Tag Archives: court

The attack on #courts and #democracy was a #Tory #manifesto promise. Didn’t you know?

RIP democracy: this image of Boris Johnson in a Hitler moustache was stuck to the door of the Conservative office in Beverley, near Hull, earlier this year.

This is nothing new:

Funny how The Times has only just learned of the Johnson government’s plan to overrule court rulings, in December 2021, when it was in the Conservative manifesto for the December 2019 general election almost two years ago!

Yes, Boris Johnson backpedalled for a little while, but that’s a classic Tory tactic; they lure you into a false feeling that everything’s going to be all right and then they stab you in the back.

If it’s good enough for them when they’re electing leaders, then they’re not going to see any reason not to do it to you. Right?

It is an offence against democracy and a step into elected dictatorship – but you knew that already because This Site told you.

So did the nearly 14 million people who voted for it. Right?

Wrong?

They didn’t know?

They just voted Tory because they wanted to get out of the European Union so badly they didn’t care what else happened over the next five years?

Oh, wow. And – hey! – The Times could have told them all about it back in 2019 but didn’t?

That’s a real shame.

It’s also the reason people are told, time and time again in their lives, to RTFM.

In this case, it means Read The F-ing Manifesto!

Too late now.

Because this is one manifesto promise that Boris Johnson is hell-bent on keeping.

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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#PritiPatel #bullying: can anyone explain the logic of #HighCourt ruling against union’s legal challenge?

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson. You can imagine what he’s saying to her right now: “Keep smiling because I think we’ve got away with it!”

There’s something about this judgement that isn’t quite right.

The High Court has rejected a legal challenge by civil service union the FDA against Boris Johnson’s ruling that Priti Patel’s bullying of civil servants did not break the Ministerial Code.

Lord Justice Lewis, sitting with Mrs Justice Steyn, said that Johnson had not “misdirected himself” (misinterpreted the meaning of the Ministerial Code) when coming to his decision.

The judge said: “The question for this court is whether the prime minister proceeded on the basis that conduct would not fall within the description of bullying within paragraph 1.2 of the ministerial code if the person concerned was unaware of, or did not intend, the harm or offence caused.

“Reading the statement (made by Johnson) as a whole, and in context, we do not consider that the prime minister misdirected himself in that way.”

So the question was whether Patel could be said to have bullied someone if she was unaware of – or said she was unaware of – the harm or offence she caused.

Paragraph 1.2 of the Ministerial Code states: “Ministers should be professional in all their dealings and treat all those with whom they come into contact with consideration and respect. Working relationships, including with civil servants, ministerial and parliamentary colleagues and parliamentary staff should be proper and appropriate.”

It makes no mention of whether a minister’s intentions have any bearing on whether their behaviour may breach the code; therefore Patel’s intentions were irrelevant.

This is consistent with then-advisor on ministerial standards, Sir Alex Allan’s, advice at the time: “Her approach on occasions has amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals. To that extent, her behaviour has been in breach of the ministerial code, even if unintentionally.”

But Johnson’s ruling relied entirely on Patel’s intentions. He said Patel was “unaware” of the impact she had and he was “reassured” she was “sorry for inadvertently upsetting those with whom she was working”.

In response, Sir Alex immediately resigned his advisory role. He was not prepared to continue working for Johnson in the knowledge that the prime minister was willing to allow breaches of the Code in such a way.

And we see now that the High Court has ruled in favour of Johnson, saying he did not misdirect himself into thinking that her conduct did not fall under the description of bullying if Patel had been unaware that it was having that effect – which is odd, because his statement clearly shows that this is exactly what he said.

So the judges’ decision is wrong, it seems.

Also – strangely – the decision does not seem to take account of the main thrust of the defence put forward by Johnson’s lawyers, which was that the Ministerial Code is a “political document”, “does not create or impose any legal duties on ministers or the prime minister”, is “not required by law” and its contents “not regulated by law”.

The court’s decision shows that it does, it is, and it is – and the FDA union seems well pleased with that result, saying the high court had confirmed the prohibition on bullying, discrimination and harassment in the ministerial code is justiciable in the courts.

This Writer doesn’t see how that helps, if the High Court is just going to rubber-stamp Johnson’s decisions, no matter how illogical they are.

Dave Penman, the union’s general secretary, said the court had determined that “the prime minister did not acquit the home secretary of bullying” and he “did not reject the findings of Sir Alex Allan that her conduct amounted to bullying”.

If that were true, then wouldn’t the court have said that the Ministerial Code was indeed breached and Patel should resign? Bullying is, by definition, unprofessional, improper and inappropriate.

Still, if nothing else it means This Site and others can call her a bully with impunity.

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How long will it be before #racist #KeirStarmer drives #Labour into #bankruptcy? Place your bets [VIDEO]

“Keith”: this is just one comment on the way Starmer treats members of his own party who support the values on which Labour was formed, rather than the twisted parody that he leads.

Can you believe it? After blowing a £13 million war chest within just 18 months, Labour Exploitation Party leader Keir Starmer is hammering the little people for cash again.

He’s embarking on a fourth round of staff redundancies and has been writing around to all constituency party units to find out if they have property he can sell off to pay for the huge expenses of the lawsuits he has incurred.

Here’s Cornish Damo to explain in his unique style:

It’s insanity.

Starmer seems hell-bent on pushing his ideological support for the genocidal Israeli government to its worst extreme, persecuting rank-and-file members who hate the racism and persecution he represents – even though they are responding in the courts, to his party’s cost.

Would he be so keen on litigation if it was his own cash at risk? Doubtful.

But it’s Labour’s funding that he’s flushing away – and this leads me to an inconvenient but inescapable conclusion:

Starmer seems to be determined to purge Labour of all its anti-racists – or to destroy Labour by bankrupting 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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Will ‘legacy’ benefit claimants get £1,500 in backdated Covid-19 ‘uplift’ after High Court challenge?

The High Court has begun to consider whether it was unlawful of the Conservative government to deny claimants of ‘legacy’ benefits the £20 uplift it gave to people on Universal Credit.

The court granted permission for a judicial review on April 27, but the case has been much-delayed, with the hearing postponed from September to November 17, and then the second day being moved to November 19 – but it is happening.

The case has been brought by two recipients of Employment and Support Allowance who used Legal Aid to instruct law firm Osbornes Law.

A press release from the firm states:

Despite them having an equivalent entitlement to the ‘standard allowance’ of UC, simply because they were in a different part of the system, 1.9 million people on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have been without this increase, which many have called a ‘lifeline’.

Claimants of Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance have also been excluded.

Many have argued that this is unfair, including the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee: “It’s simply not right for people to miss out on support just because they happen, through no fault of their own, to be claiming the ‘wrong’ kind of benefit.”

We are pursuing this legal challenge based on the proposition that the pandemic means those dependent upon basic allowances are facing higher basic living costs, and yet despite their very similar circumstances, only some of them receive a Covid-specific uplift to help meet those costs.

This unfairness calls for a properly evidenced justification, particularly as almost 2 million disabled people are disproportionately affected by this decision and the pandemic generally.

Thus far the Government has failed to provide any objectively verifiable reason for the difference in treatment of people in essentially identical circumstances.

If the Department for Work and Pensions loses, the more-than-two-million people affected could each be entitled to up to £1,500 in backdated extra payments.

The start of the case was marked by a huge show of support for the case outside the High Court, by groups including Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Unite Community, the MS Society, SNP MPs Marion Fellows and David Linden, and Labour MPs Debbie Abrahams, Marsha de Cordova and John McDonnell:

The outcome of the case is unlikely to be announced on Friday (November 19).

Let’s hope it doesn’t take as long coming out as the judgement in the libel case between Rachel Riley and former Jeremy Corbyn aide Laura Murray. That was heard in May and the verdict is still unknown, half a year later.

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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High Court showdown for Johnson over his claim that Priti Patel is not a bully

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: allies against the civil service?

At a time when Boris Johnson is mired in accusations of corruption, he is being forced to defend, in court, his corrupt support for a bullying cabinet minister.

Priti Patel was found to have bullied civil servants in three government departments by the then-government adviser on ministerial standards, Alex Allan, last year.

But Johnson, as Prime Minister, had the final say on whether she could be said to have breached the ministerial code and – despite clear evidence that she had – cleared her.

If he had found against her, she would have had to resign as Home Secretary. But he said any impression of bullying felt by civil servants was unintential, and Patel supported the assertion.

This was not good enough for the FDA – the union representing senior civil servants – and the High Court will hold a judicial review of the matter on Wednesday and Thursday next week (November 17 and 18).

The FDA’s claim is that the assertion that Patel’s actions were unintentional could allow other ministers “to avoid the consequences of their behaviour in future by pleading that it should be the intent of their actions which is important, not the consequences”.

And there could be wider constitutional implications, with the government arguing that the ministerial code should remain separate from the courts and overseen by an elected politician.

It is an untenable position. By corruptly abusing his position of oversight, Johnson has brought the application of the ministerial code into disrepute; he is unfit to manage it.

That’s what This Writer expects the High Court to say.

Johnson will reject the ruling and then he’ll have precipitated another constitutional crisis.

What then? Fun and games…

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It’s time for people hit by the #LabourDataBreach to unite and demand answers

For the many? HOW many Labour Party members, ex-members, and even non-members have been affected by the massive data breach that happened at the end of October, of which the party only informed us a week later?

The (verbal) backlash against the loss of data affecting thousands of Labour Party members has been huge – but it is action that is needed.

This Writer has already suggested that a lawsuit is required – and some victims are suggesting that we (This Writer is among those affected) may each claim thousands of pounds in compensation.

But the question is: how do we take this forward?

Some have suggested that a Subject Access Request under General Data Protection Regulations should be made to the Labour Party, along the lines described by Philip Proudfoot:

If you want to go that way, then feel free. But I have already been down this route with the Labour Party and, even after calling in the Information Commissioner’s Office – the regulator overseeing data protection in the UK – it took two years to get a reply, and even then it was only partial.

The ICO was toothless because it then told me that if I wanted to take any matter forward, I should do it myself, through the courts, as has also happened to Simon Vessey, here:

So This Writer’s preference is that a large number of those affected should unite and launch legal action within the civil courts.

Already, people are coming up with ideas about how this can be done. I like this:

And of course the Left Legal Fighting Fund exists, if I recall correctly, to help people with cases like this. If everybody affected got together via this new Labour Data Breach website, and then donated towards a single court action via https://www.fightingfund.org, we might all gain access to a simple – and cheap – way of achieving justice.

It’s also – I believe – the only way we’ll force Labour to explain exactly what has happened.

ADDITIONAL: Another friend has contacted a different law firm for advice and will report back on what they are told:

And apparently the law firm mentioned in the tweet below is interested in representing people affected by the data breach – among many others, it seems. I would have thought it would be more cost-effective to hire a single firm, collectively.

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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Benefits assessor pays off family of dead claimant – is this the new trend?

Death by DWP: Philippa Day.

Is this the new fashion for the Department for Work and Pensions and its privately-hired assessors: pay off the families of people who have died and sweep their cases under the carpet?

Philippa Day is the second deceased benefit claimant this week whose case is being ended with a payment by one of the organisations involved in pushing her to her death.

This time, benefit assessor Capita is paying up in an out-of-court settlement after Ms Day’s family started a lawsuit. In the other case, the DWP itself paid more than £16,000 to family members of another claimant after being ordered to do so by an Independent Case Examiner (ICE).

Coroner Gordon Clows delivered a damning indictment of Capita and the DWP at the inquest into Ms Day’s death in January this year.

He said her mental illness had been “exacerbated” by the way her benefits were processed: “Were it not for this problem, it is not likely that she would have [taken the act which ended her life].”

And he said a lot more. See This Site’s previous article – here – for all the damning details.

Now Capita is paying an undisclosed amount – out of court – meaning there will be no UK court verdict against the organisation or the Department for Work and Pensions to show that they drove a vulnerable woman to her death.

Do you think that is fair? I don’t.

Nor, it seems does solicitor Merry Varney, who acted for the Day family on behalf of law firm Leigh Day.

She said: “Capita has shown acceptance of their failures and a willingness to ensure their mistakes are not repeated, however there remain too many examples of the DWP, which controls the financial circumstances of the majority of people too sick to work, acting inhumanely to those receiving benefits and a continued resistance by the DWP to transparent investigations into benefit related deaths.

“Until the DWP changes its attitude, people like Philippa and her family remain at risk of gross human rights violations and ‘benefit related deaths’ are just another example of preventable deaths of people with disabilities occurring without any proper investigation or scrutiny.”

Somebody needs to take a court case through to the end. Otherwise the DWP and its assessment firms will keep dodging responsibility for the thousands of deaths they are causing.

Source: Capita pays compensation to family of woman who died after benefits cut | Welfare | The Guardian

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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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Who authorised this ‘circumstantial and inferential’ attack on alleged Labour whistleblowers?

Keir Starmer (left) and his general secretary David Evans: was this decision their idea?

After successfully fending off a court bid to name officers believed to have leaked a controversial internal report, Labour has named and accused five ex-staffers as part of its defence against others who are suing the party over the link. Wait – what?

The internal report, The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019, was originally intended to be a submission from the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which conducted an investigation into Labour anti-Semitism that concluded in October 2020, finding that the party was not institutionally anti-Semitic.

On legal advice, the report was not submitted to the EHRC – but it was instead leaked, in full, to the press and online, leading to court action by people named in the report.

This in turn led to two investigations by Labour – one by an independent external investigator and another by Martin Forde QC. Neither found evidence to prove that any of the five who have now been accused had anything to do with the leak. The Forde report has been delayed indefinitely after the Information Commissioner’s Office launched an investigation into the same leaks.

Labour’s latest move is beyond ridiculous. If This Writer understands the situation properly, Labour has already acknowledged to a court that there was no “smoking gun” evidence to prove who leaked the report, and the party’s solicitor stated that it “does not claim to know definitively and with absolute certainty the identity of the person(s) responsible”.

So why has it named Seumas Milne, Karie Murphy, Georgie Robertson, Harry Hayball and Laura Murray as being responsible for leaking the so-called “LabourLeaks” report?

According to solicitors Carter-Ruck, acting for the group, “To the extent that the Labour Party has explained its proposed action, it is clear that it will be naming the individuals in an attempt to deflect on to them its own liability in claims brought by a group of claimants who are suing the party over the leak as well as the party bringing a related claim direct against the five.”

On one level, this makes sense – because Keir Starmer and his general secretary David Evans have brought Labour to the brink of bankruptcy by losing a string of court cases related to the crusade against left-wing party members they have accused of anti-Semitism. Deflecting blame in the current case might seem a smart plan – right?

Except… if the five are able to employ super-expensive Carter-Ruck, then they’re not short of cash and are likely to get very high-quality advice. Not only will they “vigorously defend” themselves in court and seek full reimbursement of their costs, but according to “well-placed sources

the five individuals are “considering bringing legal claims against the party over its victimisation of them and for breach of their confidentiality”.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the five said:

“The individuals entirely reject these baseless claims. They did not leak the report. They fully cooperated with the party’s investigation by an independent external investigator, and with
the inquiry led by Martin Forde QC. They understand that neither of those investigations concluded that they were responsible.

“The party has already acknowledged in court that it cannot be certain who leaked the report and that its “case” against them is circumstantial. But it is now trying to make them foot the bill for legal action brought against it.

“The party should be focussing on the deeply troubling evidence contained with the leaked report, rather than trying to wrongly scapegoat and victimise former staff who documented it, and who have not been accused by either of the independent investigations.”

The situation is particularly interesting to me because, when I was still a Labour member, an internal party report libellously accusing me of Holocaust denial was leaked to the press. When I took the party to court over its treatment of me, Labour’s representatives repeatedly asserted that they could not identify the officer responsible for the leak. I am agog to learn how the party linked these five to this leak when it couldn’t connect anybody with mine. Expedience?

And if you thought that was the punchline, think again:

Decisions on matters like this are so important that they should properly be submitted to a vote by the party’s governing body, the National Executive Committee. But here’s NEC member Mish Rahman:

I think we know who made this unilateral decision. It seems they had no authority to do so.

With such potential for disastrous consequences for Labour’s finances, isn’t this a good reason for disciplinary – and indeed even expulsion – procedures against the culprit(s)?

Finally, there’s the elephant in the room:

Lots of us – including Jon Trickett, who wrote Labour’s submission to the Forde Report and can see the way the wind is blowing. So he is considering some unilateral action of his own:

Oh, and former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell – who was part of the Labour leadership at the time – agrees.

So there’s a fairly clear path forward for Labour:

Withdraw the claims against the “Carter-Ruck Five”, divulge who decided to make them and submit those people to disciplinary action/expulsion. Publish the Forde Report.

But…

I think we all know those are forlorn hopes.

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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Riley libel trial: there’s only one way to beat these online bullies

A nasty incident occurred while I was discussing the Labour Party conference on Twitter earlier this week.

An online supporter of Rachel Riley butted into the thread to threaten me, although it might not seem obvious from his words:

He was implying that, when I am defeated in court by Rachel Riley, the cost will be so much that I will have to sell my house to pay it off – or give it to Riley.

People like him have been saying it since early 2019 when I was first threatened with litigation.

One one level it is a completely false threat because I rent, but that doesn’t stop them.

My response, as you can see, was to throw it back in his face; I’m more likely to win than she is, and her costs would be equally high.

On another level, of course, it is psychological intimidation. I could lose the case, and if I do, I will not have the wherewithal to pay a huge combined costs and damages bill.

And I still have to get the case into court. At the moment, even that is looking decidedly dicey as donations have plummetted.

It is the easiest way for Riley to win, of course – for me to be unable to defend myself because I cannot afford to pay my legal team.

I need around £60,000 more than I have, if I’m to be in a comfortable position – and although I’m not expecting the trial to happen until next spring, that time will creep up on us surprisingly fast.

And in September the crowdfund increased by £2,000. A good figure! But not enough if that trend continues.

If I can’t fund my defence at trial, everything we have achieved so far will be for nothing.

I know you don’t want that.

And I certainly don’t think you want that odious Twitter troll to have the last laugh!

So, please, if you can afford it:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

I know it’s a lot to ask, especially as this case is now well into its third year. But this is a fight for justice, against those who think they can buy it because they have more money.

I can’t change the system so I’m hoping that we can change their minds.

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook