Monthly Archives: March 2022

Riley libel: now trial may be in July – but not all lawyers can make it

The High Court: is it in the interests of justice for it to punish Mike for its own mistakes?

It seems as though the High Court is now trying to punish me for its own mistake by listing my libel trial against Rachel Riley on a date when not all of my legal team can attend.

You may recall my update yesterday (March 30), when I said the court had mistakenly listed the trial for three days between June 20-24, 2023, which could not possibly happen because June 24 that year is a Saturday.

Court officials then said no date in June 2022 is available, apart from very late in the month when not all of my legal team can attend. Alternatively, it is possible to list the trial for July 18-21 – when not all of my legal team can attend.

It might be possible to brief other representatives, but these would not be fully familiar with the history of the case and this would put me at a disadvantage if Riley has the benefit of the full legal team that has been with her from the start.

My personal feeling is that this would not be in the interests of justice.

I have made this clear but while my representatives try to sort out this shocking mess, all I can do is continue to appeal to you for funds – especially as I may need extra in order to brief a new legal representative (or indeed, team).

More than ever, I need you to:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you are as disgusted with this treatment as I am, the best way to respond is by supporting me financially.

I can’t say anything unless I get into court for a trial – and if I do get there, believe me, I will have a lot to say!

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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Ministers accused of using public funds for ‘Tory propaganda’ ads. Are they lies too?

Fit for recycling? In 2019, Tory newspaper ads were banned by the Advertising Standards Authority as a pack of lies. Are these new ads about ‘Levelling Up’ similarly fact-free?

‘Levelling Up’ Ministers have been accused of using more than £100,000 of public money to flood local newspapers and Facebook with “Tory propaganda”, weeks before the local elections.

The Tory government has funded Facebook adverts promoting ‘levelling up’ spending in more than 30 areas, including many places where the Conservatives are hoping to make gains or defend council seats in May.

It has also used public money to fund wraparound adverts to cover the fronts of local newspapers, claiming to have been ‘levelling up’ across a map of the UK with the union flag.

Places targeted include tight council areas like Southend, Great Yarmouth, Derby, Wolverhampton and Walsall and general election marginals including Darlington, Blyth Valley, and Stoke-on-Trent.

There are also reports of radio adverts and even digital billboards in town centres.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities refused to say how much was being spent on the advertising campaign –  but it is likely to be far higher in total than the £100,000 spent on Facebook ads alone.

The Labour Party has been up in arms about the campaign, which has been launched just before the official “purdah” period that prevents the government from making public announcements or running campaigns – but low regulation around election advertising means little can be done.

According to The Guardian, Lisa Nandy said, “This is now a government so lacking in ambition that it literally has to pay people to promote its flagship policies.”

But a government spokesperson said: “These claims are untrue. Our levelling up campaign is running across the UK with areas chosen to portray real life examples of levelling up.”

This Writer’s advice is for Labour’s MPs to fact-check every claim in the Tory adverts.

Back in 2019, Boris Johnson’s Tory government paid for a series of wraparound adverts promoting Universal Credit…

They were swiftly banned by the Advertising Standards Authority as a pack of lies.

Source: Ministers accused of using public funds for ‘Tory propaganda’ ads

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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Tory MP Jamie Wallis comes out as first trans MP after blackmail and rape ordeal

Trauma: Jamie Wallis.

Welsh Tory MP Jamie Wallis has become the UK’s first member of parliament to come out publicly as transgender, releasing a statement in which they discussed the traumas of being blackmailed – and raped.

In a statement released yesterday (March 30), they said:

“I’m trans. Or to be more accurate, I want to be. I’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I’ve felt this way since I was a very young child. I had no intention of ever sharing this with you. I always imagined I would leave politics well before I ever said this out loud.

“There was a close call in April 2020 when someone blackmailed me, outed me to my father and sent photographs to other family members. He wanted £50,000 to keep quiet.

“The police were so supportive, so understanding and on this occasion the system worked. He pled guilty and was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.

“A few months back, in September, I ‘hooked up’ with someone who I met online and when I chose to say ‘no’ on the basis that he wouldn’t wear a condom he chose to rape me. I have not been myself since this incident and I don’t think I will ever recover. It is not something you ever forget, and it is not something you ever move on from.

“Since then things have really taken a tumble. I am not ok.

“When I crashed my car on November 28 I fled the scene. I did so because I was terrified. I have PTSD and I honestly have no idea what I was doing except I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of fear. I am sorry that it appears I ‘ran away’ but this isn’t how it happened in the moment.”

He concluded: “I have never lived my truth and I’m not sure how. Perhaps it starts with telling everyone.”

Perhaps it does.

Anyone will be aware that as far as This Writer is concerned, politically, modern Conservatives are lower than vermin.

But everybody should be allowed to live their life in the manner that best suits them, as long as it does not harm anybody else.

The ordeals that Jamie Wallis described in their statement should not happen to anybody. They have had justice over the blackmail and I hope they can get some form of justice for the rape in the future (alleged rape, I should say – until it is proved).

The mental distress these – and the burden of hiding their nature – caused Wallis won’t justify them running away from the scene of a car crash, although it may mitigate it slightly.

Let’s hope this will translate into increased sympathy for constituents in difficult and traumatic situations in future. If that happens, Wallis will gain a huge amount of stature above the vast majority of his colleagues.

Source: Tory MP Jamie Wallis comes out as first trans MP – Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate

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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Government to tell whether Boris Johnson overruled security services on Lebedev peerage

Boris Johnson and Evgeny Lebedev: 10 days after saying he saw no evidence that Russians were influencing UK politics, Johnson has elevated this Russian to the House of Lords.

Parliament has ordered the Tory government to publish confidential information on how Evgeny Lebedev, the son of a Russian spy, was offered a place in the House of Lords.

The Guardian revealed back in 2020 that Boris Johnson overruled concerns voiced by the security services in order to give Lebedev a peerage:

Two days before Johnson met Lebedev in March [he did this on March 19, right after telling us all to stay in our homes because of Covid-19, so this happened on March 17], the House of Lords appointments commission (Holac), which scrutinises all nominations, wrote to the prime minister. It is understood to have expressed concerns about Lebedev’s proposed peerage and asked Downing Street to reconsider.

The commission, made up of cross-party peers, carries out “propriety checks” on candidates. It does not have the power of veto. But it can suggest that a party come up with an alternative, which is what is understood to have happened in Lebedev’s case.

Peers were apparently alarmed following a confidential briefing from the UK security services. They told the commission Lebedev was viewed as a potential security risk because of his father, Alexander Lebedev, a one-time Moscow spy. During the late cold war period, Lebedev Sr worked undercover at the Soviet embassy in London. His real employer was KGB foreign intelligence.

Johnson ignored the concerns and Lebedev became a Lord.

Labour leader Keir Starmer called for Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee to review all the reports on Lord Lebedev that Holac saw, after Russians in the UK came under suspicion in the wake of the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Lebedev himself has supported publication of the material, saying, “I have nothing to hide.”

But Downing Street insisted that “all peerages are vetted by the House of Lords Appointments Commission” – an assertion that failed to acknowledge that Holac can’t veto an appointment, which always remains within the gift of the prime minister.

And Johnson himself has denied overruling the concerns expressed by the security services.

If the documents are published and show that Johnson did indeed ignore concerns raised by the security services, then he has lied in his capacity as prime minister. If he uttered those words in Parliament, then he will have broken the Ministerial Code and his resignation will be required.

And the irony is that any security risk posed by Lebedev is tiny in any case – because Lords are not shown “classified” documents.

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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Prime Minister’s Questions: Boris Johnson fails to answer Partygate accusations

Downing Street party: Boris Johnson asks quiz questions at one of the events that he says did not happen at his home and workplace during Covid-19-related lockdowns.

Police have discovered widespread criminality in Downing Street, with 20 people – so far – fined for attending parties there during Covid-19 lockdown when it was illegal to do so.

That’s five more than originally reported when This Site broke the story.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on the record as saying no such parties took place and all regulations were followed, despite allegedly attending six of the 12 events under investigation himself.

At the very least, Johnson lied to Parliament and under the Ministerial Code he should resign.

In response to questioning, Johnson complained that Opposition leader Keir Starmer had previously said he should not resign, then fell back on a list of other issues he claimed to be tackling.

He did not address the question at all.

Doesn’t that indicate that he is as guilty as sin and should resign or be pushed out?

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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Boris Johnson flounders on Tory tax rises at Prime Minister’s Questions

Sulk, Johnson, sulk: his flailing performance in Prime Minister’s Questions didn’t convince anybody.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson fell apart completely while being questioned about his government’s tax rises in Prime Minister’s Questions today (March 30, 2022).

He said he has cut fuel duty – but prices have not come down to affordable levels.

He said he was cutting Income Tax – but that won’t happen until 2024 and is an election bribe.

He has imposed 15 tax rises – the highest tax burden in 70 years.

For every £6 taken, he’s giving only £1 back.

In response to questioning, Johnson lied that Covid-19 was responsible for his tax rises, not him, and resorted to claiming that his nonexistent Health and Social Care levy – the money from his 10 per cent National Insurance rise is already being used for other things – was what the Opposition doesn’t want.

Pressed on these issues, Johnson fell to fantasy, making wild claims about what another government might do, and lying that oil and gas companies are investing their enormous profits in ensuring the UK has long-term energy supplies (they aren’t).

See for yourself:

This was an open goal that even Keir Starmer couldn’t miss.

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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Riley libel trial is plunged into limbo by the High Court

The Royal Courts of Justice in London – where the date of the Rachel Riley/Mike Sivier libel trial is once again unknown.

I am informed that, without wishing to use too much technical jargon, the [High] Court has cocked up the trial listing.

Whoever was responsible had listed the trial to take place on three days between June 20-24, 2023 – not 2022 – even though the last of those dates is a Saturday, and the High Court never sits on Saturdays.

June 2022 is now unavailable, according to the court – apart from, possibly June 7-10, which would give me two weeks’ less fundraising time than I had expected previously.

Alternatively, we are facing trial dates in December or afterwards.

So the High Court has put my trial into limbo.  I can’t tell you how distressing this has been, after preparing myself for a high-pressure campaign to raise the funds on time, to suddenly have the rug pulled out from under me in this way, by the court.

I have been plunged into anxiety, insecurity and uncertainty because a pen-pusher on The Strand apparently didn’t know how to use a calendar properly.

All I can do is beg you – and anyone else who wants to see this case get to court – to make a donation as soon as possible, and keep donating regularly whenever you can, because I no longer have any idea when I’ll need it.

It’s the end of the month, so hopefully many of you will have been paid recently. Responsibility prompts me to remind you that there are large rises in taxes and costs coming, so please only donate what you can afford.

Here are the details:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

I really can’t tell you how badly my confidence has been affected by the latest development. My feeling is that even Riley’s side has been disappointed by this let-down.

My defence badly needs a boost at this time. Can you help?

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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P&O boss calls Shapps’s bluff; what consequences will the firm face?

Grounded: P&O Ferries are being held in dock after failing government safety checks. What other penalties, can Grant Shapps devise for the firm until it delivers an equitable deal for its wrongly-sacked workers.

P&O Ferries boss Peter Hebblethwaite has refused to rehire 800 UK staff after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned him to take them back or face “consequences”.

Shapps’s bluff has been called. What is he going to do?

Shapps has already said the government is reviewing all its contracts with P&O Ferries and its parent firm, ports operator DP World. It’s hard to see how he could justify continuing any of those contracts in the face of this continuing defiance of the law.

And it has already grounded several ships after they failed safety checks.

Hebblethwaite knew before he embarked on the mass sacking that he had not informed the government of his intention to carry it out in the legally necessary time period.

But he has insisted that his decisions – and the illegal way he has carried them out – were the only way to save the firm, as it was losing £100 million per year.

If he were to reverse the sackings, he has said, then the whole company would have to be dissolved, with the loss of a further 2,200 jobs.

It’s a test of character for the Tory government.

Boris Johnson’s cronies have had no problem with hitting down at society’s most vulnerable people.

But now they are faced with a large employer, defiantly saying it is going to do whatever it wants.

Will the government have the courage to treat Hebblethwaite the same as any other lawbreaker? Or will it cave in to Big Money, as usual?

Source: P&O boss refuses to reinstate 800 sacked staff as row with Government escalates

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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This cynical move shows Keir Starmer is turning Labour into a members-only club

For the many? It seems “the many” are being pushed out of the Labour Party – unless they are friends of Keir Starmer.

Pretty soon, the only people allowed to be members of the Labour Party will be those in Keir Starmer’s inner circle.

That’s why the party leadership is tailoring its conditions for proscribing members – automatically excluding them in retrospect for activities with outside or formerly-affiliated organisations – to ensure the current leader’s friends don’t suffer the effects meant for others.

The latest groups to be proscribed are Labour Left Alliance (LLA), Socialist Labour Network and the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) – but there is a singular exception:

Regarding AWL, members are excluded for participating in events including the annual conference except for debating with members of the organisation.

This is because Luke Akehurst, secretary of the far-right Labour First, has taken part in such an event and Starmer doesn’t want to lose him.

Luke’s a member of the club, you see. He gets a free pass. You don’t.

Steve Walker of the Skwawkbox blog is right: “The shameless hypocrisy of the Labour right knows no bounds. Just as Starmer’s ‘zero tolerance of antisemitism’ turned out to mean ‘a lot of tolerance for antisemitism as long as it’s a right-winger’, it was always clear that expulsion rules were only being applied to left-wingers.

“But now those rules are being specifically written to ensure that favoured henchmen are explicitly exempt – and only those favoured henchmen.”

And Labour MP Clive Lewis admitted that the move shows his own party sliding into authoritarianism and a “crisis of democracy”:

Simply put, the Labour Party is turning into a members-only club for friends of Keir Starmer.

They get all the perks.

If you’re a socialist and you’re still a member of that party, then get used to dreaming about democracy – because you’re never going to have it again.

 

Source: Labour tailors new expulsion rules to protect right-winger Akehurst – SKWAWKBOX

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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Free parking for hospital staff to end as Javid piles insult onto the injury of NHS pay

NHS staff, already insulted by derisory pay rises inflicted on them by the Tory government, are being told they’ll have to find the cash to pay for their parking places again from Friday.*

And the cost is likely to be anything up to three times what they were paying before, because of a Tory manifesto promise from 2019.

The government pledged in their December 2019 election manifesto to provide free parking for some patients and staff on their night shifts.

We know the move has prompted at least one privately run car parking company to pass on the cost to daytime NHS workers.

At the time, I questioned why hospital car parks are run for profit by private companies in the first place. Our health care is supposed to be free at the point of use so I asked, is our useless Tory government getting around that by charging us all to get there?

The question was rhetorical; the short answer is yes.

But neither Sajid Javid nor Boris Johnson, the apparent architect of the policy, appear to have thought it through.

With hospital car park firms passing their losses from free parking on to those who still have to pay, it will soon cost staff too much to work there. Or is that the plan?

*That’s if they work in England, of course. Those of us in Wales (for example) get free hospital parking because healthcare here is considered to be a service to the public, not an opportunity to fleece us.

Source: Free parking for hospital staff to end on Friday – Javid | Evening Standard

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