Common Scold

The Criminal Law Act 1967 contains this strange clause:

13 (1) The following offences are hereby abolished … any distinct offence under the common law in England and Wales of … being a common scold.

I doubt most modern lawyers would know what a ‘common scold’ is, because it’s been obsolete for about two centuries.  However, there is a definition in Blackstone’s Commentaries.  It is a woman (by law a man could not be a scold) who caused a public nuisance in her neighbourhood.  The punishment was the ducking chair.

These days, if you disrupt your neighbourhood, you can get an ASBO.  But if you were a woman disrupting your neighbourhood in 1966, you could theoretically have been sentenced to the ducking chair.

In fact, the last use of the ducking chair was Sarah Leeke, in 1817.  Fortunately for her, the water in the pond was too low, so she was wheeled round the town in the chair and then allowed to go.

Scottish Referendum Result

This is the only place where you can get the Scottish referendum result before anyone actually votes.  Let’s imagine Prince Charles reading it out, because he did such a great job lowering the flag in Hong Kong.

‘In favour of Scotland becoming an independent country: 2,087,387 votes.
‘In favour of Scotland remaining part of the UK: 2,081,903 votes.’

There is cheering and clapping.  ‘This is a proud moment for Scotland,’ says Salmond.  ‘Blah blah blah.  Braveheart.  Bannockburn.  Yadda yadda.  Jacobites.  Culloden and the Duke of Cumberland.’

Then a small voice is heard.  ‘Hold on, is that a one or a seven?’

Public Affairs Act 1975

Do you think the Public Affairs Act should be repealed?

When YouGov asked the question, 9% of people said yes, 9% no.  Labour voters were more likely to support repeal of the Act.  Men were more likely to express an opinion.  Older people were more likely to support repeal, while younger people were more likely to oppose it.

The Act doesn’t exist, so anyone expressing an opinion either way is a bit of a wally.

Fat Cat Tax 2014

Following changes in the budget, please note the new rates of Fat Cat Tax. Kittens less than one year old, and pregnant females, remain exempt.

  • Less than 5kg: exempt.
  • 5kg—6kg: £20
  • 6kg—8kg: £50
  • 8kg—10kg: £100
  • Above 10kg: £250

To determine the correct rate of Fat Cat Tax, your cat will need to be weighed before July 1st.  This can be done by a registered veterinary surgeon, or at the Post Office™.  There is an additional £2 charge for weighing cats at the Post Office, but you can buy your new licence sticker at the same time.

Phone Bill Embarrassment

I went to check my phone bill today, and what did I see?

bt

Someone forgot to put something in the diary. 🙂

(If you want to see this, you need to have IPv6 enabled on your computer and browser.  If you don’t have IPv6, you go to a different server, and the certificate has been updated on that one.)