30th September 2019
Last week was a busy week for anyone with pretensions at being a commentator on constitutional law.
(Please note I am not, and do not claim to be, an expert on constitutional law – I enjoy applying what I do know about the law to emerging events and explaining complex legal things to lay people.)
On the day the supreme court judgment was handed down I did a phone-in radio interview with James O’Brien for LBC.
I also did an “emergency” Remainiacs podcast with Schona Jolly QC and Naomi Smith.
A day or two later I did my first studio broadcasting for about seven years for a BBC Radio 4 episode of the Briefing Room, with David Aaronovitch.
And at the end of the week I did a FT politics podcast with Sebastian Payne (Whitehall correspondent), Jane Croft (courts correspondent) and Laura Hughes (political correspondent).
The main reason I did these is that I think it important that those with an understanding of the law contribute at times of constitutional drama, else it will be left to others, including charlatans, who do not.
I also am getting more used to doing “voice work”, though I rather sound like Wednesday Addams with a Brummie accent.
I like writing, but I also like conversation – and so the format of podcasts suits me, and I am even thinking of starting my own (and perhaps doing audio versions of my longer posts here).
But I do dislike broadcasting – there is something artificial about it which triggers self-consciousness and awkwardness, and self-consciousness and awkwardness are the enemies of fluency and constructive discussion.
(With the likes of James O’Brien and David Aaronovitch that is less of an issue, as you know they and those listening are genuinely interested in discussion – but even then it is odd to have the accompaniment of editors and producers intervening and presenters waving hands to those off-mic. Trying to ignore the distractions make radio interviews broadcasts more performances than discussions.)
And I also dislike the gladiatorial and pseudo-“balanced” approach of many radio interviews, which may be good for those who enjoy confrontations but do little to either inform or inspire thought.
All that said, promoting the public understanding of law is a good thing and so I am glad I was able during last week’s momentous week for constitutional discussion to contribute to that understanding other than by typing, and I may do more.
Please note I now have a Facebook page where I will be linking to my posts and podcasts, so you can share them with those who may be interested in the public understanding of law.
Thank you for reading me on this new(ish) blog.
I expect to be blogging here more often, instead of spending time on Twitter.
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