The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Friday, February 22, 2008


I have just finished looking through the local paper, and it contains a full-page advertisement announcing that Londoners on Income Support can get a card to allow travel on London buses and trams for half price. At the bottom of the page are the proud logos of Mayor of London, Transport for London, and, incongruously, the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela.
I presume that this is the fruit of Hugo Chavez' visit to London, when he cosied up to Mayor Ken, and offered cheap oil to the people of London.
As it happens I have been to Caracas. The drive from the airport to the city takes you through festering slums that cling to the hillsides. The inhabitants of the Barrios are far poorer than even bottom-of-the-pile Londoners, yet their Presidente is throwing their money at residents of one of the world's richest cities. Yuk.