Tag Archives: collapse

Jane got justice in Rachel Riley court case – will Vox Political’s Mike get the same?

Rachel Riley has withdrawn her libel case against Jane Heybroek, and it seems they will pay part of her costs in an agreement that – surprisingly – does not include a demand for confidentiality.

Here’s Jane’s statement on Twitter:

It states:

“I am Jane Heybroek, a barrister specialising in immigration work. I was the subject of discourse on Twitter, and reports in the mainstream media, earlier this year, as a result of a libel claim being brought against me by the television presenter Rachel Riley and the actress Tracy Ann Oberman.

“I am now able to report that the claim against me has been withdrawn and that Ms Riley and Ms Oberman have agreed to make contributions towards my legal costs. I wish to thank everyone who has helped me in the last 18 months; it will not be forgotten.

“Ms Riley and Ms Oberman are not personally known to me. Their claim saw them seeking damages and costs in respect of my re-tweet of a tweet by the blogger Shaun Lawson, which contained a link to a blog article he had written about them in January 2019.

“Mr Lawson’s article, which concerned the celebrities’ alleged behaviour towards a teenage Labour supporter on Twitter in January 2019, had been re-tweeted/shared by hundreds of people. Some of those people were threatened with legal action like me; others were not.

“Ultimately, despite press reports which suggested as many as 70 people might face legal action, I was the only person who was sued.” [Before people question this, she’s saying she was the only one sued for retweeting a link to the Lawson article. I’m being sued over my own piece that was based on it, and a member of the band Reverend and the Makers settled before proceedings went to court.] “This was despite the fact that I had deleted my re-tweet before I had even received Letters of Claim. I did not even know how long my re-tweet had been live for. Neither, it seems, did Ms Riley or Ms Oberman.

“There was no evidence, that I am aware of, to suggest that anyone had read the blog article as a result of clicking the link in my re-tweet. There were also various other ways in which the claim against me could have been (and would have been, had it proceeded) defended.

“Ms Riley and Ms Oberman were being represented, from the very outset, on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, and had ‘after the event insurance’. This meant that there was almost no risk to them in bringing the claim. Many people would have felt forced to settle for reasons of pragmatism. Whilst I am in a more fortunate position than most, after having spent almost £30,000 by a very early stage, it was clear to me that I would have no prospect of funding my defence to trial without help. I therefore launched a fundraiser on the website CrowdJustice.com, and was overwhelmed by the response which I received.

“Due to the support of a great many people, I was able to continue to retain leading defamation lawyers, and properly contest the case.

“I am making this statement for the benefit of those who have supported me emotionally and financially, and to address one other issue.

“Ms Riley and Ms Oberman’s vocal stance against antisemitism (and perceived antisemitism) has been widely documented, as has their involvement in other legal cases. This claim, however, did not actually involve any allegations of antisemitism against me or indeed Mr Lawson.

“I understand that Mr Lawson is himself Jewish and that his grandmother was a holocaust survivor. For my part, I abhor all forms of racism. Unfortunately, as a result of the litigation, I was subject of a number of nasty comments from a small minority of people who simply presumed to know what the case was about and what the outcome would be. They were wrong on both counts.

“Finally, as I have said throughout to those who have supported me, I ask people, for their own sakes, not to discuss the content of Mr Lawson’s article, nor to comment on Ms Riley or Ms Oberman on social media more generally.

“Notwithstanding the fact that I am a lawyer by profession, this has been a long, and at times exhausting experience, and I would not wish anyone to find themselves on the receiving end of legal action.”

This is an excellent outcome for Jane.

And it gives hope for my own case.

Part of Ms Riley’s libel case against me concerns my own reference to Mr Lawson’s articles. I have applied to the court for this aspect of the case to be struck out and have no doubt that this will happen at a hearing on November 6.

With that and Ms Heybroek’s case in mind, and also considering Ms Riley’s recent tweet that appears to encourage her followers to provide information that she can use to start more libel cases, I think my own case is becoming stronger by the day.

Ms Heybroek’s case was crowdfunded and so was mine – and I still need help. If you would like to provide some, here are the details:

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

This battle is won, but the war isn’t over yet.

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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‘Overwhelming majority’ of rapists going free because of collapse in prosecutions

The “overwhelming majority” of rapists are walking free because of a collapse in prosecutions in England and Wales, campaigners have warned.

Only 1.5 per cent of almost 55,300 rapes recorded by police in 2019 saw a suspect charged, down from 7 per cent four years before.

An alliance of women’s groups attempted to launch a legal challenge accusing the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of changing its practices,  but were refused permission by the High Court in March.

On Tuesday, they published testimonies from complainants, statistical analysis, a CPS whistleblower’s allegations and other evidence from the case.

Some of these testimonies need to be read to be believed. Try this:

A woman who alleged that a man had raped her at gunpoint was told in a CPS letter that the weapon “was not a serious threat” during the alleged attack, and that the man may have thought she consented.

Who wrote that? They should go into the dock alongside the alleged rapist, as an accessory to the crime.

In a separate case, a gay woman who said she was raped by a man was accused of “engaging with the defendant” before the attack. Charges against a suspect, who was caught on CCTV, were dropped.

So there’s video evidence against this person but they weren’t charged because someone said the victim “engaged” with them. What does that even mean?

The End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) has accused the CPS of dropping a “merits-based approach” credited with increasing the number of rape prosecutions, but officials said they had not.

The High Court refused permission for a judicial review of the plummeting prosecutions, saw EVAW has appealed, and has raised more than £80,000 via crowdfunding to back the action.

That seems like an appeal worth supporting.

Here’s the web address.

Source: ‘Overwhelming majority’ of rapists going free because of collapse in prosecutions, campaigners warn | The Independent

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Hinkley tower collapse: what did you expect from this duff, expensive, USELESS project?

Hinkley C: does this look like safe construction to you?

The dust has probably settled by now – physically, if not metaphorically.

The decision to build a third nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset was hugely controversial and had been fought for 40 years before the Tories finally had their way in 2016.

They signed complex financial agreement with Électricité de France (EDF), the energy giant that is 83% owned by the French government, and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), a state-run Chinese energy company for the provision of the reactor, in a new design that has never been made to work, anywhere in the world.

For this, the UK is paying £20.3 billion and when it is working – if it ever does – the UK will pay £92.50 per megawatt-hour, which is roughly twice the current market rate for this kind of energy.

In a comment that typifies the scandal that has been Tory privatisation of UK utilities like energy, former EDF director Gérard Magnin has described Hinkley C as “a way to make the British fund the renaissance of nuclear in France”.

And now part of it has collapsed, sending a huge dust cloud into the skies above Somerset:

The 35-metre tower, weighing around 5,000 tonnes, suffered “structural damage” at around 7.30am, when onlookers claimed to have heard what sounded like an explosion.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud bang at around 7.30am, but energy supplier EDF has denied that a blast occurred, Somerset Live reports.

In a statement the company said no one had been hurt.

The energy supplier stated: “At around 7.30am a silo in the concrete batching plant at Hinkley Point C suffered structural damage, releasing a dust cloud around the area.

“Nobody has been injured and the emergency services were not required.

“An investigation is underway to understand the cause of the event.”

I reckon the cause is obvious: bad design, substandard construction materials, corner-cutting in order to maximise profits.

So not only is this project a hugely expensive white elephant, it is a nuclear disaster waiting to happen.

Are we looking at the West Country’s future Fukushima?

Source: Huge dust cloud released at UK nuclear power site after tower ‘collapses’ – Mirror Online

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Coronavirus: homeless families moved into unsafe buildings. What good will THAT do?

Unsafe: these tower blocks on the Ledbury estate, Southwark, are in danger of fire or collapse – and the council has put 60 homeless families into empty flats there.

What’s the thinking behind this? If the disease doesn’t get them, the building might collapse on them instead?

Southwark Council (Labour-run, God help them) has moved homeless families into an estate of tower blocks that require major works to make them safe from fire or collapse.

The four towers on the Ledbury estate have many empty flats because they are unsafe.

They were built using the ‘large panel system’ construction method, which became notorious after the partial collapse of Ronan Point in Newham in the 1960s.

That’s more than 50 years ago! Why was nothing done about these buildings decades ago?

Families who were living in temporary accommodation with shared bathrooms and kitchens are being moved into 60 empty flats in the towers, to allow them to self-isolate during the coronavirus outbreak.

Southwark reckons it has agreed “extra safety measures” with the fire service in order to ensure the flats are safe to occupy.

What’s the last time we heard of a council making arrangements with a fire service about the safety of a tower block? Ah yes: Grenfell Tower.

What can possibly go wrong?

Source: Inside Housing – News – Homeless families to be moved into blocks with systemic safety issues amid coronavirus crisis

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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Years of Tory cuts led to the collapse of this Derbyshire dam

Skwawkbox has it right: The Toddbrook Reservoir dam only collapsed because Conservative governments of the past nine years have starved flood defence spending.

Click over to that blog for the details.

A Derbyshire town is undergoing emergency evacuation after parts of the wall of a nearby reservoir collapsed in floods.

Toddbrook Reservoir dam was damaged after heavy rains and police have told 6,500 Whaley Bridge residents to gather at a local school ready for evacuation after a severe flood warning was issued, meaning there is a threat to life:

The collapse comes after years of a Tory austerity programme that saw significant cuts to spending on flood defences in almost all parts of the country:

Source: Breaking; Derbyshire town evacuated as dam wall collapses in floods following years of Tory flood-defence cuts | The SKWAWKBOX

Raab resigns, McVey quits: May’s Brexit ‘deal’ throws her government over a cliff

Theresa May: Staring over the edge of the cliff.

It should have been a moment of triumph – the announcement of an agreement with the 27 nations remaining in the EU over the manner of the UK’s departure from that bloc. Instead, Theresa May’s government is on the point of collapse.

Dominic Raab.

Dominic Raab – the man who, as Brexit Secretary, admitted he had no idea how important the Dover-Calais crossing was to the UK’s trade – resigned this morning (November 15), saying the deal agreed by Mrs May – not by him – could lead to the break-up of the UK as it offers Northern Ireland special treatment, and makes it impossible to negotiate trade deals with other countries as we will remain in a customs union with the EU indefinitely.

Esther McVey: She was probably glad to have an excuse to quit as Work and Pensions secretary.

Esther McVey has also quit, saying the deal does not offer the Brexit that the Conservative government had promised.

And condemnation of the deal in Parliament – when Mrs May tried to persuade MPs to support it – was almost universal.

Labour opposes it because it does not meet any of that party’s six tests.

Labour’s pro-Brexit rebels won’t support it because they see it as a capitulation to all of the EU’s demands.

The DUP can’t support it because of the way it addresses the Northern Ireland border issue – creating fears of a reunification vote with the Republic of Ireland.

The SNP won’t support it because the deal doesn’t mention Scotland once.

Tory Brexiters won’t support it because they say Mrs May lied about what the deal would do – she has betrayed them.

Jacob Rees-Mogg even voiced an intention to trigger a “no confidence” vote against Theresa May during the debate in the Commons – in harsh contrast to her own appeal for support.

And government resignations are still happening. Three MPs in minor positions have also resigned, including Suella Braverman, who had been vociferous in support of the Tory government’s Brexit policy. Northern Ireland office junior minister Shailesh Vara has also gone.

Mrs May is now in an impossible position.

Her deal with the EU has been agreed – she can’t go back on it.

But the Parliamentary numbers are against her. She cannot win the vote.

Her own leadership is at issue and she may face a challenge within days.

And her government’s ability to act in the national interest has been trashed. It may not last beyond the vote on the deal.

Mrs May, the Conservatives and the Brexit process are standing on the edge of a cliff. Is this the end – for all of them?

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Labour’s pre-budget message shows how Tory austerity will make society collapse


Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond is due to announce his latest Budget on Monday afternoon (October 29) – with a new set of austerity measures designed to hammer the poor and cosset the rich.

Don’t believe Theresa May’s pleading that austerity is over! If that were true, Hammond would be restoring services across the country – and you won’t see that in his statement.

No – austerity is here as long as we have penny-pinching Conservatives.

But the Labour Party has released new video messages showing exactly what this means for the fabric of UK society – and it’s not a pretty picture.

See for yourself. Here’s the first:

And now try this:

Get the message? Then please share the videos.

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The Tory government is on the brink of collapse with multiple rebellions threatening to topple it

Theresa May’s government is facing not just one, but multiple rebellions that are threatening to push the UK into an autumn election.

Backbenchers have already warned they may defeat their own government over Universal Credit in what This Site has described as an act of selfishness in order to save their own Parliamentary seats.

Now it seems she is facing two threats over Brexit.

The Democratic Unionist Party has threatened to withdraw from the “confidence and supply” deal that is propping up Mrs May’s minority Tory government. If its MPs vote against the Philip Hammond’s Budget it will be defeated – and this will be seen as a vote of “no confidence” in Mrs May’s leadership. This won’t automatically trigger an election because of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, but it seems likely an election would be demanded along with her resignation as the Conservatives would no longer be able to pass any legislation in Parliament.

Not only that, but it seems David Davis, the former Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, is calling on cabinet ministers to mutiny against Mrs May’s plan for Brexit, saying her bid to keep the UK in a customs union is unacceptable.

Oh, and the number of letters demanding a vote of “no confidence” in Mrs May, submitted to the chair of the backbench 1922 committee, now totals 44 – just four short of the magic 48 needed to trigger such a vote.

She’s clearly living on borrowed time. Politically she is a dead woman walking, as I’ve suggested previously.

And it’s no surprise, when her government is actually advising British businesses to leave the UK because of Brexit. That is an insane position for any national government to take. See for yourself:

Of course, some of the threats may be more serious than others:

That’s as may be, but the other threats seem all-too-real.

The diabolical state of Mrs May’s Brexit negotiations has added momentum to calls for a so-called “people’s vote” – as encapsulated in Gary Lineker’s video:

The man makes a good point.

But will such a vote be necessary of the UK ends up with a change of management before any irreversible changes happen?

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Winners and losers: UKIP collapse suggests the local elections were a referendum on #Brexit


Is there a huge elephant in this discussion, that everyone in the mainstream media [MSM] is ignoring so they can attack Labour?

Did nobody notice what just happened to the UK Independence Party?

UKIP has collapsed – losing a massive 123 of the 126 seats it was defending.

The MSM have been desperate to ignore the implications, being happy to say ‘Leave’-voting areas migrated back to the Conservatives and ‘Remain’ areas to Labour or the Liberal Democrats.

But that’s not the whole picture. It’s more accurate to say voters moved their support back where it was before Brexit became the political football it is now.

We could say it’s simply a verdict on UKIP itself – a belief that this was a single-issue political party whose time has gone, having achieved its goal.

But people don’t usually form political parties for short-term reasons; UKIP wanted, not only to trigger the decision to leave the EU, but also to have a say in the nature of that departure – and that isn’t happening.

Also, let’s not forget that the ‘Leave’ campaign has been rocked by scandal after scandal – over expenses, over the alleged use of Cambridge Analytica to influence voters covertly, over the pathetic handling of negotiations with the EU27.

So, can’t we be honest? People are sick and tired of Brexit!

They know they were hoodwinked; they hate the fact that they’re now being led into financial ruin and international obscurity.

And they have punished the organisation they consider to be most responsible.


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After Carillion – Interserve. Will it go under – and if it does, who’s next?

It seems Interserve is about to go the same way as Carillion.

If it does, the Conservative government will force the public to pay the costs again, even though they’re the ones who stupidly employed greedy private contractors who put our money in their bank accounts rather than investing it in the public services they are supposed to be providing (at least, that’s the Carillion model).

I hope that Interserve doesn’t go under, but it occurs to me that any private firm with a contract to provide public services will be in breach of that contract if it ends up in receivership due to poor financial management.

So it should be the government’s responsibility to get our money back from these people, rather than charging the public.

It might be easy to force the poor to cough up for the mistakes of the rich, but it isn’t justice.

Let’s have some justice for a change.

It appears the Tory Government could once again be stretching its pan-palms out to catch the overspill from the potential collapse of another favoured private contractor, Interserve.

Interserve’s debt almost doubled from £274m in 2016 to £513m at the end of 2017. An underestimation of the costs involved in a public-private partnership contract to provide waste-to-energy services, which saw the corporation raise its provision on one such project in Glasgow from £70m to £195m, has badly affected it.

And in further deeply worrying news, the corporation’s share price has plummeted from 717p in 2014 to just 63p in December, leading to serious discussions with its lenders over the firm’s remaining financial options.

Although the corporation issued profit warnings in September and October 2017, it has announced that it reportedly expects that its 2017 performance was in line with expectations. This, along with the partial recovery in its share price might be due to the fact that the corporation’s new chief executive announced cost cutting measures: £15m in 2018 to £50m by 2020.

With the corporation employing 80,000 people worldwide – 25,000 in the UK – and when it is responsible for public contracts including cleaning, healthcare, security, probation and construction, one wonders what cost-cutting measures will actually involve and how these might impact the provision of essential public services.

Source: Another major government contractor on the brink after 90% share price collapse and debt doubling | Evolve Politics


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