The Guardian is reporting that Rachel Riley is to receive “extra security” at recordings of Countdown after receiving online abuse.
Ms Riley “said she had been targeted by Labour supporters on Twitter for her criticisms of the party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn”, over alleged anti-Semitism.
The paper stated: “She has already spoken about being trolled online, but said the problem had worsened and included physical threats… ‘The more I speak, the more abuse I get, and the more abuse I get, the more I speak. It’s got to the point where I can’t look at my Twitter feed any more … it’s just a constant stream.’
“‘I’ve been attacked by people on the left and the best way to not have me talk about antisemitism on the left is not to be antisemitic.’”
I find myself in a unique position to comment on this as a person who has been falsely accused of anti-Semitism – by some of the people with whom Ms Riley has allied herself – and been shown to be demonstrably innocent. Considering the quality of the debate, I wonder if I’ll be accused again as a result of this article.
It is absolutely right that abuse should not be tolerated, and anybody abusing or threatening another person – over any issue – needs to be tackled over it.
And that includes Ms Riley – because she is, herself a serial abuser.
She tells us she became involved in the debate on anti-Semitism in March last year, after seeing a news report on a demonstration outside Parliament. That’s when she began writing, speaking and tweeting about it. Nobody, at that time, had sent her any anti-Semitic abuse or even engaged her in healthy debate about her point of view.
She has managed to provoke any adverse reactions herself (and bear in mind that I have already stated I do not support any abuse. I make this clear because experience shows that points like this need to be hammered home).
Examples of her contributions to the debate on anti-Semitism include:
- Praising an organisation whose members publicly harass and abuse peaceful pro-Palestinian protestors, and even issue death threats.
- Making anti-Semitism accusations against people who criticised Lord Sugar’s claim that he’d leave the country if Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister (most people didn’t even know he is Jewish at the time). Sugar himself has had to apologise for at least one public display of racism.
- Supporting the anti-Semite Mark Meechan (aka ‘Count Dankula’) who taught his dog to perform Nazi salutes when he said “Gas the Jews!” and “Sieg heil!”
- Vilifying the great Jewish intellectual Noam Chomsky as an anti-Semite.
- Cold-shouldering a 16-year-old girl with anxiety problems who had pointed out that Ms Riley has adopted questionable allies, in such a way that her (Ms Riley’s) supporters subjected her to an appalling amount of abuse (known as dogpiling).
- Doubling-down on this behaviour by including a tweet from the same teenager as an example of anti-Semitism.
- Comparing this teenager’s attempt to point out the inconsistencies in her own behaviour with “the spread of Antisemitism”.
You can find evidence in support of all the above in this article.
Oh, and she also:
- Supported actress Tracy Ann Oberman’s campaign of harassment against the same teenage girl.
- Tried to gaslight her followers into thinking that the article I mention immediately above was inaccurate by supporting false claims by one of her allies.
- Attacked that teenage girl yet again, along with her father.
You can find the evidence supporting this claims here.
Now, if you visit those evidence-packed articles by Shaun Lawson, you’ll see some extremely harsh comments about Ms Riley. As mentioned twice above, I don’t condone abuse of any kind and so I don’t support those expressions of opinion although, reading through the evidence, I can certainly understand why he made them.
And you should too, from this summary of what has happened to the teenager who has suffered so much abuse from two television celebrities:
The consequences of Riley and Oberman’s obscene conduct have been as follows:
- Rosie’s Twitter account has been hacked several times, by people trying to delete screenshots. Now why might that be…?
- People have tried to track down her family’s address and her devastated mother’s Facebook page.
- Someone eavesdropped on Rosie in class and tried to sell the story to The Sun. Which in keeping with its reputation of being lower than vermin, printed something… before deleting it hours later.
- She has people in college believing she’s an anti-Semite.
- She, a 16-year-old child, has received death threats.
I’m not saying Ms Riley intentionally tried to get her followers to threaten this girl with death. But nobody can deny that her irresponsibility has encouraged others to do so, and that she has been reckless as to the consequences of her behaviour.
So now we see that a person who has complained to the newspapers about “extra security” on the TV show she co-presents – because of death threats – has herself provoked death threats against a teenage girl.
And you can be sure this girl won’t be getting “extra security” – or, indeed, any security at all.
NOTE (December 7, 2019): This article has been edited to remove the links to Shaun Lawson’s excellent articles on Medium.com and replace them with “snapshots” of the same articles that are available at archive.is. You may be aware that Rachel Riley disputes some of the opinions put forward in this article and is currently suing me for libel; her legal team informed mine yesterday that one of Mr Lawson’s articles had been taken down and it seems they are trying to make a legal argument out of it. My solicitors tell me Mr Lawson has informed them that the article has been down due to a technical issue. He has re-uploaded it, but this has meant that it now has a different web address. To avoid any confusion, I have replaced the old links with links to the versions of Mr Lawson’s articles that were available when Ms Riley’s legal team made their initial complaint.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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