Tag Archives: lies

Deaths mount as people buckle under the strain of false accusation

Pauline Hammerton: She was falsely accused of anti-Semitism and expelled from the Labour Party, and it seems the strain led to her untimely death.

The stories that follow are not tragedies. They are the results of small-minded persecution by petty creeps who want a few cheap kicks. Remember that.

As I write this, it is still only a day since This Site published its article on the 25 Labour Party members who were expelled in a single day.

Within hours, I received this, via Twitter:

https://twitter.com/moodynews101/status/1228592972419215361

It’s true.

Pauline Hammerton, a long-term Labour activist from Hulme, in Manchester, had been expelled on February 4 under one of the fast-track processes I described in my article.

It seems she had been unaware that the party had been planning to expel her, and was left distraught by the decision.

It is believed that the shock triggered a haemorrhage that killed her.

Those who knew Ms Hammerton (I did not) have described her in glowing terms.

Here‘s The Critique Archives: “I had met Pauline a few times at demos and other meetings, and so, although I did not know her well, her death has come as a shock, to me personally, and to other activists across the north-west. Her dedication to justice was tremendous, and the callous mistreatment she received from a party that she had given so much to must have been the bitterest blow imaginable.”

And this is from Tony Greenstein’s blog: “A cursory look at Pauline Hammerton’s Facebook page shows that she was anything but a racist.  She was a decent, kind, concerned person who hated all kinds of oppression. Pauline was Chair of Manchester Socialist Health Association… Pauline was the kind of person who should be welcomed and respected.”

Mr Greenstein has also been expelled from the Labour Party on trumped-up charges of anti-Semitism, as has This Writer.

I can’t speak for him, but I have had more than a quarter of a century’s experience as a reporter, and know the kind of backstabbing that can take place.

But not everybody is made of such stern stuff. False allegations alone can cause a huge amount of stress, especially on people whose health is not the best – and tangible harm as a result of such lies, like expulsion from a political party to which one has devoted a large amount of one’s life, can end a life. That is what we have seen.

But we cannot expect the Labour Party to own up and apologise. Nor can we expect any of Ms Hammerton’s false accusers to take anything like the honourable course of action.

They’ll be covering their tracks. If you don’t believe me, consider The Sun and the way that publication rushed to delete a story attacking the late TV presenter Caroline Flack after her apparent suicide (again on February 15).

Ms Flack had been under huge pressure after being removed as the host of a piece of ITV fluff called Love Island amid allegations that she had assaulted her boyfriend.

She had been due to go on trial in March. She had called the period after her arrest and departure from the TV show “the worst time of my life” and had since admitted that she was still having a “really rough time”.

But that didn’t stop content providers like The Sun from hounding her. The headline on the deleted story was “Brutal Caroline Flack Valentine’s Day card mocks troubled star with ‘I’ll f*** lamp you’ message”.

I don’t personally know what happened between Ms Flack and her significant other and I’m not the kind of person to rush to judgement, but I’m sure many people seeing that headline would have believed that it depicted her as a woman of extreme violence and that this was the impression it was seeking to give.

Put yourself in the position of a woman at the sharp end of messages like that – and who had been subjected to a constant stream of them for many months.

It is easy to understand how she could snap.

https://twitter.com/ScouseGirlMedia/status/1228787351452823552

And now at least one candidate to be leader of the Labour Party (remember Labour?) is threatening to open up a new set of floodgates for false accusations, by supporting a call to expel members who express transphobic views.

And just who would decide whether these views were transphobic or not? The same kind of people who decided that simply being accused of anti-Semitism meant members had to be guilty of it?

Labour has a piss-poor record on disciplinary matters and this will make it much, much worse.

Yes, I know that there is a huge argument raging between the so-called TERFs (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists) and people who, as I understand it, are demanding a widening of the definition of transsexual people.

Neither side seems to have much to recommend it. I fell foul of some particularly odious people who claimed to be representative of the trans community on (again) February 15; they seemed to be just as bigoted and intolerant as those they claimed to be defending against.

And Rebecca Long-Bailey is taking their side.

Wouldn’t it be better to tell both gangs to pipe down, and follow a policy that ensures the maximum protection for everyone?

Beastrabban has written an extremely informative piece on this matter, which is not simple and it is vulnerable to takeover by agents of malice and hate.

Coming back to the fact that people are dying over false anti-Semitism allegations, I can say that I wish to raise this when my own case against the Labour Party comes to court on May 26.

It’s a long time to wait, because justice is a slow process, and I’m sure that Labour will try to obstruct my case as much as possible (those who were at the hearing earlier this month will know what I mean).

But it’s the best I can offer. What will you 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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Labour: the party of bigotry and intolerance?

Labour: is it becoming a party of intolerance and bigotry under the misguidance of those at the top.

This is ugly and Labour’s leadership candidates need to own it.

You will all be aware, already, of the illegal behaviour of Labour’s leadership in “tackling” (their word) anti-Semitism, whereby the party faked evidence to make it appear that I was an anti-Semite, broadcast the lies to the newspapers in order to induce people to believe them, and then used them as an excuse to expel me from the party.

I believe the current plan is to change the rules so even an accusation will be enough to justify expulsion.

Today, it seems at least one leadership candidate has announced that she is keen to spread the bigotry around, with a plan to expel people accused of being transphobic.

Wouldn’t it be better to talk to them instead? What happened to the art of discussion and explanation?

I have trans friends. I recently supported a person who – originally female – spent some time determined to become a man. Now she has had second thoughts and has decided not to go through with it, and that’s okay too. I supported her throughout, because that’s what friends do.

But I know that some people have a problem with that and I have talked some of them through. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of showing them a way of thinking that they haven’t considered before.

So when I saw on Facebook Rebecca Long-Bailey advocating the immediate expulsion of “transphobes” (I put the word in quotation marks because her interpretation of it and mine are likely to be very different), I couldn’t help but react with the “Ha ha” icon.

“What happened to the idea of Labour being inclusive?” I asked.

The initial response gave me a moment’s hope. James Waterhouse stated: “It should be mate. The amount of transphobia by some people whether members or supporters is depressing.”

But then the conversation went downhill:

Let’s have a look at this:

Lianne Powell: “I don’t think he’s being supportive considering he laughed at the post. Mike probably thinks we should be inclusive and allow transphobes to stay…”

According to whose definition are people to be tarred as “transphobes”, now? Is it to be on the same lines as Labour’s definition of “anti-Semite” – anybody who is accused of it?

That’s not acceptable and it isn’t inclusive. Hence my answer: “Don’t be silly, now.”

Lianne responded: “Says the person who thought it appropriate to laugh at this post…”

But it was appropriate. Labour’s record in dealing with anti-Semitism accusations is a disgrace, and now a leadership candidate is planning to eject anybody accused of something else? Ridiculous! Who will they be throwing out next – people with freckles?

I have to admit that my response – repeating “Don’t be silly, now,” wasn’t the best I could possibly have devised. I was disappointed that this person was so determined to see the matter in black and white, refusing to accept that it is possible for people to make mistakes and to learn from them. To be honest, I didn’t see the point in trying to reason with that kind of bigotry.

But worse was to follow:

In Lou Kilmartin we see a genuine, gold-plated bigot:

“What’s funny about the original post?”

I replied: “The idea that that is any way for an inclusive leadership candidate to behave.”

The response: “Seems pretty inclusive to me. No tolerance for intolerance is a pretty good jumping off point.”

No, it is not.

It is an opportunity for unscrupulous people to attack people they don’t like, tar them as something they aren’t, and ban them from a group – as we have seen with the anti-Semitism fiasco. The instant you start banning anyone for even questioning the wisdom of a course of action, you have left the progressive path and joined the fascists.

Who’s right?

I said: “Not at all. You don’t leap to expulsion. You discuss and you educate. This is just an attempt to find an excuse to purge the party of “people we don’t like”. Or didn’t you think of that?”

The response: “If you genuinely believe that the terf movement [it means Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminst] in the Labour Party is open to discussion or education, then you’re either incredibly naive or a flat out moron.”

Really? It seems to me that Lou Kilmartin is the one who isn’t open to discussion or education. But Lou Kilmartin does seem very keen, on the other hand, to engage in accusation and vilification. That encourages me to suggest that Lou Kilmartin is on the wrong side of this argument.

“Why do you expect trans people to constantly justify and debate our existence?”

I don’t. I never suggested that they should. And falsely attributing that attitude to me is a false argument.

“Would you be so accommodating to racist or homophobic factions within the party?”

I think readers of This Site know its author well enough to know that I would not – but nor would I be willing to accept someone else’s word on it. Who says they’re racist? Who says their homophobes. And why are they saying it?

Now look at this:

“Or DiDnT yOu ThInK oF tHaT?”

What is this? Was this person trying to belittle me with alternate caps? What’s that all about?

It seemed very silly to me, so I ignored it and focused on the accusation and vilification I noticed at the start of the comment:

“That is an intolerant attitude. Shame on you.”

No response to that, notice.

Then I added: “For the record, I have trans friends.” This is true, as I have explained above. I should admit that I wrote it to see how the bigot would respond.

I wasn’t disappointed: Ridicule. “i HaVe TrAnS fWeNdS”

The bigot was incapable of accepting the possibility and had to try to belittle me instead. What do you think of that?

Then Lianne re-entered the conversation. Clearly a follower, rather than a leader, this person had seized on Lou Kilmartin’s lead, and had also apparently done a minimal amount of research into me:

“Weren’t you accused of AS and suspended with the offer of being allowed back if you took the education course offered to you??? Bit rich to preach about education if that’s the case.”

It’s an interesting comment for what it omits. I was accused and suspended – on the basis of lies. I was offered “education” with the Jewish Labour Movement, that had secretly recorded another person at one of its courses, edited the recording to create a false impression, and handed it to the press and the Labour Party as proof of anti-Semitism. That is not education. It is despicable. And if Leanne wants to use that as justification for attacking me, then Leanne is on the side of the demons.

Still, Lou Kilmartin seemed pleased: “Lianne Powell Holy shit I love you.”

I made a brief response: “No – because the accusation was false and I have taken the Labour Party to court over it. Labour is expected to lose.”

Now look at this from Lou Kilmartin: “Mike Sivier you’re right on one count, I am intolerant to intolerance. Sounds like you’re a fucking gem all round. No room for bigots in the party.”

Looking at all of the above, is this person intolerant to intolerance? Or are we seeing intolerance to differing viewpoints? That’s just intolerance. I’m big enough to shrug off the flat-out insult – although anyone reduced to ad hominem insults automatically loses any argument; if that’s all they can say, then they don’t have anything to say. As for the last line, here’s my response:

“In that case I hope you are not a member. You seem intolerant of anybody who does not agree with anything you say. Perhaps you would be more comfortable with the fascists.”

It is a fascist attitude to demand that other people agree with the pronouncements of a leader-figure, no matter how insane they are.

“That’s very rich coming from the guy suspended for accusations of antisemitism.” This person didn’t have anywhere to go. I had already pointed out that the accusations were false but, hey, let’s go back to that if it’s all we’ve got!

I figured it was time to point out the obvious: “Shocking behaviour by some people on this thread. Desperate to kick out people they don’t like. Try talking. It doesn’t cost anything.”

But I couldn’t resist responding to that last jab: “Did you not read my response to that? I think you did and I think you need to grow up.”

And what witty gem did Lou Kilmartin grace me with by way of reply? “Okay, boomer.”

Ageism.

It’s a response to people born in the baby boom of the 1940s and 1950s (I wasn’t): “Oh, you’re old and you don’t understand.”

So there you have it. This is the kind of Labour Party Rebecca Long-Bailey (and, presumably, the other leader candidates because none of them have distinguished themselves in these matters) wants to lead.

A party of intolerance, bigotry, liars, ageism, and fascism.

If you’re still a member of the Labour Party, is that the kind of organisation you want associated with you?

Because I don’t.

I’m staggered that a membership of half a million has allowed the situation to degenerate this far.

There is only one answer to the kind of attack I experienced on Facebook today.

Rejection. These people, along with everybody who agrees with them, can – and I don’t say this often – FUCK OFF.

Postscript: In a move typical of those exposed as bigots, those responsible for the disgraceful display chronicled above have removed it from Facebook. Draw your own conclusions.

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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Boris Johnson is a liar – according to the BBC, after it fact-checked his interview

Boris Johnson: The lies keep coming.

Boris Johnson – what a miserable, fake excuse for a politician!

First he ducked out of the interview he had promised the BBC, after he saw Andrew Neil pressing Jeremy Corbyn hard (but not too hard for the Labour leader, who remained calm and clear throughout).

Then he used the atrocity of the terror attack on London Bridge to press the Corporation into allowing him to be interviewed, not by Andrew Neil but by Andrew Marr – and for 15 minutes, not 30.

That interview was broadcast on Sunday (December 1) – and Johnson lied through his teeth from start to finish.

How do I know? Simple.

The BBC fact-checked it.

Here are some highlights:

1. Mr Johnson said his government is putting £160 million of extra money into counter-terrorist policing – but in fact it had promised only to increase funding in line with inflation. The £160 million was the difference between spending plans announced in 2015 and the figure eventually spent in 2019-20. Lie.

2. Mr Johnson claimed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said he would disband MI5 – but there is no evidence to support it. Lie.

3. Mr Johnson said the Queen’s Speech – the programme for the new Parliamentary session he had demanded – had been blocked by Parliament. In fact it had been passed, on October 24 – by 16 votes. Lie.

4. Mr Johnson said his government was already considering ending the policy of automatic early release for serious and violent offenders – but the ‘Sentencing Bill’ in the Queen’s Speech would have only changed the automatic release point from halfway to two-thirds of the way through a sentence. Offenders considered “dangerous” are already not considered for release until they have served two-thirds of their sentences. Lie.

5. Mr Johnson said his government would make the largest investment in the NHS in modern memory – but the £34 billion he quoted, in real terms, came to 3.2 per cent per year, only slightly more than half the six per cent average achieved by Labour governments between 1997 and 2010. Lie.

Source: General Election 2019: Boris Johnson’s interview with Andrew Marr fact-checked – BBC News

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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Disgraceful: Former Labour defector lies about MP’s critique of Independent Group

Liar: Ian Austin.

Comments by Scottish Labour MP Paul Sweeney about former colleagues who defected to The Independent Group have proved very interesting – in the way another former Labour MP has lied about them.

Glasgow North East MP Paul Sweeney said the MPs who founded and joined The Independent Group took part in a “necessary cleansing” of Labour.

He described Chris Leslie and Chuka Umunna as “self-centred careerists”.

Mr Leslie was “aloof and arrogant”, he said, adding: “The venom and vitriol with which he addressed our front bench was a disgrace.”

And he applied these criticisms to other Independent Group members who used to be Labour MPs, including Mr Umunna, Mike Gapes and Angela Smith.

But he said Luciana Berger, who also quit Labour to join the Independent Group, had faced “unacceptable bullying”.

And how does Ian Austin, who also quit Labour but didn’t join The Independent Group, present this story?

Like this:

Austin is a liar. Mr Sweeney never said a word about racism and extremism.

In fact, he spoke kindly about Ms Berger, even though none of the bullying she suffered was by Labour Party members.

Austin’s words have only served to prove Mr Sweeney’s point: Labour is cleaner without the Independent Group defectors – and much cleaner without Austin himself.

Source: EXCLUSIVE: Paul Sweeney says defectors were part of a ‘necessary cleansing’ | Morning Star


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Jewish MPs who whipped up fake ‘anti-Semitism’ claims against Labour want bodyguards for party conference

Luciana Berger: Is the reason she needs a bodyguard the fact that she lied about her leader?

You reap what you sow, I suppose.

And for the fanatics who started the false claims of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour Party, this is either an unintended consequence or a by-product that supports them.

I’m saying that, by raising false and easily-disproved allegations of anti-Semitism, they have actually increased the danger of anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish MPs.

Or they have created the fear of such attacks.

Or, at least, they have made it possible for Jewish Labour MPs to claim they fear such attacks.

Remember, Ruth Smeeth claimed she received many thousands of anti-Semitic social media communications in a single day, but she was later proved to have been lying.

It is as well to give these MPs their bodyguards. We have seen one death threat against Jeremy Corbyn on the petition raised against him by the Campaign Against Antisemitism, so it would be wrong to discount the possibility of attempts against Jewish members out-of-hand.

But this is a situation that is at least partly of their own making.

Look at the example cited in the Jewish Chronicle‘s article, below.

Luciana Berger leapt to support a report that twisted Jeremy Corbyn’s words about a small group of Zionists – not Jews, claiming that, as a “proud British Jew” she felt “unwelcome” in the Labour Party.

Why?

Mr Corbyn said nothing against Jews. He merely gave a dressing-down to a gang of yobs claiming to represent Zionism, who misrepresented the words of a Palestinian representative for obvious political purposes.

At least we can hope that all concerned now have at least a rudimentary understanding of irony and can appreciate it is ironic that, by supporting fake claims of anti-Semitism, they have whipped up fears of genuine anti-Semitic attacks.

One can understand why anyone who know the facts of the matter would feel frustrated.

So, while it may be necessary for these MPs to have bodyguards, it is also necessary for them to accept their part in creating the need for them…

And to stop lying about their leader.

Jewish MPs will be given bodyguards at next month’s Labour Party Conference as fears around their safety grow amid the antisemitism row that engulfs the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn.

Protection will be offered to those MPs attending who have been victims of abuse from people who claim to support Mr Corbyn on social media.

It comes after Luciana Berger said she felt ‘unwelcome’ in her own party after a video emerged showing Mr Corbyn making seemingly xenophobic comments about ‘Zionists’ of having no sense of English irony.

Source: Jewish MPs will be offered bodyguards at Labour conference – The Jewish Chronicle

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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More lies from right-wingers about Vox Political – because they are AFRAID

Misnomer: This particular magazine would be better-named The Expectorator – because it spits on the intelligence of its readers.

Right-wing rag The Spectator has named This Writer as number 20 in a list of 50 people or groups reckoned to be Labour Party anti-Semites – presumably because its editors are now terrified of the independent media’s reputation for factual accuracy.

What a shame the part of the article about me – by someone named only as “Steerpike” – has absolutely no factual accuracy of its own.

Here it is:

For those who have trouble reading images, it says: “Mike Sivier, author of the far-left Vox Political blog, has claimed there is a ‘conspiracy’ between Jews and those who defend them in the UK, saying: ‘We are being told that agents of a foreign country have infiltrated our institutions’. He was due to stand as a Labour candidate in council elections in 2017 but was suspended before the ballot took place.”

The link on the word “saying” takes you – not to any Vox Political article such as this one (on which the allegations were originally based), but to the false and malicious Campaign Against Antisemitism smear piece that I debunked immediately after it came out, almost a year ago. ‘Steerpike’ wouldn’t dream of letting you anywhere near my actual words because then you’d know his accusation is a lie.

Ironically, the article to which The Spectator indirectly alludes is headlined Accusation games: It’s all falling apart for the knee-jerk ‘anti-Semitism’ accusers – and now, it really is.

Let’s take the claims line by line.

“Mike Sivier, author of the far-left Vox Political blog, has claimed there is a ‘conspiracy’ between Jews and those who defend them in the UK.” Far-left? That’s a matter of opinion. I’d say I write from a centre-left viewpoint, but then I’d say The Spectator is written by people of a far-right bent. Agreed?

As for a “‘conspiracy’ between Jews and those who defend them in the UK”, take a look at my article and you’ll see that I was commenting on former Israeli embassy official Shai Masot’s attempt to conspire with members of UK political parties to achieve the wishes of the Israeli government. The example used in the Al-Jazeera documentary The Lobby was a plan to remove Alan Duncan, who has pro-Palestinian views, from his position as a Foreign Office minister. At one point in the documentary, Mr Masot even referred to what he was trying to do as a “conspiracy, yes?”

I make no mention of a “‘conspiracy’ between Jews [bolding mine] and those who defend them in the UK” because it was a conspiracy by a member of the Israeli government.

In the documentary, he mentions connections with other UK organisations including Labour Friends of Israel and its counterpart in the Conservative Party, and this led me to ask further – justified – questions about the role of such organisations in promoting the agenda of a foreign government.

“Saying: ‘We are being told that agents of a foreign country have infiltrated our institutions’.” ‘Steerpike’ let himself down here. “We are being told” means I wasn’t asserting it – I was merely reporting what had been said elsewhere. “Agents of a foreign country” cannot be taken to refer to Jews as a racial or ethnic group. And the infiltration of “our institutions” was demonstrated in the documentary.

“He was due to stand as a Labour candidate in council elections in 2017 but was suspended before the ballot took place.” The article fails to mention that I still stood as a candidate, and people still voted for me. The intention is for readers to believe heroic whistle blowers forced Labour to stop me from standing at all, which is a lie. It also fails to mention the fact that my membership was suspended because the Campaign Against Antisemitism (or one of its readers), having failed to win support against me from Welsh Labour, sent a copy of its lying article to Labour headquarters in London, where an officer triggered my suspension in a knee-jerk reaction, having failed to check if there was even a prima facie case to answer.

The CAA article was, it seems, written with the express intention of corruptly influencing the council election I was contesting, in flagrant breach of the Representation of the People Act, 1983. I’m still arguing about that with the police, who have been reluctant to understand the law in this regard.

So the Spectator reference to me is a pack of lies from beginning to end. Can anyone dare expect the rest of the article to be any better?

No.

I’m not familiar with all the incidents listed but, of those I do know, none are reported accurately and all are treated in the most hysterical, prejudicial way possible.

What are we to conclude?

‘Steerpike’, together with the editors and owners of The Spectator, are afraid.

They know the fake claims of anti-Semitism against the Labour left aren’t gaining any traction because independent media sites like Vox Political are debunking them by publishing the facts.

And they know that this means people will know they are lying.

So they repeat tired old smears against This Writer in a vain attempt to swing opinion in the other direction.

Fat chance.

All they have done is attract my attention – and, soon, the attention of my legal representative.


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Who’s going to trust Theresa May to tackle ‘fake news’ when her Tories are responsible for so much of it?

The Cabinet Office. It seems the Tories are hoping to control the information we receive about current events from this location.

It would be better if the following was fake news, but apparently she means it:

Theresa May’s government is set to respond to the scourge of fake news with the creation of a “rapid response social media capability” in Whitehall itself.

Based in the Cabinet Office, the team will be tasked with dealing “quickly with disinformation” and reclaiming “a fact-based public debate”.

Who is going to accept Theresa May‘s word on what is fake news?

She and her Tories are responsible for more of it than anybody else in the UK.

If you don’t believe me, consider this:

Experts have slammed a Conservative minister for “peddling fake news” to defend an “indefensible” government policy. And the politician also stands accused of “wilfully deceiving” parliament in the process.

Victoria Atkins is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability at the Home Office. Part of her remit is drugs and drug policy.

Release is the UK’s “centre of expertise” on drugs and drug laws. And it took Atkins to task via its Twitter account over her comments on Drug Consumption Rooms [DCRs] during a debate on 17 January.

Niamh Eastwood from Release told The Canary: “Atkins’s comments in this debate were simply staggering. She did not present the evidence for drug consumption rooms accurately – she was wrong on the number of DCRs in Spain and she was wrong about the basis for Insite, Vancouver’s DCR, remaining open. The EU’s own monitoring group on drugs supports the evidence base for DCRs, as does the government’s own expert advisers. Yet the Minister seems to have unique knowledge implying that the evidence basis is not strong.”

This example of a minister lying about hard evidence on a topical subject is just the latest we’ve seen. There are many more.

Another example would be James Cleverly’s lie about Labour’s tax plans, which provoked this reaction:

This Writer agrees with Labour MP Angela Rayner:

This is not an attempt to ensure a “fact-based public debate”.

It is a bid to hijack the news and turn it into Tory propaganda.

Who are you going to believe if you aren’t given a choice?

Tories hate the freedom of speech employed by the social media. They see this as their opportunity to end it. And they think the people are too stupid to realise they’ll be filling our newspapers and other news media with lies.


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Jeremy Hunt is playing with words when he could be having an adult discussion about healthcare, says Ralf Little

Ralf Little was talking about his dialogue with Jeremy Hunt in an interview conducated by James O’Brien on LBC.

Actor – and former medical student – Ralf Little appeared on radio to repeat his appeal for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to take part in a live-broadcast debate with him about the state of the NHS.

Mr Hunt had previously challenged Mr Little, on Twitter, to prove his claim that the Health Secretary had “knowingly” lied to the public using inaccurate statistics, in an interview on The Andrew Marr Show.

Talking with James O’Brien on LBC, Mr Little said: “In hindsight that was probably a regrettable choice of words.”

But he said he still wanted to debate the facts – in the name of transparency.

Mr Hunt, on the other hand, has become reticent. His claim is that he only challenged Mr Little to a debate because the other man had said he “knowingly” lied, and would not take part in such an event on any other terms.

“It’s getting extremely semantic and… extremely technical, and it may even be legally sound,” said Mr Little. “But what it feels like is, this man who’s a clever politician… is obfuscating and avoiding a serious discussion about the NHS, and mental health, and the future of the NHS, off the basis of a semantic argument and a technical argument, and I don’t think that’s reasonable.”

Mr Little said he had debunked two of Hunt’s claims and actually bolstered one, the health secretary having undersold his achievement.

Little told James O’Brien he couldn’t believe the Tory had tried to dispute Hawking’s cherrypicking claim: “Literally, his job is to analyse evidence and use that to theorise the most extraordinary things that most of us can’t comprehend.

“If anyone knows what cherrypicking statistics is, and how evidence works, it’s Stephen Hawking. If he’s telling you you’re getting it wrong, you listen. Surely?”

He said: “Where the problem comes is going, ‘Everything’s going really well,’ and it’s simply not true or it’s certainly not the full story… It’s the NHS. We need to know what’s going on with it… We need to know it’s not being privatised on the quiet.

“Again, something I’d like to ask the man.”

Here’s the full interview:

It seems to This Writer that Mr Little has a very strong point.

It doesn’t matter whether Mr Hunt “knowingly” lied or inadvertently quoted false figures – the end result is the same.

We can’t allow ourselves to believe a word he says.

Maybe he doesn’t want to clear that up.

If so, that might be a worse stain on his character.

Source: Ralf Little Explains The Twitter Row Between Him, Jeremy Hunt And Stephen Hawking – LBC


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Busted! Three lies about Labour in Hammond’s conference speech

Never mind the robotic Mrs Maybe, here’s Foot-in-mouth Philip Hammond! [Image: The Sun (I believe).]

Kudos are due to those eager little ferrets at Channel 4 News. Most of us needed a dose of anti-depressants and a lie-down after Philip Hammond’s Tory conference speech, but they’ve been busy debunking his lies about the Labour Party.

Well, three of them, at least.

First, the team examined the Zombie Chancellor’s claim that living standards have doubled since 1979.

The chancellor is right that living standards have doubled since Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979.

But he’s wrong to suggest that this date marked a turning point, with an increased rate of improvement. In reality, it has now slumped.

The official measure of living standards, dating back to 1961… shows there was no significant change in living standards after 1979. Living standards remained on roughly the same trajectory all the way up until the financial crash of 2008. Since then, under the Conservatives, living standards have failed to catch up with the pre-recession trend. The IFS described the growth in average income as “very weak”, post-recession.

Oh dear! So standards have slumped under the Conservatives – and Mr Hammond tried to pretend they’ve improved hugely! Shame on him.

Ah, but how about the claim that Mr Corbyn wants to turn the UK into a regime similar to (stop laughing at the back!) North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and Zimbabwe?

There seems little grounds to compare Labour’s policies to those of authoritarian regimes. It is true that these countries exert high levels of state control; and it is also true that Mr Corbyn’s agenda would see a bigger, more active state in the UK. But the two things are on a completely different scale.

Many of the key policy pledges in Labour’s election manifesto are already in place in numerous modern western democracies. These include free tuition fees, nationalised railways, higher corporation tax and rent controls.

So Mr Corbyn’s policies are more mainstream than the current Conservative government’s, then.

Doesn’t that make Mr Hammond the extremist?

Finally, the FactCheck team moved onto Mr Hammond’s claim that Labour wants to “demolish our successful modern market economy and replace with a back-to-the-future socialist fantasy.”

I think by now we can all tell who’s the fantasist, but for the sake of completeness:

He is accusing Mr Corbyn of completely opposing free market capitalism. But opposing neo-liberalism (which is associated with freer markets and deregulation) does not, in itself, mean that Mr Corbyn is opposed to market economics – merely that he is against that particular form of it. He makes no mention of scrapping “market economics,” but instead simply suggests there should be a bigger role for the public sector.

You’d think the humilation would have ended there, but no! There’s a sting in the tail for the mendacious Hammond: After all his claims about Labour wanting to end free-market economics, it turns out that the Tories aren’t all that keen on such a system either – in fact, they manipulate it to suit themselves.

Indeed, the Conservative Party itself does not believe in a completely unrestricted free market – a belief which was spelled out in its manifesto.

“We do not believe in untrammelled free markets,” it said, adding that the government could make “consumer markets work more fairly”.

“Markets need rules and these rules need to be updated to reflect our changing economy.”

Dismissed, Mr Hammond. Go back to your grave and mull over your transgressions.

Source: Philip Hammond’s attack on Labour over ‘market economics’ – Channel 4 News


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Unemployment figures are a sanction-based stitch-up, research shows

Iain Duncan Smith: He's proud of the sanctions regime he introduced, in which Job Centre staff are expected to use possibly-fraudulent means to push people off benefits - and he doesn't care how many people they harm.

Iain Duncan Smith: He’s proud of the sanctions regime he introduced, in which Job Centre staff are expected to use possibly-fraudulent means to push people off benefits – and he doesn’t care how many people they harm.

The Coalition government will be crowing about the latest drop in unemployment today – according to official statistics. What a shame it’s all a load of bunk.

New research by Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has shown that only around one-fifth (20 per cent) of people who have been sanctioned off of Jobseekers’ Allowance have actually found work, leaving 1.6 million in limbo; they’re off the benefits system but researchers can only surmise that they are relying on food banks.

(Isn’t the Coalition government desperate to discredit food banks? Are ministers determined to drive the out-of-work population to starvation?)

This suggests that official Office for National Statistics figures are inaccurate. The latest batch – out today (January 21, 2015) – claim that unemployment dropped by 58,000 in the three months to November last year, when it totalled 1.91 million.

How can we trust these figures when it has been claimed there’s a sanction-based stitch-up going on?

The new figures are from the same ONS that is claiming wages are rising above inflation. Oh really? The figures show average earnings (excluding bonuses) rose by 1.8 per cent, which is more than the CPI rate of inflation – but not more than RPI, which is a more accurate measure of the costs affecting households.

What happens to those figures when executive pay is taken out of them? What’s the average for employees?

The revelation that sanctions have created a huge underclass of people – who have been refused benefits by Iain Duncan Smith’s homicidal system – casts all the ONS statistics into doubt.

If 1.6 million people are being denied benefits, that doesn’t stop them being unemployed.

Therefore the true unemployment figure should be almost twice as high as stated, at a massive 3.51 million.

That’s before other elements, such as the Work Programme, have been taken into account!

And what about the hidden cost of sanctions – to other taxpayer-funded services?

Professor David Stuckler of Oxford University explained this to The Guardian: “If, as we’re finding, people are out of work but without support – disappeared from view – there’s a real danger that other services will absorb the costs, like the NHS, possibly jails and food support systems, to name a few. Sanctions could be costing taxpayers more.”

Debbie Abrahams is a member of the House of Commons Work and Pensions committee, which was due to take evidence on benefit sanctions today. She told the paper: “This government has developed a culture in which Jobcentre Plus advisers are expected to sanction claimants using unjust, and potentially fraudulent, reasons in order get people ‘off-flow’. This creates the illusion the government is bringing down unemployment.”

[Image: The Void.]

[Image: The Void.]

Finally, there is the revelation that “physical punishment is now built into the benefit system, with sanctions both known and intended to cause a deterioration in health, says the DWP rule book”. Visit the Void blog for further details.

The evidence is stacking up, and shows that the Coalition government has falsified the figures to a shocking extent.

Any new government entering office after the general election will face an uphill struggle simply to uncover the depth of the depravity currently taking place.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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