Tag Archives: Aaron

Will website boss sue Riley over anti-Semitism ‘ringleader’ tweet?

This is relevant to Rachel Riley’s court case against me because of her ever-changing attitude to whether Twitter users can influence their followers into attacking others.

Riley claimed, in her pleadings to the High Court when she applied to strike out my defence against her libel accusations, that Twitter users cannot be held responsible for the behaviour of their followers.

She meant that if one (or indeed one thousand) of her followers had taken it upon themselves to hurl abuse at a teenage girl after Riley had made misleading claims about her, then she could not possibly be held responsible for that.

The judge agreed, making this the official position according to UK law – at least until the forthcoming Online Harms legislation criminalises the use of Twitter to influence others in exactly that way, as it is expected to do.

Now consider Riley’s tweet about Novara Media founder Aaron Bastani (above). He had become a focus of media attention after it was alleged that he quit the Labour Party in advance of a possible suspension and investigation for reasons undisclosed. It later transpired that he had quit sometime last year to ensure that his work as a journalist could not be compromised by political interference from Labour.

Riley’s comment suggests that Bastani uses his social media platforms – including Twitter – to “inflate or lead an illicit or illegal activity” (that’s the dictionary definition of a ringleader).

In other words, it seems she was saying that Bastani was responsible for using Twitter to whip up his followers into supporting anti-Semitism. She provided no evidence to support this.

Bastani has said he is consulting his lawyers on a possible response through the courts. At first this was reported as action against the websites that reported on his departure from Labour but he has clarified that he is considering action against Riley herself.

If he examines Twitter, he should find evidence to help him in a thread by Riley on December 15, 2018 – just as she was getting involved in the events that were the basis for my article about her, and therefore her lawsuit against me.

In it, she accused Owen Jones of the same – or at least similar – behaviour, putting forward the view that celebrities – so-called “blue tick” Twitter users – could use their popularity on the social media to “inspire” their Twitter followers into a “frenzy” and then set them to “attack” others, using Twitter as the platform for their attack.

So in December 2020, Riley said (through her lawyers) that this was not possible, but in February 2021 and December 2018 she accused other people of it.

This is clearly a contradiction.

If Mr Bastani does take Riley to court – and I would strongly urge him to do so – he would be well advised to ask: When was Rachel Riley lying? In December 2018 and February 2021 when she accused others? Or in December 2020 when she tried to whitewash herself?

If you are as outraged by this apparent show of hypocrisy as I am, then please remember that I am still fundraising to defend myself against the injustice she is trying to perpetrate against me, arising from such false claims. Please:

  • Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.
  • Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.
  • Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.
  • On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal. This is particularly important at the moment as my @MidWalesMike account is currently suspended – apparently at the request of followers of Riley who should would say were acting entirely of their own volition.

I am sick of the way people like this can apparently contradict themselves time and again while claiming the moral high ground – and getting the courts to agree with them.

Let’s put a stop to it.

Mental health crisis for autistic man as DWP stops his disability benefits

A man had to be referred to a mental health crisis team after the Department for Work and Pensions stopped his disability benefit.

Aaron Calver, 29, is on the autism spectrum and has Asperger’s syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome, ADHD, anxiety and depression. He struggles to cope with everyday tasks and has received disability benefits since he was 15.

But that did not stop the DWP from calling him to an assessment of his right to receive Personal Independence Payment, and then cancelling it.

It seems he was told he was able to work and should be doing so – but it also seems the assessor did not check his ability to manage this.

His mother Hazel said she tried to explain the realities of Aaron’s life, but the assessor would not listen and put her down.

She said the decision had  affected Aaron deeply. He was not sleeping properly, had to be referred to the mental health crisis team and the doctor had increased his medication.

She said she felt he was being punished because of the way he was born.

Including the loss of her Carers’ Allowance, the family is now £700 a month worse off.

The DWP has said they can ask for a review of the ruling, and in the meantime they still have Aaron’s Employment and Support Allowance which, at £500/month, leaves them with less than half what they formerly had to support themselves.

Complaints against assessments have skyrocketed from 142 in 2015-16 to 9,320 in the year to February 2019. Anybody unhappy with a review can then appeal – and nearly three-quarters of these (73 per cent) are successful.

For This Writer, the claim that Mr Calver was being punished because of what he is – the way he was born – has deeply sinister overtones.

I have suggested for many years that the DWP has been implementing a Tory-run programme aiming to eliminate people with serious disabilities from society.

They simply find any excuse to cut these people off from the benefit system, forcing them into poverty and despair.

The end result – as we have seen in many cases over the last few years – is that, if their disabilities or failing health due to the forced imposition of poverty don’t kill them, they may end up taking their own lives due to despair.

The attitude seems to be that people, who are unable to work for the pittance the Conservative Party calls a living wage, are “useless eaters”, as described by the Nazi Party in Germany in the 1930s and 40s.

And just as the Nazis believed, it seems the Tories think the UK would be better-off if those people were cut off from society and the support it offers.

The only difference is that the Nazis went to the lengths of killing these people themselves; the Tories do it indirectly by benefit denial.

Now the Tories are seeking re-election for another five-year Parliamentary term, in order to continue causing this suffering and death – and possibly to extend it to other families.

Your family, perhaps.

Are you really willing to risk that? Would you use your vote to support this barbarity?

Source: Greenstead mum hits out at DWP as son’s disability benefits stopped | Gazette

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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