First is a post by Douglas Carswell MP on his blog titled "Yes to change. No to AV" which is well worth reading as it points out that whilst the electoral system is currently knackered in the sense that the people don't really have much say because of the "party machine", a move to AV probably won't change that and actually make things even worse.
As I read the post I couldn't help remember the words of the great Sir Humphrey Appleby,
"The argument that we must do everything a Minister demands because he has been 'democratically chosen' does not stand up to close inspection. MPs are not chosen by 'the people' - they are chosen by their local constituency parties: thirty-five men in grubby raincoats or thirty-five women in silly hats. The further 'selection' process is equally a nonsense: there are only 630 MPs and a party with just over 300 MPs forms a government and of these 300, 100 are too old and too silly to be ministers and 100 too young and too callow. Therefore there are about 100 MPs to fill 100 government posts. Effectively no choice at all."The second little snippet for you is a follow on from my CPS post the other day, which incidentally, I think may have been a site record breaker in terms of the number of comments it generated.
It's via a post at the legal blog Jack of Kent which ponders upon why there could not be cross-examination of the different medical opinion, and specifically it's a comment by a barrister called Tom who has a blog called Triangular Bees who said the following,
From my quick reading of the Statement from the DPP it seemd to me that the concern was that the CPS felt that they would be obliged to call Dr Patel as well as the other two medics because he was the only person who saw the body intact and without him the Defence would have a field day.He makes the point much better than I did. As I said in my post, which caused a storm, it's unfortunate but the CPS found itself in a sticky cock-up situation. It could have been avoided by not cocking up in the first place of course, but it's just one of those things.
However, if the CPS did call Dr Patel as well as the other two medics, the CPS would not be in a position to cross-examine Dr Patel at trial as he would be their witness. The law does not allow an advocate to cross-examine his own witness except in very exceptional circumstances where the witness is ruled to be hostile - that would hardly be likely to apply here. This would leave the CPS adducing contradictory evidence as to cause of death with which the Defence would also have a field day.