Riley libel trial: is she relying on the cost-of-living crisis to foil Mike’s defence?

The arena: but Mike won’t get to plead his case in the High Court at all if we can’t meet the crowdfunding target.

With less than eight weeks left until This Writer faces a judge to defend myself against Rachel Riley’s libel claims, both time and money are getting tight.

I haven’t been wasting my time; I’ve just finished going through my evidence, teasing out pieces of information that should not be allowed to pass by, ready to be integrated with everything I’ve already put together and presented to my solicitor, to be turned into a defence case. That’s a gross oversimplification, of course.

It hangs together very well – depending on what Riley’s legal team presents as her own case against me. I’m not likely to see that until the week of July 11 – so the last week before the trial is likely to be highly active for me.

I reckon I’ll need to have the main elements of my defence divided up into their own constituent parts, to be reorganised to respond properly to whatever challenge is put to me.

You may be surprised to learn that I am not spectacularly concerned about this element of the trial. I’ve had three and a half years to think about what I put into my article and the reasons for it, so I have a very strong grip on what I want to say.

No, the weakest part of my defence is – and has always been – funding.

I have nothing but praise for all of you who have contributed spare fivers and tenners since the CrowdJustice site opened in the spring of 2019. I’m actually very sorry that my defence still isn’t fully funded, more than three years down the line.

At the moment, I’m wondering how much of that has to do with the cost of living crisis that is hitting the household budgets of all ordinary people so hard.

It isn’t easy to support justice when you’re finding it hard to support yourself! I know – income for my Vox Political website has fallen hugely since the Covid-19 pandemic bit in March 2020.

But we’ve come so far, it would be an insult to justice for us to be stopped now.

That’s why I have always asked for anybody who wants to help, but may not have the funds themselves, to publicise the CrowdJustice site as much as possible, and to call on friends and family members to help out if they can. Every little helps!

I’ve repeated these instructions more than 100 times, so you probably know them by heart. But the more we raise, the fewer times I’ll have to go on repeating them! Here they are: Please…

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

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.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button at the bottom of this article. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

By my rough calculations, we’re about £5,750 away from goal. That’s not as much as we raised in the five days between April 7-12, so it really can be done!

And I’m still receiving hugely heartening messages from supporters. The most recent (at time of writing) says, “Stay strong and know that there are many of us supporting you.”

Let’s keep it that way. We’ve been on this journey together – let’s see it through to the end together too.

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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