Tag Archives: exclusion

Karma: Vicious false anti-Semitism screamer is targeted for exclusion by Labour

Kieron Monks (left) and Gary Spedding (right): they didn’t let the facts get in the way of a rotten story about me in 2018. Now that Mr Spedding is accused, will he finally admit he was wrong about me?

Back in 2018, This Writer was targeted with a series of vicious – and false – accusations of anti-Semitism by the fake charity ‘Campaign Against Antisemitism’. The claims were sent to the Labour Party and as a result I was subjected to the party’s kangaroo court disciplinary system and eventually expelled under false pretences.

While that was going on, I was also subjected to shocking abuse by people who were not directly involved in the allegations or investigation but who may be described as “fellow travellers”.

For example, the article to which Kieron Monks’s tweet (below) links repeated one of the false allegations against me.

I stepped in to point out the inaccuracy. At the time, I considered it best to counter the accusations wherever I found them. The response was a false interpretation of my words, in which what I said was edited in order to misrepresent me:

I pointed out the omission:

This was not good enough for the author of the article, but he only gave me another opportunity to clarify the fact:

(Strangely, none of my accusers ever wanted to acknowledge that the incident under discussion happened in 2003 or thereabouts. If Tony Blair had been influenced by a cabal of any kind, it would have become public knowledge long before, and my response to the question about it was made in that context – we all knew that the claim was false.)

Enter one Gary Spedding. His false accusation is undermined by the fact that he published a screenshot of my words, clearly showing that I had been telling the truth and that Mr Monks had not:

I tried to reason with him but he wouldn’t have it – repeatedly accusing me of anti-Semitism:

It seems clear to me that his claim was false, vicious, and intended to harm my reputation and, by extension, my income as a political writer in my own right.

We know his claim was false – libellous, in fact. A Labour Party officer (I still don’t know who it was) leaked the accusations against me to The Sunday Times and they were published in early 2018… and then in early 2019, the same paper had to publish a lengthy correction after IPSO found the allegation to be inaccurate.

I couldn’t sue him, though, because I don’t have the cash to carry out libel litigation. And it is unlikely that he’s worth enough to make it worthwhile.

Labour was later found by a court to have ignored its own regulations for investigating party members in order to justify expelling me.

So that was the end of it.

Now Mr Spedding himself is facing expulsion by the Labour Party – under a trumped-up accusation, but not one of anti-Semitism – and look how his tune has changed!

His statement says: “I am not feeling too well still after the death of my father in late May 2021 and I have chosen to take a break from politics generally to focus on spending time with my family.”

Fine words from a man who had absolutely no interest in the emotional well-being of his victim, back in 2018. I had been battling false accusations for nearly two years by the time he made his attack, and his only reaction to that was to intensify the pressure.

“I didn’t want to face the backlash, bullying and ridicule…”

But he had been quite happy to dish it out.

“… that is now rampant in the Labour Party thanks to the atmosphere of intimidation and fear under Keir Starmer’s leadership.”

The only reason Keir Starmer is leader of the Labour Party now is that people like Mr Spedding spent five years undermining former leader Jeremy Corbyn and his followers with accusations like those he made against me; I was known to be a supporter of Mr Corbyn so the attack on me made him look bad too.

He supported the atmosphere of intimidation and fear imposed on victims of the Governance and Legal Unit whose work, it seems clear, was also intended to undermine the then-Labour leader.

“However, I have no decided to speak out after much deliberation so as to highlight just how ludicrous my own case is and to join in solidarity with others who are facing similar disgusting attacks from within the Labour Party machine.”

The case against This Writer was also ludicrous – but he supported it to the hilt.

And now that he has been accused, he wants to “join in solidarity” with other people in the same situation.

It’s a bit late for that.

Also, given his previous behaviour, I doubt his motivation.

I envy the generosity of people like the owner of the @leftworks1 Twitter account, who is able to protest against Labour’s treatment of Mr Spedding as much as against the party’s treatment of me.

But actions can go a long way towards changing minds.

I notice that Mr Spedding is seeking a formal apology from Labour. But he has never made a formal apology to me, even after his claims against me were shown to be false.

If he really means what he is saying, then I think it would be reasonable for him to make a full and formal apology to me for the wrong that he did to me in 2018.

It seems a reasonable request. We can all gauge his sincerity from his response.

UPDATE: It didn’t take long for the response to turn up:

Right, we’ve got our answer. This guy is toxic. We shouldn’t give him a moment of our time. Whatever happens to him, he doesn’t deserve any help at all.

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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Labour tries to stop Pamela Fitzpatrick talking about her case. Bit late now…

How did Keir Starmer’s team think this was going to help?

Pamela Fitzpatrick is the former Labour general secretary candidate who is in danger of being expelled from the party because she gave an interview to Socialist Appeal, more than a year ago.

Socialist Appeal has since been proscribed, meaning none of its members can be members of the Labour Party.

Apparently the reason for the proscription was that Socialist Appeal js a political organisation other than an official Labour group or another unit of the party.

On that basis, I look forward to seeing proscription decisions against Labour To Win, Unite (or indeed any trade union), the Jewish Labour Movement and any number of other organisations that have affiliated with or otherwise supported Labour over the years.

As grounds for excluding an organisation from the Labour community, it is utter nonsense.

And people are realising that, if Keir Starmer and his mob are concentrating on attacking members of their own party, they’re giving the government – against whom Labour is supposed to be the official Opposition – carte blanche to do anything it wants.

Indeed.

And the “guilt by association” aspect – used to such effect (at least in party disciplinary circles) has already worn too thin for Labour to expect anybody to give it any credibility now:

In fact, let’s be honest: people aren’t putting up with it any more.

Where This Writer, four years ago, was willing to give the disciplinary process the benefit of the doubt and let it run its course, people like Pamela Fitzpatrick have seen what happened to me (and many others), and won’t be railroaded the same way.

She has put Keir Starmer on notice that if his party continues to push for her to be excluded, she’ll take court action against him.

And she’s not alone:

Good idea!

If I wasn’t so busy paying for a court case against Rachel Riley, I’d contribute. As it is, I would certainly encourage anybody facing this persecution to band together and hand Labour its posterior on a plate.

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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Starmer ridiculed again over retrospective exclusion of Labour members. Here are some great takedowns

Shamed: keep your eyes down, Keir – otherwise you’ll read another tweet taking you down.

Earlier this week, members of the public were scandalised to learn that former Labour General Secretary candidate Pamela Fitzpatrick is being threatened with auto-exclusion from the party, because she gave an interview to now-proscribed organisation Socialist Appeal.

She did it more than a year ago, when it was not proscribed and she had no reason to believe it ever would be.

Obviously, Labour’s position is ridiculous. The threat against Ms Fitzpatrick should be dropped and a fulsome apology issued. The party has put itself in yet another humiliating position.

But critics have decided that it’s not bad enough, and have provided their own contribution to the debate. Let’s enjoy some of them.

If This Writer hadn’t been kicked out of Labour for being an impartial political journalist, I might be worried.

They can’t get me on the Blockbuster rap but I fear my record on Rolos, and membership of the Tufty Club, may have mitigated against me.

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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Do parents even know their children’s school data has been given away?

140426schooldata

Fellow blogger and Vox Political reader Owen Boswarva has delivered frightening proof of the way parents have been sidelined by Michael Gove’s Department for Education, in order to give away – not even sell – confidential information about our children to private companies.

Mr Boswarva said he had written a blog post about the issue last year, in which he stated his concern about “the low profile of DfE’s NPD initiative. Most of the consultation responses are from organisations with an interest in re-using the data, leavened by some cautionary advice from civil society groups. There are only a couple of responses from schools and a half-dozen or so responses from individual parents (consistently opposed to the proposals).” [Emphasis mine]

“There appears to have been no concerted effort to bring the consultation or the NPD initiative to the attention of parents or pupils (i.e. the data subjects themselves). This is a quote from one of the parents who did respond: ‘I am shocked and appalled that I wasn’t notified about this consultation through my child’s school — I read about it on Twitter of all things. A letter should have gone to every single parent explaining the proposals and how to respond to this consultation.’

“(Now imagine that sentiment amplified via Mumsnet …)”

His full article is available here and makes absorbing reading as it features all of the responses to what the DfE (laughably) called its “consultation”.

In his comment to VP, Mr Boswarva wrote: “Some civil liberties organisations (including Big Brother Watch) did respond to the DfE consultation… The implemented access regime is not quite as bad as the original proposals, but I agree we should be concerned.

“For me the main issue is that parents (and pupils themselves, who are the actual data subjects) are unaware of how the personal data is being shared with third-party organisations.

“There was no press release or any other broad communication to the public when access to NPD data was expanded. (It’s worth noting that most of the broadsheets [newspapers] have been given access to Tier 2 pupil data themselves, so they are probably not keen to rock the boat.)

“If you want to get into the detail of what DfE is up to with the NPD, try this Deloitte report: National Pupil Database: Exploiting the benefits of releasing the data.”

I have yet to do so (time being against me) but I invite any readers with an interest to download the report, go through it, and report your findings.

I’m off to find a contact address for Mumsnet.

Addendum: I’ve amended this article after Mr Boswarva contacted me to point out that the DfE isn’t, in fact, selling pupil information – the department is giving it away for free. In my opinion this makes its actions even worse. What do you think? (Thanks are due to Mr Boswarva, whose full communication should appear in the comment column below.)

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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School pupils’ details are being given away by the government

Selling their future: Michael Gove's Department for Education has put pupils' confidential information up for sale.

Selling their future: Michael Gove’s Department for Education has put pupils’ confidential information up for sale.

Thanks are due to the Vox Political reader who flagged up the fact that, while plans to sell British citizens’ health records and tax details are currently delayed or in consideration, confidential information about our children is already being passed on to private companies.

Researchers and third-party organisations can apply for detailed information from the national pupil database (NPD), covering pupils at schools and colleges in England.

This includes test and exam results, details of prior attainment and progression at different key stages for pupils in the state sector, attainment data for students in non-maintained special schools, sixth-form and further education colleges, and information on pupils in independent schools, where available.

The database also includes information about pupils’ characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, first language, eligibility for free school meals, special educational needs (SEN), and pupil absence and exclusions.

Why would anyone want to use such information commercially?

Extracts of this data are available for use by any organisation or person who, “for the purpose of promoting the education or well-being of children in England”, are conducting research or analysis, producing statistics, or providing information, advice or guidance. To whom?

The available data is arranged into ‘tiers’, as follows:

  • Tier 1 – the most sensitive personal information
  • Tier 2 – other sensitive personal information, including less sensitive versions of tier 1 data
  • Tier 3 – school-level data
  • Tier 4 – other pupil-level data, for example, attainment, absence and exclusions

Users can even request bespoke extracts, with a member of the NPD Data Request team on hand to advise on the approvals process, and whether the information requested is available.

The NPD is also linked to the further and higher education sectors, using data from the individualised learner record (ILR) and Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record.

Users can request linked information in the following combinations:

  • NPD linked to ILR data
  • NPD linked to HESA student record
  • NPD linked to both ILR and HESA
  • Individualised learner record linked to HESA student record

You will not be consulted on whether you wish to allow your child’s information to be given away.

This means a huge amount of information about your children is now available to third parties and – considering the government guidance note from which this information is drawn is almost a month old – may already have been handed over.

Confidential information on – for example – exam and test results, special educational needs, absence and exclusions, and eligibility for free school meals could have a serious impact on a pupil’s prospects in adult life, if used to inform organisations that are hiring school leavers, for example.

There are safeguards. Organisations requesting information need to demonstrate that they comply with all relevant requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, including proving that they are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office to process personal data or fall within an exemption, have appropriate security arrangements in place to process the data, intend to use the data only for a specified purpose, will keep the data only for a specified length of time, and will not share the data without our prior written approval.

Considering this government’s track record, how safe does that make you feel?

If you want to read the guidance note yourself, it may be found here.

Addendum: I’ve amended this article after Owen Boswarva contacted me to point out that the DfE isn’t, in fact, selling pupil information – the department is giving it away for free. In my opinion this makes its actions even worse. What do you think?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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