Category Archives: Media

Work and Pensions secretary LIED: Universal Credit claimants must work an extra DAY to make up for loss of ‘uplift’ £20

Therese Antoinette: £20 per week means very little to her, because she is a member of Parliament and has been receiving enormous pay rises ever since she was elected there. The situation is very different for the people whose benefits she has been deliberately cutting.

Tory parasite Therese Coffey has been caught in a huge – and hugely significant – lie while trying to justify the cut in Universal Credit.

While trolling through the morning media round yesterday (September 13), she claimed that the loss of the Universal Credit uplift means claimants would have to work only two hours more to make it back, at minimum wage.

It is a particularly nasty double-lie.

Firstly, for many claimants the minimum wage (what the Tories mockingly call the National Living Wage, even though you can’t live on it) is not £10 an hour as she was claiming, but £8 and change.

Secondly, the 63 per cent “taper rate” on Universal Credit means for every hour’s money earned above the basic amount of £293 a month, claimants take home just £3.30.

They would have to work more than six hours – nearly an extra day – simply to make up the £20 loss.

And then they’d have to pay National Insurance – which is increasing, of course, and they would also have to find ways to pay for other goods whose prices are increasing because of Conservative incompetence in government.

Do you think that’s fair?

Here’s Peter Stefanovic to explain the situation on video – and he doesn’t pull his punches!

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which works to solve poverty, has demonstrated that cutting £20 from Universal Credit will make a mockery of Boris Johnson’s claim to be “levelling up” the UK and of his ambition to “build back better”:

Particularly worrying is the fact that none of the TV or radio presenters interviewing Coffey had the presence of mind to point out her error.

Were they not properly briefed – or were they specifically told to ignore any such lie and let the public think the liar was telling the truth?

At least ITV’s Paul Brand managed to make one decent point:

Yes indeed. And carers aren’t the only ones propping up a UK economy that is overbalanced in favour of the rich by working far too hard.

Her excuses

Perhaps the main problem is simply that Coffey does not understand the value of £20, being – as she is – an overprivileged Tory lackwit.

Personally, This Writer is looking forward to seeing a motion in Parliament, tabled by any of Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition parties, to establish that Therese Coffey would reasonably have known that she was providing false information and should retract and correct it – publicly, in the same places she told the lies (because that’s what newspapers have to do when they publish false information).

It’s what Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has demanded, after refusing to accept that legislation is required that would impose harsh penalties on any government minister found to be knowingly misleading.

After a few dozen such motions (per week?) he’ll get the message and we might see the change we need.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Normalising racism: Abbott attacked for highlighting Farage’s hypocrisy over Raducanu

Raducanu: she won the US Open so the racists in UK politics are happy to let this Romanian-heritage teenager be British. What would they have called her if she had lost?

The BBC really is contemptible these days.

Its daily Politics Live programme has just taken time out to criticise Diane Abbott for making a perfectly reasonable point.

After Emma Raducanu won the US Open Ladies Singles tennis final, Nigel Farage was among the many who praised her up.

But arch Brexiter Farage, while campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union, had previously stated that he would not want a Romanian living next door to him.

Ms Raducanu’s heritage is Romanian.

So Ms Abbott was absolutely right to make this point:

And she’s not the only one pointing out the hypocrisy:

The verdict on Politics Live?

Led by host Jo Coburn, guests united to say that Farage’s words were in the past and that it is wrong to use a sporting even to score political points.

So it’s fine for politicians like Boris Johnson (and, indeed, Farage) to make hay when sportspeople representing the UK do well – no matter that they personally have expressed racist views that constitute abuse against individuals among those sportspeople in the past?

I don’t think so!

The whole disgrace was encapsulated in a tweet before Ms Raducanu’s victory (that I didn’t save, sadly).

It said that, depending on the result, the Daily Mail would tell us whether she was British or not.

And it’s a good point.

Would these creepy politicians be quite so keen to let bygones be bygones if Ms Raducanu had not won?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Unexpected Labour poll lead is because Johnson lost ground – Starmer is still rubbish

Keir Starmer: he was wrong and can’t admit it. The best he can do is quit but he’ll never willingly release the power he has, even if it is only power to attack his own party members.

The social media were full of this yesterday:

That’s right. Keir Starmer’s Labour was said to be ahead of Boris Johnson’s Conservatives for the first time since January, and Starmer’s fan club was crowing about it.

But the figures don’t justify the celebration.

A pithy analysis from James Foster, there. Here’s some more detail – and I’ll pick out the most important elements:

Labour hasn’t crept into the lead, the Tories have snuck in behind them.

Labour’s popularity hasn’t grown in any real sense.

The Tory polling lead was softer than it appeared and this is because the Tory narrative has never been seriously contested and there has been no functioning opposition.

And there is still no functioning opposition, is what they’re saying here.

Perhaps [the Tories] never were that popular… just… preferable to Starmer’s godawful leadership.

Starmer has never presented an alternative for people to vote for.

The two parties are [now] together less popular than they were against all the other available alternatives.

This isn’t good for Labour.

Starmer’s team will likely see it as a vindication of their present “strategy”, even though it absolutely isn’t.

And they did too. Fortunately, we have real people on the social media to bring the debate back down to Earth:

Brutal comment about Labour’s care policy there.

It wasn’t long until “slight media pressure” did turn Starmer into a “gibbering wreck” either – but we’ll discuss that below.

Here’s what people really think:

And here’s a good reason. In fact, looking at Starmer’s performance failure in his interview with Beth Rigby, it will be good to compare what happened – and what was said about it – with what centrist mainstream media reporters said about Starmer after he was elected Labour leader.

The comparison shows up the centrist melts badly.

Had enough?

So has the British public – of Starmer and of his cult followers, both in the Labour party, the newspapers and television.

The issue that made Starmer choke in the Beth Rigby interview was reform of social care – causing deep confusion among Labour supporters who know that the party had devised a plan for a workable National Care Service along the same lines as the NHS.

Starmer could have – and should have – pushed it down Ms Rigby’s throat.

Andy Burnham knows the score:

So do former MPs like Thelma Walker. But This Writer made the problem clear to her:

It’s true – look:

Apparently he has now suggested some weak-ass idea about taxing landlords.

Meanwhile, the creeps with whom Starmer has surrounded himself in preference to honest, genuine socialist politicians (he’s busy smearing them as anti-Semites, remember) are lining up to line their pockets…

… or they are accepting jobs from the Tories:

And Starmer is still attacking his own – although his latest unjust assault against Young Labour chair Jess Barnard has collapsed after she called in her lawyers.

Skwawkbox explains what happened:

On Friday, Labour sent an email to Young Labour chair Jess Barnard, warning her that she was under investigation for supposedly ‘hostile’ language – when Barnard had in fact been ‘challenging transphobia’. The party quickly wilted under legal threat from her legal representatives and ‘rescinded’ the letter with a grovelling apology, claiming it had been sent ‘in error’.

The letter had been sent to Ms Barnard, who has made no secret of the mental stress she has suffered because of a series of vicious character attacks on her and Young Labour with no hint of support for her from the party’s leadership, at 1am on Friday.

Friday was World Suicide Prevention Day.

This is the state of the Labour leadership now.

This is Labour under Starmer.

He is the reason Labour is not popular – and no amount of “fluffing” by his client journalists will ever make him or his cronies acceptable to the public.

He is as Brian Tweedale described him on Twitter:

“What makes Keir Starmer so disappointing, is that unlike his predecessor, who gave supporters hope, he seems hell-bent on crushing 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.

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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.

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Online abuse of women in politics is getting worse, says Williams. But relief is on the way

Kirsty Williams, shortly after she had been made the Welsh cabinet secretary for Education.

A long, long time ago, when This Writer was still working at the Brecon and Radnor Express (I think), Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams was likened to toilet paper.

Her response was to say that if any comparison could be made, she would be Double Velvet. Many people thought it amusing at the time.

Now it seems that was just a mild example of the kind of abuse she received in a political career that has lasted around 20 years, and that she says has become worse because of the social media.

I’ve had my own differences with Ms Williams (I won’t deny it); politically I am traditional Labour and there is a lot of space between my views and hers. But we co-operated on the campaign for the general election voting system to be changed to proportional representation before the referendum – and wouldn’t the UK be a much better place if we had succeeded?

And she was an excellent constituency AM.

So I am saddened to learn that she – along with her husband and children – has been forced to deal with this.

I am far more willing to believe her than some of the representatives of my own party, who – in my opinion – went out of their way to stir up reactions and then squealed when people responded aggressively to their own unacceptable behaviour.

One of the examples in the BBC article is when then-Welsh Assembly Member Neil Hamilton referred to her and Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood as “political concubines”. He got away with it after claiming he had not intended to upset anybody.

But that is deliberately provocative language! How did he think people were going to react?

And when people see those who are elected to high office acting in such a way, they think it is permissible to do the same.

We have a shocking example of this squatting in 10 Downing Street pretending to be prime minister at the moment, having referred to gay people as “tank-topped bum boys”, Muslim women as “letterboxes”, black people as having “watermelon smiles”… the list of his offences is endless.

But it is possible that some relief is on the horizon, with the forthcoming Online Harms Bill that will bring in prison sentences for the behaviour Ms Williams identifies.

She says she would not discourage her three daughters from entering politics but would be worried for them, having to cope with the kind of abuse she has received.

I hope the new law – if it doesn’t have its teeth pulled by some of the offenders in Westminster – will make the environment safer, for all the rest of us and for them.

Even if I don’t approve of the political party they may choose to represent.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Jeremy Clarkson’s annual A-level tweet undermined – by good results and satirical banter


August 10 was A-level results day for thousands of UK students – and TV’s Jeremy Clarkson wheeled out his usual tweet telling us all that he got a ‘C’ and two ‘U’ and did very well for himself.

He was pre-empted by this…

… but went ahead and did it anyway:

But the Clarkson’s Farm star’s annual effort fell on stony ground this year – partly because A-level results were particularly good this year:

Top grades for A-level results for England, Wales and Northern Ireland have reached a record high – with 44.8% getting A* or A grades.

This second year of replacement results after exams were cancelled, has seen even higher results than last year when 38.5% achieved top grades.

There is a major caveat to this, which is that, like last year, the grades are based on teachers’ judgements rather than on the results of exams. As a consequence, the percentage of students receiving A* or A grades has been enormously higher than previous years and this will create its own challenges for students wishing to continue in education, and for those applying for jobs.

The other reason Clarkson’s tweet had a poor reception is that his comment simply isn’t relevant for most people, because unlike most people he was extremely well-placed from the start and didn’t need good results to get a lucrative – and exclusive – career:

“Posh kids can only fail upwards”… like Boris Johnson?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Outrage as Labour MP writes in The Sun. Where is Starmer?

Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has betrayed the people of one of its stronghold cities by allowing one of its shadow ministers to write an article in The Sun, days after the death of a victim of the Hillsborough tragedy that that rag misrepresented so grievously.

And Wes Streeting isn’t even sorry about it (yet). Is it because he’s an out-of-touch Londoner who thinks he’s above the concerns of people in the North?

The Ilford North MP was putting forward the latest part of Starmer’s campaign to turn the clock back to 1997, with a “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” attitude that focused on child poverty. But, as one commenter put it, when has any UK political party claimed to be soft on crime?

On Twitter, he said he had written an article in The Sun:

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves then retweeted the announcement, making it clear that this was a move that had been endorsed – hypocritically, but we’ll come to that – by the Labour Party leadership.

The choice to write for Rupert Murdoch’s far-right hate-rag was highly controversial – and Streeting’s justification for it was risible:

While it may once have been true that Labour-leaning voters read The Sun (most of its readership in the 1980s voted Labour and bought it to get angry at the pro-Tory bias it contained), those days are long gone. Dwindling readership means it is now a loss-making minority-interest hack-rag, written by rabid Tories, for rabid Tories.

Those are the voters Wes Streeting wants to attract to Labour.

Labour can happily do without them – and him. He has made his own political preferences abundantly clear:

And he could not have done this at a worse time.

Remember: The Sun blamed the people of Liverpool for the Hillsborough disaster that killed 96 people, when in fact the responsibility lay with the police. Its editors and publisher (Murdoch) colluded with Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government and the police to push on us a lie that Liverpool fans caused the deaths.

The people of Liverpool have never forgiven Murdoch and his filthy little toilet-paper periodical has been boycotted there ever since. Traditionally, Labour has supported this choice – until now.

That’s a general rule – but it became far more specific this week because Streeting chose to publish his article in the sun only days after the death of Andrew Devine, who became the 97th victim of Hillsborough.

It was an act of phenomenal insensitivity, and arrogance bordering on callousness.

Labour – and left-wing – voices who genuinely seek to represent the people – especially when faced by Establishment lies and corruption – have leapt to condemn Streeting:

Streeting’s monumental insensitivity can possibly be best described by comparing his desire to chum up with the Conservative rag and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s attitude – which was to have nothing to do with it and to seek to reduce the power and influence of its owner:

And what of the current Labour leader?

Remember above, where I mentioned that Labour’s bosses have endorsed Streeting’s article and it is hypocritical? Here’s the reason: in January last year, during a Labour leadership campaign hustings in – guess where? – Liverpool, Starmer attacked The Sun, saying he wouldn’t be giving any interviews to Murdoch’s rag. However…

… did you spot the “get-out” clause in his speech? He said he wouldn’t be giving any interviews to The Sun “during this campaign”. Labour members in Liverpool – and elsewhere – saw it as support for their campaign – “don’t buy The Sun“. They were all mistaken.

He was only saying it for effect.

He was only saying it to dupe them into voting for him.

And now he is actively courting The Sun‘s (dwindling) readership, via Streeting.

I wonder what good he thinks this highly-visible about-turn will do him – especially at a time when a poll of the British public shows that we want him to resign:

On the basis of this disgusting betrayal, Starmer’s departure – and that of Tory suck-up Streeting – can’t come soon enough.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Jo Bird, the proposed standards review of the Jewish Chronicle… and me

Jo Bird: her complaint against the Jewish Chronicle over inaccuracies in its report about her was upheld; now she, I, and seven other victims of its falsehoods are demanding an investigation into whether the paper’s editorial standards have fallen to an unacceptable level.

In case you’ve been living under a rock since the weekend, the newspaper regulator IPSO has made yet another ruling against the Jewish Chronicle for failures in its journalism.

The right-wing rag was found to have wrongly reported that Ms Bird, a Labour councillor in the Wirral, had been suspended for a third time in late 2020.

Details are below, including her own statement on the ruling which points out that the JC crucially failed to mention the fact that she is Jewish in its account of alleged anti-Semitism by her – thereby omitting crucial context.

As you can see from the last paragraph of her statement, Ms Bird demanded a formal Standards Investigation by IPSO into the JC.

This means that IPSO would consider whether the number and regularity of Editor’s Code breaches means that the JC‘s editorial standards have fallen to an unacceptable level. If it were to find against the newspaper, then penalties – and measures to improve it – may be demanded.

Where do I fit in to this?

I’m glad you asked.

Back in 2018, the JC was one of a handful of newspapers that re-published a false claim from The Sunday Times that I was a Holocaust denier. There was no truth in the allegation, which was derived from documents leaked by the Labour Party, which was investigating me at the time; investigators had ignored their own regulations on fairness in order to fabricate the claims.

The JC had not attempted to verify any of the claims against me before it published them. I complained to IPSO and my complaint was upheld (although you wouldn’t know it from the surly line of clarification that was added to the story, to the effect that I had said the claim was false. The Sunday Times was subsequently forced to publish a lengthy clarification in which it admitted that there was no truth at all to its claim about me).

After Ms Bird’s victory was announced, I was contacted by friends acting on her behalf, to ask if I would be willing to sign a letter calling on IPSO to conduct the Standards Investigation that she had already demanded, in my capacity as another victim of false reporting.

I was happy to do so.

And that is the reason my name is attached to the following letter:

Dear Lord Faulks,

We welcome IPSO’s agreement to consider Jo Bird’s proposal for a Standards Investigation into the Jewish Chronicle and we urge you to launch such an investigation without delay. With 28 recorded breaches of the Editors’ Code and four libel defeats in just three years, it is clear that the paper’s editorial standards are shockingly low and IPSO’s actions to date have made no difference.

We have all either seen our complaints to IPSO about the Jewish Chronicle’s bad journalism upheld or secured admissions of libel from the paper. Unless standards there improve there will be more victims, while readers will continue to be misled.

IPSO’s regulations say a Standards Investigation can take place where there is evidence of ‘serious and systemic breaches of the code’. The seriousness of the breaches by the Jewish Chronicle is attested to in IPSO’s own rulings while the sheer number of breaches and libel defeats – taking place at a small publication that appears only weekly – proves the problem is systemic.

We would be grateful if you would circulate this letter to all IPSO board members and to senior management.

Yours,

Jo Bird

John Davies

Ibrahim Hewitt, Interpal

Jenny Lennox

Kal Ross

Mike Sivier

Thomas Suárez

Marc Wadsworth

Audrey White

Now we must wait for a response from IPSO, due by August 12, and then for its findings – if an investigation is launched.

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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Who’s daft enough to give credibility to Clarkson over Covid-19?

Jeremy Clarkson: he’s clueless, but that doesn’t stop him from talking.

This Writer has recently been watching – and enjoying immensely – a TV offering called Clarkson’s Farm.

It chronicles the efforts of tabloid TV petrolhead Jeremy Clarkson as he grapples with running his farm in the Cotswolds.

It is informative, as it shows the difficulties facing farmers recently, as they’ve had to grapple with the weather, Covid-19, Brexit and the mountain of regulations and paperwork that is now a part of their everyday life.

But here’s the thing: We learn about them because of all the things that Clarkson does wrong.

He presents himself as a middle-aged, set-in-his-ways, know-nothing who coasts through life from one bad idea to another – and never understands why they are so bad or why his friends and colleagues get so angry with him about them.

And that brings me to his current pronouncements about Covid-19:

Now Jeremy Clarkson has opened himself up to more anger after he criticised “those communists at Sage” preventing opening up because, he argues, “if you die, you die.”

“I think the politicians should sometimes tell those communists at Sage to get back in their box. Let’s just all go through life with our fingers crossed and a smile on our face.

That is exactly the attitude that has made Clarkson’s Farm entertaining – but here it would be dangerous, if anybody believes him.

He has no evidence to support his claim that the SAGE scientists are Communists, nor does he put up any explanation of why that would make any difference to their factual findings.

Going through life “with our fingers crossed” might be fine for Clarkson, but some of us take it a little more seriously – and we don’t have the safety nets afforded to a super-rich television celebrity.

Still, if the UK did adopt his devil-may-care attitude, it is comforting that Clarkson would be putting himself in the firing line.

In Clarkson’s Farm, he’s seen discussing Covid-19 with his helper Caleb.

He confesses that he has smoked three quarters of a million cigarettes and has scarring on his lungs from pneumonia, so if he were to catch the virus…

“You’re f***ed,” said Caleb.

Ah, but that was back in 2020, before the vaccine. Has Clarkson had it?

If so, perhaps he’s banking on other people dying instead of him. And that would just be nasty.

Source: Jeremy Clarkson criticises Covid scientists, saying ‘if you die, you die’ | Jeremy Clarkson | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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RNLI donations INCREASE in the face of negative comments by racists

Everything before the ‘but’ is meaningless: Nigel Farage has been foiled in his attack on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, as has some far-right kid on Twitter.

Congratulations to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has enjoyed a massive increase in donations after racists in the media criticised it for rescuing refugees.

Don’t believe the BBC’s coverage, that claimed the £200,000 it received in donations in 24 hours (it usually gets £7K in that period) was because it posted “rescue footage” on social media.

This was a reaction against loudmouths like Nigel Farage (are you happy now your Brexit has emptied our supermarket shelves, Nigel?) who said on far-right propaganda purveyor GB News that the lifeboats were now a “migrant taxi service”.

And it was a reaction against swivel-eyed boy-fascist Darren Grimes, who was schooled by Julia Hartley-Brewer, of all people, over his daft claims about the legendary life-saving organisation:

“I find lifeboat charity RNLI’s rescue missions in the Channel to be deeply irresponsible,” tweeted the callow youth.

“If you’re sure that getting into an unseaworthy vessel will see you carried across the Channel by trained professionals, why wouldn’t you?”

Even Hartley-Doodah thought this was too much – and corrected him like the errant child he is: “No, Darren, the RNLI are there to save lives – of anyone and everyone in need. It doesn’t matter who they are or why they are there.”

I’m going to go out on a limb and call these negative comments by Farage and Grimes out as racism.

They would rather see people – of colour – escaping violence and persecution in their home countries drown than give them a moment’s safe haven in a safe country. That screams “racism” to me and it is an attitude of which anybody should be ashamed.

I mean all the rest of us as well – we shame ourselves that these attitudes are even tolerated in the UK, let alone putting them on our media in an attempt to whip up support.

Thank goodness it backfired. It turned out to be one of the rare occasions when right-wing aggression leads to a positive outcome.

The Farages and Grimeses of this country have been foiled and the RNLI is much better-off as a result of their ignorant interference.

What a great 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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