Tag Archives: dogpile

Why is Brian Cox getting flak for pointing out that our fascist government uses fascist language?

Brian Cox: This Site doesn’t always agree with him but he’s right about people who use phrases like “the will of the people”. There’s no such thing, and people who speak in such absolute terms are fascists.

The Daily Express‘s attack on Professor Brian Cox isn’t part of Boris Johnson’s “war on ‘woke'” – it’s an endorsement of the Johnson government’s fascism.

Normally This Writer wouldn’t leap to defend Prof Cox; he knows the score on the social media and he’s big enough to stand up for himself – but this non-story by a right-wing rag demonstrates an important topical point.

It refers to the broadcaster’s response after Priti Patel said – way back in August last year – that denying refugees access to the UK was the will of the British people.

It isn’t – it isn’t even the will of the majority. And even the minority who support Johnsons fascists might be divided after learning how Patel treats people who manage to get here.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about the concentration camp that turned into a Covid-19 breeding ground, and last week we learned that she had tried to deport a witness to a death in another Home Office facility, in an attempt to undermine an investigation that would show that the government had contributed to the death.

But there it was in black and white. Patel stated: “We need the cooperation of the French to intercept boats and return migrants back to France. I know that when the British people say they want to take back control of our borders – this is exactly what they mean.”

Professor Cox responded: “I’m so sick of this ‘the British people’ nonsense.

“It’s inflammatory and divisive and also errant vacuous nonsense with no meaning in a multi-party democracy.

“The phrase should be banned from political discourse.”

There is a valid criticism to be made about these words – and it is that they do not address exactly why those words are problematic.

Fortunately, he followed up with a further comment, in order to remove any doubt:

“The point is that invoking ‘the will of the people’ or derivatives in promoting policy is a well-rehearsed propaganda technique and has no place in our democratic dialogue.”

(Here’s the proof of what he said)

He was right; it is; it has.

But because the Express dredged up this moment in a current news story, suddenly he has been on the receiving end of a huge gammon-flavoured dogpile by the kind of “British people” who think that their far-right views are shared by everybody.

That’s not what “right-thinking” really means, folks.

Fortunately, plenty of genuinely right-thinking people have stood up to defend Professor Cox, and to point out that the Express article is built around a misinterpretation of his words that is no more or less than a lie.

I want to know why the article’s writers and editors of the Express were trying to distract us with this dead cat. What have the Tories done that needs this to take our minds off it?

Source: Brian Cox called for ban on using ‘British people’ term during woke revolt | UK | News | Express.co.uk

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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Support Caroline: she’s launched a crowdfunder for court action against ‘celebrities’ who libelled her

A woman who was flamed off Twitter for expressing a perfectly reasonable opinion has launched a crowdfund to support legal action against the perpetrators.

Caroline Eastell, who posts as @LouLouFell on the social media platform, suffered vile abuse from the actress Tracy-Ann Oberman and other “celebrity” Twitter users, simply because she said she didn’t enjoy seeing Oberman in a TV drama.

Here’s what Caroline wrote:

“It’s a sin was doing so well then I saw Tracy Ann Oberman left a bad taste in my mouth … trying to quickly forget I’ve seen her.”

Oberman’s response:

“Caroline do you think that YOU may be one of those intolerant bigots that Russell is talking about in #itsasin

“Seems you’ve missed the entire point of the series. You and the rest of this thread. Oh dear. @cst @UKLabour @LabourAgainstAS”

As I explained at the time: “The @ tags at the end of Oberman’s tweet are significant. She was tagging in the Community Security Trust and Labour Against Anti-Semitism – both highly vocal self-proclaimed crusaders against anti-Semitism (although both could equally well be described as witch-hunters against people targeted with false claims) along with the Labour Party, because ‘Caroline’ could be seen holding a Labour membership card in her profile picture.

“The implication is clear: Oberman wanted to brand ‘Caroline’ an anti-Semite and she wanted to bring Labour’s attention to it. In order to provoke disciplinary action, perhaps? Because this person had expressed an opinion about her appearance in a TV show. Overkill?”

Use of those tags seems to have worked, as attention was attracted to Caroline’s tweet and she suffered a humiliating and entirely undeserved dogpile. Eventually, Twitter suspended her account – even though she had done nothing wrong. Expressing an opinion about an actress does not justify a ban.

Some of the abuse she received might have been enough for those responsible to have been banned themselves, though – but they are “blue-tick” Twitter users and therefore seem to be above the rules.

Perhaps that is the reason Caroline has decided to take the matter to court. She has launched a crowdfunding page for this purpose and I would urge Vox Political readers to support her if possible. She writes:

As a consequence of being defamed on social media, I have decided to make a stand and instruct libel solicitors to take action against the abuse that I received.

But I can’t do it on my own, I need your financial support.

Those who  attacked me are more powerful and continue to act with impunity.

So please stand with me, It is only when we stand together that we beat them.

Oberman threatened to sue This Writer for libel when I published an article pointing out the way she harassed a teenage girl with mental health problems, on Twitter. Eventually she left the legal action to her pal Rachel Riley, and I had to launch my own crowdfund. So far, it has raised – and spent – more than an eighth of a million pounds, and the court battle is still going on.

But I would not have been able to fight at all, without that support.

So I agree that it is only by standing together that ordinary people like Caroline and myself can have any hope of defeating the super-rich in a court system that pays more attention to money than to evidence.

Please support Caroline. Details of her page are below.

Source: Fundraiser by Caroline Eastell : I Stand with Caroline.

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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Why did ‘celebrity’ Twitter users force suspension of ordinary woman? Because they could

Some of you have been kind enough to notice that This Writer’s @MidWalesMike account has been in the Twitter sin bin since the beginning of the month because somebody didn’t like one of my articles about the court case against Rachel Riley.

That is dangerous enough – it’s clearly an attempt to create a “chilling” effect on my crowdfunding (that, fortunately, has failed – the fund has nearly raised £125,000 since it started nearly two years ago).

But now I read that another Twitter user, who apparently has no public profile at all (she’s not a celebrity or a journalist/blogger or a member of the commentatorati), has found her account suspended, simply for expressing her dislike of an actress.

The actress in question was Tracy-Ann Oberman, who apparently searches the social media platform for any adverse comment about her. Spotting this one, it seems she claimed that the lady in question had to be an anti-Semite, even though no part of the view she expressed in her tweet conveyed any such sentiment. See for yourself:

“It’s a sin was doing so well then I saw Tracy Ann Oberman left a bad taste in my mouth … trying to quickly forget I’ve seen her.”

“Caroline do you think that YOU may be one of those intolerant bigots that Russell is talking about in #itsasin

“Seems you’ve missed the entire point of the series. You and the rest of this thread. Oh dear. @cst @UKLabour @LabourAgainstAS”

The @ tags at the end of Oberman’s tweet are significant. She was tagging in the Community Security Trust and Labour Against Anti-Semitism – both highly vocal self-proclaimed crusaders against anti-Semitism (although both could equally well be described as witch-hunters against people targeted with false claims) along with the Labour Party, because ‘Caroline’ could be seen holding a Labour membership card in her profile picture.

The implication is clear: Oberman wanted to brand ‘Caroline’ an anti-Semite and she wanted to bring Labour’s attention to it. In order to provoke disciplinary action, perhaps? Because this person had expressed an opinion about her appearance in a TV show. Overkill?

No. Overkill is what followed. Oberman’s tweet led to a dogpile so vile that even some of its participants later withdrew their comments and apologised.

I won’t go into the details but you can read about it on Zelo Street if you like.

Then – apparently after pressure from the usual cohort of “blue tick” celebrities – ‘Caroline’ had her Twitter account suspended.

I repeat that she had not expressed a single opinion that was not well within her right. If she doesn’t like Tracy-Ann Oberman, it is not for Tracy-Ann Oberman to take offence and have her hounded off of Twitter. For all Tracy-Ann Oberman knew, ‘Caroline’ had perfectly good reasons for disliking her.

Those reasons don’t have to be restricted to her acting, either. I refer to her “clitoris” comment in response to David Quantick, and her (clearly racist, in my opinion) “Is Ping Pong the Thai help?” query in response to a tweet from Liz Hurley that her parrot had spoken in human language for the first time.

Nevertheless, Tracy-Ann Oberman reacted the way she did, and now an innocent member of the public has been hounded off of Twitter.

You may be wondering why Tracy-Ann Oberman feels justified in having acted as she did. I’ll tell you the answer:

Because there is a court ruling that says she cannot be held to account for it.

It’s the ruling of Mrs Justice Collins Rice in the case brought by Oberman’s friend Rachel Riley against This Writer.

Riley’s legal team had put forward an argument that she could not possibly be held responsible for the behaviour of her followers, who abused and harassed a teenage girl with mental health problems who had had the temerity to criticise her for accusing Owen Jones (and Jeremy Corbyn) of anti-Semitism.

Riley had tagged celebrities, politicians and so-called activists against anti-Semitism into her tweets responding to the girl, who had received many hundreds of responses critical of her as a result – forcing her to quit Twitter several times for the sake of her mental health.

But the judge agreed that Riley was not responsible. Her ruling means nobody else can be, either.

And this is the result.

It is hugely damaging – not only for the safety of people like ‘Caroline’, but for everybody’s Article 10 right to Freedom of Expression according to the Human Rights Act (she was hounded off the platform for expressing an opinion about an actress, remember).

It also contradicts the intentions of Online Harms legislation that is due to pass through Parliament soon. Part of the proposed law would make participation in online dogpiles a criminal offence with serious penalties attached.

As everybody should be aware by now, I have appealed against Mrs Justice Collins Rice’s ruling.

I hope that judges at the Court of Appeal agree that it has created the opportunity for significant harm – and has already caused such harm in the case of ‘Caroline’.

If so, then we may also hope that the ruling is rescinded and the Obermans of this world lose their legal protection.

My case is still going on, I am still crowdfunding to pay its costs, and you are invited to contribute in the time-honoured ways:

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.

If you haven’t donated before, perhaps this story will encourage you.

After all, they might come for you next.

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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Burley’s whataboutery fails to get Kuenssberg off the hook

The editor of the BBC’s live politics programmes, including Politics Live, has made a fool of himself trying to defend Laura Kuenssberg.

Ms Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, caused the father of a sick one-week-old girl to be dogpiled by supporters of Conservative prime minister Boris Johnson (yes, apparently some still exist) when she tweeted that Omar Salem was a “Labour activist”.

The backlash was severe and deserved.

In rushed Rob Burley, who edits BBC TV shows which feature Ms Kuenssberg, to tweet the following:

It’s a very interesting point, coming as it does from the editor of a show that has the opportunity to provide information about the political views of people appearing on Politics Live every weekday and also on Sundays, but doesn’t.

This Writer anticipates a flurry of tweets outing the guests on that show, from now on.

Today (September 20), the show’s listing suggests that panellists will include Sherelle Jacobs (Telegraph columnist, rabidly Leave-supporting), Liam Halligan (Sunday Telegraph economics columnist, right-wing), Zing Tsjeng (executive editor of Vice UK, which refused to recognise the National Union of Journalists when its employees voted to unionise – even though the company’s branches in the US had unionised), and Trevor Phillips (former EHRC chairman, Blairite Labour). Will any of them be listed as such?

And what about Ms Kuenssberg’s own political views? They must also be “part of the picture” and it would be “perfectly proper” for Mr Burley to provide that information. Perhaps he had not carried out his own “thought experiment”, as he has never done so.

What about Jo Coburn’s political loyalties, or Andrew Neil’s? Or Faisal Islam’s, as he was set to host Politics Live today?

And of course Mr Burley failed to acknowledge that Ms Kuenssberg had flagged up Mr Salem’s Twitter address to her followers with the message “This is him!”, so they all knew who to dogpile.

https://twitter.com/krustysghost/status/1174453137727479808

At the very least, as Mike Harding points out, it’s “whataboutery”:

And it was also a successful bid to drag attention away from the issue that Mr Salem had raised – the diabolical underfunding of the National Health Service, endangering the lives of newborn children, by a government of hypocrites who then used it for a photo opportunity to pretend that everything is hunky-dory.

While Mr Salem has been dogpiled and Ms Kuenssberg reviled, Boris Johnson has sailed away, back into his “la-la land” of lies.

When will he be challenged over the issues raised by Mr Salem?

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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Kuenssberg the troll: She started a Twitter dogpile on the father of a sick child

Laura Kuenssberg: Rather than report on deficiencies at an NHS hospital caused by Tory underfunding, she triggered a Twitter dogpile on a member of the public who challenge Boris Johnson about it.

Standards of journalism at the BBC slipped to a new low yesterday when political editor Laura Kuenssberg outed a man who challenged Boris Johnson over falling NHS standards as a “Labour activist” – triggering a Twitter dogpile on this man.

Apparently it did not matter to Ms Kuenssberg that Omar Salem was the father of a sick seven-day-old girl and had been terribly worried about his daughter’s well-being. She considered it far more important that the world should know he has campaigned for the Labour Party in the past.

Mark’s question is valid. What was Ms Kuenssberg trying to say, exactly? And if it was as he suggested, then should she not be hauled up before the BBC board and sacked on the spot?

It is not the place of any journalist – even the BBC’s political editor – to heap more stress upon the father of a sick child who is only seven days old.

Or, put more succinctly: who the hell does Kuenssberg think she is?

It seems she has not noticed that a campaign was launched earlier this week, calling for people to report the activities of those who troll innocent members of the public in exactly the way she has done.

And consider this: Even a doctor at the hospital has written about the shortfall in care there:

I was one of the doctors who met Boris Johnson today. This was a highly staged press event in a newly refurbished hospital ward at Whipps Cross hospital where the prime minister met a few select members of staff and patients. This event completely brushed over the harsh realities of this chronically underfunded, understaffed and poorly resourced hospital.

I’m so glad that Omar Salem said the things he did. He was just telling the truth about what it is like to be on the receiving end of poor staffing levels and under-resourcing.

Whipps Cross is particularly understaffed and under-resourced so people don’t get the care that they need as promptly as they need.

And this visit was not reflective of the realities of working at this hospital. Johnson was taken to the nicest ward in the hospital; there were flowers on display and classical music was playing in the background. I wish the prime minister could have seen some of the other wards, which are nothing like what he saw today. He should come on a night shift and see how everything doesn’t function at two in the morning.

There are not enough staff on any level – nursing, physiotherapy, doctors. It is just chronically understaffed. The building is falling to pieces. It is either too cold or too hot. I could go on and on.

I love medicine, but you just can’t do your job properly. You don’t have time to talk to patients or families. Everybody is really demoralised. There’s no point in complaining because you know nothing will be done.

Isn’t this exactly what Omar Salem was saying?

But Ms Kuenssberg turned it around and made it all about him being a “Labour activist”. And what does that mean, exactly?

I think she – and the BBC – has a huge amount of explaining to do.

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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Mrs Mike’s emotional support for Vox Political writer against Riley lawsuit

Yes: It’s the “truth v money” clip-art again. Live with it. I have to.

Those of you who follow my Vox Political website will be aware that I am a carer for a person with a long term illness and disabilities – and I have to report that she isn’t happy.

I don’t think there’s much to say beyond her own words, so here she is:

“Woke up bad after Mike got his letter saying Rachel Riley is taking him to court for standing up for a teenage girl she bullied.

“All I was thinking was what if he loses, what’s going to happen to us, and it brought me down. It made me feel very anxious, on top of my own problems, and I just felt crap.

“I thought, I’ve been doing better every day lately, now I’ve come down again and it’s putting extra strain on things but I’m also angry about people calling Mike a liar.

“He always checks the facts and he always does what’s right so when I woke up I talked to him about it, and he asked if I wanted him to give up. NO!

“I’m too angry with her and the fact that she can’t see what she’s doing wrong.”

So there you have it.

Mrs Mike suffers with anxiety-related illnesses – so she sympathises with the teenager Ms Riley bullied for obvious reasons.

I was grateful when she said I must keep fighting – more so when she started getting responses like this:

“I’ve never known Mike to lie about anything ever + I’ve known him about 15-20yrs he’s a good + kind man luv to u both xx”

But I need funds, otherwise my fight will fall flat.

It’s only two days since Ms Riley filed court proceedings against me and already my appeal is nearly £5,000 richer – but libel cases are fantastically expensive.

I hate to ask for more because it seems too much to ask, but there’s nothing else for it. Get ready for the hard sell:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

You have already shown me that you want me to keep fighting.

I need to be able to take this fight to the finish.

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’s followers try to ‘dogpile’ Mike over CrowdJustice page

Rachel Riley’s followers really hate this clip-art image illustrating that she is trying to use her overwhelming wealth to block justice.

In my previous update, I drew your attention to the fact that Rachel Riley’s solicitor reckons my CrowdJustice page is an “aggravating” factor in the libel she reckons I have committed against her.

This information comes in a letter that doesn’t actually assert that any of my claims about her are untrue.

Apparently my mention of the facts of the case here means the upset and harm caused to her was “greatly exacerbated”.

It’s nice to know this page is so popular (and it certainly does seem to be, as I’ll explain shortly).

Her supporters’ club – a network of Twitter trolls, mostly anonymous – was certainly watching when I reported that Ms Riley had filed proceedings against me. And they were desperate to put people off donating to my cause.

“Hey if you want to prove a fool and his money are easily separated then fund this racist who was expelled from labour. That’s right to [sic] antisemitic even for them,” tweeted an anonymous troll calling him/herself ‘The Caped Joo Sader. And he tagged in Ms Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman for good measure.

It was an obvious attempt to discourage you from helping me – and part of an attempted ‘dogpile’ – in which a co-ordinated group of Twitter trolls gang up on a victim and abuse that person in such a way that no response is possible.

And it failed spectacularly.

My appeal has gained more than £3,000 – in hundreds of new donations – in the slightly-more-than-24-hours since my last report.

I think the reason is clear from the following comment, made by a donor who shall remain heroic: “Solidarity! More people are rooting for you than you’ll ever hear about.”

I’m extremely grateful for every penny – and I need them all. With the next stage of this affair likely to cost more than £20,000 alone, I need at least another £13,000 to mount an effective defence.

So I have to repeat my appeal:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

Ms Riley wants to claim damages of £50,000, with more than £100,000 likely in costs – for the heinous crime of telling the world what she has done. Let’s send her a clear message in response.

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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