Category Archives: Justice

Vox Political writer to speak on resisting ‘lawfare’ at Festival of Resistance

Happy days: Vox Political’s Mike Sivier with the correction he secured from the last organisation to publish falsehoods about him. Hopefully, one day soon, you’ll see an image of Mike with an apology by Rachel Riley.

I have been asked to talk about my experience of this case at a workshop on so-called ‘lawfare’ – using the courts to damage or de-legitimise other people, wasting their time and/or money, to gain a public relations victory.

The event will be at a Festival of Resistance taking place in Nottingham on October 16 and 17. Details are here: https://resistfest.co.uk/

It seems that – as one of the few people who have chosen to defend themselves against so-called ‘SLAPP’ lawsuits (it stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) – cases intended to censor, intimidate and silence people who make perfectly reasonable and relevant contributions to political debate by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence until they have to abandon their statement…

… and I think Rachel Riley’s case against me may be defined as an example of a SLAPP case, or lawfare, or both…

… I am in an excellent position to talk about how it is possible to fight these attempts to use the law as a bullying tool.

I will not refer to details of the Riley case. It is an ongoing lawsuit and as such I may not say anything that may prejudice the result.

But I will talk about how it feels to be attacked in this way, why it is important to resist such actions, and what anybody who is put in the same position can do about it.

The bullies would like us to think that we can do nothing apart from give up – that the cost of taking part in a court case is so huge that we cannot ever possibly afford it, because we are so small, so poor and so insignificant.

But my case proves that this is not true.

I am not part of a larger organisation that has been able to fund me. I am not a celebrity in my own right, able to fund my defence from my own resources. I am a carer living on the poverty line, who happens to be a qualified journalist and who therefore writes about politics in such spare time as is available.

And I have managed to bring the case against me to a trial that my opponent almost certainly did not intend to happen, because I asked for help and thousands of people – who have no direct connection with me apart from being readers of my work or being concerned about the issues surrounding my case – answered.

I still need help to bring the case to trial, of course – these cases are phenomenally expensive. So please help by doing one or more of the following:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

And please come to the Festival of Resistance – if you are able.

I would very much like to meet at least some of the people who have helped me get this 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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Raab’s move from Foreign Office to Justice is a DEMOTION

And quite right too – although he should have been kicked onto the backbenches to go back to his lazy old ways.

Remember: Dominic Raab came to public attention as a co-author of the book Britannia Unchained, which alleged that British workers were among the laziest in the world. It was then revealed that he was one of the laziest MPs in the House of Commons.

And let’s face it he’s been absolutely rubbish as Foreign Secretary:

We knew he was on his way out after the debacle that was the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. He actually admitted that the intelligence agencies of both the UK and USA were outsmarted by a gang of desert-dwelling Taliban terrorists (but were they? Or was he just too stupid to pay attention to what they were saying, and did he think the Taliban would abide by what he decided to do? That was Joe Biden’s mistake).

He had only just got back from holiday, although he claimed he had been working – there – from the moment he had been told of the emergency. He denied claims that he had been seen sunning himself on the beach by claiming that “The sea was closed.”

His pathetic performance was highlighted by the resurfacing of an image of him posing with a woman wearing a sign saying, “He has no idea what he is doing” (above).

Trouble is, his role as prime minister Boris Johnson’s official stand-in has been confirmed with Raab named Deputy Prime Minister in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle. But his record in this respect is no cause for pride:

Covid-19 safety rules told us not to touch objects when we don’t know where they’ve been, and then lick our fingers. Raab did it while standing in for Johnson at a Covid-19 press conference.

He still has this job. In fact, it has been given a title for the first time.

Perhaps that’s the reason he has said he is delighted with the change.

Because going from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Ministry of Justice is, in no uncertain terms, a demotion. Raab is out of favour, and rightly so. He is a disgrace to UK politics.

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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Buckland judged unworthy – but plan to put government above the law lives on

Robert Buckland: he had one job – to put Boris Johnson above the law.

Robert Buckland has become the second Cabinet member to be sacked in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.

If you can’t place the name, he used to be Justice Secretary and has been behind the plan to ensure the courts will not be able to stop Johnson’s Tory Government from breaking the law in the future.

The idea is to restrict the courts’ powers of judicial review to prevent them from examining government legislation and deciding whether it conforms with the law – or breaks it.

It would give Johnson the ability to do anything he wants – by making sure the rest of us have no legal power to stop him.

Johnson was deeply embarrassed by judicial reviews that overturned his decisions to mismanage Brexit and to prorogue Parliament, back in 2019, and it seems this is the entirely selfish motivation behind the proposed law.

MPs from every party apart from the Conservatives have pointed out that the plan is based on a lie by Johnson and his government that a panel led by Lord Faulks QC had found that courts in judicial review cases had become more prone “to edge away from a strictly supervisory jurisdiction”.

Faulks himself has contradicted this Tory lie. He said his panel did not identify any such “trend” and “was not ultimately convinced that judicial review needed radical reform”.

The plan to put the government above the law has been condemned by the  Bar Council, Law Society, Constitutional and Administrative Law Association, Liberty, Justice and the Public Law Project for the same reason.

The Ministry of Justice – and therefore Buckland, as the Secretary of State, responded: “We made a manifesto commitment to ensure the judicial review process is not open to abuse or delay, or used to conduct politics by another means.” Fine words that are not borne out by the substance of the plan.

So we are losing a Justice Secretary who wanted to put injustice at the heart of Tory government decision-making. But is Johnson only replacing one such character with somebody worse?

ADDITIONAL: As I was typing this story, it was announced that Dominic Raab has been demoted from Foreign Secretary to Justice Secretary. It seems likely to This Writer that this is in order to push through the plan to put Johnson above the law more quickly.

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: common sense prevails

Rachel Riley’s lawyers have relented and agreed to the trial lasting three days on the basis that – as stated in the previous update – it is a waste of time having a day in court arguing about whether or not to have a day in court.

I cannot claim that the update I posted at lunchtime today (September 9) had anything to do with the change; my solicitor sent an email informing me of it immediately after I had posted the article, which suggests that the decision happened as I was writing it.

I did not see the email until much later.

Yes, I could claim it as a victory for my side of the case, but it’s really a victory for common sense. I’m glad that the team at Patron Law agreed that there was no point in arguing about something that would not benefit anybody.

I still need funds though!

Those of you who saw the last update have responded admirably and the fund is almost £1,000 better-off as a result. The trial will cost a lot more than that, though, and the best thing to do is keep a steady stream of funds flowing, so I can build up to readiness by the time the hearings happen – probably next April.

So if you haven’t donated today, please do one or more of the following:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

We are now closer to getting this case behind us.

Next come disclosures – of documents that influenced our choices regarding the facts of the case. I have very little to add to what is already known to the court.

It will be very interesting to see what Ms Riley produces.

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: is her fuss over trial length the return of an old fund-draining tactic?

Rachel Riley’s lawyers are making a mountain out of a mole hill, and I have to ask whether they are doing it simply to find another way to drain the funds you have been kind enough to give me.

If so, then it raises serious questions about the possible weakness of her case against me; if she is still trying to stop this case from getting to court, she cannot expect to win in a fair trial – right?

The issue is the expected length of the trial. Riley’s legal team say it will take only two days but I reckon it will take three.

If it is listed for two days but overruns, then it will have to be completed at a later date, incurring large costs because both sets of lawyers will have to re-familiarise themselves with the details, as will the judge. And judges tend to become very angry if cases overrun because of the necessity either to rearrange other work or delay part of the case for an extended time.

If I push for three days, though, Riley’s legals could ask the court to list the matter for a “costs and case management conference” so the court can determine the trial length. This will be a waste of time and money because the hearing would discuss nothing else.

And it could result in a ruling that a three-day trial is necessary, meaning both sides pay for the third day and the extra hearing.

Or we can have a three-day trial, knowing exactly how much it will cost, and just get on with it, in accordance with my wishes. If it underruns, both Riley and I will be better-off because a shorter trial means legal fees will be lower. And the judge will be happy because it will provide time for them to prepare for other trials and/or write up other judgments.

So why are Riley’s lawyers dragging their feet?

The only reason that makes sense is that they want to waste your money – the cash you have donated to help me fight this case.

Already my funds are being drained because of the constant back-and-forth trickle of correspondence between my solicitor and Riley’s at Patron Law, whose insistence on a two-day trial could lead to huge further financial burdens.

There is only one way to discourage this form of lawfare – in which the claimant does not expect to win but to intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence until they abandon their opposition. That is to show them that they cannot win by this underhand tactic.

So I’m going to appeal for donations again.

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

If donations keep coming in, it will show Riley’s lawyers that they really can’t win by trying to drain my cash and that they should concentrate on their legal arguments.

If donations to my cause are generous, it will mean their tactic has backfired and they will have strengthened me with a pointless quibble. Wouldn’t that be great?

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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Labour tries to stop Pamela Fitzpatrick talking about her case. Bit late now…

How did Keir Starmer’s team think this was going to help?

Pamela Fitzpatrick is the former Labour general secretary candidate who is in danger of being expelled from the party because she gave an interview to Socialist Appeal, more than a year ago.

Socialist Appeal has since been proscribed, meaning none of its members can be members of the Labour Party.

Apparently the reason for the proscription was that Socialist Appeal js a political organisation other than an official Labour group or another unit of the party.

On that basis, I look forward to seeing proscription decisions against Labour To Win, Unite (or indeed any trade union), the Jewish Labour Movement and any number of other organisations that have affiliated with or otherwise supported Labour over the years.

As grounds for excluding an organisation from the Labour community, it is utter nonsense.

And people are realising that, if Keir Starmer and his mob are concentrating on attacking members of their own party, they’re giving the government – against whom Labour is supposed to be the official Opposition – carte blanche to do anything it wants.

Indeed.

And the “guilt by association” aspect – used to such effect (at least in party disciplinary circles) has already worn too thin for Labour to expect anybody to give it any credibility now:

In fact, let’s be honest: people aren’t putting up with it any more.

Where This Writer, four years ago, was willing to give the disciplinary process the benefit of the doubt and let it run its course, people like Pamela Fitzpatrick have seen what happened to me (and many others), and won’t be railroaded the same way.

She has put Keir Starmer on notice that if his party continues to push for her to be excluded, she’ll take court action against him.

And she’s not alone:

Good idea!

If I wasn’t so busy paying for a court case against Rachel Riley, I’d contribute. As it is, I would certainly encourage anybody facing this persecution to band together and hand Labour its posterior on a plate.

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 her lawyers waste your money by getting trial length wrong?

It seems Rachel Riley’s lawyers are sticking to their guns – they reckon the High Court will only need two days to hear her libel trial against me.

Of course, the length of the trial is within their gift, to a large extent. If they decide they don’t need a lot of time to cross-examine me, they could probably reduce the court’s time significantly.

But if they get it wrong; if they overrun and force an adjournment, with all the extra expense that entails, then they will be ramping up my costs by more than half as much again, just for a single day (there would be extra “reading-in” costs for both legal teams and for the judge, among other spending requirements, no doubt).

That would be unreasonable, so I’ve told my solicitor they only way I would not oppose their demand for a two-day trial is if Riley promises to pay all costs associated with any adjournment.

I’m willing to bet a pound to a penny that I’ll be told I can’t make such a demand, but I think it is important to stand up to people who would use money as a coercive device without a second thought.

On a more positive note, it seems that even though I cannot influence the choice of judge (I was concerned that the judge who got last year’s strike-out application wrong may then go on to hear the trial), the judiciary does tend to take a pragmatic approach and the judge in question may prefer not to hear a public interest defence she has already – wrongly – struck out.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to you all for pushing the CrowdJustice donations up to £170,000 by the end of August. That’s a brilliant achievement at a time when developments have been relatively slow.

I’m hoping to hit £180k by the end of September (the trial will cost a lot) so please keep donating if you can and encourage others to donate too. Here’s how:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

Next up is the issue of disclosure – telling the court about background documents that are relevant to the case, even if they might harm our relative sides.

I have already been up-front about the material that influenced me. I look forward to discovering whether Riley can show the same honesty.

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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Labour’s facing another lawsuit over anti-Semitism claims. How will Starmer pay for it?

Keir Starmer: he has bankrupted Labour. Could Pamela Fitzpatrick’s lawsuit over false claims of anti-Semitism finally push him out the door?

Bad news for a Labour Party desperate to avoid any more large legal bills: Pamela Fitzpatrick is suing.

You can understand her reasons. I mean, the hypocrisy of Keir Starmer is overwhelming.

What kind of party is he leading, where being interviewed by a left-wing magazine that was not blamed for anything at the time is worse than being the editor of a far-left magazine that would certainly be proscribed by Keir Starmer’s Labour, even though he himself is the editor in question.

And then there’s this, of course:

Of course, it’s entirely possible for a lifelong Tory to have a Damascene conversion, see the light and switch to Labour – but in these days of entryism, it is very dangerous for socialists to accept such changes unquestioningly.

Starmer has gone the other way, of course. From editing a Marxist periodical, he is now, for all intents and purposes, a Tory himself.

His attitude to the manufactured ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis that was created with lies and is being perpetuated with lies is an indication of the kind of man he is. Let’s get back to Pamela Fitzpatrick for her opinion on that:

That is a logical conclusion to draw.

Worse still is the fact that Starmer’s policy is itself anti-Semitic – in practice if not in stated intent.

He is attacking Jews:

Did you read all that, in Michell Laufer’s tweet? “As a Jewish member of the Labour Party whohas had to watch other Jewish members abused, suspended and expelled as antisemitism has been weaponised,” she asks of Starmer, “is he going to be honest about “the gerrymandering of party democracy, the silencing of members of criticise apartheid Israel, his fawning obedience to the Board of Deputies who do not represent the views of the majority of Jews in this country and the imposition of antisemitism training by the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement?”

Of course he isn’t.

He’ll have to be made to admit it all.

One organisation doing its best to raise awareness of the threat to Jewish people posed by Starmer and his racists is Jewish Voice for Labour, which has taken up the issue with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, also sending the facts to the Forde Inquiry (which is still apparently ongoing, as the report has not yet been published):

The latest submission – of August 24, three weeks since the previous one – states:

“We have become aware of seven new investigations of Jewish Party members. Notifications of new investigations and auto-exclusions are arriving on a daily basis.

“This means it would appear that over four times more Jewish than non-Jewish Labour Party members have faced actioned complaints of antisemitism.  The disproportion is even greater in relation to JVL Committee members and officers. The staggering numbers suggest that these Jews are nearly three hundred times more likely to be investigated than non- Jewish Labour Party members. In all these cases the charges of so-called antisemitism are deeply offensive.

“There has been significant further evidence of our being treated harshly as Jews.

“Dozens of Jewish members are now being targeted by Labour as antisemites, for voicing an understanding of antisemitism that is a direct product of our Jewish political and personal heritage.

“The effect of rejecting or ignoring complaints made by JVL members of antisemitism; our experience of bullying and harassment; and the refusal to consult or involve JVL in, for instance, the EHRC required Action Plan; all show disdain for our status and roles as Jews.”

There is currently a campaign to raise awareness of the weaponisation of anti-Semitism against left-wing Labour Party members – and particularly left-wing Jewish party members, called #ItWasAScam. The position it takes is right, and it is this:

And this is the reason Starmer will lose when Ms Fitzpatrick drags Labour to court.

He’ll put the party even further into debt.

And the problem isn’t anti-Semites; it’s him – and the entryists who are supporting him because they know falsely accusing Labour socialists (the people for whom the party was originally created) of a heinous offence will make the party unelectable, leaving the way clear for the Tory corruption that we have seen under Boris Johnson.

I think it’s just a matter of time until this particular house of cards comes crashing down around Starmer and his allies.

I’ve already got the popcorn on order and am now just awaiting the opportunity to use it.

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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Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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Riley libel: will Vox Political’s Mike get a fair hearing at the trial?

Good news/bad news:

It seems I’m likely to be able to agree directions for the trial of Rachel Riley’s libel claims against me. Just about the only bone of contention is the length of time it is likely to take.

Her legal team says two days; I reckon three. It’s better to plan in too much time than to have too little and go to the expense of coming back at another date, with all the lawyers involved, including the judge, having to ‘read in’ again in order to remember what’s going on.

It might be a last gasp for Riley’s old plan to spend all the crowdfunded money you’ve provided on time-wasting side-issues. Hopefully it will be dismissed as a bad idea.

More worrying is the choice of the judge. What if Mrs Justice Collins Rice – who got the strike-out application wrong – is chosen to hear the trial?

I would have serious concerns about that.

I am told that, as defamation cases are usually heard by full-time High Court judges, I will end up with one who has already dealt with it in some way – Mr Justice Nicklin, Mr Justice Saini or Mrs Justice Collins Rice – although there are some other judges who deal with defamation.

My concern is obvious and logical: after her performance at the strike-out hearing – when her decision was wrong – I do not believe I would get a fair hearing.

Let’s face it – I didn’t get one last December.

I have passed my concerns to my own solicitor and am awaiting a response.

In the meantime, please keep your contributions coming, as and when you are able to make them. It is only with your help that I can fight this case at all. By the end, it is likely to have cost around a quarter of a million pounds to defend – and the total raised so far is still a long way from that!

Here are the instructions:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

Hopefully the trial will happen in the not-too-distant future, although obviously I won’t object if it is delayed while the claimant has her baby.

I’ll keep you informed of 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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

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Riley libel: will this case questionnaire open up a ‘procedural quagmire’?

Rachel Riley’s case against me is moving closer to court with a demand for me to fill out a ‘directions questionnaire’.

The court will expect both sides to spend time and money budgeting and planning the case, even though both sides are likely to have much – if not all – of those aspects already worked out.

It is possible that Ms Riley’s side may be sucked into this ‘procedural quagmire’ (not my words), either unwillingly or in yet another attempt to drain my funds – the cash that you are providing for me to defend myself.

Admittedly, if she tries to string out this stage to waste my money, she is likely to waste much more of her own – but she has much more of her own money to waste and, with the evidence at trial likely to make her look very bad indeed, this may still seem a worthwhile option to her.

I have instructed my solicitor to write to her legal team, suggesting an approach that cuts out as much of the cost (and time involved) as possible. But I need to be sure that I can afford it if they disagree.

So – as you’ve probably guessed – please contribute in the way you find most appropriate:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

I appreciate that this may not be the most exciting update I’ve every published, but the danger is as present, and as urgent, as ever.

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook