Tag Archives: free speech

Another great month – but Vox Political needs your support to keep dishing out the hits

Last month’s appeal for donations to help keep Vox Political on your screens helped a lot.

It hasn’t made This Writer rich but it helped get us through the month.

This Site remains at the nadir of popularity that many of us in the social media assume is due to platforms like Facebook, YouTube and X (formerly Twitter) suppressing the circulation of our posts and links.

So I need to repeat the appeal.

Last month, Vox Political dared to challenge the consensus on Israel’s assault on Gaza – here.

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This Site continued to debunk the false propaganda around the Israel/Hamas conflict – here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. There really was a lot of rubbish to wade through, wasn’t there?

The Covid inquiry was covered in as much depth as we are being allowed to see – here, here, and here.

This Site correctly pointed out the faults in criticism of the Armistice Day peace march before it happened – here, and here – and covered both the march and the far-right desecration of the cenotaph in Whitehall that people like Suella Braverman stoked – here.

The latest attacks on Gary Lineker for daring to discuss politics were debunked – here and here.

The latest lies about migration into the UK were debunked here.

And the biggest hit of the month was a piece speculating on whether Rosie Duffield was getting her just desserts for supporting the nonsense anti-Semitism claims against Jeremy Corbyn – here.

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A reader last month suggested a continuing donation of £4 per month, in the belief that if 1,000 of you – and there are still more than 1,000 of you – made similar regular donations, This Writer could earn a fairly good living. I’m all for that, because then I wouldn’t have to take as many adverts for the site, too.

I won’t ask you to replicate that reader’s other generous act, which was to pay me the equivalent of a year’s worth of such payments in arrears (but it would be gratefully received).

Please also share this article on your own social media!

Your contribution – in any way – could be invaluable.


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Support free speech; support factual information; support Vox Political

Help get the word out: small social media informers like Vox Political are being squeezed out of readers’ newsfeeds. Help us keep going.

There seems to be a quiet war going on – one that is being waged between social media informers like Vox Political and powerful political and media forces, with social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) as the battleground.

The aim of the big guns is to stop you from receiving information you need to know, to feed you on mis- or disinformation, thereby making you compliant with false narratives about events taking place in the world that might affect you.

For example: “influencers” on the social media are still claiming that Hamas “beheaded babies” during the October 7 attack that provoked Israel’s genocidal response against the civilians of Gaza. This is not true – and Vox Political was one of the first to point this out in this article, published on October 11.

I’m willing to bet that, even if you were subscribed to Vox Political on your favourite social media platform, many of you never saw a single link to that article. Did you?

In this articleVox Political told you about Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s attempt to fool the world that an online biography of a failed bomber was a manual about how to make chemical weapons. Did you know it existed? No?

How about this one, in which This Site revealed that Israeli Defence Force personnel have been killing Israeli civilians and blaming the deaths on Hamas?

No?

You’re missing a lot.

Today alone, I commented on Yemen’s declaration of war against Israel, and on Israel’s decision to bomb innocent men, women and children at refugee camps in Gaza.

Yesterday I speculated on the reason Hamas launched its October 7 attack in the first place.

These are all great articles – from which vast numbers of interested readers are being diverted.

Why?

To put people like This Writer out of business, so we can’t tell you what’s really going on.

Or so it seems to me. Take a look around and tell me if you honestly think I’m being paranoid about this.

If not, then This Site could really do with your help.

With readership being pushed through the floor, advertising revenue is going the same way.

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Is this evidence that the UK government has been restricting free speech online?

This is damn peculiar.

Last night I was very tired and went to bed early, so there were no new stories to boost the Vox Political site’s hit count overnight. But I just checked site stats and have already had more hits than I had in the whole of yesterday.

Checking the stats, I see the vast majority of hits are for the home page – at the time of writing, 1,786. Top article has 180. Top REFERRER is Twitter, for the first time in years, with 817 views – but checking Twitter’s (well, ‘X’ now) own analytics, it shows 0 new tweets, 46 impressions and 2 link clicks.

So where are all these hits coming from?

Do you think it might have something to do with the Freedom of Information request I sent to two government departments a week ago?

It asked whether the government had written to the social media platforms, asking them to restrict Vox Political’s reach – the number of people able to see links to my site and its articles.

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On Thursday, I had a response asking me to narrow down my request – to cover particular dates and types of communication.

I had a think about it and sent an email yesterday (Sunday, October 22) at 10.37pm, agreeing to limit my request to communications sent between the government and social media platforms during 2023.

According to my stats, the increase in my hit count started around five or six hours ago, at the start of the working day today.

Does it seem to you that, having received my response, officials made a change of some kind that made it possible for more people to see Vox Political?

And does it seem to you that my experience shows that the UK’s government is restricting free speech in the UK – for no reason other than political advantage?


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Crackdown on support for Palestine as Western ‘democracies’ ban free speech

Protesters in France defy the ban on support for Palestine. It seems the French authorities broke up the demonstration, attacking their own people with weapons, after this image was taken. How long before the UK government does the same here?

What happens when your government supports a genocidal, far-right-wing foreign regime, demands that you support its actions in spite of the transparent lies it and its client media are feeding you… and you refuse to comply?

This:

Note that this is not outlawing support for Hamas but for Palestine. It is now illegal, in those countries, to stand up against the genocide of an entire country.

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So much for the Western democracies.

I understand people are already being arrested, here in the UK, for wearing Palestinian colours and/or voicing support for the people who are trapped in Gaza while Israel bombs it into rubble.

I wonder how long it will be before they come for me.

Is this the country you want? A totalitarian dictatorship where standing up for justice, freedom and peace is a crime?

It’s what you’ve got, whether you wanted it or not.


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UN human rights chief wants UK to reverse ‘deeply troubling’ Public Order Bill

Volker Turk: this international lawyer is saying the UK’s Tory government is stamping on its own citizens’ human rights and must reverse the Public Order Act.

Suella Braverman might think her fascist Public Order Bill protects “our way of life” but the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights clearly feels otherwise.

That organisation has released the following statement:

The Public Order Bill, which has now been passed by Parliament in the United Kingdom, is deeply troubling legislation that is incompatible with the UK’s international human rights obligations regarding people’s rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warned.

I think this means any arrests, convictions, sentences for breaching the Act may be challenged on grounds that it impinges on our human rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

“This new law imposes serious and undue restrictions on these rights that are neither  necessary nor proportionate to achieve a legitimate purpose as defined under international law. This law is wholly unnecessary as UK police already have the powers to act against violent and disruptive demonstrations,” Türk said.

“It is especially worrying that the law expands the powers of the police to stop and search individuals, including without suspicion; defines some of the new criminal offences in a vague and overly broad manner; and imposes unnecessary and disproportionate criminal sanctions on people organizing or taking part in peaceful protests,” he added.

The High Commissioner drew particular attention to Serious Disruption Prevention Orders introduced by the law that allow UK courts to ban affected individuals from being in certain places at certain times; being with particular people; or using the internet in certain ways, and could lead to the individual in question being electronically monitored to ensure compliance. It is especially concerning that such orders can be made against people who have never been convicted of any criminal offence.

“Governments are obliged to facilitate peaceful protests, while, of course, protecting the public from serious and sustained disruption. But the grave risk here is that these orders pre-emptively limit someone’s future legitimate exercise of their rights,” the High Commissioner said.

“I am also concerned that the law appears to target in particular peaceful actions used by those protesting about human rights and environmental issues. As the world faces the triple planetary crises of climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution, governments should be protecting and facilitating peaceful protests on such existential topics, not hindering and blocking them,” Türk stressed.

“The passage of this Bill regrettably weakens human rights obligations, which the country has long championed in international fora. I call on the UK Government to reverse this legislation as soon as feasible,” he said.

To sum up: the UN reckons that, by passing the Public Order Act, the UK is now a renegade, criminal state because it has passed a law that overrules international agreements on human rights.

Worse, the UK has prioritised polluting industry above the survival of our planetary ecosystem, which means our government is not only facilitating harm to the human race as a species, but persecuting people who want us all to survive.

That is an insane position for a national government to take.

Worse still is that This Writer sees no government-in-waiting that is likely to agree with the United Nations and reverse the situation; Keir Starmer is a corporate yes-man who won’t do anything to upset his real bosses.

Still… perhaps it’s our fault that this has gone as far as it has.

I mean, have you contacted your MP to express opposition to this despotism?

Source: UN Human Rights Chief urges UK to reverse ‘deeply troubling’ Public Order Bill | OHCHR


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Labour leader Keir Starmer backpedals over GaryGate (VIDEO ARTICLE)

After days in which Labour politicians have lambasted BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker for publishing entirely reasonable comments about the Tory Illegal Migration Bill on Twitter, party leader Keir Starmer has changed course radically.

Mr Lineker said the rhetoric used by Home Secretary Suella Braverman was similar to that of Germany in the 1930s.

He has since been shown to be right.

There is no stipulation in his BBC contract to suggest that he, as a sports presenter, should not be allowed to discuss politics on his own personal Twitter feed.

But Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper had this to say about it when she was interviewed on LBC, after the row initially broke out…

Contrast her words with Keir Starmer’s comment, after the BBC suspended Mr Lineker from presenting Match of the Day, prompting a huge walkout by his fellow sports presenters that critically hampered the Corporation’s sports coverage and brought its decision-making into question.

This was just bandwagon-jumping by Starmer.

He saw an opportunity to hammer the BBC for pandering to Conservatives and he took it – never mind the fact that he was speaking in opposition to his own shadow ministers.

With acknowledgement of the video work by:

Jonathan Pie – https://youtu.be/jXqVGtxFppQ

Kernow Damo – https://youtu.be/eedogABKFec

Also LBC and the BBC.


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Culture legislation review prompts question: was Dorries allowed to do whatever she wanted?

Michelle Donelan: this is the only image of her that This Writer could find, in which she didn’t have an enormous, daft grin all over her face.

New Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan is reviewing plans by her forerunner Nadine Dorries to privatise Channel 4 and scrap the BBC licence fee, and also the proposed Online Harms Bill.

Doesn’t this suggest that those plans were not widely supported by the Tory Party and that Dorries was put at the top of that department by Boris Johnson to do nothing more than distract attention away from him?

Also being revisited are provisions around “legal but harmful” speech in the Online Harms legislation.

The review of Channel 4 comes amid criticisms that privatising the channel would harm the future of many TV production companies at a time when new prime minister Liz Truss wants to create growth. The two policies would therefore appear to contradict each other.

With the BBC, Ms Donelan has admitted being sceptical about the viability of the licence fee. But she has said that coverage of the Queen’s funeral was excellent – and the kind of thing that streaming services could not provide.

Source: Ministers to review Channel 4 privatisation and scrapping of BBC licence fee

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‘It is not the function of the police to patrol our minds’ – Peter Hitchens on free speech

Here’s an interview that is well worth watching as right-wing columnist Peter Hitchens attacks the right-wing behaviour of UK police after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

That’s correct – he’s a right-winger but he absolutely opposes the arrest of people who were merely exercising their right to free speech by calling for the end of the monarchy.

His comments on attempts to reverse the relationship between the state and the individual are particularly interesting.

And he bemoans the failure to understand how authority is exercised in a free country – by consent. Doesn’t that indicate that the UK under the current crop of Tories isn’t free?

Also interesting is his comment on the way people have started to attack others – not on the basis of what those others have said, but on what they believe those others to have said (or what they can get others to believe).

The common thread? Intolerance of dissent.

Here’s the clip:

We’re living in dangerous times for media like This Site.

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Freedom of speech row after police start arresting anti-monarchy protesters

Arrested for expressing an opinion: how can the UK still be said to be a nation that supports free speech if the police do this?

Heavy-handed policing has triggered a debate on freedom of expression after police forces around the UK started arresting people who were expressing their free-speech right to call for the end of the monarchy after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

I wrote about this previously, but more developments have taken place. Watch this:

Now watch this:

I think Phil is mistaken; the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act is what allows the rozzers to cart peaceful protesters away – or at least, that is what I understand they are using.

The Act allows them to remove protesters who cause a disturbance or who are “annoying” others.

But is it really annoying people when someone holds up a sign saying they don’t want a monarchy here any more?

The person who shouted, “Who elected you?” at an event calls the legislation into question because it was possible for proceedings to carry on regardless and no hate speech was involved.

The police reaction does not reflect the general feeling of society – and the surprising aspect of this is that it is a feeling that is held by both left- and right-wingers.

Phil reckons the police may be acting under ancient laws that haven’t fallen off the statute books – but these would be trumped by more recent legislation; the Public Order Act doesn’t cover what’s been done here as there has been no threatening behaviour.

And there are very clear and obvious questions to be answered:

How do people express views like opposition to the monarchy – and get a debate on it – if any such expression is prohibited by our law guardians? And how can the UK government still claim that this is a nation that honours free speech if this is happening?

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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Truss vows to clamp down on free speech after climate activists interrupt her

In Liz we DON’T Truss (it’s a play on her campaign slogan, which is itself a play on words): she’ll end your right to free speech, and to campaign for fair pay and decent working conditions.

Tory leadership contender Liz Truss vowed to clamp down on free speech and protest after being interrupted by critics of her police on climate change.

Her speech at a hustings in the Winter Gardens at Eastbourne was halted when six activists from Green New Deal Rising loudly criticised her:

In response, Truss said: “Can I just say a few words on the militant people who try and disrupt our country, and who try and disrupt our democratic process, and who try and disrupt our essential services?

“I would legislate immediately to make sure that we are standing up to militant trade unions who stop ordinary commuters getting into work, and I would legislate to protect our essential services.

“And I will make sure that militant activists such as Extinction Rebellion are not able to disrupt ordinary people who work hard and do the right thing and go into work.”

If you think that sounds good, think again.

Truss was saying she would remove your right to free speech and rescind your right to demand acceptable pay and benefits at work.

You may be happy that other people will be stopped from disrupting your day, but will you be as happy when you have a serious issue of your own and get arrested for trying to raise 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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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