Tag Archives: abuse

Show yourselves, thugs who verbally abused LIFEBOAT personnel on their way to work

Priti Patel: stoking dislike of the foreigner – and anybody who helps them – is a NAZI trait.

Ultimate responsibility for this lies with Priti Patel, of course.

Patel set herself up for a confrontation with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution after launching legislation saying anybody rescuing illegal immigrants from the sea could be jailed for life.

The RNLI do nothing but rescue people from the sea, and they don’t care about the immigration status of the people they pick up.

Furthermore, the service will keep rescuing people under those conditions, no matter what Patel says, because they have a Royal Charter – the Queen supports what they do.

Sadly, the publicity given to our brave lifeboat people has attracted the attention of the kind of people who support Patel. You know the type – thugs and headbangers who take any opportunity to attack others.

So we’re starting to see incidents like this:

Take note: these personnel were verbally attacked “due to their role” – because they rescue people from drowning in UK waters.

The incident happened in central London – Tower RNLI operates from Lifeboat Pier just under Waterloo Bridge and serves the Thames in central London 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Suppose one of the dimwits who thought it was clever to abuse these volunteers perhaps got drunk and fell into the river. How would they feel, as they went down for the third time, if there was no lifeboat service there because the people running it had been put off by their own violence?

Pretty stupid, I expect – which is what they are, of course.

But ultimately the blame lies with Patel and all the goose-stepping morons like her who get a perverse kick out of feeding hate for no reason.

She isn’t only attacking a Great British institution – she is attacking the humanitarianism and fairness that is in the fabric of Britishness itself.

Source: Police called after lifeboat volunteers at Tower Bridge verbally abused while reporting for duty – MyLondon

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England player – CORRECTLY – condemns Priti Patel for ‘stoking’ racist abuse

Hypocrite: Patel chose to side with racists who opposed the England team ‘taking the knee’ against racism – then tried to take the moral high ground when the same racists heaped abuse on team players for missing penalties. Tyrone Mings was right to tackle her.

Kudos to Tyrone Mings for correctly singling out Priti Patel and the Tory government as the cause of the wave of racist abuse against members of the England football team after Sunday’s Euro 2020 loss.

Readers of This Site will know I have been writing about Patel’s racism for a considerable period of time, but Vox Political doesn’t have the following that Mings has. He will get the message to millions, while I only reach thousands.

He correctly identified Patel’s dog-whistle racism as the cause for which the attacks on his teammates Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were symptoms.

She denigrated England’s decision to ‘take the knee’ in support of the fight against racism as “gesture politics” that she would not support – encouraging a certain type of ‘fan’ to shout abuse when the team did it. I called her out over it in an article on June 15.

Other examples of Patel’s racism include her Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that advocates prejudice against the Gypsy/Romany/Traveller community.

And her immigration policy locked hundreds of people into a concentration camp together at the height of the Covid pandemic, causing hundreds of them to be infected with the disease. She is pushing a law through Parliament that will make it illegal for refugees to come to the UK, and anybody helping them to do so – even if it is the RNLI rescuing them from drowning – could face imprisonment for life.

So Mings was absolutely on-target when he scorned her condemnation of the racist abuse his teammates received.

“You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens,” he tweeted.

It really is vile hypocrisy – as was Patel’s sudden show of support for England as it became clear that Gareth Southgate’s squad was heading for the final. I also highlighted that, on July 8.

Team Captain Harry Kane has also condemned the racist attacks on his teammates, saying, “If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.”

Personally, I would wish that he extend that to include people like Patel who stoke racist abuse, as Tyrone Mings pointed out.

One last point: I wonder if the racists attacking three black players even understand their monumental hypocrisy if they agree – as I do – with Alan Shearer’s choice of “player of the tournament”: Raheem Sterling.

Source: England footballer Tyrone Mings hits out at Priti Patel on Twitter after racist abuse – Mirror Online

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Online Harms Bill could be Johnson government’s only USEFUL new law

Social media trolls could be neutered by incoming Online Harms legislation by the Tory government. It could be the most useful thing Boris Johnson ever does.

I’m not just publishing the above headline because, if the Online Harms Bill had been an active law in 2019, Rachel Riley’s followers – and allegedly Riley herself – would have been prevented from abusing a teenage girl with mental health issues who supported Jeremy Corbyn.

There are some very good ideas in here, including a demand that political content must be policed impartially, which is startling.

Consider:

All social media sites, websites, apps and other services hosting user-generated content or allowing people to talk to others online will have a duty of care towards their users so that what is unacceptable offline will also be unacceptable online.

They will need to consider the risks their sites may pose to the youngest and most vulnerable people and act to protect children from inappropriate content and harmful activity.

They will need to take robust action to tackle illegal abuse, including swift and effective action against hate crimes, harassment and threats directed at individuals and keep their promises to users about their standards.

The largest and most popular social media sites will need to act on content that is lawful but still harmful such as abuse that falls below the threshold of a criminal offence, encouragement of self-harm and mis/disinformation.

The final legislation… will contain provisions that require companies to report child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) content identified on their services.

That takes care of the kind of abuse received by the teenage girl in Rachel Riley’s libel case against me (from Riley’s supporters), and also of the gaslighting (allegedly) carried out against her by Riley herself.

All in-scope companies will need to consider and put in place safeguards for freedom of expression when fulfilling their duties.

People using their services will need to have access to effective routes of appeal for content removed without good reason and companies must reinstate that content if it has been removed unfairly. Users will also be able to appeal to Ofcom.

Category 1 services [the largest and most popular social media sites] will need to conduct and publish up-to-date assessments of their impact on freedom of expression and demonstrate they have taken steps to mitigate any adverse effects.

These measures remove the risk that online companies adopt restrictive measures or over-remove content in their efforts to meet their new online safety duties. An example of this could be AI moderation technologies falsely flagging innocuous content as harmful, such as satire.

Content on news publishers’ websites is not in scope. This includes both their own articles and user comments on these articles.

Articles by recognised news publishers shared on in-scope services will be exempted and Category 1 companies will now have a statutory duty to safeguard UK users’ access to journalistic content shared on their platforms.

This means they will have to consider the importance of journalism when undertaking content moderation, have a fast-track appeals process for journalists’ removed content, and will be held to account by Ofcom for the arbitrary removal of journalistic content. Citizen journalists’ content will have the same protections as professional journalists’ content.

This is handy for people like This Writer, who have had our accounts on Twitter (for example) suspended because of vexatious complaints by (in my case) people who described themselves as supporters of Riley.

Ministers have added new and specific duties to the Bill for Category 1 services to protect content defined as ‘democratically important’. This will include content promoting or opposing government policy or a political party ahead of a vote in Parliament, election or referendum, or campaigning on a live political issue.

Companies will also be forbidden from discriminating against particular political viewpoints and will need to apply protections equally to a range of political opinions, no matter their affiliation. Policies to protect such content will need to be set out in clear and accessible terms and conditions and firms will need to stick to them or face enforcement action from Ofcom.

When moderating content, companies will need to take into account the political context around why the content is being shared and give it a high level of protection if it is democratically important.

For example, a major social media company may choose to prohibit all deadly or graphic violence. A campaign group could release violent footage to raise awareness about violence against a specific group. Given its importance to democratic debate, the company might choose to keep that content up, subject to warnings, but it would need to be upfront about the policy and ensure it is applied consistently.

This is the part that amazes me, coming as it does from a right-wing – fascist – government.

As with everything in politics, the proof of its usefulness is in practice, so I can’t give it my unqualified support.

On paper, it means the court case currently taking up a certain unwanted amount of my time won’t happen again, because the abuse caused to the teenager at its centre would break the law.

Whether the activities provoking that abuse would also be against the new law is an element that may have to be tested, though.

I think we can all look forward to some interesting debates on this in the Commons, where I hope MPs will examine how the new legislation would relate to some of the more infamous online incidents in recent history…

Including those involving me.

Source: Landmark laws to protect children and stop abuse online published – GOV.UK

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This casual disablist abuse is what the Tory electorate voted for

This didn’t happen: But you can bet the Tories would have wanted it.

Ever since the Tories sneaked themselves back into office in 2010, they have been tacitly encouraging us all to think of disabled people as scroungers, skivers, liars and a burden on society.

Consequently, disablist abuse has increased year-on-year since then, despite being mentioned many times by the national news media (who, although Tory-controlled, find it easy to divorce the symptom of this disease from its cause).

Here, the incident was relatively low-key – an able-bodied woman behind behind a disabled woman who walks with a stick complaining that she had a place to be and the disabled woman was walking too slowly.

On being informed that the woman she was criticising was disabled and could not walk any faster, this … lady… approached her again and said she had no business being out of her house and should stay at home.

It’s still a disablist hate crime.

It demonstrates the way we are being taught to think disabled people should be hidden away, out of sight, where prejudiced Tory “benefit” policies can quietly kill them off – as has happened to hundreds of people whose stories have been highlighted in the news, and probably tens or hundreds of thousands of others who haven’t.

In Scotland, the SNP is phasing in a new disability benefit that aims to treat claimants with dignity and sympathy.

But in England, it seems clear that the 40 per cent who vote Tory and thereby hold the rest of us hostage are determined to put the boot in.

Source: Disabled woman verbally abused by shopper in Middlebrook Retail Park carpark | The Bolton News

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Is it time for checks and balances on police who abuse their powers?

Police at one of the Easter Saturday ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstrations: who do you think is being violent here?

It seems police across the UK have been abusing their powers to control protests for many years – so why do our governments only ever seem to give them more powers to abuse?

This article by Christine Berry expands on one This Site publicised a few days ago, discussing instances going back 13 or 14 years in which police behaviour fell far below the expected standard.

And the similarities tell us that they should have been stopped long ago.

Consider the opening paragraphs:

After someone suffers an untimely death at the hands of a Metropolitan Police officer, a vigil is held in London. Footage goes viral of a woman being physically attacked by Met officers at the vigil, but senior figures insist it was just good public order policing. Around the same time, it’s revealed that police lied about officers being injured at a separate protest. Public trust in policing is battered, but somehow, politicians still think it’s a good idea to give them more powers.

No, this isn’t 2021. It’s 2008-’09. The dead man is Ian Tomlinson, a bystander at the G20 protests who was hit with a baton and pushed to the ground. The woman is Nicola Fisher. And those ‘injuries’? ‘Six insect bites and a toothache,’ as the Guardian put it – sustained at the Kingsnorth Camp for Climate Action.

We see that, even then, the police were using the media to alter public perception of protests, with claims that their violence was “good public order policing” and with false claims of injuries suffered by officers.

The summer before, I’d joined the Heathrow Climate Camp – which saw a step change in police repression of protest, including kettling, mass searching, surveillance, and physical attacks.

So this was when these tactics were introduced. Under the New Labour government of Gordon Brown, notice.

I was advised that volunteering as a legal observer might give me a degree of protection: ‘They seem to respect the hi-vis jacket.’ Instead, the opposite happened, with legal observers expressly targeted for intimidation.

Footage of recent protests has shown police singling out observers and members of the press. It seems they don’t like it when their violence is witnessed. Neither do criminals; I make the observation in passing.

Going back to 2008:

When we raised questions about police abuse of power, the Minister for Policing responded that 70 officers had been injured at the protest. The implication was that the climate campers were a violent mob, and attacking them with batons was a proportionate response.

We heard the same last month…

Not a single officer had been injured by a protester. Instead, bizarre entries like ‘stung on finger by possible wasp’ ensured that the story went viral, and the Minister was forced to apologise for misleading Parliament.

… again, the injuries mentioned last month also proved unconnected – or simply false.

The conclusion is clear:

Smearing protesters as violent is a consistent and deliberate strategy employed by the police to justify their own aggressive tactics and suppress criticism.

Perhaps it is time to impose a rule – that police should only be allowed to make such claims if they are able to support them, immediately, with independently-verified proof.

Here’s another tactic:

In the run-up to the G20 [protests], Met Commander Bob Broadhurst had talked up the prospect of violence, so the media and the public were primed to believe his version of events.

He did the same before the student protests of 2010, imploring parents to ‘talk to their children and make sure they’re aware of the potential dangers’, since there was ‘only so much police officers can do’ to protect them from violent yobs hijacking demonstrations: yobs, presumably, like the officer who hit Alfie Meadows over the head with a baton, and left him bleeding into his brain.

So perhaps police representatives should be restrained from such “priming” – or at the very least, the press should challenge them to demonstrate their reasons for making such claims.

The following year, over 100 UK Uncut protesters were lured out of Fortnum and Mason on false pretences and arrested for aggravated trespass.

Yvette Cooper gave the police her full-throated support in bringing ‘the full force of the law’ down on the ‘few hundred mindless idiots and thugs’ who had supposedly attacked people and property. In fact, less than a dozen people had been charged with violent offences. And all the Fortnum and Mason prosecutions were subsequently dropped.

But nobody at the police faced any criticism over the tactics they used or the lies they told.

This cyclical pattern creates a climate of impunity where the police are in a no-lose situation. If protests pass off peacefully, they are praised for handling them well. If they don’t, the violence is blamed on the people they are beating up. The very fact of protestors’ repression is treated as proof they were engaged in violence: the police ‘must have had a reason’.

This is victim-blaming.

Here is a direct example of it:

In the days around the G20 protests… the Home Affairs Select Committee conducted an inquiry, but they gave Nicola Fisher a much harder time than Bob Broadhurst – insinuating that she’d ‘asked for it’ by instinctively pushing back when a police officer first shoved her, and asking how much she’d got for selling her story.

Press challenges to the police narrative, it seems, are met with the threat of a costly court battle:

Climate Camp occupied Bishopsgate … announcing at the outset that the occupation would last 24 hours…. I started getting panicked phone calls from friends who were kettled there, pleading for our help. The police were advancing on them with dogs, batons and riot shields. People were being punched, dragged, and thrown for no reason.

Feeling helpless, I rang my boss, who eventually managed to speak to Bob Broadhurst’s deputy, Ian Thomas. He asked Thomas what the hell he thought he was doing, making clear that he thought the action was unlawful. The response was effectively: see you in court.

We know (don’t we? This Writer certainly understands how it works) that civil court action in the UK is a lengthy and costly process. The police have the infinite resources of the state to support them; the press do not. It seems, then, that if faced with the consequences of their actions, they are happy to buy justice.

And now we have a new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that hands new powers to the police without imposing any of the checks and balances that are needed to stop them behaving like criminals.

Patel’s response to policing that oversteps legal powers is simply to ratchet up the powers. They no longer need to worry about how much ‘disruption’ justifies violently dispersing a protest: now, the threshold will effectively be zero.

They no longer need to worry about proving aggravated trespass: now, all trespass will be criminal anyway. She is giving them the impunity they have always wanted.

This should worry us all. As this history shows, a right to protest that stops when the Met says so is no right at all.

So it seems the police have been acting as politicians’ paid thugs for many years (decades, in fact – look at the disgraceful way police were used as political weapons during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5).

Faced with evidence of criminal behaviour by men in police uniforms, our government has chosen not to impose curbs, but to change the law so their thuggery becomes legal – putting the police in a class above the rest of us.

It means that you will have no rights at all in any dealings you have with the police. They will be able to do anything they want with you, or to you, with impunity.

Remember that in some cases this includes committing crimes such as murder and rape, thanks to a law the Tories brought in a few months ago.

If you voted Tory in 2019, it’s what you wanted. Own it.

But even if you did, that doesn’t mean you should accept it. If you now understand that you made a mistake, you’d better do something about it.

Because this repression will only get worse.

Source: How Protestors Get the Blame for Police Violence

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Hypocrisy of UK MPs sanctioned for criticising China human rights abuses

Hypocrite: Iain Duncan Smith oversaw the deaths of thousands of unemployed, sick and disabled people who were victimised by his ‘reforms’ to the UK’s benefit system. How dare he criticise another country for doing the same to its people?

Shame on the Tory MPs who are whining because China has sanctioned them for highlighting that country’s abuses of the Uighurs!

Yes, you read that right. Shame on them, because they are hypocrites.

They seem to think it is perfectly reasonable to claim moral superiority over the government of another country for abusing its citizens’ human rights, while turning a blind eye to the fact that they are doing exactly the same to the people of the UK.

Tory MPs Iain Duncan Smith, Nusrat Ghani, Tim Loughton, Neil O’Brien and Tom Tugendhat all merrily voted in support of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that will strip many of us of our human rights – and remove from all of us the right to protest in any meaningful way against further Tory atrocities against us.

Duncan Smith is well-known as an advocate of harm against his fellow UK citizens, having presided over the deaths of many thousands of benefit claimants – that occurred for no documented reason – under the cruel regime he imposed at the Department for Work and Pensions. But now he’s saying

Those of us who live free lives under the rule of law must speak for those who have no voice.

He was quite happy to deprive benefit claimants of their voices – and to look the other way when his policies deprived them of their lives. In their thousands, remember – not just one or two mistakes.

Attacking human rights abuses anywhere else in the world must be, for these people, an act of abominable hypocrisy.

Note also the typical reaction of the bully: these are people who sneered at us for protesting against the Police Bill and then went right ahead and voted to strip us of our rights – but when the shoe is on the other foot and they’re being singled out by China, suddenly they’re whining about how unfair it is.

Boris Johnson is, of course, the worst of the lot.

Despite being omitted from the list of UK MPs selected for sanction by China, he had the cheek to say

Freedom to speak out in opposition to abuse is fundamental and I stand firmly with them.

Fine words from the prime minister whose sickeningly draconian Police Bill strips his own people of that very freedom.

I do not wish to defend China. It’s treatment of the Uighurs is vile and should be opposed by all those of good faith. But these Tories are not opposing China in good faith. They’re trying to steal undeserved good publicity by attacking a country whose human rights abuses are – currently – worse than their own.

But it doesn’t work that way – or at least it shouldn’t.

Any attack on anybody’s rights as a human being is an attack against all of us – everywhere.

Johnson and his other little Tories might think they can take what moral high ground there is to be gained because their abuses aren’t quite as bad. But we know where that thinking leads.

The abuses become worse.

The number of people being oppressed grows.

The UK’s Tory government already fits every description of a fascist state that is worth reading. If you’re not feeling Johnson’s jackboot on your face yet, it’s just a matter of time.

So don’t waste any sympathy on these liars. They don’t deserve it.

Source: Uighurs: China bans UK MPs after abuse sanctions – BBC News

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Policeman who attacked terrified woman WHO WAS JUST WALKING HOME is spared jail

Police: even in the illustration it seems the policeman doesn’t want to be anywhere near the police woman.

It’s as though the last two weeks never happened.

The man attacking a woman while she was walking home in this video was a serving police officer – and remains a serving police officer after appearing in court and admitting the offence:

Let’s look a little more closely at that point about the victim facing an uphill battle to get justice:

So the first thing Warwickshire police did on receiving the complaint was ignore it.

Let us be clear: this was an unprovoked and violent attack by a large, drunken man, perpetrated at night against a much smaller woman.

And rather than treat it with the seriousness it deserved – especially as it related to one of their own – our law guardians did nothing.

I understand they would have brushed it under the carpet altogether if the CCTV footage had not been produced.

As it is, we can see that Oliver Banfield, 25, hurled a stream of misogynistic abuse at Emma Holmer, 11 years his senior, as he tried to employ techniques he learned from police training to drag her to the ground and put her in a headlock.

Apparently this has been described as an “unlawful arrest”. I’m sure you can think of a much better description for what is clearly a hate attack against a woman.

And how was she affected?

Miss Homer said the attack had a devastating effect on her.

She has suffered from anxiety, stress, panic attacks and insomnia and is undergoing therapy and counselling.

Miss Homer said being attacked by a police officer had shaken her belief system “to the core”.

“I often ask myself if the impact of the attack would have been so severe if my assailant was not a police officer,” she said.

“During the assault as I struggled to get to safety I was sure this drunk man was fulfilling a violent cop movie fantasy.

“To be verbally abused with misogynistic slang, grabbed by the neck and forced to the floor on a dark road by a drunk man, a foot taller than me, is terrifying.

“But to then find out he was a police officer shook my belief system to its core.

“Immediately after the assault I was in shock. I could not sleep

“I found myself compulsively running through the streets going through the events of the assault.

“What if I hadn’t got away? What if he had attacked another woman drunk?”

What, indeed?

Yet despite the aggravating features of this case – the use of police techniques, the misogynistic hate speech, and the slowness of his colleagues to prosecute Banfield – a judge at a magistrates court let this man – who should be stripped of his police career – walk free.

He was ordered to pay £500 compensation and £180 court costs, and was put under a 14 week curfew that means he may not leave his house between 7pm and 7am – after he cried off community service, his lawyer saying it would be difficult for him to work with criminals.

WITH criminals? Perhaps somebody should point out that this man IS a criminal.

And let’s remind ourselves that Sarah Everard was “just walking home” (the words have been used as a slogan ever since the incident) when she was attacked and murdered – allegedly by another serving policeman.

Two incidents cannot suggest that such behaviour is epidemic in the UK’s police. But they are enough to instil fear in every woman who has to walk home in the dark because they know they cannot automatically rely on the police to keep them safe.

When a trust is betrayed, it can be extremely difficult to win back. Sometimes it is impossible.

It seems clear that the police – and the justice system – isn’t even bothering to try.

Source: Off-duty police officer, 25, who attacked ‘terrified’ woman walking home spared jail – Mirror Online

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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Journalist exposed to ‘torrent of abuse’ – claim – after MP put email exchange on Twitter

Kemi Badenoch: retaliatory harm.

Is it just a coincidence that this happened a week after a High Court judge decided that ‘blue tick’ Twitter users should not be considered responsible for the behaviour of their followers?

Clearly the ruling by Mrs Justice Collins Rice, in Rachel Riley’s case against me, is factually wrong. The experience of Huffington Post reporter Nadine White simply underlines the fact.

Ms White had emailed Tory equalities minister (surely a contradiction in terms?) Kemi Badenoch to inquire why she had not supported a pro-vaccine video by participating in it.

Badenoch had responded by putting the emails on Twitter alongside a comment that they were “creepy and bizarre” and the HuffPost was “looking to sow distrust”.

Labour has demanded an investigation into whether this breached the ministerial code.

In a letter to civil service head Simon Case, the party said Ms White had been exposed to “a torrent of abuse online” – a dogpile.

Riley’s case against This Writer also concerns questions about whether the TV parlour game-player deliberately intended to expose a teenage girl with mental health issues to a torrent of abuse also.

The world “torrent” has been applicable to Twitter dogpiles since the case of Jack Monroe and Katie Hopkins, in which the word was used to describe the number of messages Ms Monroe received after Hopkins tweeted a false claim about her.

It was also disputed. But Mr Justice Warby stated that “‘Torrent’ is a noun, used metaphorically here. It may be colourful, and may tend to overstate what happened. But it is not an invention and nor is it in my judgment a serious distortion.”

This means even if the size of the dogpile against Ms White was not very large, the description may still be applied justifiably.

Labour’s involvement is hypocritical though. It comes from a political party whose members (including MPs) have also triggered dogpiles – for example against This Writer after The Sunday Times falsely accused me of holocaust denial (on the basis of false information leaked by – guess who? – a Labour Party officer).

I am appealing against the judgment that suggests ‘blue tick’ Twitter users can publish anything they like about other people without having regard for the possible consequences to those people.

If I win – and evidence including the Warby judgment suggests that I may – then this could have severe consequences for a minister who tried to discredit a journalist who seems merely to have been doing her job.

I am crowdfunding for the means to win my case, which is proving extremely costly because of the behaviour of Riley’s legal team. Information about that is available here (a search for “libel Mike Sivier” should reveal the necessary links).

Anyone interested in helping is urged to do one or more of the following:

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.

Justice isn’t for everybody – not in Tory Britain. It’s too expensive for most of us.

That doesn’t mean we should let a government minister – who should know better – inflict retaliatory harm against somebody who was only doing her job.

Source: Labour call for investigation into Kemi Badenoch’s tweets about a journalist – BBC News

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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Hodge wants ban on social media anonymity – what a great idea! It will curtail fake anti-Semitism claims

It’s the first time This Writer has agreed with Margaret Hodge in years.

She has said the government must ban online anonymity or make social media directors personally liable for defamatory posts, revealing that she receives tens of thousands of abusive tweets a month:

Hodge accused the government of deliberately delaying the online harms bill in order to avoid difficult conversations with powerful social media companies, and said she was prepared to take up a campaign to make sure the law was tough enough.

The Online Harms Bill arises from a White Paper produced last year – and This Site commented on it at the time.

The White Paper – and now the Bill (I expect; I haven’t actually seen any information on it since April last year) proposed a statutory duty of care, to be conferred on media companies including platforms such as Facebook and Google, online messaging services like WhatsApp and file hosting sites.

They would be required to comply with a code of practice, setting out the steps they must take to meet the duty of care. This may include designing products and platforms to make them safer, directing users who have suffered harm towards support, combating disinformation (for example by using fact-checking services), and improving the transparency of political advertising.

They would be expected to co-operate with police and other enforcement agencies on illegalities including incitement of violence and selling illegal weapons.

And they would have to compile annual “transparency reports” detailing the amount of harmful content found on their platforms and what they are doing to combat it.

The government would have powers to direct the regulator – initially Ofcom, with a dedicated regulator to follow in the future – on specific issues such as terrorist activity or child sexual exploitation.

I pointed out last year that the White Paper did not include any measures to stop people creating anonymous accounts.

If Ms Hodge wants to see that happen now, then I am all for it.

It will stop me receiving much (but not all) of the abuse I get from people wrongly accusing me of anti-Semitism after the Labour Party expelled me under false pretences (as shown in court).

But that’s not what was on offer in April last year. As I made perfectly clear, “regulating online media platforms will not stop people posting “harmful” content to them, if there is nothing to stop them from doing so. It is farcically easy to create anonymous accounts, from which to post objectionable and/or abusive content.

“Shut one down? That’s fine – the individual responsible can have another up and running in a matter of minutes, if they don’t have multiple aliases working already.”

And I made that point that “it has been argued that people must have a right to be able to post anonymously, because of personal circumstances that make it important – possibly for their personal safety.”

My response: “Fine. A system can be devised in which people apply for anonymity and the number of people or organisations able to ascertain their real identity is strictly limited. That would allow these individuals to continue functioning in the online world. And it would prevent others from abusing social media platforms. Any posts from an unrecognised anonymous account would be easy to flag up and isolate.”

If Ms Hodge is proposing such a system then I am behind her every step of the way, and never mind all the other differences we have.

Although – as a staunch witch-hunter herself – I wonder whether she would approve of that outcome.

Source: Margaret Hodge calls for ban on social media anonymity | Online abuse | 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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Labour leader Starmer thought party rules are his toys for coercing the membership; he is badly wrong

We all learned a lot after This Writer’s court victory over the Labour Party on Tuesday, didn’t we?

Yes, I said victory – even though the case was dismissed. I gained more than Labour did.

The court found that Labour had deliberately ignored its own procedures in order to run an investigation that discriminated against me.

We may therefore conclude that Labour’s finding against me in that investigation also discriminated against me, and that the Vox Political articles that the party complained about were not detrimental to the Labour Party, nor were they anti-Semitic in any way.

In other words, any claim that the party ran its complaints system in good faith is utterly discredited.

Furthermore, the court found that this abuse of its own procedures was fully consistent with Labour Party rules – which says to This Writer that the rule book is not fit to be used and should be re-written, preferably by a committee of constituency-based members, with the help of lawyers hired with party funds. No member of Labour’s ruling elite should be allowed to get their fingers into it.

Further evidence of this came on Wednesday (November 25) when it was revealed that Keir Starmer’s Labour elite have tried to pretend there is a rule allowing him to stifle debate on the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Parliamentary Labour Party. There isn’t.

None of the rules specifically forbid the expression of solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn or criticism of the leadership’s political decisions.

A letter from Fraser Welsh (who?), head of internal governance (oh), states: “The Labour Party disciplinary case against the former Leader has now concluded… However… motions around this issue… are providing a flashpoint for the expression of views that undermine the Labour Party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all members, in particular our Jewish members. Therefore all motions which touch on these issues must be ruled out of order.

“We are aware that this ruling will be questioned, so the following explanation of the powers exercised by the General Secretary, as well as the rationale for this decision may be helpful:

“The Labour Party’s Code of Conduct: Antisemitism and other forms of racism states (Appendix 9 in the Rule Book): “The Labour Party will ensure the party is a welcoming home to members of all communities, with no place for any prejudice or discrimination based on race, ethnicity or religion.”

“Chapter 1 VIII.3.A tasks the NEC to “to uphold and enforce the constitution, rules and standing orders of the Party and to take any action it deems necessary for such purpose…

“Chapter 1 VIII.5 states: “All powers of the NEC may be exercised as the NEC deems appropriate through its elected officers, committees, sub-committees, the General Secretary and other national and regional officials and designated representatives appointed by the NEC or the General Secretary. For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the NEC shall have the power to delegate its powers to such officers and committees and subcommittees of the NEC and upon such terms as from time to time it shall see fit. Further, it shall be deemed always to have had such power.”

None of the rules mentioned specifically forbid the expression of solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn or criticism of the leadership’s political decisions. And Mr Welsh – deliberately? – omits any evidence in support of his wild claims from his letter, meaning local party leaders have no reason to believe him.

Having just won a court case on the basis that its rules don’t mean Labour has to follow any procedure that isn’t specifically codified in the rule book, the party’s leaders can hardly insist that, in this instance, they do.

And it is encouraging to see so many local parties overruling the diktat from party HQ in order to continuing expressing their support for Jeremy Corbyn, for free speech and for democracy. I’ve been monitoring Twitter and here is a taste of what’s been happening:

Opposition to Starmer’s power grab has extended to the unions, which are not governed by Labour Party rules and can say and do what they like:

It seems the whole Labour movement is turning on Starmer:

Sadly, the Conservatives are doing very well out of the civil war that Starmer has stirred up – and will continue to profit in any forthcoming elections, as long as Starmer and his elites have any power in the Labour Party. Here’s the reason:

The longer this continues, the worse it will get. Labour Party members across the UK have made it clear that they do not accept Starmer’s dictatorship and while the dissent is only a whisper at the moment, it will soon become a roar.

Starmer has put himself in an impossible position. Having abused party rules in a vain attempt to assert dictatorial authority, he is unlikely to accept the democratic decision of members to deny him that authority.

I think, therefore, that Labour members will have to consider what other steps they can take to have him removed. Potential left-wing challengers for the leadership position should start generating support – but should wait until large numbers of CLPs have registered their opposition to Starmer’s activities before demanding an election.

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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