Tag Archives: opinion

Hysteria as ONE poll puts Starmer Labour level with Tories. Why isn’t he 20 points ahead?

No answers: Starmer’s Labour is level in the polls because of Tory incompetence, not because of anything he has done. His own decisions could force his ejection from the party leadership within a few short months.

Apparently The Guardian reckons Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has gained 26 points in the opinion polls to draw level with the Conservatives on 40 each. This is nonsense. In fact, I think it’s a flat-out lie.

My reasoning is obvious: Labour has not fallen to 14 points on the opinion polls this year. When Starmer took over as leader, I am reliably informed the party stood on 32 points.

So, if The Guardian was right, Labour should now be 18 points ahead. And that’s still not the 20 points ahead that Labour right-wing cuckoos said Jeremy Corbyn should have been, when he was Labour leader!

Who wrote that nonsense for the Graun and how do they justify their paycheques?

And consider this: while Labour as a party is said to be level with the Tories in this outlier poll by Opinium…

… Starmer himself has fallen behind Johnson. It is a matter of days since Starmer’s adherents were claiming his critics should shut up because a poll had put Starmer above Johnson as preferred PM while Labour was several points behind the Tories.

They want to have it both ways, and it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Labour’s current – only average – showing is due to the incompetence and greed of Boris Johnson and his Tory cronies, who are clearly to be seen cashing in on the Covid-19 crisis when they should be doing everything they can to help the citizens of the UK.

And it’s not going to last – because Starmer’s decisions are catching up with him.

So we see in Labour Heartlands that genuine left-winger and film director Ken Loach wants to know Starmer’s involvement in the Julian Assange case:

As DPP, Sir Keir Starmer tempered his supposed love of liberty by fast-tracking the extradition of Julian Assange (a process now making its way through the courts). He flouted legal precedents by advising Swedish lawyers not to question Assange in Britain: a decision that prolonged the latter’s legal purgatory, denied closure to his accusers in Sweden, and sealed his fate before a US show trial. Leaked emails from August 2012 show that, when the Swedish legal team expressed hesitancy about keeping Assange’s case open, Sir Keir’s office replied: ‘Don’t you dare get cold feet’.

Documents released under Freedom of Information requests to Italian magazine La Repubblica confirm the very close relationship between the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Sweden in the Julian Assange case. The files contain hundreds of mostly redacted emails sent over a five-year period. But according to one authoritative source, the number of CPS documents relating to the case may be much greater than has so far been disclosed.

In May 2017, the Swedish authorities announced they had ceased all remaining investigations into alleged sexual assault by WikiLeaks founder Assange. But the Metropolitan Police arrest warrant for skipping bail would remain in force. Subsequently, Assange’s legal team sought a ruling that the Met warrant should be rescinded, but the court ruled otherwise.

This case is one of the great political cases of the century, as John McDonnell recently said. It’s a defining case for the left, and Sir Keir Starmer has taken the most conservative position imaginable.

This is what Labour Party members can expect from a Starmer leadership: unquestioning loyalty to the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic.

And then we have the matter of the Labour Payout – the £600,000 that Starmer handed over to a group of right-wing factionalists who are no longer working for Labour but who made extravagant claims about anti-Semitism and Jeremy Corbyn, while apparently doing all they could to sabotage the party’s chances at election (according to a now-infamous leaked Labour report).

One part of those allegations involved the diversion of 2017 election funds away from target seats to safe seats in a move that was hidden from Corbyn. Former elections director Patrick Heneghan was said to be responsible for this and he has now published his attempts at self-justification in response to the inquiry into that leaked report.

His response has been picked apart in a 14-tweet thread by Steve Howell, who also worked on Labour’s General Election Campaign Committee (GECC). I make no apology for including those tweets here, so we all have access to them:

(Oh yeah, let’s have the rest of that previous thread as well:)

It is clear that Heneghan did siphon off Labour campaign money that could have been used to win the seats needed to form a government in 2017 – without the knowledge of the party leader – and it is entirely possible that this action prevented Labour from winning that year’s election.

So why did Starmer give a huge amount of money to the people who threatened to take Labour to court over it? It seems clear they did not have a case.

Put these matters together – along with any others that you care to mention – and one thing seems clear:

Keir Starmer’s position as Labour leader is on borrowed time. He may not last long after the Forde report is published.

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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Isn’t it his own influence – rather than public opinion – Johnson is spending a fortune on?

Spend, spend, spend: but Boris Johnson is ensuring that your money only pays his friend’s firms to provide polling that supports his activities, it seems.

It is good that someone is asking why Boris Johnson is spending £2 million this year on opinion polling – even if it is only Parliament’s toothless public accounts committee.

Critics have claimed the Tory – and his government – has been trying to understand public opinion in order to follow it, in order to gain our approval by doing so.

But isn’t it more likely that he is trying to use these polls to tell us what to think, rather than for us to tell him what to do?

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said almost as much in an attempt to justify the spend: “During this unprecedented pandemic it has been vital that people follow public health messages to save lives… This work has helped us to deliver communications campaigns to support the UK’s response.”

It’s about what the Tories communicate to us, you see – not what we tell them.

Oh, and it’s also about funnelling even more public money into the hands of the Tories’ friends, such as the research company linked to Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings that received a plum contract that was never offered on open tender (as would normally have been the case).

The excuse – that Downing Street used legally-sound emergency regulations that permit urgent Covid-related services to be quickly commissioned – was paper-thin at the start.

It disintegrated altogether when it was revealed that some of the work for which the euphemistically-titled People First received the £750,000 contract related to Brexit, not the virus.

Source: Spending watchdog to probe Tory contracts with polling companies worth at least £833,000 | The New European

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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Newspapers distort libel case to make it seem that Rachel Riley is winning. She isn’t

How sad to see that the London Evening Standard (oh, and Mail Online, although this is less surprising) is incapable of reporting a simple judgment in an ongoing libel case properly!

The High Court, in the case of Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman v Jane Heybroek, has reached a judgment with regard to the meaning of the words that are at issue, and whether they are statements of fact or expressions of opinion.

And the Standard‘s interpretation of this judgment is arse-backwards.

“Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman win first round of libel battle” trumpets the headline – wrongly. The judgment was neutral. Nobody has won or lost anything.

But if any advantage were gained, This Writer would say it had to have gone to Ms Heybroek.

Here are her own comments:

Note her words [italics mine]: “This was a hearing we asked for in order to narrow down the claimants’ claims and, in my opinion, we have successfully done so.”

“Significantly, the Judge has found that the first meaning… and the italicised words in the second meaning… were statements of opinion. This is a potentially crucial development because statements of opinion are afforded a defence where the basis of the opinion is indicated, and an honest person could have held the opinion on the basis of facts existing at the time.”

Reference to the judgment on the court website Bailii shows that Ms Heybroek’s representative, Mr Helme, won more points than the claimants’. Consider the Judge’s agreement with him at paragraphs 61, 63, 72, 75, 77, 79, 81 and 83; and the Judge’s disagreement with the claimants’ representative, Mr Stables, at paragraphs 58, 59, and 65.

In brief, Ms Heybroek won her arguments that the words at issue were expressions of opinion rather than statements of fact. Whether they were defamatory was never likely to be in doubt – but of course that doesn’t mean that they were libellous. If they were statements of honest opinion, and the facts on which they were based were accurate to the best of her knowledge at the time, then they were not.

And it is to be noted that these are all secondary considerations; Ms Riley and Ms Oberman’s complaint is not about an article by a third party (the matter on which this judgment is made) but about whether Ms Heybroek libelled them by retweeting a link to it. Ms Heybroek states: “Note that this ruling on meanings is without prejudice to my contention that I am not liable for publication of the article by virtue of my re-tweeting a tweet containing a hyperlink to it. That issue remains to be determined, either at trial or before.”

So it seems clear that Ms Heybroek won far more than Ms Riley or Ms Oberman. But that information seems to have zoomed right over the head of whoever reported the case to the Standard and the Mail.

Far be it from me to attribute malign intentions, but this failure of accurate reporting can have a serious harmful effect on justice.

Libel cases are hugely expensive and people like Ms Heybroek and myself – This Writer is fighting an ongoing case brought by Ms Riley, remember – cannot afford to defend against the accusations without help.

We ask sympathetic members of the public to support us with donations – but they may be discouraged from doing so, if they read or hear a report claiming that Ms Riley (and Ms Oberman, in Ms Heybroek’s case) is somehow winning.

Conversely, if they discover that such claims are false, I would hope members of the public would find their determination to support the defendants redoubled.

The expense of the hearing has put Ms Heybroek out-of-pocket. She is crowdfunding to pay for her case and if you can afford to help, her CrowdJustice site may be found here.

As for my own case – the request is the same as usual. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own 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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be nice to see Ms Riley and/or Ms Oberman distancing themselves from the inaccurate media reports.

But, considering my own belief that they would be as happy to win their cases by starving us of funds as they would in a courtroom, I fear I may have to wait a long time for that.

Source: Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman win first round of High Court libel battle | London Evening Standard

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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Judgement reserved on another Riley libel case: how will the media mess this one up?

The Countdown has begun: but will certain commentators be able to wait until judgement is handed down in a Riley libel case before reporting it (inaccurately)?

The High Court held a hearing on another libel case involving Rachel Riley yesterday (April 28).

This time the object of her ire was Jane Heybroek, who is facing proceedings because she tweeted a link to an article about Ms Riley,

As with Laura Murray’s recent hearing, the issue under discussion was the meaning of Ms Heybroek’s words, and whether they constituted assertions of fact or expressions of opinion.

After it took place, Ms Heybroek tweeted that Mr Justice Jay had reserved judgement after the hearing, which took place remotely.

Judgement will be delivered in two or three weeks, and Ms Heybroek made it clear that nothing may be said about that judgement until after it is handed down (that is, after it has been made public).

Depending on what the judge decides, this may come as a burden to the people who – for example – prematurely shared details of the Laura Murray judgement with the Daily Mail and the Guido Fawkes blog.

But then, those people may have their own problems anyway – as the court should be pursuing them with a view to prosecuting them for contempt.

We shall all have to see what happens in two or three weeks’ time.

The ‘meanings’ hearing on my case took place last December, of course, and the news media garbled the result to make it seem Ms Riley came out with the upper hand (she didn’t).

In fact, she had to re-write her accusation against me. I then submitted a defence to the court and Ms Riley’s lawyers are now trying to argue about it.

I take this as yet another attempt to waste the money my supporters have contributed to my CrowdJustice site. I have said many times that libel cases are highly expensive and whenever Ms Riley’s lawyers raise an issue, my own legal team have to counter it – at a cost of thousands of pounds.

I believe she never expected to have to go to court. She thought I would not be able to raise any funds to fight her accusations and that – instead of facing justice – she would be able to buy the result she wanted.

The distortions in the newspapers seem to be an attack on a second front – a propaganda war to undermine faith in people like myself, Ms Heybroek and Ms Murray.

We aren’t media darlings. We don’t have many friends in the right-wing press. We have to rely on you, and on your generosity. That’s why I always have to make this appeal:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It seems some people want you to think they’re giving you the facts because the shout about them the loudest.

But you can always get accurate information here.

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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Poll shows public trust in Tory handling of coronavirus pandemic has plummeted

How interesting that this came out the day before Boris Johnson traipsed back to work.

Yes, the latest poll says the public has lost faith in the way the Tory government has handled the coronavirus response in the UK.

The Opinium poll for The Observer showed:

57 per cent of people believe the government has handled the key issue of coronavirus testing poorly; only 15 per cent thought it had been handled well.

71 per cent think the level of testing was not enough – while only seven per cent thought it was adequate.

63 per cent say they government did not act fast enough to stop the spread of coronavirus; only 30 per cent thought it acted in good time.

In comparison with other countries, only the United States was believed to have made a much worse response to the pandemic. The UK was seen to be roughly on a par with Italy, Spain and France.

Notably, China was perceived as making a better response than the UK, with Australia better than China and South Korea better than Australia. Germany was considered the furthest ahead of the UK – but New Zealand wasn’t included in the results This Writer has seen.

The Observer‘s report says nothing about the UK’s record on PPE.

Source: Public trust plummets in Britain’s handling of pandemic, new poll reveals | World news | The Guardian

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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Riley libel: her team just made a terrible mistake

Rachel Riley is a serial litigant; besides suing me, she is also pursuing Laura Murray, who bit back at one of the Countdown co-presenter’s tweets in March last year.

Referring to the incident in which Jeremy Corbyn had been punched by an egg-wielding man in a London mosque, Ms Riley had dug up an old tweet by Owen Jones which said “If you don’t want eggs thrown at you, don’t be a Nazi. Seems fair to me.” To this, she added the comment: “Good advice.”

Ms Murray, who was working in Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party office at the time, tweeted her opinion that Ms Riley was saying Corbyn was a Nazi who deserved to be attacked violently. She added that, in her opinion, Ms Riley was a dangerous and stupid person who risked inciting unlawful violence – and nobody should engage with her in any way.

Mr Justice Nicklin, in a judgement based on paper evidence due to the coronavirus pandemic, ruled that Ms Murray had made a statement of fact when she said Riley had stated that Corbyn deserved to be attacked violently.

That’s the extent of the difference.

His statement that the words have a tendency to be defamatory isn’t a ruling that Ms Murray is guilty of libel; the defendant may say that her statement was factually accurate and back it up with evidence, and she may also provide information to support the opinions that she expressed.

Riley hasn’t won the case; this was a ruling on the meaning of Ms Murray’s words and whether they were statements of fact or expressions of opinion. There will be a trial at some point in the future.

But Ms Riley and her friends seem to have started celebrating victory prematurely.

And someone went one step further – by publicising the case prematurely.

The image above shows that the right-wing Guido Fawkes blog ran an initial piece on the ruling on April 23, albeit with no further information than a claim that Riley had won. The Mail went further, publishing at 6.21am the following:

 

But the ruling was not published by the High Court until 10am on April 24 – more than a day later.

So it seems somebody has committed contempt of court.

This was a reserved judgement. That meant that the hearing was some time ago and the judge prepared a written judgement to be handed down on April 24. Prior to handing down, the judge would have sent a draft to the parties. The rules on drafts say:

2.4 A copy of the draft judgment may be supplied, in confidence, to the parties provided that—

 (a) neither the draft judgment nor its substance is disclosed to any other person or used in the public domain; and

 (b) no action is taken (other than internally) in response to the draft judgment, before the judgment is handed down.

 2.8  Any breach of the obligations or restrictions under paragraph 2.4 or failure to take all reasonable steps under paragraph 2.6 may be treated as contempt of court.

I imagine Mr Justice Nicklin would be very keen to find out who’s been playing fast-and-loose with court rules and his judgement. And I can’t blame him.

I can’t comment on who leaked the story to the press too soon – but I will keep an eye on it.

As for people who prematurely claim a legal victory that they haven’t won … if you’re as nauseated by this as I am, then please remember that Ms Riley is attacking me in the same way she is attacking Ms Murray – and I don’t have the cash to fight her.

If I can win my case in court, then it should discourage Ms Riley and her friends – harshly – from this vile behaviour. But I can only do it with your help.

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be bad enough if Ms Riley had won. The fact that she hasn’t, and is claiming she is, is toxic. In my opinion.

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 has surged in the opinion polls – but there’s only one poll that counts

This is great news – exuberantly delivered by ‘Chunky’ Mark McGowan:

Here’s the evidence:

Great news, right?

Well, yes – because the pollster is a right-wing organisation that plays down the Labour vote as much as possible. The number of people actually coming out for Labour is probably much higher.

But there’s only one poll that counts – and it will be held between 7am and 10pm on Thursday, December 12.

Don’t be lulled into thinking that Labour is catching up, so you don’t have to vote. That’s a sure route to another Conservative government.

Don’t expect anybody else to do the right thing for you.

Vote Labour on Thursday if you want a Labour government.

As Mr McGowan says:

“Vote as if you life depends on it” – because it probably will.

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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Date set for preliminary hearing in Riley libel case

I know judges don’t actually use gavels in UK courts. This is just a representative image.

A preliminary trial in Rachel Riley’s libel case against me is to take place on December 11.

This is the hearing to decide the meaning of the words in my article that Ms Riley claims are libellous, and whether those words were statements of fact or of honest opinion.

It is the hearing that would have taken place on October 11, if Ms Riley’s legal team had not insisted on what was, in my opinion, an ultimately-meaningless and time-wasting ‘directions’ hearing (the Judge decided in favour of the case progressing as I had previously requested).

And it is vitally important. The result of this hearing will determine how the case is heard at the full trial that may follow.

It is, therefore, crucial that I and my legal team have the funds to carry out our defence, so I am appealing to you yet again:

Follow the following instructions, if you would still like to help me win:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

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

We are coming to the end, now.

I have said from the start that this is about money – that it seems clear Ms Riley wanted to buy justice by taking me to court in the belief that I would not have the funds to defend myself.

It is only because of you, and people like you, that I have managed to get this far.

And my future success – or failure – is still in your hands.

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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While polls show huge Tory lead, this woman in Johnson’s constituency speaks for the people

Star: This Uxbridge constituent gave a frank opinion of her MP, Boris Johnson, that belies the polls. We can imagine that his response was as pictured. Is this really the man the people of the UK want leading them, as polls suggest?

A star is born.

The Guardian is reporting that Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has a huge, 15-point lead over Labour. This would mean a large majority for a Johnson-led government after a general election.

But does it, really?

Here’s a lady who lives in Mr Johnson’s constituency – speaking for all of us:

Her description of Mr Johnson may be considered more apt than she knew, depending on how she meant it.

A “tow rag” (as it is properly spelt) is a description of a person one might describe as a low-life, scum, or a loser.

It was originally a British Royal Naval term, referring to a long piece of rope, either frayed at the end, or with a bit of rag tied to the end of it, permanently fixed to a ship, which was dangled into the sea, and therefore, towed, next to the wooden plank with a hole in it which was secured over the edge of the ship and used as a toilet.

After the sailor had finished his ablutions, he lifted the rope out of the water, and then wiped his rear end clean with the wet, frayed end of the rope, and when he finished wiping, the soiled end of the rope was dropped back into the sea to clean itself as it was towed along by the ship.

Now consider:

Mr Johnson has lied repeatedly to the nation.

He has told us that “no deal” Brexit is not what he wants, but has consistently voted against any deal in Parliament and is working hard to ensure that the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

If this happens, it has been alleged that hedge fund bosses who financed Mr Johnson’s Tory leadership campaign will make billions of pounds from betting on the value of the pound plummeting and inflation rocketing. Your money will lose its value.

He is keen to do a trade deal with Donald Trump’s United States, and is absolutely determined to strip you of your human rights, trash environmental protections and end restrictions that keep you safe in order to do so.

We may therefore suggest with some veracity that to the hedge fund bosses and Mr Trump, Mr Johnson is indeed their “tow rag”.

He is also an enemy of the people.

Nobody in their right mind would support him or his cronies.

Source: Poll shows Conservative party 15 points ahead of Labour | Politics | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Tory poll ratings are rising – but here’s the reason Labour need not worry

Poll positions: You can see that public opinion of the Labour Party leapt up, almost from the moment the news media were forced to give equal time to all parties in their election coverage in 2017.

We’ve been here before.

On the eve of the 2017 general election, Labour was 22 points behind the Conservatives, according to one poll. Another, days after the election, put Labour six points ahead.

That’s what happens when our news media are forced to spend a month being impartial, under threat of legal action.

So today’s Guardian comment is no cause for concern at all. It states:

In a post on his UK Polling Report blog yesterday Anthony Wells listed the five August polls then available, all giving the Tories a lead over Labour varying from three points to nine points. “We’re now at a point where the most recent polls from all the regular polling companies show the Conservatives back ahead,” Wells wrote.

Since then there have been two more polls giving the Tories a big lead. Last night YouGov released a second August poll, putting the Conservatives on 30% and Labour on 21%. And today Kantar has released a poll suggesting the Tories are 14 points ahead. It puts them on 42%, with Labour on 28%, the Lib Dems on 15% and the Brexit party on 5%.

What do you think?

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
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but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
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Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook