. You could almost hear Djokovic’s team scrambling around to figure out a fresh way to get the toothpaste back in the tube. Yep: they would say that while Djokovic had tested positive on the 16th, he hadn’t discovered the result until after the awards ceremony. And what of the interview on the 18th? Sure enough, this was an “error of judgment”, but it was committed only because dear Novak didn’t want to let down a journalist. This, at least, is the substance of the comedy script — sorry, statement — issued by Djokovic on Tuesday. And yet, still the truth keeps hitting troublesome balls from the baseline. Djokovic claimed he had not travelled anywhere else in the 14 days before arriving in Melbourne but he had been in Marbella and Belgrade. Djokovic tried a different ruse: he admitted to the “administrative error” but put it on his agent, failing to remember that customs declaration forms have strict liability. You cannot blame a false declaration on a friend or an agent — or the dog eating the homework. Then, the German magazine Der Spiegel published an article throwing serious doubt on the central strut of the Djokovic defence. It is a somewhat complicated story but there are profound anomalies with the supposedly positive test on the 16th. When journalists scanned the QR code, they were taken to a negative test result on the official database, which was only later amended. Perhaps there is an innocent explanation but, given what we now know, it would take a generous observer to offer Djokovic the benefit of the doubt. And this takes us to the deeper story. If you are a public figure, in a world of Twitter and Instagram and iPhone cameras, playing around with the truth may be convenient in the short term but it is perilous in the long term. It is particularly dangerous if others are party to the events because they represent another route whereby the truth can, in time, come out. We have only just found out about the Downing Street booze-up of May 2020. In the case of Watergate, HR Haldeman and John Ehrlichman lied on behalf of Richard Nixon all the way to jail. Initially, it was only John Dean, the White House counsel, who exposed the truth. In this context, I wonder if anyone in Djokovic’s inner circle is considering breaking cover? Have any of them had enough of covering up for a man who has become the figurehead — albeit unintentionally — of the global antivax movement? I am not, of course, comparing the Novak story to Watergate in global significance; merely in terms of the group dynamics and psychology. I say all this with a heavy heart. I have met Djokovic often, like him personally, and admire the qualities he brings to the tennis court. Watching him rise to global stature over the past decade and a half has been one of the great privileges of my career in sports journalism. His victory over Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2019, defying a partisan audience, was a wonder to behold, as was his win over Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of last year’s French Open. Few sportspeople have given me greater pleasure. But that doesn’t change one jot of the sordid saga that has unfolded over recent days. By the time you read this, the story will doubtless have moved on again. But at the end of it all we are left with a brilliant sportsman whose eccentric views on science have led him into a labyrinth from which, despite his best efforts, he is struggling to escape. He is being slowly worn down, shot after shot, by an opponent who doesn’t give up. Perhaps Elvis Presley said it best: “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”
  13. According to The Times, no longer a paper of record, mind, "A quick recap of Souttar’s tribulations: early in 2017 it was an achilles tendon rupture; in 2018 a hip injury; in 2019 an ankle issue; in 2020 another damaged achilles and then just two months after recovering, the same injury yet again." https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rangers-blackburn-rovers-or-sheffield-united-john-souttar-has-suitors-to-choose-from-c7vdtpq2h Overall, seems a bit of a punt. He hasn't, it seems, had a major knee injury; inevitably, that will change if he joins us.
  14. "....a senior police officer.....acted in an “unacceptable, intimidatory and threatening” manner during the ill-fated investigation into the takeover of Rangers FC..." "There was evidence . . . of unacceptable, intimidatory and threatening behaviour..." I'll wager that worse happened when he took his Third Degree.... Jim Robertson: Police urged to tackle officer in ‘incompetent’ Rangers inquiry Marc Horne Thursday January 13 2022, 12.01am, The Times Detective Chief Inspector Jim Robertson, who led the fraud inquiry, was found by Lord Tyre to be “evasive and unreliable” https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/jim-robertson-police-urged-to-tackle-officer-in-incompetent-rangers-inquiry-cl6x5n2mh Pressure is mounting for a senior police officer who acted in an “unacceptable, intimidatory and threatening” manner during the ill-fated investigation into the takeover of Rangers FC to face disciplinary action. David Grier, 58, a business consultant, launched a £9 million damages claim against Police Scotland and the lord advocate, insisting he was wrongfully arrested. This week the Court of Session ruled he had not been prosecuted maliciously but found the police investigation had been riven with “incompetence” and “lack of professionalism”. Lord Tyre found that Detective Chief Inspector Jim Robertson, who led the fraud inquiry, was “evasive and unreliable” and had given evidence that was “patently untrue”. In behaviour that has drawn comparisons to The Sweeney, the 1970s police drama, the ruling found Robertson bellowed “Shut up or I will put you out” at a solicitor during an interview and tore open an envelope containing documents protected by legal privilege. Russell Findlay, the Scottish Conservative spokesman on community safety, said the force must take action. “The judge’s comments about police conduct in this case are scathing and Police Scotland must now explain exactly what action it will take,” he said. “Police Scotland cannot kick this into the long grass until an inquiry reports — they have sufficient evidence to act immediately.” Jack Irvine, a crisis management executive who represents Charles Green, the former Rangers chief executive who last year accepted an out-of-court settlement of £6.4 million for being wrongly prosecuted in connection with the takeover, also called for Robertson to face sanctions. “I have rarely seen a serving police officer criticised in such terms by a judge,” he said. “His behaviour was like something out of The Sweeney and was a terrible reflection on Police Scotland.” Tyre noted that Robertson had to be ordered to answer his questions, adding: “At some times he professed lack of memory because of the passage of time, at others he demonstrated a detailed recollection of events when it was in his interest to do so. There was evidence, which I accept . . . of unacceptable, intimidatory and threatening behaviour by Mr Robertson. In other respects I found his evidence unsatisfactory.” In court Robertson confirmed the investigation into the Rangers administration case was codenamed Project William, which he said was a reference to William of Orange. He denied chanting The Billy Boys, a Rangers song with sectarian lyrics, but said he may have “referenced” it. Tyre also found that some evidence given by Detective Chief Inspector Jacqueline O’Neill, the second most senior officer on the case, was “untruthful”. Craig Whyte, who bought Rangers for £1 from David Murray in May 2011, was cleared after a seven-week trial in 2017. He had been accused of using money coming from future season ticket sales to buy the club while claiming the funds were his. Seven men were arrested in 2014, but Whyte was the only one whose case went before a jury. More than £30 million has been paid out to settle claims made by businessmen who were wrongfully arrested and faced “malicious prosecution” for their role in the Ibrox club’s financial collapse and subsequent sale. The final cost to the taxpayer is expected to rise significantly with Duff & Phelps, a global financial consultancy firm, seeking considerable redress for reputational damage sustained when employees were arrested without probable cause. An independent public inquiry has been commissioned into the scandal. Both Robertson and O’Neill went on to be promoted by Police Scotland. Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: “Police Scotland will fully assist and engage with the inquiry announced in the Scottish parliament last year. “Lord Tyre’s judgment highlights serious issues and we are carefully considering his findings.” Comments for this article have been turned off
  15. To be living in the world's first, and finest, narcissocracy is both a privilege and a pleasure.
  16. Ex-Rangers consultant David Grier loses damages claim against ‘incompetent’ Police Scotland officers James Mulholland Wednesday January 12 2022, 12.00am, The Times A businessman who was arrested during the Rangers fraud case has lost his £8.7 million action against police and the Crown Office for malicious prosecution. David Grier, 60, claimed his detention had ruined his reputation but the Court of Session ruled that while the police investigation had been riven with “incompetence” and “lack of professionalism” there was “reasonable and probable cause to indict” at the time of Grier’s arrest in 2014. In a written judgment Lord Tyre was heavily critical of senior officers. He said the evidence of Detective Chief Inspector Jim Robertson, who led the inquiry, was sometimes evasive and unreliable while his actions during the investigation were at times reprehensible and involved “unacceptable intimidatory and threatening behaviour”. Robertson mishandled documents which were protected by legal privilege, the court was told, and a witness in the case described how the detective appeared to chant football song lyrics during an interview, describing the behaviour as bizarre. Tyre also dismissed some of the evidence given by Detective Chief Inspector Jacqueline O’Neill, 47, as “untruthful”. The judgment is the latest twist in the long-running saga of the police investigation into the businessman Craig White’s takeover of Rangers FC in 2011 and its aftermath. The club’s assets were sold in 2012 to a consortium led by Charles Green, who went on to become Rangers’ chief executive. A series of arrests followed in 2014, but the Crown’s alleged fraud case slowly fell apart. Last year James Wolffe, then lord advocate, issued apologies to Green, the former Rangers director Imran Ahmad, and to David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, of the administrators Duff & Phelps, who were all wrongfully prosecuted. Green received a £6.4 million settlement, while Whitehouse and Clark have accepted £10.3 million each from the Crown with reportedly a further £3 million each to cover their legal costs. Grier was also an employee of Duff & Phelps when he was taken into custody. In court, he said that he had no idea why he was arrested, describing White’s deal as “a perfectly normal commercial transaction”. When he developed concerns following the conclusion of the sale he made them known to HM Revenue & Customs on several occasions, he said. His arrest had been disastrous for his business, he told the court. “Unfortunately being arrested for fraud when you work in financial services is catastrophic, it’s a career-ending moment,” Grier said. Tyre ruled that neither the police nor the prosecution service had acted maliciously. In a written judgment, he said: “Robertson’s reprehensible actings, including in particular his wilful disregard for legal professional privilege and his improper behaviour during interviews of witnesses, were largely driven by his groundless suspicion that the Duff & Phelps witnesses and their lawyers were deliberately obstructing the investigation.” He added: “It was emphasised by the court in Whitehouse v Lord Advocate that malice was not to be inferred from, among other things, incompetence, poor judgment, lack of professionalism or recklessness. “Much of the police investigation suffered from these faults but that is not enough to meet the test. No ‘illegitimate or oblique motive’ or deliberate misuse of the process of the court has been demonstrated.” Tyre said he was satisfied that those involved in the prosecution “were subjectively of the view that there was reasonable and probable cause to indict the pursuer for the offences with which he was charged”. He said their actions “were not motivated by any purpose other than the pursuit of the interests of justice”.
  17. "Devil’s in the ducktail as turnaround director heads for shipyard exit" Alf Young not missing and hitting the bulkhead..... although I did think that ducktail was a polite name for a 1950s gentleman's barnet. BUSINESS | COMMENT Devil’s in the ducktail as turnaround director heads for shipyard exit Alf Young Wednesday January 12 2022, 12.01am, The Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/devil-s-in-the-ducktail-as-turnaround-director-heads-for-shipyard-exit-xc5cwjv6q Two days before Christmas and just a week after it had been announced that he would be leaving his hugely-remunerated task of turning around the Ferguson Marine shipyard at Port Glasgow at the end of this month, Tim Hair submitted his final quarterly progress report to MSPs on the Scottish parliament’s net zero, energy and transport committee on delivery of the devolved government’s two many-years-late ferries. Was the timing designed to minimise scrutiny? Delivery of Hull 801, launched as the Glen Sannox way back in November 2017, by late September this year, Hair wrote, “is achievable but remains challenging”. The Omicron phase of the Covid pandemic “has the potential to cause severe disruption at a critical time”. Particularly on pipework installation on 801, which “has not achieved planned levels”. And he reiterated an earlier warning about equipment like engines and liquefied natural gas tanks, that have been sitting around since 2016, posing “an unquantifiable risk that equipment problems may emerge during commissioning”. Hair’s last update contains one fresh revelation, this time about the unlaunched Hull 802, scheduled for service on the Uig triangle between Skye and the Hebrides. It has had an additional feature added, a ducktail. It runs the full width of the ship at the stern and is 2.5 metres wide. It is, Hair writes, “designed to increase the speed of the vessel for a given power output from the engines”. Hair goes on to reveal: “At their request, we have for some time been in discussion with Scottish government, Transport Scotland and CMAL regarding the ducktail.” Then he cautions that “these discussions have the potential to impact the schedule for delivery of the vessel”, currently pencilled in for sometime between April and June 2023. If Hair’s appointment was all about turnaround and delivery, why on earth were the Scottish government, its transport arm and CMAL all insisting on the addition of this power-saving ducktail many years after the original design and specification schedules were agreed? Could it have anything to with the rocketing price of liquefied natural gas, which, if it persists, will render both ferries much more expensive to run? All in all it seems the only thing that is readily quantifiable from the brief Hair turnaround era is the seven-figure sum he has banked from his own daily rate and expenses. Back in mid September, when the government-owned yard lost out on tendering for two new ferries for the Islay service, the local SNP MSP Stuart McMillan was calling for “a change in management” at Fergusons. When it was announced three months later that Hair was on the way out, McMillan abruptly changed course. He thanked Hair “for his tireless efforts” and suggested that “the yard has made some progress since he took over as turnaround director”. Has he even read Hair’s own heavily qualified progress reports to MSPs on that backbench committee? And can he tell the rest of Scotland outwith the Holyrood bubble, when we might all get to read the results of Ernst & Young’s Project Neptune report into the current tripartite governance structure involving the government’s own Transport Scotland agency, its CMAL ferry and harbours procurement agency and the west coast ferry service delivery vehicle, CalMac, which the Scottish state also controls? Neptune’s findings were promised by Christmas by the transport minister Graeme Dey months ago. Where are they? Are they being consigned to the same serial redaction treatment that has rendered successive SNP administrations claims of open and accountable government so risible? The Ferguson Marine board runs a business that is wholly owned by the Scottish government. But it hasn’t published any minutes from its bi-monthly board meetings on its website since last May. And those minutes that had appeared up to last May tell the rest of us next to nothing about what Tim Hair, during his entire tenure, was telling the Ferguson board about progress. For a state-owned venture burning its way through countless millions and so far delivering next to nothing, it’s a national disgrace. Alf Young is a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde
  18. Ruling on Barry Bennell abuse at Manchester City FC ‘won’t affect Celtic Boys Club claims’ Marc Horne Wednesday January 12 2022, 12.00am, The Times Barry Bennell, a former youth football coach, is serving a 34-year sentence for abusing boys https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ruling-on-barry-bennell-abuse-at-manchester-city-fc-wont-affect-celtic-boys-club-claims-782wnq0rl The dismissal of a sexual abuse claim against Manchester City will have no impact on a multimillion-pound lawsuit being pursued against Celtic FC, a senior lawyer has said. On Monday eight men who were abused by the paedophile coach Barry Bennell lost their battle at the High Court in London for “substantial damages” from the English Premier League champions. Mr Justice Johnson ruled that the connection between the abuse and Bennell’s relationship with Manchester City was “insufficient to give rise to vicarious liability”. However, Thompsons Solicitors Scotland, which is representing about 35 alleged victims of abuse at Celtic Boys Club (CBC), the feeder club of Celtic FC, says that the two cases are not directly comparable. “Factually and legally, the circumstances of the Manchester City case are very different to those in the cases we are pursuing against Celtic FC on behalf of those abused at CBC,” Patrick McGuire, a partner with the firm, said. “The clients that we represent can rest assured that we will continue to pursue our cases as fully and aggressively as we can. We hope for, and fully expect, a successful conclusion on their behalf.” The High Court was told that Bennell, who is serving a 34-year sentence after being convicted of abusing boys on five separate occasions, was a scout for City in the mid-1970s but not between 1979 and 1985 when the attacks occurred. McGuire expressed sympathy for the English survivors and hoped that their appeal would succeed, but said the court had been told that the feeder club Bennell was associated with had only a “loose connection” with City. “The evidence that Bennell gave was that any Manchester City strips or tracksuits that happened to be used, during that period, were obtained by him through deceit,” he said. “In sharp contrast, all equipment, strips and tracksuits used by CBC, featuring the Celtic logo, were not obtained by deceit but with the active help, support and financing of Celtic FC. The boys’ club was constantly referred to in matchday programmes, Celtic’s official magazine and in Celtic FC board minutes. This was not one tangential feeder team but a club which was held out, to parents, fans and the world at large, as being part of the Celtic family.” Dozens of alleged victims of molestation at CBC are poised to take part in a class action lawsuit under legal powers that have only recently come into use. In November, at a hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Ericht agreed to allow the case to move to the next stage, which ensures that lawyers for Celtic FC will need to respond to the claims. Papers were formally served on Celtic late last year and a further preliminary hearing is expected to take place within months. Thompsons will set out evidence which it claims shows that the boys’ club and Celtic were linked financially and therefore legally. Six men associated with CBC, Celtic FC and Celtic East Youth Club, an Edinburgh-based feeder club, have been convicted of sexual offences against boys. Celtic FC has consistently argued the boys’ club was a “separate entity”. Last year a spokesman said: “The club is continuing to deal with these sensitive matters in conjunction with its advisers. “The club again expresses its sincere sympathy, regret and sorrow to those affected, and reiterates it will stand by its responsibilities, respecting the due process of law.” Comments for this article have been turned off
  19. Lord Tyre has removed David Grier's snout from the public swill bucket. Seems a shame that the Crown did not admit liability for a 'malicious prosecution' in his case. What's £9M? Chump change from the back of Sturgeon's sofa. David Grier loses fight for damages over Rangers case Published 2 hours ago David Grier was charged in 2014 but eventually cleared along with a number of other men https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-59953108 A business consultant who was arrested during the probe into Craig Whyte's takeover of Rangers has lost a £9m damages action against the Crown Office and Police Scotland. David Grier was arrested in November 2014 but was later acquitted of all charges by a High Court judge Mr Grier said the arrest had been a "career ending moment". A judge at the Court of Session ruled Mr Grier had failed to prove he was the victim of a malicious prosecution. In total, seven people were arrested during the fraud investigation in 2014 but Craig Whyte was the only one whose case ever went before a jury. Mr Whyte was accused of using Rangers' own money to buy the club while claiming the funds were his. He was found not guilty in 2017. The Crown Office has already admitted that two employees of financial consultants Duff and Phelps - David Whitehouse and Paul Clark - were subjected to "malicious" prosecutions over their role in events at Rangers. Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark were appointed administrators of the club in 2012. They have received damages from the Crown Office of £10.5m each and £3m in legal expenses. The current Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC apologised to both men in a statement in the Scottish Parliament. The Crown also admitted that there was a malicious prosecution against Charles Green, who led a consortium which took over Rangers in 2012. In August, Mr Green settled for £6.3m in compensation for being wrongfully prosecuted by the Crown Office. He also had his legal fees paid. In a judgment from the Court of Session on Tuesday, judge Lord Tyre said he recognised that comparisons could be drawn between his decision on Mr Grier, who also worked for Duff and Phelps, and the outcome of actions by Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark. He said: "I do not regard it as appropriate to attempt to identify reasons why admissions of liability were made in those cases but no finding of liability is made in this case. "The admissions of liability were decisions taken by the Crown in the light of the factual circumstances as they were perceived." The judge said his task was to assess the evidence presented to the court in the claim before him.
  20. HE's Novak Djokovic - HE does what HE wants!! Well, perhaps not, there may be more to come, as there may be more to this than meets the eye.... Novak Djokovic may have given misleading information on immigration form Star failed to disclose trip to Marbella before arriving in Australia Bernard Lagan Tuesday January 11 2022, 9.43am, The Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/judge-orders-novak-djokovics-release-xnbh3nksw Novak Djokovic may have misled the Australian authorities about his movements before entering the country, it emerged today, triggering a new investigation by border officials which could result in him being sent back to a detention centre. The tennis star is alleged to have made a false declaration when he said he had not travelled outside his Serbian homeland in the fortnight before he arrived in Australia last week. It was revealed today that Djokovic appeared in Marbella, Spain, on January 2, prompting the fresh investigation. Djokovic was pictured in Marbella on January 2 All visitors arriving in Australia are asked if they have “travelled or will travel in the 14 days prior to your flight to Australia”. They are also warned that “giving false or misleading information is a serious offence. You may also be liable to a civil penalty for giving false or misleading information”. The maximum penalty is 12 months’ imprisonment. Djokovic told border officials that Tennis Australia — the organisers of next week’s Australian Open — had completed the Australian travel declaration on his behalf. Alex Hawke, the immigration minister, has wide powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa on public health grounds. His office confirmed today that the minister was considering withdrawing his visa for a second time. “As noted yesterday in the federal circuit and family court, minister Hawke is considering whether to cancel Mr Djokovic’s visa,” Hawke’s spokesperson said. The tennis star, pictured with a fan in Marbella on January 2, is alleged to have made a false declaration when he said he had not travelled before flying to Australia “In line with due process, minister Hawke will thoroughly consider the matter. As the issue is ongoing, for legal reasons it is inappropriate to comment further.” Apparent irregularities have also been found in the Serbian certificate provided by Djokovic as evidence that he had tested positive for Covid-19 last month. The document from the country’s Institute of Public Health states that Djokovic had a positive PCR test result on the evening of December 16. It includes a QR code — a digital link in visual form — leading to a page on the institute’s website that was supposed to confirm the finding. Several news outlets, including Der Spiegel, a German magazine, found that when they scanned the code yesterday it initially displayed a negative test result. Shortly afterwards, however, it began linking to a positive result instead. It is unclear what caused the glitch. The Serbian Institute of Public Health has yet to respond to requests for an explanation. If Djokovic loses his visa again and is deported, he faces a three-year ban on travel to Australia, jeopardising his ability to compete in future Opens, though the minister could elect to waive the ban. The world No 1 was released from a Melbourne detention centre on Monday night after a judge found that Australian Border Force officers had denied him procedural fairness when they cancelled his visa after his arrival last Wednesday. They alleged the Serbian champion could not show proof that he held a lawful exemption from vaccination against Covid-19. That contention was not tested in Monday’s court hearing. Djokovic was freed because he was denied proper access to a lawyer. Scott Morrison, the Australian prime minister, discussed Djokovic’s situation with his Serbian counterpart, Ana Brnabic, late on Monday. Djokovic’s treatment in Australia has triggered an outcry in Serbia with President Vucic saying the tennis champion was the victim of a “political witch-hunt”. Djokovic, who practised at the Australian Open’s Melbourne arena today, thanked the judge for overturning his visa cancellation after his release on Monday night. The decision means the tennis player is now able to train in Melbourne “I’m pleased and grateful,” Djokovic said. “Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try and compete @australianopen. I remain focused on that.” Djokovic’s mother, Dijana, said yesterday that the ruling was the “biggest victory” of her son’s career. His father, Srdjan, called on the Queen to protect his son’s human rights. At a press conference with the television network Prva in Belgrade, Serbia, Mrs Djokovic said: “Thank you for coming. We’re here to celebrate our son Novak, a boy who in his family learnt not to put up with lies and cheating. He always fought for justice. He’s done nothing wrong, he hasn’t broken any of their laws and he was subjected to torture, to harassment.” Earlier, as the tennis player left his lawyers’ building, his car was overwhelmed by jubilant supporters, causing police to use pepper spray to disperse the crowd. The live stream of Monday’s hearing repeatedly crashed as tennis fans around the world tried to watch. Djokovic’s lawyers have argued that he was given assurances by the Australian Open’s organiser, Tennis Australia, that his Covid-19 infection last month would allow him a medical exemption to being vaccinated. He also received an email from the Australian government saying he had met the requirements for quarantine-free arrival, his lawyers added. The Novak Djokovic legal situation — explained What is Novak Djokovic’s present legal status as the Serbian tennis ace jousts for the right to battle to extend his run of dominance at the Australian Open? Still tenuous. Anthony Kelly, a federal circuit judge, was sympathetic to an extent, ruling that Djokovic’s visa should be temporarily reinstated. The judge said that border officials had behaved unfairly by not providing the star with time to take legal advice before they revoked his entry visa to the country. Were there any wider legal arguments? Djokovic’s lawyers said that the country’s medical authorities have ruled that people who have been infected with Covid within six months can receive a temporary exemption to the vaccination rule. At the hearing, Judge Kelly noted that Djokovic had provided officials at Melbourne’s airport with a medical exemption issued by both Tennis Australia and two medical panels. The judge said in court: “The point I’m somewhat agitated about is what more could this man have done?” But ultimately the visa was reinstated because government lawyers conceded that the decision to proceed with interviewing Djokovic in the early hours of Thursday and cancel his visa before he could contact Tennis Australia or his lawyers was unreasonable. Does that mean Djokovic is free to play? He will be at least getting a few knock-up rounds on the practice court. The judge ordered the government to release the Serb from a Melbourne quarantine hotel where he had spent four nights. Djokovic posted a photograph on Twitter that showed him and his team standing on one of the tournament’s main show courts this evening. Game, set and match to the world number 1 — in the law courts at least? Well, first set, perhaps, but this looks like it is destined to be a five-set thriller. A lawyer for Australia’s minister for immigration, Alex Hawke, stated that the government was “actively” considering re-detaining Djokovic tomorrow. Under the country’s Migration Act, the minister has wide powers — beyond those used by the Australian Border Force — to revoke visas. Seems a bit hardball – what’s the Aussie government’s legal ground? According to Canberra’s written submissions to the hearing, Djokovic’s legal team relied on outdated government advice to back his claim that he was exempt from the vaccination rule. Ministers argue that a previous Covid-19 infection in itself no longer constitutes valid grounds for a vaccination exemption. Victoria state officials meanwhile agreed that it counted as an exemption. Lawyers for Karen Andrews, Australia’s home affairs minister, said that the vaccination exemption could only be granted for travellers who had recovered from a serious bout of the virus — and there is no suggestion that Djokovic had acute illness when he tested positive for the coronavirus last month. What is the next legal move? If the Australian ministers revoke his visa again — and according to a spokesman a decision is still in the balance — it would be up to Djokivic and his legal team to decide whether to bat the ball back to the law courts. What are the risks for Djokovic if the case returns to court . . . and he loses? Felicity Gerry QC, an English lawyer who works in Australia, points out that Djokovic is currently in Australia legally under the terms of his visa but “the personal power of the minister is wide so a challenge in the courts of any move by the government to revoke might well be tough. Therefore, he must weigh his position carefully as if he were deported, he would face a three-year ban on entering the country.” Could there be a compromise? Yes, says Gerry, a deal could be done that allows Djokovic to keep the visa for the length of the tournament, while attaching additional restrictions to it. Jonathan Ames, Legal Editor
  21. England scraped a draw, because Cummins cautiously delayed his declaration, several overs were lost to rain, and bad light prevented the Australian quicks tearing through the tail. But....... THE ASHES The Ashes: Joe Root hails England’s restored pride as Jos Buttler is ruled out of fifth Test updated Elizabeth Ammon Monday January 10 2022, 7.30am, The Times Joe Root said that some pride had been restored in English cricket after his side clung on for a nailbiting draw in the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney. Root hailed “an important step forward” after England, who lost the first three Tests of the five-match series, avoided a series whitewash by batting out 102 overs in their second innings. The fightback was led by a fluent 77 from Zak Crawley and a valiant 60 by Ben Stokes, who was struggling with a side injury. “We don’t make things easy for ourselves,” Root said after a dramatic conclusion in which England were nine wickets down with 13 balls remaining after Jack Leach’s defiant rearguard action had come to an end. In the fading light and with every Australia fielder around the bat, England’s last pair of Stuart Broad and James Anderson guided England to the draw. Jos Buttler has been ruled out of the rest of England’s tour of Australia and will fly home today after a suffering a fractured finger on the second day of the fourth Test. Root said: “It’s quite a serious injury. For him to front up as he did from the moment he took that knock shows how much he cares and how much it means for him to play in this Test team and for England.” It has been a difficult tour for Buttler with both bat and gloves. He has scored only 107 runs in eight innings at an average of 15.28, and behind the stumps he has been guilty of dropping some easy catches as well as taking some very difficult ones. There is a serious doubt about Buttler’s future in the Test team and his place will be under discussion when the post-Ashes debrief process begins. Ollie Pope put in a good performance as substitute wicketkeeper in England’s second innings although Sam Billings is set to be awarded his Test debut having driven 500 miles from Brisbane to Sydney where he was taking part in the Big Bash League. Jonny Bairstow, who is unable to keep wicket in the final Test also because of a finger injury, could regain the gloves and keep his place in the team for the tour of the Caribbean in March having scored a superb century in the first innings of this match. Ben Stokes’s participation in the fifth Test is in doubt after the ECB confirmed he has a side strain. The all-rounder did not bowl in Australia’s second innings but helped England to salvage a draw by scoring 60 from 123 balls. But Anderson said Stokes still hopes to play in the final Test. “He’s already saying that it feels a bit better,” Anderson said. “He’s still got his sights on playing that fifth test.” “It shows what playing for this team means to him. Even though we’re 3-0 down. It would be very easy for him to say ‘I’ve pulled my side, I’ll go home and get it sorted’. If you’ve never pulled your side, you don’t know what pain like that is like. Every breath, you feel it. There are certain movements that are really painful.” Root said that the spirit shown in battling out for a draw, having been 39 for four in their first innings, was “a small step forward” after what had been a “dark day for English Test cricket” when the Ashes was surrendered in weak fashion in the third Test in Melbourne. “It would have been easy to roll over and feel sorry for ourselves,” he said. “We didn’t win and we were a long way behind the game. But to get a draw shows the character, desire and pride. It was an important step forward for this group. Pride is the overwhelming feeling.” Anderson, who defied Smith’s leg spin in the final over, was always confident he could secure the draw. “The minute I got out there Stuart Broad was telling me what to do — ‘get a big stride in, smother the ball, don’t let the bounce beat your bat’. I was like ‘alright mate, I’ve played before, it’s fine,’ ” he said. “Five balls from Steve Smith, he landed them really well, but the sixth, I don’t think Steve would begrudge me using the word pie. When I shook his hand I said ‘what was that?’. He said ‘the pressure got to me’. ” Seven overs in the day were lost to rain which helped England’s cause and Pat Cummins was forced to defend delaying Australia’s declaration late on the fourth day on 265 for six with a lead of 388. “The wicket was still not playing too many tricks and I thought if they batted really well 350 [runs] was pretty achievable out there,” Cummins said. “I thought 110 overs was enough time [to bowl England out]. We knew in the back of our mind it may potentially be a bit of a grind out there. It’s something we can look at. From this year to last year, I think we’ve made some improvements. “We probably stuck at our plans a little longer. It was a terrific game. We would have loved to win but there was great fight from England. It could have gone either way.”
  22. "Mr Ashley, we must discuss this. Perhaps we could meet in our Embassy in Istanbul, where you will be well provided for. I'll send a jet."
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