Author Archives: Mike Sivier

About Mike Sivier

When Mike Sivier started Vox Political, he had no idea that he was creating a monster. Disillusioned with the mainstream media after nearly 20 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, Mike had given it all up in 2007 to become a carer for his disabled girlfriend (affectionately named Mrs Mike, she features in many of his posts). He took on some freelance work, but this took a back seat from late 2011 onwards, when Mike started Vox Political. Born from his interest in politics - with an emphasis on people rather than the movement of money – the blog grew from humble beginnings to become one of the most well-read in the United Kingdom. Amazingly, Mike still has some free time. He uses it to perform in a band called the Dodgie Jammers, and to write comic strips including Hard-Boiled Hitler, for the small-press comic he created in 1999, entitled 'Violent!'. On Twitter, he is MidWalesMike On Facebook he has a page: ‘Mike Sivier’.

False positive: Vox Political’s Covid journey was brief… for now

Test results: presumably this is the way my PCR test turned out.

The text message came in just after 7pm yesterday (Wednesday): “Your coronavirus PCR test (or other lab test) result is negative. It’s likely you did not have the virus when the test was done.”

So my lateral flow test was a false positive. What a relief – or at least, it would have been if Mrs Mike’s negative result hadn’t come in a couple of minutes earlier. So I was mentally prepared.

And it seems I’m not the only one to have a welcome surprise…

In fact the greatest relief was the fact that I don’t have to put up with texts, emails and phone calls from various Covid-related government organisations.

Oh, the bureaucracy!

I had seven texts from ‘NHSresult’ and three from ‘NHSWALESTTP’ (the track and trace mob).

I also had a phone call from track and trace, who stopped being interested when I started listing people I’d met and places I’d been, and opted to email me a questionnaire instead.

The instructions with the LFT kit said I had to notify the NHS online, so I logged in and went through a lengthy process to identify myself and provide my test result. Then the site told me to order a PCR test for myself and anybody else, meaning I then had to go through the same lengthy identification procedure I’d just been through, plus a new lengthy ID process so I could get a test for Mrs Mike as well.

I then received a further nine emails telling me what to do, what not to do, and where not to do it.

And I had to go online again to fill in that contact tracing questionnaire.

Blimey!

If I’d really had the virus, I wonder whether I would have been up to any of it.

But I don’t have the virus. Or at least, I don’t have that virus.

I do have something, it seems. Don’t know what but the symptoms are persisting.

So, while I don’t have to self-isolate any more (thank goodness!) I’ll be cooling the social life for a while – especially after what I heard about what people who really do have Covid-19 have been doing.

After all, if I don’t have Covid now, I can still catch it any time.

Next time I go to the pub, you’ll know who I am. I’ll be the one wearing two masks, with a cover over his pint, sucking it up through a straw.

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Also in the news: state of the nation? The nation’s in a RIGHT state!


Here are some of the stories This Site hasn’t had time to cover.

They present a snapshot of the UK today – a country that is in serious danger from its own institutions.

The police:

The Home Office:

The way the UK looks after (ha ha!) its Armed Forces veterans:

The government:

The prime minister:

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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Here’s some of the anti-Palestinian racism and terrorism that Keir Starmer’s Labour loves

Keir Starmer: like Priti Patel, he seems to support terrorism rather than condemn it.

It didn’t take long, after Priti Patel announced that the UK was to proscribe the political organisation that forms the government of Palestine, for the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn to start landing.

Here’s some ‘Mercan called Jackson Wolf Pincus demonstrating the kind of ignorance we have come to expect from people of – shall we say – a certain persuasion:

Rather than shut up, though, Jackson doubled down – prompting a well-deserved put-down as follows:

Yes indeed, it does seem the case that Jeremy Corbyn’s pacifist, anti-terror stance appeals both to supporters of Palestinian self-determination and to non-racist Jews (and you should bear in mind that many people are both).

The Hamas story also led to debate about whether Patel’s decision was justified, or if other organisations or governments might deserve similar treatment.

The government of Israel, perhaps?

It’s an accurate criticism. There’s a very clear paper trail that leads from MPs – on all sides of Parliament – to the Israeli Embassy and that nation’s government. Many of our MPs appear to be in that government’s pocket.

Among them is Keir Starmer, the Labour Party leader who persecutes both Muslims and left-wing Jews, sparing his sympathy only for those who echo his wholehearted support for apartheid Israel and its violence to the Palestinians it holds captive.

So it should be no surprise that Starmer has whipped Labour MPs to support Patel’s proscription of Hamas. He wants to make sure Palestinians know that the UK supports Israel against them, no matter which party is in power, never mind the fact that Labour is supposed to support self-determination for both Israel and Palestine, and never mind the fact that Labour’s sovereign decision-maker – the party conference – voted to condemn Israel in September.

Many people, it seems, believe Starmer is right to support Israeli atrocities. Perhaps they don’t understand what is really going on.

If you know such people, show them this:

Let’s focus down onto Palestinian children. Many of us have kids, right?

How would we feel if our children were treated in the same way as those in the thread below – bearing in mind that Keir Starmer supports, to the hilt, everything that has happened to them?

It’s a catalogue of terror – and one that is incomplete because I am sure there are many murders that are hushed up by the Israeli authorities.

Keir Starmer supports this terror, and so does Priti Patel. Remember that she was forced to resign from Theresa May’s cabinet after trying to run her own policy on Israel, using public money, during and after a visit to that country to meet top politicians there, while claiming to be on holiday.

Nobody should excuse deaths and other harm that Hamas or other Palestinians have caused. Blame for the Israel-Palestine conflict lies on both sides.

But when one starts bandying around words like “terrorist”, one should apply it fairly.

Looking at the way Israel forces Palestinian people to live, and the disproportionate number of deaths and injuries suffered by Palestinians in comparison to Israeli, it is clear that Palestine is not the only country run by terrorists.

What does that say about its supporters like Starmer and Patel – and all those UK politicians who have taken money in return for their support?

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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Tragedy in the Channel as 31 PEOPLE die. The real refugee crisis is these deaths


Public figures including Priti Patel and Boris Johnson have rushed to mouth condolences after 31 people, including five women and a girl, died in the English Channel while trying to reach the UK.

It’s sickening hypocrisy from the government that has done its best to ensure that people are more likely to drown than reach our shores.

And what happens if we find evidence that Patel’s Home Office policies contributed to the deaths?

Remember: Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill proposes that anyone arriving in the UK by an illegal route, such as by a small boat across the Channel, could have their claim ruled as inadmissible, receive a jail sentence of up to four years, have no recourse to public funds, and could have their family members barred from joining them, in breach of the UN refugee convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

It states that refugees should use safe legal routes – but there are no such routes.

Clause 38 of the Bill potentially criminalises rescuers of asylum seekers if they are deemed to be “facilitating” their arrival in the UK. It has already set Patel at odds with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has a Royal Charter to rescue anybody facing drowning within UK territorial waters – no matter what their legal status may be.

The Home Office has said the Bill is intended to target “ruthless people smugglers” and organisations like the RNLI – and individuals – would be allowed to continue humanitarian rescue work – but mere assertion doesn’t cut any ice. If so, why amend the law to criminalise all rescues?

Now consider the rhetoric coming from the Tories after today’s tragedy – the biggest single loss of life in the Channel since the International Organisation for Migration started collecting data in 2014.

Boris Johnson said the UK would leave “no stone unturned” to stop human trafficking gangs.

He was trying to justify the unreasonable and potentially fatal policy in his government’s Bill.

As for Priti Patel: It turns out she was told back in November 2019 that her policies were causing asylum-seekers to use more dangerous routes into the UK:

“A policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups,” the report said.

She wasn’t interested then – possibly because the report’s advice was to provide more legal routes for asylum-seekers to enter the UK, and to address their reasons for wanting to leave their own lands. She is keen to continue ensuring there are no legal routes.

So Tory policy is to ensure that refugees/asylum seekers have no choice but to use illegal means to arrive in the UK – even if it means they may drown.

They have stoked hatred against these people – who may be fleeing the effects of warfare in their own countries, either caused directly by Western governments like the UK’s Tory administration, or using weapons sold to the combatants by those governments.

And they have falsely claimed there is a refugee crisis in the UK, with the number of refugees spiralling out of control.

Take a look at the graph below. Does it look like the UK has a serious crisis to you?

Oh, and Keir Starmer and his Labour racists aren’t blameless either.

Only last week, Starmer accused the government of failing to do enough to stop crossings: “The home secretary repeatedly says in strong language what she is going to do about the immediate problem and delivers absolutely nothing,” he said.

But it isn’t Starmer’s opponents’ territory; it’s his own because he is as racist as Patel and Johnson.

Given his comments, he should not be allowed to claim any moral high ground if Tory government policy is indeed found to have contributed to this tragedy.

The solution is to open up legal routes into the UK and treat people using them as human beings who deserve to have their reasons for coming here judged fairly. It always was.

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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‘No confidence’ letters hit Boris Johnson – but who may replace him?

Boris Johnson: it seems we all think it’s time for him to go.

After the Tory corruption scandal, apparently falling asleep maskless next to David Attenborough, and Peppa Pig-gate, this should be no surprise at all:

Tories don’t like to be a laughing-stock – especially when the ridicule is coming from the mainstream UK media they demand must be loyal to them.

So the letters of ‘no confidence’ have started to arrive.

Only 15 per cent of Conservative MPs need to send such a letter to the chair of their backbench 1922 Committee – that would be 55 letters – for a vote of ‘no confidence’ to be triggered.

On his current performances, it is a vote that Boris Johnson is unlikely to win.

But who could possibly replace him?

Not Rishi Sunak, it seems. His star appears to be falling:

Probably not any of the other Cabinet members, either:

I hear Jeremy Hunt may be positioning himself for a bid – but we all remember how, as Health Secretary, he spent years preparing the NHS for the privatisation that the Tories have just voted in – don’t we?

Anyway: a Tory leadership battle is still a long way away. And when it comes, it will just be a matter of replacing the current poster boy for neoliberalism with a new disciple of Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

For now, we can look forward to a protracted period of Tory backstabbing as they all jockey for position to take over, and Johnson himself tries to foil them – by any means available:

It’s scant comfort after the brutal double-rape and murder of our health and social care systems over the last two days.

But This Writer would still be buying popcorn if I wasn’t stuck in self-isolation for another eight days.

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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The virus and Vox Political (or: Mike comes down with Covid)

Rampant: Covid-19 is now on the loose in This Writer’s body (apparently). Of course I blame Boris Johnson for his government’s deliberately-incompetent handling of the pandemic.

I tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

It had been a fairly normal morning; I had been working on new articles, but I didn’t feel right. My throat had that dry feeling you get before a sore throat develops and I was starting to feel a bit nauseous.

So I asked Mrs Mike to find the lateral flow tests we’ve had since she had a scare and I took one. And it said I had Covid-19.

I had no idea where I contracted the disease – if I really have. I had to order up a PCR test for confirmation and won’t actually know until tomorrow.

Mrs Mike was furious about it. She has a few things she wanted to do this week and, faced with the prospect of 10 days in self-isolation, seemed to consider that I had caught the virus as a personal slight against her.

She feels better now, because a woman full of cold from contact tracing told her that, if her test comes back negative, she can still get out and about. I’m not sure that’s a particularly good idea…

And the reactions from some of my friends, when I called round to warn my contacts that they could have it too, were… interesting.

Some of them were very sympathetic, but were utterly uninterested in taking the test themselves; they honestly didn’t see why they should have to.

Others told me horror stories about people like the local pub darts team whose match was called off because half of them had tested positive – so they all went on a pub crawl instead.

And how about the staff at a local hotel who refused vaccination because they believed the lines that Covid-19 was a hoax? Apparently they are both now seriously ill with it. Not only are their own lives in danger but they’ve been all over a hotel, meaning they could be super-spreaders.

That’s most likely where I caught it.

I see from the news that the vast majority of people in intensive care with Covid are unvaccinated.

And stories about deaths are proliferating again:

And nobody cares.

It may be because of this: I’m double-vaccinated and I don’t feel too bad. I don’t feel great, but at the moment I’ve had worse bouts of ‘flu.

But the fact is that there are people (like the hotel staff mentioned above) who haven’t had the vaccine – and, I expect, people for whom it won’t be effective.

Nobody seems to care about infecting them.

So the infection rate mounts and the deaths rack up.

I’ll write more about my experiences later.

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Health service in England to be privatised as Tories pass misnamed ‘Health and Care’ Bill

Snout in the trough (all right – bucket): many Conservative MPs have shares in private health companies that will profit from this legislation.

So that’s that. The National Health Service in England is to be carved into 42 smaller organisations that will be passed into the hands of private, profit-making health companies:

The boards of the new Integrated Care Systems, that commission services, will be dominated by profit-grubbers, and they’re not going to give the non-profit organisation a chance to take money out of their shareholders’ pockets.

This means the duty to provide a comprehensive health service is being abolished. The quality of healthcare in all parts of England will plummet as a result.

The only hope now is for the Lords to bounce the Bill back with significant amendments. This is a possibility as the Tories are in a minority there. But the Commons will most likely just send it back with the amendments reversed because many Tory MPs have shares in profit-making health firms.

Let’s also spare a moment to remind ourselves that Jeremy Corbyn, as Labour leader, warned everybody in the United Kingdom that this was the Conservative plan, with more than 450 pages of evidence, in the run-up to the 2019 election.

His words were ridiculed and Boris Johnson’s Tories were elected with a landslide majority after around 13 million people voted for them.

By a curious coincidence, the NHS waiting list is expected to swell past 13 million over the next few months – due entirely to the same Tory government’s utter indifference to your health.

Many of those waiting more than a year, in pain and suffering, for routine procedures will be the very same Conservative voters who put Johnson and his raiders in power. Do they now have buyers’ remorse?

Not a bit of it!

Like petulant children, Tory voters hate being told they were wrong and will self-harm as a response to being told how to help themselves.

Trust me on that.

I’ve been pointing out Tory failures for years and that’s why This Site’s readership is so… er… exclusive.

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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Tory councillor coughs up after Corbyn wreath libel

The last laugh: Jeremy Corbyn has won “substantial” damages from the Tory who tweeted a derogatory image about him. He is donating the money to charity.

I don’t think I have to say too much about this. Everybody else already has!

Including – at highly-satisfying length – the culprit:

Here’s Jeremy Corbyn’s side of it.

Others have already noted – and I’d like to add my voice to theirs – that Mr Corbyn only sued because Nickerson’s tweet disrespected those who were affected by the Liverpool Women’s Hospital bomb and the threat it posed to possible victims including new mothers and their babies.

The following tweet also matches my own feelings:

Nickerson himself has asked for his message to be retweeted, so please do.

Let’s remember that fellow Tory Ben Bradley’s apology to Mr Corbyn became one of the most retweeted tweets ever (if I recall correctly). Here it is now:

And while it is too late for Mr Corbyn to take action over the matter mentioned below, and I doubt that he would have anyway because it seems clear that he’s not bothered about the names people call him, in the light of the subject’s lawsuit against me I can’t help but sympathise with the sentiment:

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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Starmer said Labour is the party of business – so he supports #NHSPrivatisation

Perhaps you’ve been too trusting; taking what politicians say at face value, rather than reading between the lines to understand what they really mean.

Allow me to translate for you.

When Keir Starmer told us:

When business profits, we all do

He meant he supports the Tory plan to put shareholders/executives in privately-owned healthcare firms on the boards of the 42 new English NHS-in-name-only organisations.

And that means he supports privatisation because these people will have ultimate control over whether NHS services are provided by the state system that uses all its resources to make us all healthier or a private company that needs you to stay sick so it can keep leeching money off of you.

Don’t get me wrong – there are still people in the Parliamentary Labour Party who support a publicly-funded, publicly-run health service that puts people before profit:

That was Zarah Sultana. She’s one of four female MPs of colour who Starmer’s cronies are trying to have deselected from the lists of Labour candidates at the next general election.

The reasons are obvious: she’s female, she’s a person of colour, she’s a Muslim, she’s a socialist and she wants the National Health Service to be run for people, not profit.

Keir Starmer opposes all of those.

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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Woman tests positive for Covid-19 – and is threatened with sanction if she doesn’t attend Job Centre

Habitual cruelty: if you thought the Tories stopped persecuting people with long-term illnesses and disabilities during the Covid-19 crisis, think again.

This is the UK in 2021, summed up in one series of tweets:

I don’t know where this Job Centre is, but its staff are clearly trying to create another Jodey Whiting.

Jodey had incurable conditions – they could only get worse – and failed to attend a benefit re-assessment interview because she was in hospital with a brain cyst at the time.

All her benefits were cut off – even though the interview can only have been to work out whether her conditions had worsened enough for her to require increased payments.

She took her own life soon afterwards. A coroner ruled that it could not be described as suicide because there is reason to believe her action could have been a cry for help.

This Writer has no doubt that Ms Whiting was pushed towards taking her own life by the Department for Work and Pensions.

If somebody on benefits contracts Covid-19, fails to attend a benefit interview, and the DWP cuts off all her payments – in the full knowledge of what happened with Ms Whiting – doesn’t that indicate, to you, that this government department is hoping for the same end result?

It does to me.

Let’s hope it doesn’t get that far.

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 Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook