Monthly Archives: July 2022

New non-political campaign aims to Rescue Britain from ‘impossible’ cost of living


The UK’s population is facing an “impossible” situation with “punitive” utility costs, high fuel prices and a hugely spiralling cost of living – so a new campaign is being launched to combat them all.

Rescue Britain is a non-political effort to relieve the nation from constantly-increasing costs that are not countered by rising wages, to save our “failing” democratic institutions, and to halt what appears to be the collapse of society.

A statement on the Rescue Britain Facebook page makes the intention clear:

“The United Kingdom is facing a social and economic crisis of a scale not seen for generations. Citizens and businesses are facing out-of-control cost increases in all staple product areas, centred around energy and fuel costs. The cost increases at the point of purchase have rapidly outpaced wholesale and supply-side pricing, indicating that rather than being a genuine cost-led increase, the price increases are a market-distorting profiteering exercise by companies and their owners.

“Since the beginning of 2022, the steady increase in fuel and energy prices has multiplied the already-high background inflation rates experienced in the UK and beyond. With the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, and the attempted (failed) weaponisation of the energy and fuel markets against Russia by western powers, a cascade failure in the external/internal regulation of the market has taken place.

“This cascade failure has been tolerated and even encouraged by a broad consensus within the UK Government, aided and abetted by their associated energy lobbyist peers. Instead of viewing the situation as a crisis, much of the political class view it as an opportunity to leverage progress towards their associated political agendas, with cover provided by a constant state of socio-economic emergency.

“The result? A cost-crippled UK populace, obscene profits obtained by energy and fuel corporations – including their shareholders/execs, and a subservient UK political class failing in their duty to the British public.

“Britain is under attack by enemies within and without, and our democracy is fading fast.

“Now is the time to Rescue Britain.”

It seems the organisation has a strategy, with specific subjects to tackle and phases to work through – but This Writer hasn’t seen what they are yet. This may be because it seems the infrastructure is not yet ready because it had to launch before intended, for reasons that have not been made clear.

Further details are on the Rescue Britain FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/Rescue-Britain-107145638743018/

And you are encouraged to join the Rescue Britain FB Supporters Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rescuebritain/?ref=share_group_link and the Rescue Britain Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/RescueBritain 

If the issues raised by this organisation are of concern to you, click on the links and consider offering your support. You could help Rescue 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.

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


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Riley libel crowdfunding update: sterling work by supporters!

I’ve received details of what my legal team has charged for my defence in the trial brought by Rachel Riley on July 18-20 – and of what remains to be paid.

It’s surprisingly good news!

The headline figure is that just around £3,700 was left to be paid on July 29 – but around £1,000 more has been raised after I published my report on Ms Riley’s turn in the witness box two days before. That won’t have been included in my solicitor’s calculations yet.

There’s more good news – that the High Court has finished sitting for the summer and will not return until October. This means I can relax a little and enjoy a little of what remains of the sunny season (as I type this, it is raining. Typical).

I do intend to finish reporting on the trial, to ensure you are aware of the issues that could be sticking-points for the judge.

And I would like to clear the outstanding debt before we get to October because – as I’ve suggested previously – I think the case will end up in the Court of Appeal, no matter who wins. So we need to start thinking about building a fighting fund against that.

You can tell what’s coming. 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, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

It’s a huge achievement – raising enough money to make sure an ordinary person can afford to defend against a libel accusation in the super-expensive High Court.

But we can’t be complacent; the case isn’t won yet. And that’s what we all want.

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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Former Shadow Chancellor attacks Labour’s treatment of Jewish group

Pointing the finger: John McDonnell.

Some of us have been decrying the attitude of certain organisations and groups – like the Labour Party – to “the wrong kind of Jew” for years. This is just more evidence – but it is damning:

Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has accused Labour of treating a Jewish group within the party “brutally”.

Last week a report on Labour’s handling of the anti-Semitism row under Jeremy Corbyn found supporters and critics had used it as a “factional weapon”.

Mr McDonnell claims the report shows the party used its disciplinary procedures to target members of the pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL)

He said a disproportionate number of JVL members had been disciplined, suspended and expelled from the party.

Members of the group were 35 times more likely to face anti-Semitism investigations than other, mostly non-Jewish, Labour members, he claimed.

The evidence is in the Forde Report, that was finally released, after more than two years on hold, earlier this month.

And according to the BBC report, discrimination against JVL members by other groups is clear:

It has been strongly criticised by other Jewish groups. The much larger Jewish Labour Movement -which has been affiliated to Labour since 1920 – has called its views an “extreme fringe”. Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl said JVL was “a tiny organisation whose odious views are representative of no one but themselves”.

Where is the evidence to support these vitriolic outbursts?

Too much of the debate on anti-Semitism has been fuelled by unsubstantiated allegations – mostly from the accusers – and too little time has been sent fact-checking these claims.

My recent libel trial against Rachel Riley is a prime example, with far too much of the Claimant’s case consisting of wild fantasies she and her barrister apparently plucked from the air.

Until these people start providing proof, perhaps it is time to stop giving them a platform for their propaganda.

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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Sunak and Truss: Tory leader battle is a ‘greatest flops’ race between failed policies

Sunak and Truss: they may seem to be arguing but in fact their aim is the same: tax cuts. Their only difference is in strategy.

What new hell is this?

After nearly three weeks working on my libel trial and dealing with the fallout from it, I finally turned back to politics to find that the Conservative leadership election has come down to a race between these two deadbeats: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

Sunak is a busted flush because we know his tax history is dodgy, and his performance as Chancellor even dodgier. While he recognised the need to support the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, his choices did nothing but make matters worse and he shares the blame with Boris Johnson for the severity of the UK’s death toll and the depth of the recession that followed.

Truss, on the other hand, is simply barking mad. I’m not even referring to her now-infamously crazed comments about cheese; she has surpassed them with her increasingly strenuous attempts to get Vladimir Putin to nuke the UK until the glow can be seen from New York.

Sadly, nobody seems to be taking these piddling details into account. How about their economic policies, then – both of which come across as a recitation of recent Tory leaders’ greatest flops.

From Sunak, we get The Big Lie. I’ve been writing about this since sometime around 2013; it’s the idea that, if you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it. The Nazis stole it from us in the 1930s and now the Tories have stolen it back.

In this case, the lie is that reducing the UK’s financial deficit is the only goal of government economic policy, rather than improving the well-being of UK citizens.

To achieve this, like George Osborne before him, he would limit public spending – because he does not understand the vital role the public sector plays in producing a healthy and efficient economy. Any good news on the deficit would be translated into tax cuts.

From Truss, we get Starving The Beast – a George W Bush economic policy from the bad old days of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). I’ve been writing about this since the earliest days of Vox Political, back in 2012. It was a stinker then and the smell has become no better over time!

According to Mainly Macro‘s Simon Wren-Lewis,

her policy is to raise borrowing to sufficiently high levels such that at some point a deficit crisis will be declared, the answer to which is of course spending cuts… So while Sunak aims to keep to deficit targets and cut taxes in good times, Truss plans to cut taxes now so spending is cut in a future manufactured deficit crisis.

Starving the beast involves not just one big lie, but a whole series of untruths. Voters are being told that tax cuts will not raise demand and therefore inflationary pressure, and will also pay for themselves. When both fail to happen after the next election voters will be told that the high interest rates that tax cuts have made inevitable and a larger deficit has nothing to do with tax cuts, but is all the fault of a bloated public sector.

So you can see that the choice of replacement for Boris Johnson, the worst liar the UK government has seen in decades, is between two more liars.

And the Tory faithful will lap it up because both candidates are offering what they want: tax cuts and lower public spending.

These are the people who believed every bit of nonsense pushed on them by the Brexit press.

Whichever candidate they support, they will be voting to destroy the quality of the public services on which you rely, and to cause further harm to the national economy, and therefore your quality of life.

Neither Sunak nor Truss can win a general election and I think they both know it.

So I tend to agree with Professor Wren-Lewis’s conclusion, as well:

Expect no progress on reversing the damage the Conservatives have done to the UK economy over the last twelve years whichever of the two candidates becomes Prime Minister. Instead the only relevant question is how much more damage each can do until the next general election.

Source: mainly macro: Sunak vs Truss: a battle between two failed economic policies

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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Rachel Riley gave her evidence in libel trial – but was it credible?

The dust has settled a little, we’ve all got a little distance, so hopefully it will be possible to discuss my libel trial against Rachel Riley and report it to you – with a little objectivity.

As the Claimant, Rachel Riley was the first person to go into the witness box and provide verbal evidence.

She did this after her counsel, John Stables, had failed in a bid to have parts of my defence that discussed her reputation, as it was before my article was published, struck out.

Mr Stables said they were irrelevant matters, inserted into the case to “rubbish” Ms Riley. My counsel, David Mitchell, said they were relevant to her hypocrisy on anti-Semitism and the bullying of other people. The judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, refused the application.

As a result, Ms Riley faced a considerable amount of questioning on this, and on the related question of whether my “Serial abuser…” article caused serious harm to her reputation.

One aspect of this was the fact that hits on the article increased whenever her lawsuit against me arrived at the courts. Were new readers being attracted to it – potentially increasing any harm done to her – or were these boosts merely people who had already read it, refreshing their memories after reading the latest information?

Mr Mitchell suggested that these increases in the number of times the article had been read (but not necessarily its number of readers) were “a necessary consequence of defending the claim”. Ms Riley said: “It was a necessary consequence of me having to pursue the claim because he kept repeating his libel.”

Mr Mitchell pointed out: “In terms of harm to reputation, it is true a number of things were published prior to the January 26 [2019] article.”

Ms Riley responded: “I take the advice of my counsel on what I should take action over. I dispute everything that was written.”

Mr Mitchell questioned when online abuse against her reached its high point: “You identified the high point as being January 9, two and a half weeks before Mr Sivier’s article.”

Ms Riley responded by saying she changed her Twitter settings “so I didn’t read all the abuse coming to me after that. I didn’t say January 9 [was the high point]; I said that was around when the floodgates opened.”

In that case, how could she say, as she did in her witness statement, that her friend Natasha Devon had spoken to her “around the time that the bullying allegations were at their height” about friends questioning her about Riley bullying children?

When did Ms Devon say this? “I have absolutely no idea,” responded Ms Riley.

Mr Mitchell referred to another part of her witness statement, “the meeting with your employer [on March 7, 2019, to address complaints made about her by people on Twitter], you relied on the ‘good advice’ tweet [in her case against Laura Murray] causing serious harm to reputation. You have recycled that here, haven’t you?”

Ms Riley said: “When I spoke to my employer I gave the headlines of things that were coming at me.”

“That wasn’t exactly what you said in the Laura Murray case.”

“It wasn’t relevant. I didn’t want to draw attention to these articles. I explained the narrative but said it was rubbish.”

Mr Mitchell made his point: “You didn’t refer to it because you weren’t relying on it [to show that she had suffered harm wrongly].”

“If it was in legal proceedings, I wouldn’t want to prejudice them,” said Ms Riley.

But she was not in legal proceedings against me at the time, Mr Mitchell pointed out.

Ms Riley said this was “Irrelevant. If I’m going to be in legal proceedings, I’m not going to damage my case by talking about it.”

Next, apparently unprompted, Ms Riley made a claim about comments on my CrowdJustice site: “There was a comment on his crowdfunding page that I should be raped in my house.”

This is not accurate. There is a comment, “F— ’em in their homes”, but this is a quotation from a TV show called The Wire, referring to the issuing of subpoenas (writs ordering people to attend court). It seems to have been intended as encouragement for me to take Ms Riley to court, rather than any threat of sexual violence.

Ms Riley continued: “They [the comments] change all the time; we can’t read them chronologically.” This is not true. New comments are added at the top of the comment column, which may be read in reverse order. That is what I did in order to find the message to which Ms Riley was referring.

Mr Mitchell queried the truth of the claim: “There are threats of violence against you? Where are they in the bundle [the evidence provided to the judge by the parties in a civil case, which form the only information to which the judge may refer]?

“I don’t know,” said Ms Riley.

“Anything done in the crowdfunding is caused by your claim.”

“No, it’s caused by him repeating these libels. I call that victim-blaming,” she said.

Mr Mitchell pressed his point – that Ms Riley was being dishonest: “If there was any basis in truth to these claims it would be in your evidence.”

Ms Riley said: “I have them; I have provided them. What is included and not is not up to me.” This is an odd statement; as the Claimant, her case belongs to her and she should have had approval over every document in it. I had to, on my side.

Mr Mitchell moved on to Ms Riley’s reputation: “Mr Sivier relies on matters which suggest you are not a person who has a reputation that should be protected in libels. He referred to matters he said show you have a questionable reputation on anti-Semitism and called into question your conduct in terms of threats to other persons [in particular the 16-year-old girl I alleged had been subjected to abuse and harassment by Ms Riley].”

He referred to Ms Riley’s support for Sussex Friends of Israel, a group that had been shown in online videos to use violence in the way they protest against, notably, Palestine Solidarity Campaign stalls in Brighton. One such clip showed a member issuing a death threat.

Ms Riley laughed. “This is Mike Sivier’s version of my support? I reject any notion that these people are violent. This is being used to show I’m supporting a violent group? I can barely find the words to say how ridiculous this is.”

Referring to a page in the evidence bundle, Mr Mitchell pointed out: “There is an exchange between you and Sussex Friends of Israel. This is you indicating your support.”

In the tweets, the Sussex Friends account stated: “Time for a well deserved break Rachel. You didn’t need to step up but you did. For that many of us will be eternally grateful,” to which Ms Riley had responded with a red “heart” emoji and a yellow “strength” emoji.

But on this occasion, Ms Riley said: “I reject that. I see that as someone saying, have a break and thank you.”

Moving on, Mr Mitchell said: “The background to your dispute with [the teenager] was your condemning tweets from Owen Jones about Lord Sugar’s statements. These led to the child … responding to you. Criticism of Lord Sugar was nothing to do with him being Jewish.”

This referred to an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, in which Lord Sugar had said he would leave the UK if Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister. He said he feared for the future of his grandchildren and their children – but crucially used only an economic argument to attack the then-Labour leader: “It would be like watching your mother-in-law drive the family Ferrari off a cliff.”

Another person had tweeted an implication that Owen Jones’s response (“Celebrate good times, come on!”) was anti-Semitic because Lord Sugar was a Jewish man fearing for his family’s safety, and Ms Riley had re-published the tweet and elaborated on it.

The girl’s tweet had stated: “Disappointed with @RachelRileyRR. Please don’t believe the bias of the media that brings Jeremy Corbyn down. He is a man that would never spread hatred in society – he fights for equality. Use your platform to inform worried Jewish people that they’re being fed lies by the media.”

“It has nothing to do with Alan Sugar,” claimed Ms Riley. Then she said: “He said he feared for his grandchildren.

“At that period, 40 per cent of Jewish people said they would flee the UK if Jeremy Corbyn was elected.” This was according to a poll for the anti-Corbyn newspaper Jewish Chronicle: https://www.thejc.com/news/uk/nearly-40-per-cent-of-british-jews-would-seriously-consider-emigrating-if-corbyn-became-pm-1.469270 – but this is acknowledged to be a primarily media-led opinion that had nothing to do with Mr Corbyn’s actual behaviour or policies.

“I make no mention of Alan Sugar or his position, other than that Jewish families were considering leaving the UK because they were scared,” said Ms Riley. This was not true; she had re-published David Collier’s, Owen Jones’s and Good Morning Britain’s tweets that very clearly referred to Lord Sugar’s words.

Mr Mitchell pointed out: “You were reinforcing the narrative that this was anti-Semitism.”

Ms Riley replied: “Alan Sugar was saying he would leave the UK because of anti-Semitism.” The information available showed that this was clearly untrue.

Mr Mitchell moved on to the case of Mark Meechan, who taught his dog to perform a Nazi salute when he shouted “Sieg heil!” and “Gas the Jews!” and who then complained when, in the run-up to his trial, he was compelled to wear an electronic ankle tag. Ms Riley had described this as “Insane”.

“Mark Meechan: you tweeted in support of him,” said Mr Mitchell.

“I tweeted one word, based on my opinion from a podcast with David Baddiel and Ricky Gervais,” said Ms Riley. “I thought it was comedy. I thought it was undermining the fight against anti-Semitism to attack jokes.”

Mr Mitchell persisted: “The court found it was anti-Semitism.”

“Yes.”

“You tweeted it was insane.”

“Yes.”

“You tweeted that it isn’t something you thought would be a criminal matter.”

“I said that,” admitted Ms Riley, “and I said in the same thread it’s not a hill I’d want to die on.”

“You don’t condemn Mark Meechan.”

“I don’t know.”

“Yet you did condemn Noam Chomsky for having published a foreword to a book published by a Holocaust denier.”

“Yes I condemned him.”

“You called him an anti-Semite.”

“I said he promotes anti-Semitism.”

“You’re saying there’s a difference between anti-Semitism and promoting anti-Semitism.”

“Yes.”

“So you’ve got freedom of speech for Mark Meechan but not for Chomsky.”

“Chomsky is a genocide denier.”

“We have no evidence for that,” said Mr Mitchell, meaning that no such claim was in the evidence bundles.

“Not here,” admitted Ms Riley. “Do a search on the internet.”

But that is not how the UK civil court system works. If the evidence is not in the bundles, it’s not a part of the case.

Mr Mitchell moved on again, to the Channel 4 interview and podcast Ms Riley made with reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy: “‘I don’t look like a typical Jew.’ That is classic anti-Semitism, isn’t it?”

Ms Riley insisted: “No, it’s not.”

Mr Mitchell asked: “What DOES a typical Jew look like?”

Ms Riley responded: “There’s no such thing!”

“Yet it is something you saw fit to compare yourself against in an interview on Channel 4,” said Mr Mitchell. “Had it been said by anyone you considered a political opponent, you would have immediately decried it as anti-Semitism.”

“You have to take into account context,” Ms Riley insisted. Then she added: “This is an offensive and irritating line of questioning.”

Mr Mitchell responded: “These standards don’t apply to you or your political allies. They’re double-standards, aren’t they? What applies to others doesn’t apply to you.”

Ms Riley insisted: “When something is not anti-Semitic, it is not double-standards to say it is not anti-Semitic.”

“You sent a tweet in April 2019 with a picture of Mr Corbyn imposed on a Game of Thrones background,” said Mr Mitchell. “In it, you said, ‘If you take out the leader, the rest will follow’. You were inciting violence against Mr Corbyn.”

“No.”

“It was just a joke?”

“Yes.”

“Like Mr Meechan.”

Ms Riley replied: “This was about Seamus Milne being the leader and Jeremy Corbyn being a puppet.”

“Was the apartheid regime in South Africa racist?” asked Mr Mitchell. Following up on the response, he said: “On South Africa, you agree that the apartheid regime was real. You defaced the photo.”

This was a reference to a t-shirt that Ms Riley wore, on which an image of a banner-wearing Jeremy Corbyn being arrested at an anti-apartheid protest had been doctored so the sign said, “Jeremy Corbyn is a racist endeavour.”

On doctoring the image, Ms Riley said: “I didn’t. I wore a t-shirt that someone else had done.”

To clarify, Mr Mitchell asked: “If you are wearing it, you support the defacement and the changing of words in the original photo.”

“Yes.”

“You do that, causing offence not least to South Africans.”

“Yes.”

“This was a simply offensive stand on your part.”

Ms Riley said: “The photo was a canard to show what a saint Jeremy Corbyn was. What Jeremy Corbyn was being arrested for was being part of a picket opposed by the indigenous movement in South Africa. They said it would hinder their movement. It demonstrates that it is all a fiction. He was going against their will. He is a racist.”

This is not true: The Anti-Apartheid Movement did not support the Non-Stop Picket, as it was called, because they had agreed not to demonstrate within 30 feet of the embassy, and the picket failed to gain support from the London ANC – but there were political reasons for that. “Corbyn … is proud to acknowledge he was part of the Non-Stop Picket, a protest outside the South African embassy in London that continued for half a decade,” states the New Statesman article. “But so was almost every Labour MP. Fighting apartheid and racism in South Africa had been part of the Labour Party’s DNA since the days of Keir Hardie… The Anti-Apartheid Movement, of which the African National Congress was a part, was made up of local affiliates like CLAAG [City of London Anti-Apartheid Group]. The Movement took the view that it would only highlight the plight of one political prisoner: Nelson Mandela… There was a price to be paid for this decision. Other political prisoners languished in the shadows…” and a motion for the ANC to be recognised as the “sole legitimate representative of the people of South Africa” was rejected by the UK Labour Party because adopting this position would put it at odds with the Organisation of African Unity and UN – despite the ANC sending a “powerful delegation”, led by the honorary secretary of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. So coldness between these organisations wasn’t because Jeremy Corbyn was a racist who ignored the AAM and ANC’s wishes; it was because Labour had rejected an attempted power-grab by the ANC, that had been supported by the AAM.

Ms Riley elaborated: “He [Jeremy Corbyn] wanted to block the IHRA definitions [of anti-Semitism] because he said Israel is a racist endeavour. This also seems to be untrue: Jeremy Corbyn never said Israel was a racist endeavour. Labour omitted some IHRA anti-Semitism examples and included others in order to separate legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism.

“The reason you wore this t-shirt was to attack Jeremy Corbyn, wasn’t it?” asked Mr Mitchell.

Referring to Mr Corbyn, Ms Riley sadi: “An anti-Jewish racist was in my building and I wanted to oppose it.” This was a derogatory reference to Mr Corbyn. A leader debate between him and Boris Johnson was taking place at Channel 4 in the run-up to the 2019 general election.

Mr Mitchell summed up this part of his cross-examination as follows: “In your campaign against Mr Corbyn, the history of apartheid is irrelevant. All of the victims are irrelevant, because none of them mean anything compared to your stand aimed at attacking Mr Corbyn as a racist endeavour.”

Ms Riley insisted: “It’s a false premise. He disregarded the express views of the anti-apartheid group in South Africa.” Again, it seems this was not true. Labour did as she suggested – it was a decision by the party leadership at the time.

Concluding, Mr Mitchell said: “There are no depths to which you will not stoop to attack an enemy.”

Then Mr Mitchell moved on to the focus of the Serial abuser article: “Another of your enemies was a 16 year old girl named Rose.”

“What a ridiculous statement,” said Ms Riley.

At this point, the judge intervened: “You know what she said in the tweets. Any new information can’t form part of his [my] reasonable belief at the time.”

But this was not Mr Mitchell’s point: “Your interaction with Rose ended on December 18 [2018].”

“Yes.”

“You published 13 tweets on January 9 listing screengrabs of your exchanges with Rose the previous year. That was 2.5-to-three weeks since your contact with Rose had finished and in your tweets of January 9 you set out your side of the story. You say in your witness statement it was the high point [of the abuse].”

“I said the taps were turned on.”

“You were arguing against a narrative about the bullying of Rose. Something happened. It wasn’t about your exchange with Rose ending on December 18. You considered that your reputation had been sufficiently harmed, by January 9, that you had to address that harm, more than two weeks before Mr Sivier’s article.”

“Yes.”

“You made a further series of tweets on January 15.”

“That version of events was already out there so I was referring to supporters.”

Mr Stables objected but the judge clarified: “The question is the suggestion that any serious harm would accrue from something earlier than the article.”

After a cross-examination, a witness’s representative is entitled to re-examine them, to clarify any points covered by their opponent. Mr Stables had just one question: “David Mitchell spent 40 minutes asking you about Sussex Friends of Israel, Chomsky, Meechan etc. How do you feel about those questions?”

“Angry, upset, frustrated, anxious,” said Ms Riley. “It brings back years of abuse and not being able to answer to it.”

That was – more or less – the extent of her witness evidence. I have tried not to editorialise or pass any personal comment on it.

If you wish to give your verdict, the best way is not to say anything. But if you disagree with Ms Riley’s claims, please contribute to my CrowdJustice fund, as my representation at the trial is still not totally paid-up. After three and a half years, you may know the routine off by heart, but here it is again:

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, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I have already stated my belief that this case will end up in the Court of Appeal again, whichever way it goes – and that will need to be funded, if it happens. I’d like to have the trial paid off by the time we find out.

And please don’t comment directly on the trial. A factual article is permissible but you should not risk influencing the judge (as unlikely as this may seem) with any opinions.

I’ll try to discuss my own cross-examination next time.

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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The morning after the trial… guess where Mike thinks this is going?

I think we’re going to end up in the Court of Appeal.

If I win, Rachel Riley is almost certain to appeal. I don’t think she’s the kind of person who will accept being told she was wrong – and the implications about her behaviour could have serious consequences for her career.

If I lose, I would feel honour-bound to take the matter to the higher authority. The High Court has a history of treating me harshly and I would be strongly inclined to distrust a verdict against me, based on the evidence heard over the last three days.

(Basically: I provided full information of what I did and why I reasoned that my article about Riley’s mistreatment of a teenager was in the public interest, while Riley offered up unsupported claims her lawyers had dreamed up in their heads.)

My legal team – Morgan Rees and others at George Green LLP and David Mitchell of 39 Essex Chambers – have been excellent throughout in a complicated case that has exercised both their minds greatly.

And they still need to be paid – we’re more than £7,000 short of the target, according to what I was quoted a couple of weeks ago.

So… you know the drill:

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, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

It’s been a long week for me (and we’re only halfway through!) and I’m tired – but I haven’t worked half as hard as my legal team.

Let’s make sure they get the reward they deserve.

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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Watch the Rachel Riley libel trial remotely if you can’t attend

The High Court is making it possible for people who want to watch Rachel Riley’s libel trial against me – but cannot attend personally – to see the proceedings remotely.

In order to do so, you need to email [email protected] before 2pm tomorrow – Friday, July 15.

Here’s the text of the court order:

“IT IS ORDERED that:1. Any request for a direction under section 85A(3)(b) of the Courts Act 2003 (‘a transmission direction request’) by any person not taking part in the proceedings (‘an applicant’) for permission to watch or listen to the proceedings remotely must be made by 2pm on Friday 15 July 2022.2. Any transmission direction request should be sent by email to [email protected] and must include the following:a. The full name of the applicant;b. The email address of the applicant;c. Information as to whether the applicant would be located within the jurisdiction of England and Wales at all times when attending the proceedings remotely (if a transmission direction were to be made); and, if not, details of the applicant’s location;d. Any information the applicant wishes to provide in support of the request, including in particular any reason(s) why it is contended that making such a direction would be in the interests of justice; and e. A statement by the applicant in the following terms: “If permitted to attend the hearing remotely, I understand that I must not record or transmit what I see and hear. I understand that it is an offence and may be a contempt of court to do so, and that I may be punished if I were to do so.”3. Unless exceptionally the Court otherwise directs, a transmission direction request made otherwise than in accordance with this Order will not be granted.”

I am assured that the order is for anybody who wants to view the proceedings remotely – the general public, friends and family, press contacts and so on.

Each remote attendee will receive a personal link to the court’s system.

So, even if you can’t attend, you can watch what happens. It may be fun for you to compare what you see with press reports.

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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Riley libel trial: will it all be over in a week?

I’ve received word that the judge in Rachel Riley’s libel case against me wishes to start the trial at 10.30am on Monday morning (July 18).

If you are able to attend, and wish to, it will be at the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, London. As far as I am aware, it’s a public hearing, so by all means come along. I’ll be happy to have some support!

The trial is intended to last 3.5 days, including half a day’s reading time. We don’t know if the judge intends to have done her reading before starting, or if she wants to hear opening submissions on Monday morning and do her reading in the afternoon.

If the former, then it could all be over in a week from the time I’m writing this (5pm, Wednesday, July 13). If the latter, a week tomorrow lunchtime. I can’t wait.

As I’m relying on the public interest defence, the questions are: Was my Serial abuser article written on matters of public interest? Did I believe it was? And was my belief reasonable?

I don’t think it’s disputed that the subject was a matter of public interest. The case will hinge on whether I believed it was, and whether that belief was reasonable.

Of course, I believed it then and I still believe it now.

I’m hoping I will get a chance to demonstrate that belief. I’m wondering what ploys will be employed by the other side to put me off.

Meanwhile, the CrowdJustice fund is still around £9,000 short of its target, after my VAT shock of a few days ago.

Please continue to contribute, if you can. Here are the, by now, time-honoured instructions:

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, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

As we come to the end of this sordid affair, I have to admit I’m nervous. If you can come along and provide some moral support, I’d be very happy to see you.

And if you can take the burden of funding away from me, I’d be doubly delighted.

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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Just one week until the Rachel Riley libel trial – join the crowdfund!

Is it too soon to say we’re in the endgame now?

With the trial of Rachel Riley’s libel claim against me set to start on July 18, there is only slightly more than one week left until we find out whether I was right to defend a vulnerable teenager with anxiety against bullying, abuse and harassment by an adult celebrity and her followers.

However: we still haven’t raised the full amount of funds needed to fully pay for my defence.

Last time, I said I had not realised that I was originally told in April that I needed to raise £60,000 plus VAT, and was therefore short of my target by around £16,000.

(This is correct, by the way. To those of you who queried why I was discussing £60k when the CrowdJustice page says I have raised more than £220,000: this is the total from more than three years of fundraising – and most of it has already been spent on legal fees incurred over those years.)

Since that last update, you have contributed more than £4,000 to the fund – an incredible response, providing more than a quarter of what was needed.

But we’re still £12,000 short of the total we’re expected to need.

The good news is that my legal team will continue to work, in anticipation that the shortfall will be covered soon – and we’ve got a few terrific surprises in store for my tormentors on Riley’s side.

But we need to get that money in. So, please (and I’m sure you know what’s coming)…

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, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

We are so close to the end – in so many ways.

Let’s make sure it’s the end we want to have.

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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It seems Boris Johnson can’t stop lying – even about when he’s leaving office

Speak no evil: but Boris Johnson doesn’t seem capable of holding his mouth shut.

Claims from Downing Street that Boris Johnson will remain prime minister until October are not true, it seems.

The timings of a successor’s election are managed by the backbench 1922 Committee and the Conservative Party Board, and Johnson has no power over them.

Also, when he discussed the prime minister’s resignation with him, 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady did not make any agreement that Johnson could remain in Downing Street until October.

The 1922 Committee controls the first part of the process – whittling the number of candidates down to two – and this could be completed as soon as July 21, when Parliament goes into recess for the summer.

Then the Tory Party Board takes over to put these candidates to a vote of party members – and this could be carried out by the end of August.

Meanwhile, there is a loud – and growing – demand for Johnson to leave immediately, with a “caretaker” PM installed for the duration of the leadership contest.

Considering the apparent falsehoods being put about by Johnson and his team, even about his departure, this should come as no surprise to anybody.

Source: 1922 Committee chief never agreed that Boris Johnson could stay until October

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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