Monthly Archives: May 2019

Willsman suspended – again. But his alleged claims are entirely reasonable

Peter Willsman: Clearly he has enemies who want him discredited – and they aren’t above ignoring Labour Party rules to achieve this.

Peter Willsman, a left-wing member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, has had his party membership suspended – again – over comments that some are claiming to be anti-Semitic.

It seems clear that these claims are false and it will be informative to watch the way Labour deals with this case.

Mr Willsman’s party membership was previously suspended after allegations last year, but was restored to his position after he made an apology. Many believe he should have stuck to his guns as he had done nothing wrong.

The current allegation arises from a recording of an “off-the-record” conversation with an author, in which Mr Willsman allegedly said he believed the Israeli embassy was coordinating antisemitism accusations against the Labour Party.

The first thing that occurs to This Writer is that “off-the-record” means exactly that; comments made in such circumstances are not intended to be attributed to their source and it is the height of unprofessionalism to name the source of an “off-the-record” comment. I would like to know the name of the person who supplied the recording to LBC, in order for this person to be blackballed by the British Establishment. They cannot be trusted.

Secondly – and far more importantly – is the fact that Mr Willsman said nothing anti-Semitic, even though this is the apparent reason for his suspension.

It is known that at least one Israeli embassy operative very definitely conspired with at least one UK civil servant in order to “take down” then-Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Shai Masot was forced to return to Israel after the revelations by Al Jazeera.

But here’s a thing: Part of the accusation against Mr Willsman is that he said a Labour member was “working indirectly” for the Israeli embassy. This is believed to refer to Joan Ryan, who was a Labour MP at the time the recording was made (she has since switched to Change UK) and also chair of Labour Friends of Israel.

There is evidence in support of this claim.

Here’s a video of Ms Ryan being offered a vast amount of money to carry out work for the Israeli government – by the same Israeli embassy official, Shai Masot:

Clearly there is evidence to support Mr Willsman’s concerns, as expressed on the recording.

But what will Labour do? Here’s what I think should happen – and what I fear will happen:

The problem is exactly as former Labour minister Clare Short described it in a BBC interview earlier this week:

“There has been a widening of the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel.”

This contradicts the definition and examples of anti-Semitism laid out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which the Labour Party adopted last year.

Israel-supporting members of Labour campaigned hotly for the party to adopt this definition – and the examples accompanying it – in full after the party initially adopted its own (better) definition.

Watch them now as they ignore it completely.

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Brexit – what next? Britain holds its breath while the Tories tarry

Mark Harper: He’s the 12th Tory MP to enter the party’s leadership race – and does NOT support a “no deal” Brexit.

Voters in the European Parliament elections must be particularly annoyed to find that, after they cast their votes determinedly for the Brexit Party (or the Liberal Democrats) to ensure that the UK leaves the European Union at the earliest opportunity (or abandons the plan to leave)… nothing is happening.

It was never going to.

The European Parliament doesn’t have much to do with Brexit. All those voters – millions of them – cast their ballot under false impressions.

The real action is in the Conservative government – which is paralysed after Theresa May announced her resignation.

Nothing will happen until a new leader is voted in, and let us hope that the 100,000 or so blue-rinsed grannies (average age of a Tory Party member is 71 or thereabouts) choose the right right-winger for the job.

Some would have it that democracy demands a return to the voting public before any decisions are made…

But Peter Kyle is a Labour MP who won’t want the Conservatives to make headway in any case.

His demand is in direct contrast to that of business leaders from the British Chambers of Commerce, who want immediate action to prevent further damage to the economy (yes, they’re saying the country has already suffered harm because of Brexit and they should know). They are also concerned that no new Tory leader should support a “no deal” Brexit that will also take money out of corporate coffers.

But these concerns are based on an expectation that Boris Johnson would win – and he is facing a possible jail sentence if he is convicted of misleading the public during the EU referendum campaign.

But Mr Johnson isn’t the only potential supporter of “no deal”.

Dominic Raab has announced that he wants the UK to leave the EU in October “at the latest”, indicating departure with no deal if one hasn’t been reached by then.

Esther McVey has said the public should be prepared for a “no deal” departure.

And Andrea Leadsom says under her leadership the UK will leave the EU in October, with or without a deal.

It seems that they might get their way, even if none of them wins the leadership election – because of the intransigence of the EU27 leaders.

Leaders including Emmanuel Macron in France, Angela Merkel in Germany, Mark Rutte in the Netherlands, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU’s position was not about to change; its side of negotiations over Brexit was over and it was for the UK to come up with something new.

Consensus opinion on the other side of the Channel is that Mrs May will be replaced with a “hard” Brexiter who will propel the UK out of the EU with no deal.

That, it seems, would ruin the Tory reputation as the “party of business”. Pro-business commentators are already saying it would be less damaging to have a Labour government that hikes corporation tax, according to the BBC News channel that I’m watching as I type this.

And the Brexit Party under Nigel Farage? Its MEPs won’t have a say in any of this.

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Don’t be fooled by Rory Stewart’s bid to charm you. He’s a Tory and his voting record betrays him

Rory Stewart: Not as charming as he wants to appear.

Tory Rory Stewart wants you to think he’s a thoroughly likeable chap.

That’s why he admitted taking opium – on one occasion in the past; it was to show that he has given in to human weaknesses, and then gone past them.

Here he is on the BBC’s Question Time giving us more of the same: He wants to heal our divisions with love.

How nice.

How false.

See for yourself the reason it is false. It only takes two tweets:

So much for Tory Rory’s love.

It begins and ends with himself.

That’s why he wants to be leader of the Conservative Party (and prime minister as well) – for his own gain, not yours.

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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So much for the Tories’ claim to be ending ‘pointless’ PIP reassessments for pensioners

Ron Stevenson: He has motor neurone disease and, at 69, is a pensioner. So why did he receive a letter demanding that he submit to reassessment for Personal Independence Payment?

If the Tory work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, was serious about ending “pointless” reassessment of pensioners for benefits, why is this happening?

A terminally ill man with just six months to live was ‘devastated’ to be told he’d need to reapply for his benefits.

Ron Stevenson, 69, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease 10 years ago and relies on moderate weekly care payments to supplement his care.

But last month, Ron received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), calling for him to reapply for his benefits because he is up for reassessment.

He says the letter told him if he did not reply his payments would stop on July 29.

Former special needs teacher Ron is almost completely paralysed, leaving him reliant on carers and his wife Gill.

Those in his position can claim up to £150 a week in Personal Independence Payments to ease suffering and care.

Grandfather Ron, of Staplefield, West Sussex, but originally from Lancashire, called the call for reassessment “devastating”.

Mr Stevenson will continue to receive his benefit after he and his family submitted further evidence to show what should be obvious – that his conditions cannot improve and he deserves to continue receiving his benefit.

But here’s the thing: The DWP has said it will stop asking pensioners to reapply for benefits from today (May 31). July 29 is nearly two months after that date, so Mr Stevenson should not have been threatened at all.

Source: Dad with 6 months to live ‘devastated’ after DWP ask him to reapply for benefits – Mirror Online

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New lease of life for Mike’s libel defence appeal

Vox Political’s Mike Sivier with the correction he secured from the last organisation to publish falsehoods about him. It’s one of the few good, on-topic images available.

Just when I was getting ready to admit defeat, CrowdJustice has granted my funding campaign an extra 30 days.

The appeal – for funds to fight false allegations of libel by TV personalities Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman – had raised £15,000 of its £25,000 “stretch” target, and I thought that was a very good result.

After all, I’m not a well-known celebrity – just a minor internet political commentator – and I had been accused by hugely-popular media darlings.

So 60 per cent of the “stretch” target, in the fact of determined attempts by some of their supporters to deny my claims and belittle my case, seemed an excellent result.

I’d like to thank everybody who has donated. You’ve raised far more than I could hope to expect.

Would it be enough? I doubted it.

But it was a declaration that many people – nearly 1,000 – are not prepared to let wealthy celebrities make a mockery of the British justice system and it gave me hope that my opponents in this matter might reconsider their apparent plan to use their financial resources to stifle the facts.

And then I received an email from CrowdJustice saying my appeal would be automatically extended for another 30 days.

Now it is possible that we can reach that £25,000 target after all.

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

I’m sure there are many more people who would be willing to help this struggle for justice against privilege.

Please help me find them – because I’m still determined not to apologise to two bullies for the results of their own ill-advised acts.

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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Corbyn led tributes to late Labour/anti-war activist Walter Wolfgang and it really riled some people

Friends: Jeremy Corbyn and Walter Wolfgang.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has led tributes to lifelong party campaigner, CND co-founder and anti-war activist Walter Wolfgang, who died on May 28.

Mr Wolfgang belonged to a Jewish family who suffered persecution in Nazi Germany. He escaped in 1937 and his parents followed him to the UK two years later.

He joined the Labour Party in 1948 and co-founded the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) 10 years later. In the late 1970s he was a leading member of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, which seeks reforms to the party structure that give constituency parties more power.

He may be best-known as the man who heckled then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw during the 2005 Labour Party conference, shouting “Nonsense!” when Mr Straw claimed the UK’s armed forces were in Iraq only to help that country’s democratically-elected government “build a secure, democratic and stable nation”.

The following year, Mr Wolfgang was elected into a place on Labour’s National Executive Committee.

And in August 2015, Mr Wolfgang endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s candidacy in the Labour Party leadership election. Mr Corbyn won.

It seems clear that Mr Wolfgang and Mr Corbyn had been friends for many years; their political views were closely-aligned.

Here is Mr Corbyn’s tribute:

Sadly, it seems at least one person has seen fit to manipulate the death of this great campaigner, using it as an excuse to attack Mr Corbyn:

How charming to intrude on a man’s grief by calling him a “vulture”.

This is one of the individuals who are trying to sue me for defamation against them.

Draw your own conclusions.

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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Tom Watson surveys his Twitter followers on Brexit and HuffPost thinks it means something

Manipulating the media: Tom Watson used to talk about fake news – now, it seems, he produces it.

The sheer muddle-headed stupidity of this is astounding.

The Huffington Post has reported the results of a survey of his Twitter followers by Tom Watson as if it represents the views of Labour Party members.

Tom Watson is a hugely divisive man whose pronouncements against current Labour policy have alienated him from huge numbers of the party membership.

Anyone who has actually criticised him on this behaviour tends to be blocked from viewing/responding to his Twitter account.

So the following headline – and the article to which it links – should be read with extreme caution, it seems to me.

Others have been more forthright in their condemnation:

Exactly. It isn’t valid. It’s fake news.

And Tom Watson has to go, before he tries to do any more damage.

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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Rory Stewart admits smoking opium in Iran. Is anybody surprised?

The eyes have it: Rory Stewart has admitted taking opium and to judge from his expression he is still experiencing the comedown.

This explains a great deal.

I would differ with Mr Stewart over his claim that the opium had no effect on him – at least, until I find another explanation for his behaviour*.

Jeremy Hunt’s revelation is also no surprise.

One awaits further confessions from the remaining Conservative leadership candidates. Who knows what they may say? I feel that, whatever is revealed, we will all find it… cathartic.

Rory Stewart has revealed he smoked opium in Iran as the Tory leadership contender embarked on the latest leg of his round-Britain tour meeting voters one at a time.

Days after Jeremy Hunt said he once drank a cannabis lassi, his rival went significantly further and disclosed he tried the Class A drug at a wedding while travelling in the region.

The International Development secretary went on to insist the opium “had no effect” on him “because I was walking 25-30 miles a day”.

*He does, after all, want to be leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister. At the moment that’s the equivalent of longing for a nervous breakdown and a full-frontal lobotomy to cure it.

Source: Rory Stewart admits smoking opium in Iran as he continues leadership tour of Britain 

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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POLL: Disability reassessment for pensioners to be phased out – but will all DWP changes be as good?

This is welcome:

People receiving PIP who have reached State Pension age will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a light touch review at 10 years. Nearly 290,000 people of State Pension age are in receipt of PIP.

From Friday, new claimants to PIP whose review would have been scheduled after they had reached State Pension age will receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at 10 years.

Applying this change to new claimants is the first step and it will be extended to existing PIP claimants above State Pension age in the coming months.

But what about this?

Other improvements include combining the separate assessment processes for PIP, Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit into one integrated service from 2021.

The integrated service will simplify the assessment process for millions of people claiming health related benefits, reducing the need to submit information multiple times and for some people reducing the number of face-to-face assessments.

Simplifying the assessment process, for a Conservative, means making it harder for a UK taxpayer to access a state benefit.

I fear that combining the assessments for PIP, ESA and UC will mean joining the most draconian aspects of each in order to deprive claimants of the benefits they are due.

Time will tell if I’m right – but what do you think?

Source: Unnecessary disability reassessments for disabled pensioners to be phased out – GOV.UK

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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How could Boris Johnson lead the Tory Party – or the country – from inside a jail cell?

Boris Johnson: His bags are packed but it’s too late to do a runner. He must appear in court to answer charges.

Boris Johnson’s prime ministerial ambition could soon be in tatters after he was told he will face trial for misconduct in public office over claims he made during the run-up to the EU membership referendum.

Mr Johnson supported the much-publicised claim – on the side of the so-called “Brexit bus” – that the UK sends £350m to the EU every week and the money could be better-used to pay for the NHS instead.

In fact, the UK does not send anything like as much money to the EU – and when the country decouples from the European bloc, the money it does send will need to be used to shore up the economy, which is already taking a battering.

If he is found guilty of the offences (there are three listed), then Mr Johnson may face six months’ imprisonment.

This may seriously harm his career plans. He is currently front-runner in the Conservative Party leadership race – but it would be hard for him to be Tory leader, let alone prime minister, from a jail cell. They don’t let you do it.

As far as I can tell, Mr Johnson’s lawyers are saying the court case is a “political stunt” – an attempt to use criminal law to regulate the quality of political debate.

That seems a very sticky wicket on which to go into bat.

We know that MPs lie.

Why not make it a criminal offence to do so?

Boris Johnson is to be summoned to court to face accusations of misconduct in public office over comments made in the run-up to the EU referendum, a judge has ruled.

The ruling follows a crowdfunded move to launch a private prosecution of the MP, who is currently the frontrunner in the Tory leadership contest.

Johnson lied and engaged in criminal conduct when he repeatedly claimed during the 2016 EU referendum that the UK sent £350m a week to Brussels, lawyers for a 29-year-old businessman who has launched the prosecution bid told a court last week.

Source: Boris Johnson to appear in court over Brexit misconduct claims | Politics | The Guardian

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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