Category Archives: Justice

Rachel Riley libel appeal: attack of the trolls

While we wait for my Counsel to finish writing the grounds and skeleton argument for my appeal against the High Court judgment against me, let’s talk about the strange behaviour of some characters on the social media.

Be warned that some of what follows contains language you may find shocking.

I have to admit, I haven’t been paying much attention to what people have been tweeting in response to my articles about the judgment and my plans for an appeal, so the following came as quite a jolt, when I received it from a friend on November 30:

For those of you who may not be able to read the words in an image file, it contains a tweet from somebody who stated, on the day the judgment against me was published, “May I be the first to say, tough shit Siver, you snivelling little turd. And to all those mugs who donated towards the £233,830 fundraiser he siphoned from you gullible fools, tough shit to you all too. Have a really shitty day.” This was followed with six “thumbs-up” emojis.

Below it was a message from Twitter stating: “VIOLATION FOUND. We looked @[this person’s] account for breaking our abusive behavior rule. We found they broke ourabusive behavior rule through different reports we received about their behavior. They can’t Tweet, Retweet, or Like content, and we’ll ask them to remove the reported content if they want to regain full access to their account. Your safety is important to us.” And so on.

I understand there was quite a flurry of tweets similar to this in response to the judgment – and there have been a few saying similar or worse things after I announced my intention to appeal and started raising funds for it.

So, after I published my most recent update, “Appeal against Rachel Riley libel judgment set to be filed next week”, I decided to pay attention to the responses it received. I was ill (my fifth cold since the start of September) and had little better to do. And I didn’t have to wait long.

“Rejection of appeal to be reached the day after, still good grift, well played,” tweeted an anonymous Twitter user, seven minutes later. This person provided no name or identifying image, was following just 69 people and had only eight followers, and had joined Twitter that month.

Notice the use of the word “grift”, echoing Rachel Riley’s assertion that I am a “grifter”, which is defined as “a person who engages in petty or smale-scale swindling”. There is no truth in such an allegation, of course – so you can draw your own conclusions about this person’s reason for being anonymous.

It’s classic “troll” behaviour, of course – leaving an insulting or offensive message in order to upset someone, get attention or cause trouble.

I decided to engage this person in conversation: “Why are you trying to tell me what I do? It can only be because you are trying to fool other readers into believing your nasty little story.”

The response indicates a willingness to twist words to create a false impression: “I’ve … not told you what to do, simp.” A “simp” is defined as a “silly or foolish person” and the use of that word is further demonstration that this person is a troll – the use of insults being intended to provoke an emotional, and possibly foolish, reaction.

The conversation continued, with me pointing out: “You have a vested interest in broadcasting untruths. Are you being paid for this? If so, by whom?”

This seemed to incense the troll who had launched an attack purely to get an emotional reaction from me: “Ooooh, are you intimating there’s a CONSPIRACY, Mikey?”

“Not at all. Asking if an anonymous troll is being paid to cast shade on a fundraiser for justice seems perfectly reasonable,” I replied.

Funny how these trolls hate being called out on the reasons for their deliberately-offensive behaviour. It is a reasonable question: why else would a complete stranger join Twitter anonymously to attack an attempt to secure justice? What does such a person have to hide?

You see, they can’t claim they need to be anonymous for their own protection because it is they who are deliberately trying to cause provocation; to upset me and to put people off contributing to the fund supporting my appeal.

So, why hide behind a fake name? There has to be a reason. Am I right?

There’s really only one way to combat behaviour like this – and that is to win the case. And the only way to do that is by having enough funding to pay for an appeal. That is, after all, the only reason these trolls are attacking me – to discourage you.

So, please help me foil them by doing any or several of the following:

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

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

Use other social media in the same way.

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

Tomorrow I expect to see details of the appeal that my Counsel is writing, based on my own observations of the judgment and his expertise in law. No doubt its arrival will spur the trolls to new depths of absurdity.

Let’s give them a reason to think twice before they lower themselves further.

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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Appeal against Rachel Riley libel judgment set to be filed next week

Here’s some good news: the appeal against the High Court’s surprising judgment in favour of Rachel Riley in her libel case against me is set to be filed next week.

The flipside of that is, it will cost around £7,200 and the CrowdJustice fund currently has only about half of that amount. My solicitors reckon their costs will be similar. So we’re about a quarter of the way to our current goal.

This may seem a dishearteningly low amount but it isn’t.

All my legal advisers are committed to the case. They believe in it, and they are keen to do their best to turn it around.

All they need are the financial means to do it.

I would love to be able to provide some more examples of the way the judgment disregards and disrespects the facts of the case – but I am restrained by an injunction the judge imposed.

Having examined the judgment very carefully, though, it does seem clear that the judge has disregarded facts that should have been considered indisputable, in contravention of the demands of the Defamation Act 2013.

I look forward to seeing this explored in an appeal hearing – and that can only happen with your help. Please:

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

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

Use other social media in the same way.

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

I am aware that certain people on the social media are still attacking my fundraising events. One recently had their Twitter account frozen, due to the offensive way they attacked both my and you, my funders. I expect more such penalties will be imposed soon.

The only reason they are doing this is fear. They know the judgment is a dud and they know the only way of stopping it from being exposed is to prevent an appeal from happening.

You are the only ones who can foil them.

I’m sure you won’t let me down.

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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Will you support Mike’s libel appeal against Rachel Riley on this fact alone?

Royal Courts of Injustice: a failure of justice happened here, and it needs to be corrected. Critics with their own agenda are trying to prevent it. Don’t let yourself be persuaded by them.

There seems to be a certain amount of pushback on the social media, against my plan to appeal the judgment on Rachel Riley’s libel case against me.

People presenting themselves as legal experts are trying to put potential contributors to the CrowdJustice fund off helping out, relying on their own claims of expertise to cast doubt on my chances of success.

The problem with that is, these are people who have only read the judgment and have no knowledge of what my defence was. Therefore they have no understanding of how inaccurate the judgment was.

So today I thought I’d provide just one example of why this judgment was wrong and needs to be contested:

At one point, the judge claimed that my defence failed because I did not contact Ms Riley for comment before publishing my article – on three details that weren’t even mentioned in it.

Obviously there was no need to do any such thing. I can’t be responsible for libelling anyone on the basis of words that I did not publish. That’s the law and the judge in this case has ignored the law.

And that is just one error among many in the judgment on my case.

The injustice is absolutely staggering. If you are as outraged by it as I am – and as many right-thinking people already have been – please help me fight it.

I have a few thousand pounds left in the fund after the trial and the fundraising over the last week or so, but drafting appeal documents costs a considerable amount in itself, let alone actually going to an appeal hearing.

So please:

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

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

Use other social media in the same way.

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

I question the motives of the people who are criticising me on Twitter (and presumably elsewhere) for continuing to seek justice.

They seem to be supporters of Riley, and it seems clear that they fear what may happen if an appeal is submitted to the courts.

Once again, we face the possibility that an injustice will be inflicted on me, simply because I am not as rich as my opponent.

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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Appeal against Riley libel verdict is under way – but she has demanded £100,000 in legal costs

The Royal Courts of Justice: that could be a misnomer, as there was little justice to be seen in a High Court judge’s decision against Vox Political’s Mike.

Now Rachel Riley wants me to pay £100,000 to cover her legal costs – on top of the £50,000 in damages a High Court judge has already awarded her.

I haven’t got anything like that kind of money. I am an online journalist with no huge corporate machine behind me – and a carer for my disabled partner, not a millionaire TV celebrity.

And I would not willingly cough it up, even if I did have it. The judgment against me is a mess. The judge has cherry-picked pieces of evidence that she thought would support her decision instead of having regard to all the circumstances of the case – as the law required her to do.

None of her findings explain why it would not be reasonable for me to have believed that publishing my article was in the public interest. She just made bald statements that my conclusions were unreasonable and expected me to swallow them.

I decline.

I have spent the last week and a half analysing this dog’s dinner of a judgment and passing on my thoughts to my legal team. My Counsel is likely to start writing an appeal later this week, to be submitted to the Court of Appeal before the December 7 deadline.

It can’t happen at all without funding – and the more we get now, the more likely we’ll be to get it done.

Please help us make this last bid for sanity from the justice system by doing one or more of the following:

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

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

Use other social media in the same way.

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

Riley is also facing the prospect of a libel action over her ill-advised tweet suggesting that I had been dishonest in my fundraising because I had not mentioned her confidential offer of a settlement.

I’m working on putting together the cash for that by other means. It does arise from this case but I think the money raised here should be focused on the appeal.

I’ll keep you updated on both matters – and I hope the news will be good.

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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Should Mike sue Rachel Riley for libelling him last week?

I’m seriously considering what’s called a ‘Letter Before Action’ over this:

As I stated in my previous update, the numbers expert from Channel 4’s Countdown has got her numbers wrong. The offer was £1,000 to a children’s charity and £5,000 to cover her own legal costs (not court fees as she states here). Court fees were not mentioned in her solicitor’s letter of January 5 this year.

Secondly, that letter laid great stress on the point that the offer was confidential. As Riley has referred to the offer, I see no problem with quoting from the letter: “We wish to make it clear that this offer is made on a confidential basis. If your client chooses to  breach  that  confidence  then  the  offer  is  automatically  withdrawn.  That  should  not  be  construed as permission to breach confidence. We reserve the right to take action against any parties who choose to act in breach of confidence.”

The letter was also marked “without prejudice save as to costs” and so it would have been wrong for me to have referred to it in an open forum prior to judgment.

I don’t see why she should get away with this. Her tweet creates a false appearance that I was fundraising for my case dishonestly. I’ll try to fund the first shot in this matter myself and let you know how it goes.

The simple fact is that I believed I was right to defend myself in court against her.

I still do.

The judgment against me is a travesty. It seems clear that the judge has not correctly applied the Defamation Act 2013, which required her to have regard for all the circumstances of the case, rather than cherry-pick a few inconsequential details and ignore the rest.

If I were to be charitable, I might say it seems that she simply did not understand what happened in the events the trial discussed.

I have sent my thoughts on an appeal to my legal team and am awaiting their comments.

In the meantime, I must thank you all for your fantastic response to last week’s judgment and what I had to say about it. The CrowdJustice fund is nearly £2,000 richer because of it.

An appeal will cost much more than that, though.

We’ve been here before and know how much it will be. Not as much as the trial (thankfully), but still £20,000 or more. I’m awaiting a comment from my legals on the actual figures.

I reckon we can make it, though.

So, please:

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

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

Use other social media in the same way.

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

The judgment was a terrible shock but I always said the case was likely to go to appeal, one way or another.

Let’s make sure that can happen.

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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Tory Brexiteer takes government to European Court over his own lobbying abuse

Master and servant: Owen Paterson with his former boss, Peter Fitzgerald of Randox. Funny that… wasn’t Paterson supposed to be working for the people of North Shropshire?

The hypocrisy is strong in this one.

Owen Paterson, the former Conservative MP, had to resign after being found to have broken lobbying rules while working for two firms as a paid consultant alongside his Parliamentary duties.

Now this Brexiteer is taking the government to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) – despite having once campaigned to break away from that organisation.

He says the investigation was unfair because it did not hear from witnesses and met in secret, and damaged his good reputation.

The former MP for North Shropshire also says he was only given 15 minutes to address Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone, was not permitted to be represented by a lawyer and had no right to appeal.

His decision to take the government to an organisation from which he wanted the UK to break away has been met with some hilarity:

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 Riley libel case is NOT over – I’m planning an appeal

If you were dismayed to read that a High Court judge has handed down a verdict in favour of Rachel Riley, in her libel case against me, don’t be.

You’ll recall that I was defending my article about her as publication on a matter of public interest. For that to succeed, I had to prove that it was indeed on such a matter, that I honestly believed it to be on such a matter, and that my belief was reasonable.

The judge agreed that the first two conditions were met, but said the last condition was not.

Her reasons for saying this are not, in my opinion, rational.

So I’m likely to file an appeal before the December 7 deadline, on a point of law – that she failed to meet the requirements of the Defamation Act 2013 in forming her conclusions.

I cannot do this without funding, though.

My defence has always been a group effort. I would not have been able to get as far as I did without your help and, without it, I will not be able to go any further.

I notice some of you have already donated more money into the CrowdJustice fund and I am grateful – all the more so because we all have so much less disposable cash now, thanks to the blunders of our political so-called leaders.

So, once again, I have to ask, please:

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

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

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

Use other social media in the same way.

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

To give you just one reason why it is vital to make it as hard as possible for people like Riley to win, I notice that she has mentioned on Twitter a settlement offer she made some time ago:

 

There are a few problems with this:

Firstly, the numbers expert from Channel 4’s Countdown has got her numbers wrong. The offer was £1,000 to a children’s charity and £5,000 to cover her own legal costs (not court fees as she states here). Court fees were not mentioned in her solicitor’s letter of January 5 this year.

Secondly, that letter laid great stress on the point that the offer was confidential. As Riley has referred to the offer, I see no problem with quoting from the letter: “We wish to make it clear that this offer is made on a confidential basis. If your client chooses to  breach  that  confidence  then  the  offer  is  automatically  withdrawn.  That  should  not  be  construed as permission to breach confidence. We reserve the right to take action against any parties who choose to act in breach of confidence.”

The letter was also marked “without prejudice save as to costs” and so it would have been wrong for me to have referred to it in an open forum prior to judgment.

I invite you to draw your own conclusions about the honesty of Rachel Riley, in the light of these facts.

I would certainly hope that they provide encouragement to donate to the CrowdJustice fund once again.

I may have said this before, and if I did, let me assure you I mean it just as much now as I did then: Let’s make it all worthwhile.

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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More allegations emerge about ‘Security risk’ Suella – and MI5

Suella Braverman: does she seem prone to impulsive acts that endanger UK security to you?

More concerns have been raised about Suella Braverman after it was claimed that her relationship with MI5 is not what it should be.

It arises from a Daily Telegraph report that Braverman was seeking an injunction to block a BBC story about a spy working for British intelligence.

The briefing received by the newspaper, allegedly from Braverman, damaged the government’s argument that publishing details of the court case could harm national security.

The High Court later ruled the BBC could publish the story, though an injunction still bars it from identifying the man.

An inquiry was launched to find out who had leaked confidential details of the court case to the Telegraph and the High Court permits publication of the fact there was a leak inquiry, but the government has so far refused to comment.

So it is possible that Rishi Sunak knows who leaked the information to the newspaper but is sitting on that information.

If so, one has to ask why. Is it because it was Braverman, and he doesn’t want to admit that there’s evidence that she is a security risk, or that MI5 doesn’t trust her?

That would be very foolish, because information of this nature always comes out in the end.

Of course, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper is absolutely right to have said, “Ignoring warnings about security risks when appointing a home secretary is highly irresponsible and dangerous.”

That’s why we need to know.

And you can be sure Keir Starmer is adding it to his file of evidence against both Braverman and Sunak.

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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Judicial review demanded on Tory way of electing leaders

After concerns were raised about the apparent ‘open door’ policy of the Conservative Party that seems to mean foreign powers could influence who becomes our prime minister if the choice goes to party members, an application for a judicial review has been launched.

As it happens, the current leadership contest may not go to an election by members, so for now the question may be academic.

But that doesn’t mean Tory rules don’t need to be tightened – and the best time is always now.

Here are the details:

“We registered Archie, our pet tortoise, as a member; a couple of foreign nationals; then Margaret Roberts, the maiden name of the late Lady Thatcher. The Conservative Party took the £25 membership fee. We got membership numbers and were invited to hustings.”

Damning.

Let’s hope the courts allow the judicial review.

We should look forward to learning the result.

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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Celebrities sue Daily Mail publisher for ‘appalling breaches of privacy’

I spotted this on a BBC News tickertape last night (October 6) but couldn’t find the story.

Fortunately I have now discovered this Twitter thread which lays it all out:

The newspaper company’s representatives can say what they like, but members of the public already have an opinion about this:

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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