Category Archives: Abuse

Tories vote down plan to register stalkers and domestic abusers – because of how it would affect them?

Priti Patel: she initially said she would support a register of stalkers and domestic abusers, but reneged on that promise when it came to a vote. Was it because it wouldn’t directly target immigrants?

Boris Johnson’s government is showing us in increasingly blatant ways that Tories only ever make law for their own profit.

David Cameron’s Greensill scandal came about because it seems he designed his law to register lobbyists specifically to ignore the lobbyists who would employ him in the future – to quote just one example.

So what are we to make of this?

The government is facing growing anger after voting against putting serial stalkers and domestic abusers on a national register, despite briefing they were likely to support the measures following the death of Sarah Everard.

Conservative MPs voted against amendments to the domestic abuse bill on Thursday that would have placed serial domestic abusers and stalkers on the current Violent and Sex Offender Register (Visor).

MPs also voted down House of Lords-supported amendments that would have given family court judges training on sexual abuse and provided greater protection to migrant victims of domestic violence.

Why would a Tory government reject a change in the law that would make people safer?

Is it because they don’t think it would affect them?

Or is it because they do? Think about it.

Source: Anger as Tory MPs vote against register for stalkers and domestic abusers | Domestic violence | The Guardian

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Racism by gaslight as the UK’s racist government’s new report is a #whitewash

Tory racists: let’s remember that the government currently claiming there’s no institutional racism in the UK is led by a prime minister who had to apologise for an article claiming black people have lower IQs, then went on to say Muslim women in burqas resemble “bank robbers” and “letterboxes” and told us black people are “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. His novel 72 Virgins also contains an anti-Semitic trope.

The Tory government has released a report claiming that, despite thousands of cases of casual, institutional racism that we all see every day, the UK should be seen as an “exemplar” of racial equality.

Who do these racist Tory twits think they are going to fool?

The answer to that is obvious – the majority population of white British people who don’t experience racism in their day-to-day lives, many of whom habitually vote Conservative even though it is against their own interests to do so.

You know… the gaslit millions.

The report by the Tory government’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities was scripted by Downing Street and released under what Peter Walker of The Guardian described as “some pretty cynical news management”.

He explained in a short series of tweets:

He concluded: “We just ignored the “no approach” aspect as it seemed weird to not ask expert groups about a major report in their own subject area, and cynical for government press officers to expect this.”

It wasn’t weird at all. He was right the first time: it was an attempt to ensure that coverage of the story would only highlight the positive message – the lie – that your racist Tory government was peddling.

And let’s not have any nit-picking about my reference to these Tories as racist. This report deliberately hides the racism with which UK society is riddled in order to gaslight the gullible into thinking it doesn’t exist. That in itself is racist.

When you see the head of the commission, Tony Sewell, speaking about it, bear in mind that he is distrusted by the minority ethnic community because he has long claimed that institutional racism does not exist.

A summary of the report focused on education, claiming that many students from minority ethnic backgrounds do as well or better than their white peers.

That is not the experience of youngsters who continue to be treated as backward, simply because of the colour of their skin. Read Akala’s book Natives for a ground-level account of what it’s really like.

The Guardian article, having ignored the Tory embargo, features some on-the-nose responses too:

The shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, told the same programme that disproportionate rates of school exclusion and arrest among black children underlined evidence of an institutional problem. It would roll back progress if the government sought “to downplay or deny the extent of the problem, rather than doing what it should be doing which is getting on the front foot and tackling it,” she said.

A spokesperson for Black Lives Matter UK said that while the report focused on education, “it fails to explore disproportionality in school exclusion, eurocentrism and censorship in the curriculum, or the ongoing attainment gap in higher education.

“We are also disappointed to learn that the report overlooks disproportionality in the criminal justice system – particularly as police racism served as the catalyst for last summer’s protests. Black people in England and Wales are nine times more likely to be imprisoned than their white peers, and yet, four years on, the recommendations from the Lammy review are yet to be implemented.”

Halima Begum, the chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, said: “As we saw in the early days of the pandemic, 60% of the first NHS doctors and nurses to die were from our BAME communities. For Boris Johnson to look the grieving families of those brave dead in the eye and say there is no evidence of institutional racism in the UK is nothing short of a gross offence.

“The facts about institutional racism do not lie, and we note with some surprise that, no matter how much spin the commission puts on its findings, it does in fact concede that we do not live in a post-racist society.”

Maurice Mcleod, the chief executive of Race on the Agenda, described the conclusion of the inquiry as “government level gaslighting” and criticised the summary for claiming communities are being “haunted” by “historic cases” of racism, creating “deep mistrust” in the system that could prove a barrier to success.

He said the implications of the report were that “the reason so many black people don’t get on well in this society is because they are stuck in the past and this makes them mistrustful. So racism isn’t the problem, people talking about racism is the problem.”

“Government level gaslighting” is right – and is a theme that has been taken up on the social media by people who should know:

You get the picture?

Perhaps worst of all is the fact that this is only one example of the deception coming from your Tory government – which is gaslighting us so heavily that one Twitter user said it was in danger of breaching the Paris Agreement on Climate Change:

But there is an easy way to fight back:

Here’s some information to get you started:

Source: Downing Street suggests UK should be seen as model of racial equality | Race | The Guardian

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Elections 2021: Labour’s gutlessness and treachery is all-too clear in this tale of two representatives

Alex Sobel: he’s just the latest in a long line of Labour members to be stabbed in the back by Keir Starmer.

It seems Keir Starmer’s Parliamentary Labour Party will leave no depth unplumbed in its relentless quest to alienate the whole UK electorate.

The latest travesty is the case of Shadow Tourism Minister Alex Sobel, who said in a podcast that, after being initially unwilling to talk with big businesses, he had swallowed his prejudices and started dialogues over climate change.

He went on to say that several of the companies he has met have “seen the way the wind is blowing” on climate, and “the private sector is ahead of the UK government”.

Then The Sun got hold of the story and twisted his words, claiming that he said businesspeople are “the enemy” now. This is the opposite of what he was saying; he actually stated that the private sector was advanced in its thinking and it is the government that is holding progress back.

And then Keir Starmer and his Labour leadership stepped in with their enormous jackboots and well and truly messed matters up.

It seems Starmer demanded an apology from Sobel. Then he went to the press and came out with this blood-curdling claptrap:

“Under my leadership, I’ve been very, very clear that the Labour party is pro-business,” Starmer said. “We’re more than pro-business, we want a partnership with business.”

He added: “Alex Sobel knows what he said was wrong. He has apologised. He’s apologised to me. The Labour party, under my leadership, is very clearly pro-business. We want a partnership with business. And Alex Sobel understands that.”

Labour says no pressure was put on Sobel, but This Writer can’t see any way he would have apologised otherwise; he had no reason to.

It is, however, very much “in character” for a Labour leadership that would apologise to its own shadow (if it ever stepped out of the shadows long enough to see one).

The obvious howler is the anti-Semitism “crisis” that Starmer spent months whipping up again after it had gone quiet.

Rather than stand up for his MPs, candidates and members who have been falsely accused, he persecuted them wholesale, while apologising to the world for them every having been allowed into the party.

Not a scrap of evidence ever seemed to be on display.

Contrast this with the way the Tories react when one of theirs is criticised… Priti Patel, for example.

Among her many transgressions is the way she shattered the Ministerial Code by bullying civil servants, not only at the Home Office but in the Departments for Work and Pensions and of International Development.

She should have been forced to resign. That is the rule. But Boris Johnson stuck by her and demanded that she had done nothing wrong and must keep her job.

So she did.

See the difference? Labour apologises and punishes its own at the slightest opportunity; the Tories stick together (until they start falling in the polls, of course, but that’s another story).

Smart minds in the Labour Party have spotted this and are making the only choice available to them.

So let us applaud James Osben, twice Labour’s general election candidate in Newton Abbot, who has not only resigned his membership but issued an open letter to Keir Starmer, explaining his reasons in no uncertain terms.

Here are some of the highlights:

“I am saddened, deeply disappointed and extremely troubled by the Labour Party’s current behaviour and actions in suspending hundreds of members from multiple CLPs.

“I stood as the Parliamentary Candidate in Newton Abbot in 2017 and 2019. Labour came second for the first time ever in this constituency in 2017… I and my friends and colleagues within the Party felt proud of what we achieved and we had hope, like never before, of achieving so much more for our local community.

“Any hope of this being achieved via the Labour party is now gone. You have suspended most of the Newton Abbot CLP officers and many have already resigned.

“Like my friends I will continue with community projects, supporting people who need help but I can no longer do this under the Labour banner when the Labour Party is failing to represent these people.

“I no longer feel that the Labour Party is representing me and the millions of people who need a government that is on their side.

“For the first time ever, I have felt uncomfortable, unsafe and unrepresented in the Labour Party. Why is this? My values have not changed nor have my principles. As Tony Benn once said, we should be signposts and not weathercocks. What has changed within the Labour Party?

“Why are members feeling unsafe, intimidated and fearful? Why does there appear to be a disturbing clampdown on democracy and free speech within the party?

“Thousands of members have resigned. You have suspended hundreds more. What is your aim? What is your purpose? What are your objectives?

“The Labour Party in Newton Abbot has now been severely crippled in the run-up to the May 2021 elections because of the actions of Keir Starmer and David Evans.

“Is it your aim to ensure a Labour Government isn’t elected in 2024? It certainly seems so.”

It’s a long letter and you can read it in full over on Skwawkbox.

This Writer can do nothing but endorse the sentiments Mr Osben expresses. They mirror many of my own feelings; long-term readers will know that I often refer to Tony Benn’s signposts and weathercocks comparison.

He also makes good points about the psychological harm being done to Labour Party members by Starmer’s totalitarian leadership.

Put this together with the treatment of Alex Sobel and we see a Labour Party that won’t even stand up for its own MPs and candidates.

And, in the run-up to the local elections in May, there is no reason to believe that Labour will stand up for any voters either.

Source: Labour MP apologises for saying he once saw business as ‘the enemy’ | Labour | The Guardian

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Libel victory shows it IS possible for a social media journalist to beat a celebrity

Well-deserved victory: Ash Sarkar (left) has won libel damages from Julie Burchill.

No, I haven’t (yet) won my case against Rachel Riley, sadly. But Ash Sarkar’s victory against Julie Burchill shows that it is possible for writers and broadcasters on the social media, like her and myself, to beat much better-funded celebrities if the evidence supports us.

Of course, Ms Sarkar was the claimant in her own case, while I am the defendant. I do wonder how much difference that may have made to a judge’s assumptions.

And her case hasn’t lasted very long – only a little more than three months, which suggests that the facts were more clear-cut, certainly, than those of my own case have been made out to be.

Here’s Ms Burchill’s statement:

On 13th December 2020 I made statements concerning Ash Sarkar in response to her comment on an article by my friend Rod Liddle. I alleged that Ms Sarkar worshipped the Prophet Muhammad, that she worshipped a paedophile (referring to the Prophet Muhammad), that she was an Islamist, and that she was a hypocrite (the allegations).

Although it was not my intention, I accept that my statements were defamatory of Ms Sarkar and caused her very substantial distress. I wish to make clear on the record that I do not believe, have never believed and never intended to make any allegation that Ms Sarkar is a promoter, supporter and/or sympathiser of Islamists or fundamentalist terrorism or to suggest that Ms Sarkar condones paedophilia in any way. I also now understand that it is blasphemy for a Muslim to worship Prophet Muhammad and I had no basis for stating that Ms Sarkar does so. I accept that there is no truth in any of these allegations, and I recognise that such comment play into Islamophobic tropes and did so in this case.

I also accept that I was wrong to continue to tweet to and about her after that date. I should not have sent these tweets, some of which included racist and misogynist comments regarding Ms Sarkar’s appearance and her sex life. I was also wrong to have “liked” other posts on Facebook and Twitter about her which were offensive, including one which called for her to kill herself, and another which speculated whether she had been a victim of FGM. I regret that I did not pay much attention to them at the time. On reflection, I accept that these “liked” posts included callous and degrading comments about Ms Sarkar and I should not have liked them. I can confirm that I have deleted all my posts and tweets and likes about Ms Sarkar.

I have also now seen messages that were sent to Ms Sarkar following my posts about her which are abhorrent, and I wish to make clear that I do not condone any such messages. I did not know when I published my posts that Ms Sarkar had previously received death threats and other violent threats and abuse, some of which emanated from a far-right conspiracy theory circulated about Ms Sarkar during summer 2020, of which I had not been aware.

I deeply regret having reacted in the way I did. I accept that I should have behaved better. On reflection, I accept that I misjudged the situation, and made statements that simply are not true, which I now want to put right. I also wish to make clear that I accept that Ms Sarkar did not call for my publisher to break ties with me and bears no responsibility for this.

I unreservedly and unconditionally apologise for the hurtful and unacceptable statements I made to and about Ms Sarkar, particularly those concerning her religion and Prophet Muhammad. I have undertaken not to repeat the allegations or any similar allegations about her, undertaken not to engage in any course of conduct amounting to harassment of Ms Sarkar, and undertaken not to contact her directly other than for legal reasons.

I have also agreed to pay substantial damages to Ms Sarkar for the distress I caused and her legal costs.

Ms Sarkar’s victory has received support on Twitter:

She commented on it herself, as follows:

She also published an article in The Guardian, part of which states:

Some of the worst abuse I’ve received is either from journalists or the direct consequence of their actions in spreading misinformation about me.

The parallels with my own case, in which Rachel Riley has portrayed herself as the victim of an unreasonable libel perpetrated by me, should be clear to anybody familiar with it.

In fact, the teenage girl Riley exposed to abuse could very easily have written similar words to Ms Sarkar: “Some of the worst abuse I’ve received is either from celebrities or the direct consequence of their actions in spreading misinformation about me.”

Riley responded to a girl’s criticism of her for mischaracterising Owen Jones (and Jeremy Corbyn) as anti-Semitic by presenting the girl as a supporter of anti-Semitism (by being a supporter of Corbyn and his Labour Party).

While she did not directly call on her followers to dogpile the girl (nor did I suggest that she did in the article for which she is suing me), several dogpiles resulted from the series of Twitter threads she wrote about that girl, and this abuse was a direct result of Riley’s decision to publish them.

This can be proved with the answer to a simple question: would this girl have received this abuse if Riley had not published tweets about her? The answer can only be a resounding no.

I published my article, back in 2019, on the basis that it is in the public interest for people to understand the patterns of abuse on the social media; how they happen and who should take responsibility.

Julie Burchill has taken responsibility for the vile abuse that she caused, either directly or indirectly.

Rachel Riley seeks to take huge amounts of money from me by denying having done so, even though many of her actions were exactly the same.

I am not rich. It has always seemed to me that the intention has been to financially ruin me by forcing me to participate in a costly court exercise that I could not afford.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to fend her off for nearly two years with support from thousands of members of the public who have seen the evidence (it is still on Twitter) and drawn their own conclusions.

I am currently being forced to appeal against a High Court decision to strike out my defences against her accusation, because the decision to strike out my defence of publication in the public interest was clearly unsafe – as you can see from the information I have provided, above.

This means I am being forced to spend more money that would be better spent on a trial. Riley doesn’t care. It means I have less money for that purpose and makes her more likely to win by default.

If, having read the details of the abuse Ash Sarkar suffered and the comparison with my own case, you are willing to help me, you are heartily invited to join the thousands who have already supported my case by contributing to my CrowdJustice fund. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, 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 CrowdJustice site.

As I understand it, the Court of Appeal is planning to hear mine on an expedited basis – that is, at a time that suits the court rather than one that is convenient to either or both of the parties involved. This could take place at any time between April 15 and the end of May.

That means there is very little time to raise the thousands more that are needed.

Source: A lesson to right wing journalists as Julie Burchill forced to pay damages to Ash Sarkar – Dorset Eye

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‘Bullied’ former Home Office boss drops case against Patel in return for huge payout of YOUR cash

Sir Philip Rutnam: rather than prove claims of bullying against him – and demonstrate the culture of bullying allegedly created by Priti Patel in the Home Office – he’s going to take the money and run.

Pathetic.

The former Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, Sir Philip Rutnam, has stabbed his fellow civil servants in the back by coming to a settlement of his ‘unfair dismissal’ case against Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Rutnam had claimed he had been the victim of a “vicious and orchestrated” briefing campaign after trying to get Ms Patel to change her bullying behaviour.

His case was due to be heard by an employment tribunal in September – which seems a long wait, considering he quit in February last year.

But now it isn’t going to happen because he has opted to take Patel’s thirty pieces of silver instead – or rather, £340,000 plus his legal costs.

And when I say “Patel’s” money, I mean public money because of course she wouldn’t dream of paying him anything herself.

This is not an appropriate use of public funds.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said:

Taxpayers will be appalled at having to pick up the bill for the home secretary’s unacceptable behaviour.

(Strictly speaking, he’s not right. The government creates money to cover its expenditure. It taxes us to give that money its value. But he’s right that we should not expect public money to be used to pay for the indiscretions of Tory ministers.)

The government is saying it does not accept liability for the manner of Rutnam’s departure from his job.

If that’s true, then why pay a “substantial” amount to settle the case?

Source: Philip Rutnam: Ex-Home Office boss settles unfair dismissal case – BBC News

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Matt Hancock is gaslighting not only nurses, but ALL of us, over PPE

Smug little liar: when Matt Hancock opens his mouth to make a claim,experience shows it will probably be wrong.

Our nurses are right and Matt Hancock is a liar. He would resign if he had an ounce of integrity but of course he doesn’t, so he won’t.

He has said he would not resign after a High Court judge ruled he was responsible for unlawful delays in revealing how billions of pounds were spent on gowns, masks and other protective equipment at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge: “My officials, with my full support, spent every waking hour buying PPE so that, even though we came close, we never actually ran out of PPE in this country.

“People can make up their own view about whether I should have told my team to stop buying PPE or whether I was right to buy the PPE and get it to the front line.

“And they did that even though the paperwork got delayed by, on average, just over a fortnight.”

Nurses don’t have to make up their own minds. They have the facts. They have experienced the deaths of their colleagues, who were exposed to Covid-19 needlessly because Hancock did not supply them with PPE.

In fact, as I stated earlier, not only did the Johnson government give away the PPE it had, it later wasted millions – if not billions – giving contracts to useless Tory cronies who either couldn’t supply the goods or provided equipment that could not be used.

That will be the buying that Hancock mentioned to Ms Ridge, then?

I also mentioned the fact that nurses caught the virus because they didn’t have proper PPE:

“According to Metro,

Three nurses who wore bin bags on their shifts due to a shortage in personal protective equipment (PPE) have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Just weeks ago, the nurses had shared a photo of themselves with clinical waste bags on their heads and feet as they issued a plea for proper masks, gowns and gloves at Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow.

“I wrote: ‘One of them had said they were all “terrified” that this might happen, knowing that colleagues had caught the disease from patients, and having treated those colleagues. They had seen what the illness does… We know what the government that failed them is going to give them: Platitudes.’

“How right I was.”

Now, responding to Hancock’s comments, community nurse Angela Roberts recalled the incident when she asked:

Why were nurses forced to use bloody bin bags? Out-of-date masks?

She continued:

Why was PPE downgraded for NHS staff?

‘Why was there no PPE for care homes and community nurses except for plastic pinnies?

And Anthony Johnson, lead organiser for Nurses United, said:

He thinks that he can try to gaslight millions of health and social care workers who had to re-use PPE.

If so, he thinks wrong.

But what difference will it make if there are no consequences for his actions?

Source: Hancock is gaslighting us over PPE, say nurses | Metro

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Game on! Court grants Mike permission to appeal in Riley libel case

I know that UK courts don’t use the gavel. This is for illustrative purposes.

The Court of Appeal has granted me permission to appeal against an order striking out my defence against Rachel Riley’s libel claim against me.

Firstly I must thank all of the readers and contributors who supported my crowdfunding campaign. You made this happen and without your generosity I would have had no way to defend myself against an aggressive attack.

Secondly: the court is allowing me to appeal on only one element of my defence – that publication of my article was on a matter of public interest. This is the end of the line for my defences of truth and honest opinion.

I can now reveal that I never held out much hope for my ‘truth’ defence. The High Court has made it clear that it would not entertain such a defence unless I was able to produce a tweet from Rachel Riley in which she declared herself to be a bully and demanded that all her followers should pile abuse and harassment on a teenage girl.

That simply isn’t a realistic expectation. It doesn’t mean the girl did not receive abuse, and discussion of the manner in which it came to her is certainly a matter of public interest.

I am sorry to see that the court doesn’t think I can defend the publication of my honest opinions. The Defamation Act allows me to rely on any fact that existed at the time my statement was published, and I had plenty of material available to me that would have allowed me to support my beliefs. Sadly, the court won’t hear it – at least in this context.

It is wholly possible to win the case on a ‘public interest’ defence. I have established a host of reasons why it was in the public interest for me to publish my article – and I am sure you can think of a few yourself, just off the top of your head.

I will not be making those arguments in the Court of Appeal. I will simply be putting forward reasons why I should be allowed to do so.

And I don’t need to do anything at all until Riley lodges what’s called a “respondent’s notice” and her skeleton argument against me.

All underlying proceedings are suspended while the appeal process takes place and while the court order does not mention it, the High Court costs order must also be suspended as it will be subject to alteration if I win the appeal.

And I can win the appeal.

And I can then go on to win the case.

Sadly, it will cost more money to get that far but – joyfully, if I win – Riley will have to pay it all back.

Therefore I repeat my request for funds. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, 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 CrowdJustice site.

I don’t know how long we have to wait for the court to hear my appeal. This means I don’t know how soon I will need to provide payment for it.

But I will keep you informed, as ever, of all new developments.

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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High Court urged to overturn Johnson’s decision to overlook Priti Patel’s bullying

Do you ever wonder whether High Court judges get frustrated that any serious work they do is delayed by the misdeeds of government ministers (not to mention the bleatings of sensitive celebs – but that’s another matter)?

Civil service union the FDA is demanding a judicial review of Boris Johnson’s decision not to sack Priti Patel for breaking the Ministerial Code by bullying officers at the Home Office, Department for International Development and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Johnson rejected the findings of a report by Alex Allan that found Patel was guilty of bullying civil servants while a minister in three government departments.

He defiantly backed her to continue as Home Secretary when, according to the rules, she should have been sacked – and said he had “full confidence” in her.

The decision provoke Allan to resign as government adviser on ministerial standards last November, immediately after the prime minister announced his decision.

It also emerged that Johnson had spent considerable effort trying to rally support for Patel among other ministers. This became even more questionable when it was revealed that Patel’s loathsome behaviour appeared to have pushed one employee into attempting suicide.

Now the FDA is taking the matter to the courts – and about time too:

In a written submission, general secretary Dave Penman told the High Court that “civil servants should expect to work with ministers without fear of being bullied or harassed”.

Mr Johnson’s actions had “fundamentally undermined” the disciplinary process, he added, and the prime minister had “misinterpreted” the definition of bullying in the Ministerial Code.

Mr Penman said there was “bewilderment, dismay and anger among our membership” and there had been “serious detrimental effects to workplace relations and confidence in the process for dealing with complaints against ministers”.

He added that, if Mr Johnson’s decision was not “corrected” by the court, “his interpretation of the Ministerial Code will result in that document failing to protect workplace standards across government”.

This is a row that has been simmering for a year – since the resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam as Home Office permanent secretary in February 2020.

He said he had been the target of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” ringled by Patel.

And he is pursuing an employment tribunal claim for constructive dismissal.

This action can only be strengthened if the High Court supports the FDA’s application.

Source: High Court urged to overturn PM’s decision to stand by Priti Patel – BBC News

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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Why did ‘celebrity’ Twitter users force suspension of ordinary woman? Because they could

Some of you have been kind enough to notice that This Writer’s @MidWalesMike account has been in the Twitter sin bin since the beginning of the month because somebody didn’t like one of my articles about the court case against Rachel Riley.

That is dangerous enough – it’s clearly an attempt to create a “chilling” effect on my crowdfunding (that, fortunately, has failed – the fund has nearly raised £125,000 since it started nearly two years ago).

But now I read that another Twitter user, who apparently has no public profile at all (she’s not a celebrity or a journalist/blogger or a member of the commentatorati), has found her account suspended, simply for expressing her dislike of an actress.

The actress in question was Tracy-Ann Oberman, who apparently searches the social media platform for any adverse comment about her. Spotting this one, it seems she claimed that the lady in question had to be an anti-Semite, even though no part of the view she expressed in her tweet conveyed any such sentiment. See for yourself:

“It’s a sin was doing so well then I saw Tracy Ann Oberman left a bad taste in my mouth … trying to quickly forget I’ve seen her.”

“Caroline do you think that YOU may be one of those intolerant bigots that Russell is talking about in #itsasin

“Seems you’ve missed the entire point of the series. You and the rest of this thread. Oh dear. @cst @UKLabour @LabourAgainstAS”

The @ tags at the end of Oberman’s tweet are significant. She was tagging in the Community Security Trust and Labour Against Anti-Semitism – both highly vocal self-proclaimed crusaders against anti-Semitism (although both could equally well be described as witch-hunters against people targeted with false claims) along with the Labour Party, because ‘Caroline’ could be seen holding a Labour membership card in her profile picture.

The implication is clear: Oberman wanted to brand ‘Caroline’ an anti-Semite and she wanted to bring Labour’s attention to it. In order to provoke disciplinary action, perhaps? Because this person had expressed an opinion about her appearance in a TV show. Overkill?

No. Overkill is what followed. Oberman’s tweet led to a dogpile so vile that even some of its participants later withdrew their comments and apologised.

I won’t go into the details but you can read about it on Zelo Street if you like.

Then – apparently after pressure from the usual cohort of “blue tick” celebrities – ‘Caroline’ had her Twitter account suspended.

I repeat that she had not expressed a single opinion that was not well within her right. If she doesn’t like Tracy-Ann Oberman, it is not for Tracy-Ann Oberman to take offence and have her hounded off of Twitter. For all Tracy-Ann Oberman knew, ‘Caroline’ had perfectly good reasons for disliking her.

Those reasons don’t have to be restricted to her acting, either. I refer to her “clitoris” comment in response to David Quantick, and her (clearly racist, in my opinion) “Is Ping Pong the Thai help?” query in response to a tweet from Liz Hurley that her parrot had spoken in human language for the first time.

Nevertheless, Tracy-Ann Oberman reacted the way she did, and now an innocent member of the public has been hounded off of Twitter.

You may be wondering why Tracy-Ann Oberman feels justified in having acted as she did. I’ll tell you the answer:

Because there is a court ruling that says she cannot be held to account for it.

It’s the ruling of Mrs Justice Collins Rice in the case brought by Oberman’s friend Rachel Riley against This Writer.

Riley’s legal team had put forward an argument that she could not possibly be held responsible for the behaviour of her followers, who abused and harassed a teenage girl with mental health problems who had had the temerity to criticise her for accusing Owen Jones (and Jeremy Corbyn) of anti-Semitism.

Riley had tagged celebrities, politicians and so-called activists against anti-Semitism into her tweets responding to the girl, who had received many hundreds of responses critical of her as a result – forcing her to quit Twitter several times for the sake of her mental health.

But the judge agreed that Riley was not responsible. Her ruling means nobody else can be, either.

And this is the result.

It is hugely damaging – not only for the safety of people like ‘Caroline’, but for everybody’s Article 10 right to Freedom of Expression according to the Human Rights Act (she was hounded off the platform for expressing an opinion about an actress, remember).

It also contradicts the intentions of Online Harms legislation that is due to pass through Parliament soon. Part of the proposed law would make participation in online dogpiles a criminal offence with serious penalties attached.

As everybody should be aware by now, I have appealed against Mrs Justice Collins Rice’s ruling.

I hope that judges at the Court of Appeal agree that it has created the opportunity for significant harm – and has already caused such harm in the case of ‘Caroline’.

If so, then we may also hope that the ruling is rescinded and the Obermans of this world lose their legal protection.

My case is still going on, I am still crowdfunding to pay its costs, and you are invited to contribute in the time-honoured ways:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, 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 haven’t donated before, perhaps this story will encourage you.

After all, they might come for you next.

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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Slaughter by gaslight: why are we letting our leaders lie to us about the deaths they have caused?

His lying face: this is the expression Boris Johnson uses when he’s secretly laughing at you because he’s telling a lie that nobody is going to contradict – like his claim that he has done everything he can to save lives in the Covid-19 crisis when in fact he has caused more than 100,000 unnecessary deaths.

When the British Medical Journal demands the equivalent of a war crimes trial for British political leaders who have worsened the Covid-19 crisis, it’s time to sit up and pay attention.

In an editorial, the BMJ has accused Boris Johnson and his Conservative government of mass murder because he – and they – not only said they were

willing to allow tens of thousands of premature deaths for the sake of population immunity or in the hope of propping up the economy

but actually went through with it – allowing those deaths to take place.

The piece asks serious questions:

If policy failures lead to recurrent and mistimed lockdowns, who is responsible for the resulting non-covid excess deaths?

When politicians wilfully neglect scientific advice, international and historical experience, and their own alarming statistics and modelling because to act goes against their political strategy or ideology, is that lawful?

How big an omission is not acting immediately after the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020?

The BMJ goes on to suggest that Johnson’s failures and omissions amount to “social murder” – conditions created by the privileged classes leading to premature and “unnatural” death among the poorest.

Today, “social murder” may describe the lack of political attention to social determinants and inequities that exacerbate the pandemic.

Gaslighting

Elected ministers – not just in the UK but around the world – have dodged responsibility for the huge numbers of deaths caused by their deliberate decisions to ignore scientific advice and to avoid, delay or mishandle policies that would have saved lives.

They say they have done all they can – Boris Johnson relies on this one very often.

And Johnson also likes to tell us that there was no precedent for Covid-19, meaning he had no way of knowing what to do and when to do it.

He’s lying when he says these things.

Obviously he hasn’t done everything he could, because he ignored scientific advice and delayed vital decisions, causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

If you have a relative or friend who died because of Covid-19, it is probably because of Boris Johnson.

And he did have guidelines on what to do; they just hadn’t been updated since the Conservatives slithered back into Downing Street in 2010. In fact, they systematically dismantled the UK’s processes for dealing with a pandemic – deliberately ensuring that lives could not be saved.

Sadly, the media have not only allowed this gaslighting to go unchallenged but have often been complicit in it:

Truth has become dispensable as politicians and their allies are allowed to lie, mislead, and repaint history, with barely a hint of a challenge from journalists and broadcasters. Anybody who dares to speak truth to power is unpatriotic, disloyal, or a “hardliner.”

Ministers in the UK, for example, interact with the media through sanitised interviews, stage managed press conferences, off-the-record briefings to favoured correspondents, and, when the going gets tough, by simply refusing to appear.

It is this environment that has allowed covid denial to flourish, for unaccountability to prevail, and for the great lies of “world beating” pandemic responses to be spun.

How many excess deaths does it take for a chief scientific or medical adviser to resign? How long should test and trace fail the public before a minister of health or chief adviser steps down? How many lucrative contracts for unscientific diagnostic tests that are awarded to cronies or errors in education policy will lead to a ministerial sacking?

We know the answer now: it will never happen under the Johnson government. They consider themselves unaccountable and will never willingly accept responsibility for the more than 100,000 deaths we know they have caused.

Media complicity

One reason killers like the Tory government are getting away with it is the complicity of the mainstream media, which treats expert evidence as mere opinion, to be given only the same weight as the self-justifications of Johnson.

Simon Wren-Lewis, in his Mainly Macro blog, accurately states that the media have a heirarchy of opinion-holders, with politicians at the top – even though we know that politicians are either ignorant, or they are liars.

Scientific knowledge isn’t another opinion,

he states.

As long as the media treats scientific knowledge as opinion, it removes itself from reality and diminishes its audience.

And there’s no respite, even when the opinions put forward are transparently lies:

Obvious lies should be less of a problem because most journalists will recognise them as lies, and have the potential to call them such [but] so engrained is the notion of balance that often journalists do not even do that.

Time and again over the last decade, expert knowledge has been marginalised as just another opinion, with the opinions (or indeed lies) of politicians ranked higher.

Time and again, expert knowledge has been proved right and the politicians proved to be liars.

Professor Wren-Lewis points to austerity and Brexit as examples within the last decade, making the point that Covid-19 is taking us in the same direction:

Once again the media has decided that politics rather than expertise will drive its coverage. As a result, even after over 120,000 deaths, we have media coverage which sometimes balances the government’s policy against the opposition who want to follow SAGE, or worse the government’s policy against COVID nutters who happen to be Tory MPs. Worse still, the tiny minority of Barrington Declaration academics are given airtime even after they have been proved wrong time and time again.

As a result, the elimination (or zero-COVID) policy that is supported by many medics and is being followed by some countries, and is today being debated among medical experts has hardly been discussed at all in most media outlets.

Elimination is just not practical, it has been decided.

Whether this goes more widely as a BBC policy remains to be seen, but it is not the BBC’s job to decide that a policy recommended by many medics and economists familiar with pandemics, and implemented in many countries, is not practical.

if politicians get involved then knowledge goes out of the window.

No wonder certain politicians lie all the time when most of the media provides no deterrent.

Equally when a politician contradicts knowledge that is not known to journalists there is no deterrent provided by the media.

And people die in their tens of thousands.

And you sit there, spoonfed lies with a sugar-coating of “scientific knowledge is just opinion”, and let it go on.

But we are all part of the system and we can change it if we want. Right?

Or is our democracy just another sham?

Are you going to carry on sitting still while another 100,000 people die and Johnson lies to us that he isn’t responsible, or are you going to get up and have your say?

What will it take to make get up and take action?

Source: Covid-19: Social murder, they wrote—elected, unaccountable, and unrepentant | The BMJ

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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