Category Archives: People

Nazanin’s husband goes on hunger strike for second time, due to Tory inaction

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: this image is now many years old. Is she still able to smile?

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has gone on hunger strike for a second time in two years.

He’s hoping to push the Tory government out of its current “couldn’t care less” attitude and into renewed efforts to bring her home.

Here’s the story:

Richard Ratcliffe will sleep in a tent outside the Foreign Office in London after his wife lost her latest appeal in Iran last week.

He said the UK government’s strategy was “broken”, adding: “It does feel like a policy of waiting and we can’t wait forever.

“I had a conversation with the British foreign secretary, Liz Truss, to ask her what she was going to do and she still said, well we are going to talk to the Iranians and there will be consequences if Nazanin goes back. That’s too late.

“Hunger strike is an extreme act and it’s always a bit precarious at the beginning,” he told Sky News.

He continued: “I have to say, I thought that would be a unique experience and that when the prime minister came into office he would resolve our case and keep his word.”

Mr Ratcliffe’s Labour MP, Tulip Siddiq, tweeted in his support – with similarly harsh criticism of the Conservative government:

This Site has been covering Nazanin’s story since Boris Johnson’s initial – disastrous – intervention and it is well worth covering the saga of Tory government ineptitude that has progressed since then:

The case was brought to the UK’s Foreign Secretary – at the time, Boris Johnson – in November 2017. And the first thing he did was make the situation worse.

He said Nazanin had been arrested because she had been “teaching journalism”. In fact, that was the reason for her arrest – a reason that she denies (the Iranian authorities related it to activism against the state).

He later tried to claim that his words had not been clear and he had meant even if she had been teaching journalism, that would not have justified her arrest. But this was not true – one of many lies he has spoken on his way to the top.

The Iranian authorities said they would use Johnson’s words against Nazanin, but he refused to apologise for worsening the situation.

Next it was rumoured that Johnson was going to pay Iran £450 million owed to that country but unpaid due to international sanctions, in return for Nazanin’s freedom…

Then it was said that he had put the brakes on that scheme for fear of upsetting US President Trump.

Nazanin went on hunger strike. While she starved, Johnson (now prime minister) was working on his suntan, on the billionaires’ playground island of Mustique.

She appeared in court on March 14 this year, on a new charge of propaganda against the regime – apparently based on allegations that she took part in a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy in London 12 years ago and gave an interview to the BBC Persian service.

She was later sentenced to a further year in prison and a one-year travel ban after being found guilty of propaganda against the regime in Iran.

Mr Ratcliffe now believes that Nazanin is a pawn in negotiations over the £400 million+ owed by the UK to Iran. The current issue seems to be about interest payable on the debt. Johnson doesn’t want to pay the figure demanded by Iran, one expects.

This Writer’s opinion is that Johnson doesn’t care what happens to Nazanin – he’d rather keep the cash. That’s a very odd way to behave, when one considers all the money he has splashed around to Tory donors and friends during the Covid-19 crisis.

But then, this is a man who (allegedly) said of Covid, “Let the bodies pile up in their thousands” – and they have. And now he is inflicting cholera on us all by allowing foreign-owned privatised water firms to dump raw sewage in our rivers.

With a prime minister responsible for that scale of barbarity, how could anybody expect him to lift a finger for one dual-nationality woman?

Source: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Husband on hunger strike outside Foreign Office for second time in two years | UK News | Sky News

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MPs complain of ‘hate’ after complaints over vote to fill rivers with raw sewage

What do you get if you allow raw sewage to be pumped into rivers, and those rivers then flood?

Cholera.

This Writer is therefore looking forward to the BBC’s Coast special on the cholera outbreak of 2022, after Tory MPs voted en masse to allow cost-cutting water companies to keep pumping sewage into our coastal rivers.

Constituents are – justifiably – complaining. And what do you think the Tories are doing?

They are hiding behind the murder of David Amess to claim that these concerned citizens are “spreading hatred” against them.

Here’s David TC Davies, Conservative MP for Monmouth and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, accusing a constituent of just that.  I provide the constituent’s complaint so you can see that there is no reason whatever for him to have claimed what he did:

Here’s a comment on it so you can see it’s not just me kicking up a fuss:

Yes, the conned can be that stupid – especially when they don’t even know what has happened:

Fortunately, the social media are seething…

…and Mr Davies’s lie about “spreading hatred” isn’t stopping people from outing their own MPs. Here’s just a smattering:

And you are encouraged to do the same:

Here’s a handy link to the full list of MPs who supported the raw sewage motion, to help you get started:

Oh – and if you’re thinking we’re all making a big deal out of nothing, think again. Here’s our river quality correspondent:

Sadly, due to the lack of reporting (hello, BBC?) most people probably still don’t know that their rivers and beaches are poisoned, and that their homes will be – after the annual floods hit next year.

Some people are advocating stronger measures than harsh words…

It’s not advisable, really. You don’t win an argument against spreading disease by spreading disease.

In the meantime…

If you’re near the coast, you’ll be getting it anyway.

Come to think of it, the Thames flows into the sea. It’ll probably start stinking soon.

I wonder if the Tories in the Palace of Westminster will even understand that the nasty smell that’s making their taxpayer-funded dinners taste so bad is a result of their own decision?

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Covid catastrophe looms as Tories refuse to support mask-wearing and infections rocket

Did he say it? That hardly matters now – Boris Johnson’s own behaviour, and that of his ministers, shows he agrees with the sentiment.

It’s true: the daily Covid-19 infection rate in the UK hit 52,009 on Thursday (October 21) – the highest since July 16.

The Tory government’s answer seems to be to bring forward its promised round of booster vaccinations. Big deal. They don’t stop people contracting the virus.

What’s the best way to cut infections? Easy: require people to wear face masks and enforce social distancing rules.

And the Tories are never going to do that again, from their behaviour in Parliament.

Remember them in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, when all but a couple of them were maskless?

Sajid Javid was challenged over that during his press conference later that day, and said people in enclosed spaces should wear a mask and think about those around them.

He was almost immediately contradicted by Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg who said Tory MPs don’t need to wear a mask because they all know each other.

Biblically? Ew!

Meanwhile, Health Minister Gillian Keegan went on the morning media round with the unbelievable claim that the number of Covid-19-related deaths – that reached their highest level since March earlier this week and have not dipped below 1,000 a week in months – were “very low”.

She came badly unstuck discussing Rees-Mogg’s bizarre claim about the Tory fraternity in the House of Commons:

Huh? She was making no sense at all.

But then, why should we expect better? She’s a Tory.

Sadly, she was a Tory faced with logic on this particular morning:

Sue, below, has a witty answer to that one:

No – for around 200 people a day it’s a choice between life and death. But the Tories won’t discuss that.

I never understood that either. And I bet thousands of school pupils are having trouble with it too.

I understand the experts are on my side:

And it seems politicians in other countries are listening to the experts:

And what do the Tories do when presented with evidence that mask-wearing – and implementing the so-called ‘Plan B’ of new social distancing restrictions – is the only sane way forward?

They say anybody suggesting such a thing is “virtue signalling”.

That’s right – and it’s something to remember next time you see hundreds of maskless Tories squashed up close to each other on the Green Benches, listening to Jacob Rees-Mogg pontificating.

These people have utter disregard for the wellbeing of those around them. And if they’ll endanger their Tory colleagues, there’s no reason to believe they’ll do anything at all to help you.

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Care workers are treated like dirt by the Tories. No wonder they’re quitting

We thought this window-writing was by a child in care. It seems it might have been by a carer instead.

Here‘s another crisis the Conservative government has created for itself:

Desperately needed social care staff are quitting their jobs to work in the tourism and hospitality sector because they are ‘burnt out’, the sector has warned.

Exhausted staff are leaving the key worker roles to fill shortages in other sectors, as pubs and restaurants struggle to find enough staff.

Urgent action is needed to stop a “tsunami of unmet need” rippling across essential services this winter, the care regulator has warned.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says health and care staff are “exhausted and depleted” and working under intense levels of pressure.

The vacancy rate in care homes has steadily grown to reach 10.2% as of September – meaning in a year’s time one in 10 care home staff will not be in that job, the CQC said.

And what’s the Conservative government’s response? Make those who are left work harder.

It’s shocking – and ridiculous at the same time. Watch Peter Stefanovic’s video to grasp the full meaning of what Tory minister Gillian Keegan was backed into saying:

For fairness, here’s more of that interview, without interruptions:

I wouldn’t be surprised if every care worker who saw those clips – or the full interview when it was screened – quit their job at once.

It is clear that they aren’t valued and will simply be worked until they drop – and then blamed for the holes in the care system they leave behind.

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Cognitive dissonance: Javid’s indifference heralds new UK Covid catastrophe

The caseload and the culprit: every other nation now has far fewer Covid-19 cases because they don’t have a selfish and incompetent government led by selfish incompetent Boris Johnson.

This Writer took a Covid-19 test today. The result was negative, you’ll be pleased to hear.

No, nobody passed on the virus at the successful Festival of Resistance at which I spoke over the weekend.

While I had been there, Mrs Mike had attended a gathering to celebrate her best friend’s granddaughter’s 16th birthday. The day after, the girl’s stepfather tested positive.

Mrs Mike had not been near him but she took a test on Monday, along with her friend. Both came out negative – and this was good, because we were due to attend the funeral of Mrs Mike’s beloved grandfather on Wednesday (yesterday) and she would have been devastated to miss it.

So we attended the event, along with many others (he had been 99 years old and a pillar of the Royal British Legion), and it was only when we were driving back from the crematorium that Mrs Mike received a message from her best friend, that she had taken a second test and it had come out positive.

Imagine the effect on Mrs Mike, who had just attended such a large event, full of senior citizens who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 – and alongside her daughter, who is pregnant. We all wore masks at the ceremonies, but not at the social event between the service and the cremation; and not in the car with my stepdaughter and her fiance, or in their house afterwards.

It is therefore a great relief that neither of us have the virus and could not have passed it on.

Shall we discuss the press conference by that utter maniac Sajid Javid now, in this context?

The day after the official figure – of deaths within 28 days of a positive test – hit 223, its highest level since March, and 43,738 daily cases – which is around the current level of nearly 50k per day – he said infections could more than double to 100,000 per day during the winter.

That isn’t news; we’ve been hearing it since late summer. The tragedy is that Javid isn’t interested in doing anything about it.

He won’t re-impose restrictions or lockdowns. He says the precautions people take are for them to judge – but my own experience over the last few days shows that people simply are not good judges in that respect.

If Javid expects infections to more-than-double, then it is reasonable to believe he has come to the same conclusion.

Why doesn’t he re-introduce social distancing rules, or even lockdowns, then? He doesn’t care.

His attitude is that his donors have waiting long enough and now they want to start making money again. If people die… too bad.

Of course, some people have done very well out of our suffering, let’s not forget:

It’s a shocking dereliction of duty by a UK Health Secretary. No doubt he will surround himself with excuses, and with friends in the Tories’ client media to mouth them, but that won’t change the evidence.

I note what he said about people attending parties – but it simply isn’t realistic. People aren’t going to wear masks at such events because they are there specifically to get closer to their friends and loved ones and masks get in the way. It is his job to ensure that people don’t need to – and he simply isn’t doing it.

Instead, he lied that we are closer to normal than we were a few months ago…

He said he has secured hundreds of thousands of doses of new antivirals – great! But the UK has a population of 68 million. Who will get those drugs first?

Four million people have had booster injections of Covid-19 vaccines, he said. Why so few?

UK Health Security Agency chief executive Jenny Harries said the number of deaths was moving in the “wrong direction” – which is a curious choice of words. The fact that, after more than a year and a half, there are any deaths at all shows that the UK government’s Covid-19 policy as a whole has been moving in the wrong direction since the start.

And she has contributed to this, of course:

Javid said it was still his belief that people in the UK should “learn to live with the virus”. Like MPs will have to, after their disgraceful display of masklessness at Prime Minister’s Questions?

(Obviously I was at the funeral and didn’t see PMQs. If you did, could you see Javid in the Chamber with his mask on?)

How strange that nobody in the mass media has bothered to mention this point. Have they been told not to?

He said pressure on the NHS was not “unsustainable” – but this is nonsense; he had to call in the Armed Forces to help cope:

His words were also directly contradicted by the National Medical Director of England, Stephen Powis:

And he said contingency measures are in place if the situation becomes “more challenging” – but are not needed yet.

If not now – when? The UK has the highest infection rate, the highest death rate, and the worst government response of any nation in the world! Deaths are at 1,000 per week and have been for months – that’s equivalent to 50,000 per year. The current infection rate means 2.6 million people are likely to contract the virus per year, increasing to a possible 5.2 million – and Javid is happy with that.

That is not the attitude of a Health Secretary but of a homicidal maniac.

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Fascism looms as Raab threatens to ‘correct’ court judgments

One rule for him: remember, Dominic Raab is the Tory minister who couldn’t be bothered to return to work from holiday when Kabul fell. He breaks government rules habitually yet presumes to lecture us on the law.

Remember: this is what the UK voted for:

It is fascism: “Disdain for human rights.”

Dominic Raab has decided that if human rights judges in the UK make decisions that he doesn’t like, he will override them in blatant disregard of the rule of law.

This is what the UK voted for.

In a blatant rhetorical reversal of what actually happens, he has said that he would stop “judicial legislation” – that is, judges making UK law. But they don’t; they never have. They simply apply the law of the land to individual cases. Stopping this would be breaking the law.

You see, so-called “case law” – legal precedents set by judges – are only examples of the way the law should be interpreted when applied to particular situations, to be followed if such situations arise again in order to avoid contradiction and confusion. They are not situations in which judges take legislative power for themselves and Raab is lying by suggesting that.

But this is what the UK voted for.

He said he wanted to stop the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg from dictating law to the UK, but…

But his plan is what the UK voted for.

Human rights lawyer Jessica Simor QC said that Raab’s plan would have an effect opposite to what he was suggesting, because it would mean

more complaints going to Strasbourg and more rulings against the UK, unless the government intended to pull Britain out of the European Convention on Human Rights altogether, which would be “a step into a dark place for this country and the world”

But if that happened, it’s what the UK voted for.

The former head of the government’s legal service, Jonathan Jones, said:

As parliament is already able to legislate to correct flaws in the law, it appeared Mr Raab was trying to use a new mechanism to allow ministers to take this step without obtaining MPs’ approval.

In other words: dictatorship.

It’s what the UK voted for.

Cambridge professor of public law Mark Elliott pointed to a recent Supreme Court ruling, saying that allowing a minister to overrule a decision of the judiciary simply because he did not agree with it would cut across “principles that are fundamental components of the rule of law”.

It’s what the UK voted for.

“If that is what is in contemplation, then that is profoundly problematic,” said Prof Elliott. “Indeed it turns constitutional principle on its head.

“Ministerial power to do this would itself be deeply troubling. It would reassign a basic judicial role – interpreting the law – to ministers.

“Ultimately, this all strikes me as part of a project to enhance executive supremacy by treating courts, whether foreign or domestic, as unwelcome interlopers.

“And yet all of this masquerades as an attempt to protect parliament. The reality of this executive power project, as we might call it, is that it will be the executive that is the principal beneficiary of such changes, and the loser will be basic standards of good governance.”

It’s what the UK voted for.

But he is what the UK voted for.

Did anybody know? This Writer made clear what was going to happen in articles published before the 2019 election but I don’t have the reach of the mass media organisations who were screaming at everyone to vote Tory or else face a future of horrific Communism under Jeremy Corbyn.

It seems that, faced with such an onslaught, many people voted without thinking.

And isn’t that exactly how the Hitlers and Mussolinis of the 20th century took power?

Source: Raab threat to ‘correct’ court judgments is ‘deeply troubling’, warn legal experts | The Independent

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Patel lies about David Amess as she demands removal of social media anonymity

Hate: it was naked on Priti Patel’s face during her Tory conference speech, yet she talks about closing anonymous social media accounts to end it. She speaks with a forked tongue.

The hypocrisy is bald and blatant:

In fact, we know who wants to remove social media anonymity – it’s Priti Patel. But government sources of stories to news media would keep their anonymity, meaning huge opportunities to mislead the public will still be available to them. Remember the false claim that three Labour MPs were going to defect to the Conservatives during conference season?

Patel made her claim during an interview on Sky News, in response to the stabbing of David Amess.

She said there had been a “coarsening” of the public debate (without acknowledging the role that recent Tory governments have played in it) and added:

We can’t carry on like this. I spend too much time with communities who have been under attack, basically who have had all sorts of postings online and it is a struggle to get those posts taken down.

We want to make some big changes on that.

And she said:

This is about wider public discourse and I would also go as far to say social media, anonymity on social media, where we’re members of parliament are subjects of some of the most cruel comments attacks.

And they are relentless, many of them are relentless.

My colleagues go through just some of the most appalling attacks I’ve seen online and I have as well.

Off the top of my head, This Writer doesn’t recall Patel ever showing any concern about the enormous volume of hate sent to Diane Abbott on a regular basis. But then, Ms Abbott is a black female Labour MP and not a white male Tory knight – so it seems other rules apply.

And there’s an elephant in this room. Why is Patel suggesting a crackdown on anonymous social media accounts when the suspect in the Amess murder, Ali Harbi Ali, has not used one?

According to a YouGov poll, a majority of people think there should be curbs on anonymity…

… and This Writer is not a fan of unmonitored anonymity, having been a victim of online hate myself.

But I would not seek to ban online anonymity. I would suggest that those who wanted to be anonymous registered for it, and if social media platforms received verifiable complaints about their activities – in other words, if they were caught abusing others, that privilege may be removed.

The reason for this should be clear to everybody but if it isn’t, read the following:

And of course removing online anonymity will only increase the imbalance between the privileged and the rest of us:

Again: I have certainly been a victim of online abuse organised by people on Twitter with blue ticks next to their name. I am not aware of any instance when that organisation has acted on complaints against these “celebrities”.

So it seems that, rather than acting to end online abuse, Ms Patel is trying to increase the ability of the rich and privileged to cause such abuse, while ending any chance for ordinary people to defend themselves.

And let’s not forget that this is coming from the minister who wants to “turn back the boats” of refugees coming to the UK, exposing children to the possibility of drowning at sea, while granting her employees who cause such deaths immunity from prosecution:

Hate – whether online or in real life – has always been a tool of the Tories and Patel’s words stand on their heads. She may say she wants to shut it down but in fact it seems clear that she wants to increase 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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Brexit: Northern Ireland protocol has made UK untrustworthy to other nations

He WAS lying (allegedly): I know this image was about Covid-19 but it turns out to have applied for Brexit as well. Who knew? (Pretty soon we’ll be able to apply it to everything he says.)

Look how the Brexiteer right-wingers close ranks when their Holy Grail comes under criticism:

Dan Hodges, who claims to be a columnist for a national newspaper, reckons that Remainers are terrified that the UK’s Tory government and the European Union could come to an agreement over the now-thoroughly-unworkable Northern Ireland Protocol.

Jonathan Lis tells it like it is:

You see, it seems Boris Johnson – who works part-time as the UK’s prime minister, let’s remember, told a Northern Irish politician that he did not intend the NI Protocol to be workable, before his Brexit was voted through by Parliament, protocol and all, with his (public) blessing:

It seems the PM’s former right-hand-goblin, Dominic Cummings, has confirmed this:

What are representatives of other nations supposed to think?

I would say they’d think exactly what the former Taoiseach of the Irish Republic – now its deputy prime minister – Leo Varadkar has said:

Mr Varadkar said:

“Surely the message must go out to all countries around the world that this is a British government that doesn’t necessarily keep its word and doesn’t necessarily honour the agreements it makes.

“And you shouldn’t make any agreements with them until such time as you’re confident that they keep their promises, and honour things, for example, like the protocol.”

Meanwhile negotiations on a new NI Protocol have commenced – and already the commentaries suggest that Mr Varadkar’s is the prevailing view:

Aren’t those last comments interesting? In fact, the Brexit we ended up with – that Boris Johnson negotiated – turns out to be almost exactly the same as the “no deal” Brexit that his own government’s Operation Yellowhammer documents predicted in 2019 – and Jeremy Corbyn publicised in September that year:

He was ridiculed at the time. But he was right.

Two and a half months later, the UK elected the liar opposite him. And now nobody else in the world will believe us again.

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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Nero fiddled while his home burned; Johnson daubed

Boris Johnson on his holibobs: he’s an artist, and while we all think his medium begins with ‘P’, we didn’t think it was paint.

Here’s a good question:

At the time of writing, to This Writer’s knowledge, he wasn’t.

If you’re wondering what we’re on about, what with the great Spanish artist having died in 1973, then perhaps the following few tweets will help:

Yes. While on an expensive holiday abroad (funded by someone else – possibly Zac Goldsmith?) the prime minister has taken up painting.

Meanwhile, the UK is going to Hell in a handbasket, and Johnson’s absence has come under criticism:

Meanwhile, the UK is lurching from one crisis to another:

The Mirror lists the energy crisis that cold lead to power cuts; gas price increases that are putting factories on the verge of shutdown; the poverty faced by millions after the £20 cut in Universal Credit; empty supermarket shelves and the threat of permanently higher food prices; and the HGV driver shortage.

To that, we could add the escalating Covid-19 crisis that both the government and the mainstream media are ignoring; the NHS logjam that now starts at our GP practices and Sajid Javid’s lame attempt to divert the blame; the failure of Brexit and in particular the collapse of the Northern Ireland protocol due to Johnson’s lies; Priti Patel’s psychotic determination to cause the deaths of refugees, epitomised by her attempt to ensure her officials don’t take the blame; and the general racism of Tory MPs.

The response from Downing Street? Johnson is “continuing to lead” while still being on holiday in Marbella.

Never mind that, Diane – This Writer hasn’t seen or heard a peep out of him since he left, more or less a week ago.

I’m not convinced that Downing Street was telling the whole truth.

And it doesn’t change the simple fact:

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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Priti Patel’s planned immunity for officials who cause deaths of refugees is NAZISM

Nazi: Patel wants Border Force staff who cause the deaths of refugees to be immune from prosecution. What’s the defence – that they’re “just following orders”? That was what the Nazis said too.

Somebody has already called it fascism, but in fact this is Nazism:

According to The Guardian,

Border Force staff who enact Priti Patel’s plans to “push back” migrant boats in the Channel could be given immunity from conviction if a refugee dies, officials have confirmed.

The home secretary is seeking to introduce a provision in the nationality and borders bill that could give officials legal protections in the event that someone drowns.

Whether the provision, tucked away in an obscure corner of the bill, would actually protect officers from conviction under international maritime laws could be tested in the courts.

Presumably their defence will be “I was just following orders”.

Wait – where have we heard that before?

Ah yes: Nuremberg. It was the defence put forward by German soldiers responsible for Nazi atrocities like the Holocaust.

And we know it:

Still, there is a precedent. After all, government employees have been immune from prosecution over the deaths of sick and disabled people for years.

Apparently people are being discouraged from pointing out the obvious far-right, Nazi parallels – so kudos to this Twitter user who accurately labels Home Secretary Priti Patel, the fiend responsible for this move:

If this legislation is enacted and people die, she should be dragged out for trial in The Hague – and I, for one, would be quite happy to see her sentenced to execution.

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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