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#BorisJohnson’s #PlanB is a shambles. No wonder #Covid19 is skyrocketing

Standoff: the Tory government is at war with its own backbenchers over new measures to minimise the effect of Covid-19, that have been in place and working in Wales for many months.

This Writer has received notification of a Covid-19 booster injection appointment.

It’s on December 29. I had expected December 20, six months after my second vaccination, and then when Boris Johnson announced that seven weeks of injections were going to be crammed into three, I joked that I should have mine on Thursday (December 16).

But it seems I should be grateful to be having one at all – the only reason for it being that I live in Wales.

This is the mess that Keir Starmer told the nation was his “patriotic duty” to support.

You have a serious think about that.

Johnson only managed to get his back-of-a-fag-packet ideas for dealing with Omicron passed in Parliament because Starmer helped him unreservedly.

He could have demanded important guarantees and life-saving additions – like the increase in Statutory Sick Pay that would have made it possible for working people to take time off if struck down by the new variant, but he didn’t.

And he could have demanded proper measures for schools, including ventilation, but he didn’t.

The new measures are pretty much what we in Wales have already.

But here there are administered properly. I’m looking forward with trepidation to the chaos and anger when people realise they’ll be forced to show Covid passes for events at large venues. If they’re upset at putting a piece of cloth over their faces in most indoor public places, then they’re just selfish (face masks primarily protect other people, remember).

I disagree with mandatory vaccination for all NHS frontline staff. What people put into their bodies must be a matter of personal choice and it is unforgivable that politicians are forcing people to choose between what they think is right for themselves and their job helping others.

Significant numbers of Conservative MPs rebelled against all of the new measures – 98 against Covid passes, 63 against mandatory vaccination of NHS staff and 38 against face masks in public places.

If they thought these things were bad ideas on Tuesday, wait until they see how poorly Johnson enforces them!

And, of course, anybody deliberately refusing to follow the new rules has a mandate from the prime minister himself – who flouts Covid regulations whenever he feels like it. I understand he addressed a packed meeting of Tory backbenchers – sans face mask – before yesterday’s votes.

And Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing again with nearly 60,000 new cases discovered on the day Parliament held its debate.

Ultimately, it seems likely that these measures – which are only being imposed now to distract us from the Tory government’s flagrant breaches of its own rules with huge parties last Christmas while people were dying in their hundreds every day – will only increase calls for Johnson to quit politics, never to return.

That day can’t come soon enough.

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#Tories plan revolt against #BorisJohnson over #PlanB – but he’ll be propped up by #STARMER

Good buddies: once again, Keir Starmer is telling Labour to help Boris Johnson out of a mess that the prime minister created. He doesn’t care that his job is to OPPOSE Johnson’s corrupt, lying government.

As the old saying goes, there’s no smoke without fire – and if a prime minister is trying to put up a smokescreen, then it’s our duty to examine what’s on the other side, rather than blithely let him have his way.

What’s surprising today is the fact that it is Conservative members of Parliament who are rebelling against Boris Johnson for that reason.

They reckon his ‘Plan B’ Covid-19 restrictions, announced on Wednesday, are just a rather vain attempt to distract us all away from the fuss over a series of parties now alleged to have taken place in Whitehall and/or Downing Street while the rest of us were locked down and separated from our loved ones as they died with the virus at a rate of around 500 a day.

We shouldn’t be too surprised, though; many Tories have consistently pushed the view that Covid-19 should not be allowed to interfere with the national economy and they think any restrictions will have an effect. Nightclub owners have already said they’ll have to close so there is weight to these claims.

For our purposes as seekers of the facts, though, it doesn’t matter. They can do the right thing for the wrong reasons if they want. The result should be the same.

So we should welcome claims by Tory MPs that they may undermine Johnson’s ‘Plan B’ when it comes to Parliament next week, not on public health grounds – that it is not needed – but because they think he’s only doing it to get himself off the hook.

We could see which way the wind was blowing when Sajid Javid stood up to give a statement in the Commons about the proposed measures on Wednesday evening – and was immediately greeted, from behind him (it was Tory William Wragg), with the call, “Resign!”

When Javid protested that the decision to impose them was not taken lightly, another Tory shouted, “What a load of old tripe!”

These Tories had been led to believe that Johnson and Javid had decided to wait for further information on Covid’s Omicron variant on Tuesday, but the prime minister had hastily changed his mind when the video of Allegra Stratton laughing about the party in Downing Street on December 18 last year went public.

Johnson’s insistence that the increased transmissibility of Omicron meant he had to act – and he could no longer wait for the data he had previously said was needed on how serious the threat from the new variant was – seems unbelievable when one understands that the only change between his decisions was the release of the video clip.

According to The Guardian, many of these Tories were now saying they had “grave doubts about their own credibility with the public” as a result of the about-face and the apparent reason for it.

And they’re saying they will not help Johnson and Javid legitimise it at a retrospective vote on Tuesday (December 14) – either because of the scandal or because they don’t believe the rationale, which comes to the same thing if you think about it.

Tory MP Marcus Fysh said he would vote against the plan for Covid passports because they were a “massive imposition on our liberties” that should not be imposed “without absolutely crystal-clear need and evidence”.

William Wragg (him again) suggested the announcement was a diversion from allegations about parties at Number 10.

Former chief whip Mark Harper questioned why people should listen to the government and follow the rules “when people inside Number 10 Downing Street don’t do so”.

Steve Baker, a former minister and prominent critic of lockdown restrictions, has urged the “maximum number of MPs” to vote against Plan B measures.

Outside Parliament, the chairman of South Basildon Conservatives has resigned live on BBC Essex. Charlie Sansom said, “I cannot morally defend a party that I consider to be moving in a very tyrannical direction.”

In all, around 22 Tories have said they’ll oppose ‘Plan B’ for varying reasons – but this is not enough to stop it or undermine Boris Johnson and his lies, for one very good reason.

Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is going to support it.

‘Plan B’ doesn’t make any sense in its own right – businesspeople who’ll be affected by the new measures say they are contradictory (the classic is the distinction between restrictions at social venues that can hold more than 500 people and none at those with lower capacity. People are asking why ministers think Covid-19 will turn away from the smaller places) and will do little or nothing to stop the spread of the virus in any of its forms.

But Starmer is whipping Labour to support it.

It is a clear opportunity to rid the UK of a lying, corrupt prime minister who poisons everything he touches and who will continue to destroy the fabric of UK society if allowed to do so.

But Starmer is whipping Labour to support him.

It’s more evidence, as if any were needed, that Starmer is as bad a chancer, as much an opportunist, as Johnson.

He is happy to let Johnson continue destroying the UK and its people because he thinks Johnson will be easier to defeat in a general election than anyone who might replace him now – and the rest of us can go to Hell for the sake of his career.

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Will Tories rebel against extension of English lockdown to July 19?

Staying closed: many businesses may be forced to remain closed for a further four weeks – unless Tory backbenchers ruin Boris Johnson’s plans. But will he welcome that?

Well, there it is.

Boris Johnson is expected to announce an extension to the English lockdown, meaning most remaining restrictions won’t be lifted until July 19.

There are good grounds to do so:

Many scientists have called for the reopening to be delayed to enable more people to be vaccinated and receive second doses, amid rising cases of the Delta variant.

A delay would also allow more work to be done on whether vaccines are breaking, or simply weakening, the link between infections and hospitalisations.

But it is possible that the plan will face resistance – from Conservative backbenchers who are sick of the demand that we all wear masks when we go out, observe social distancing and keep some businesses closed, harming the economy.

On the last point, the BBC provides these examples:

If the lifting of restrictions is pushed back, the UK Weddings Taskforce – an industry group – estimates that 50,000 weddings planned in the four weeks from 21 June could be cancelled, with the industry losing £325m for every week of delay.

UKHospitality, which represents pubs, bars and restaurants, said businesses faced losing £3bn in sales if the relaxation of restrictions is delayed by a month.

The Night Time Industries Association said businesses such as nightclubs had already spent millions preparing to reopen, and the association will legally challenge any delay to reopening.

But the BBC also reports that projections based on the current trend show that if the current rate of increase continues, there could be 15,000 new cases per day – at least – by June 21. That’s double the number on June 13.

Ignoring that could be a public relations disaster for Johnson, who has been vilified as a dimwit for failing to acknowledge the warnings and delaying previous lockdowns, thereby assuring the deaths of thousands of people who might otherwise have avoided infection.

Still, collective responsibility for such recklessness is better for Johnson than having the blame piled on his shoulders alone, so he may welcome a vote that defeats his extension plan.

After all, how many of you will remember if your MP votes to end lockdown too soon? How many of you will even check what your MP does?

Source: Covid: Lockdown easing in England to be delayed by four weeks – BBC News

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Starmer’s Tory-supporting crackdown on his own party makes him a danger to people with disabilities

[Image: @Rachael_Swindon on Twitter.]

Apologists for Keir Starmer who reckon he’s easing the way for Tory legislation to make them “own their mistakes” will have a hard time justifying this.

Starmer and his team are working behind the scenes to stop Labour MPs from criticising the Conservatives.

After significant rebellions against one-line Labour whips on the Overseas Operations Bill and the Covert Human Intelligent Sources Bill (the so-called ‘Spycops’ bill that allows government agents to commit crimes including murder, torture and rape), the whips office has broken party protocol to issue written reprimands to the rebels.

The letters stipulate a reprimand period of six months, to be extended to twelve if the recipient continues to break the whip.

They have been shared with Labour’s parliamentary committee – a group of backbench MPs elected by the parliamentary Labour party (PLP), and currently dominated by the right – which will determine whether to inform the MP’s constituency Labour party (CLP), as well as the party’s national executive committee (NEC).

This information could then be considered when an MP seeks reselection ahead of a general election.

“That’s the fear factor,” one MP told Novara Media. “This could impact your reselection [and] it might be over a one-line whip. It’s intimidation plain and simple.”

A number of those who received letters are seeking legal advice from union representatives, the MP added.

But that’s not all.

It seems someone in Starmer’s office has taken it upon themselves to water down criticism of the Tory government’s failure to protect people with disabilities by reducing the disability employment gap and mitigating the effect of the Covid-19 crisis on them, and in its new COVID-19 guidance for people placed in the “clinically extremely vulnerable” group.

Someone in the office of the shadow minister for people with disabilities, Vicky Foxcroft, sent a draft of her comments to John Pring of Disability News Service which differed significantly from the official version of her comments released by the Labour Party.

The changes include the removal of a reference to the “vital” role played by trade unions in protecting disabled people from discrimination, along with any reference to disability discrimination.

Read the DNS article and see for yourself. It states,

Responding to the new pandemic guidance… her official statement said that disabled people were just “anxious” rather than “extremely worried”. Her call for disabled people who might need to shield again needing to be “properly compensated and not left without enough money to survive” had vanished.

This represents a serious policy change from Labour – back to the indifference to anti-disability discrimination that marred the New Labour years and Ed Miliband’s leadership.

People with disabilities can no longer rely on Labour MPs to stand up for them because it seems the party leadership now supports the Tories’ campaign to punish them, just for existing.

Starmer seems determined to let Boris Johnson’s corrupt Tories do whatever they want – harm whoever they want – while threatening to sabotage the careers of anybody in his own ranks who dares to protest.

The big question is: What is to be done about this?

The union Unite has already cut its funding to the Labour Party by 10 per cent, and the decision to remove a supportive reference to trade unions from an official comment could be interpreted as an attack – or even a retaliation. Should that union – and others – cut support for Labour even more?

And what about constituency Labour parties? The threat to MPs – which includes sanctions that could lead to their deselection (to be replaced by right-wingers parachuted in by head office, no doubt – that was Tony Blair’s practice) – is also an indirect attack on the power of members to choose their representatives.

Will they act? Should they?

What do you think?

Source: Keir Starmer Has Launched an Unprecedented Crackdown on Rebel MPs | Novara Media

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‘Spycops’ law will be used to spy on Labour, its MPs and trade unions. Why did 167 Labour MPs support it?

Another blunder: Keir Starmer’s insistence on allowing a law that would allow the government to undermine his party has created a rift between him and an ever-increasing number of his MPs.

It is already being labelled as a major rebellion against Keir Starmer’s leadership: 34 Labour MPs defying the party whip to vote against the controversial so-called ‘Spycops’ Bill that would allow government agents to commit crimes.

The real question about it, though, is: why so few?

Labour has been targeted by the so-called Establishment in the UK – probably from its beginnings as a political party. This includes espionage by the nation’s intelligence agencies.

We all know about famous incidents such as the Zinoviev Letter, which contributed to the fall of Ramsay MacDonald’s first Labour government. It was a forged communique allegedly between the government and the Communist government of Russia, written by people whose identities remain uncertain…

… but it was published by the Conservative Daily Mail, and it is widely believed that this was on the urging of the SIS – the intelligence service of the day.

Another famous issue is the MI5 file on Harold Wilson, which was opened when he first entered Parliament in 1945 and recorded his contacts with communists, KGB officers and other Russians.

It was opened because of concerns about his relationships with Eastern European businessmen. Can you imagine MI5 opening a file on Boris Johnson, over his relationships with oligarches from Russia?

Ultimately, none of the information in the file can have amounted to anything because MI5 never tried to use it to undermine him – despite his own paranoia about this in his later years.

Clearly there is a precedent for the security services – which are predominantly staffed by right-wingers – using every resource within their power to find ways of undermining the Labour Party.

And by abstaining on a Bill that allows government agents to commit crimes in order to achieve their aims, 167 Labour MPs including the party’s leader, Keir Starmer, have just handed them another such resource.

It’s undemocratic and dangerous – the kind of legislation created by a dictatorship in order to ensure, by fair means or foul, that no rival organisation can ever topple it.

But some good may come of it accidentally – the possible removal of Starmer as party leader.

Around 20 of his MPs rebelled against his demand to abstain on the Bill’s second reading. Yesterday (October 15), 34 defied his whip – including eight who resigned from front bench roles to do so:

 

Much of this can be attributed to Starmer’s own attitude, which suggests that he actually supports the Bill’s demand that government agents be allowed to commit any crime without fear of prosecution for it later – any crime at all, including the murder of the Tories’ political opponents:

Discontent with his lack of opposition to the worst Tory government in history is growing, and already there are rumours of a leadership challenge in 2021:

Political developments are strange; they don’t happen the way anybody expects – unless that person is very far-sighted indeed.

The Zinoviev Letter led to the fall of a Labour government – but only in a roundabout way. Labour’s vote increased in the general election; it was the collapse of the Liberal vote that allowed the Conservatives their victory.

It would be ironic if now, nearly a century after that attempt to end a socialist government, a piece of legislation that legalises espionage against the party that formed that government actually led to its re-founding as a socialist organisation once again.

That is the only comforting thought I can raise from what is, in all other respects, a disaster for democracy.

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If Labour rebels are planning to back BoJob’s Brexit deal, they’d better have their CVs typed up

Remember Northern Ireland? It seems up to 40 Labour MPs who are considering rebelling against the party leadership have forgotten all about the peace process – or couldn’t care less if it goes up in smoke.

How nice of Lisa Nandy to indicate that she may be minded to support Boris Johnson’s latest flawed attempt at a Brexit deal – and let’s hope she has her letter of resignation as a Labour MP prepared.

I’m not suggesting that she should go for supporting a deal, or Brexit in general. The official position is that the public voted for it and Parliament should follow the will of the people.

But any Labour MP supporting BoJob’s latest effort – and it is said that 40 are considering it – will be undermining the peace process in Northern Ireland. That would be unforgivable.

Perhaps the MPs in question have not considered that.

For the sake of their careers, they need to.

Boris Johnson’s team has started talking to Labour MPs about his new Brexit proposals, as the prime minister seeks to shore up Commons support ahead of a possible vote on his plan.

Labour MP Lisa Nandy said there had been tentative conversations between Labour MPs and senior members of the cabinet in recent days – and revealed that around 40 rebels could defy Jeremy Corbyn to support a deal.

However, Ms Nandy warned that the prime minister’s new proposals were little more than a “pre-election party political broadcast”, arguing that he was “further away from achieving a deal” than two months ago.

It comes as Brexit secretary Steve Barclay revealed the government was “considering” a Commons vote on the new proposals ahead of the European Council summit on 17 October, to send a message to Brussels that Mr Johnson had the backing of MPs.

Source: Boris Johnson’s team talking to Labour MPs as around 40 rebels ‘could back a Brexit deal’ | The Independent

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Lib Dems drift further to the political right in possible deal with Tory rebels

Jo Swinson: It’s an old pic but we don’t have any actual images of her negotations with Rory Stewart and his pals.

If this is true (and it’s a Sunday Times report, so that’s debatable), then it confirms the Liberal Democrats’ rightward drift since Jo Swinson took over as leader.

Remember last week, when former Tory Phillip Lee crossed the floor of the House of Commons to sit with the Liberal Democrats – prompted the party’s LGBT representative, Jenny Rigg, to quit?

She tweeted her anger at what she saw as her party’s capitulation to Toryism.

And it seems she was right:

Rebel Tories expelled from the party are in talks with the Liberal Democrats about a non-aggression pact.

The former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron is helping to broker a deal between Rory Stewart, an expelled Conservative and neighbouring Cumbrian MP, and the new leader, Jo Swinson, insiders say.

Under the proposal, Stewart would stand as an independent MP at the next general election but agree to accept a soft Lib Dem whip in exchange for the party not fielding a candidate against him. It is understood that the Green Party would also stand aside in Stewart’s Penrith seat.

[Other expelled Tory rebels including Sam Gyimah and Margot James are implicated in the deal.]

Make no mistake: a deal would only be possible if the Liberal Democrat leadership and the expelled Conservatives were able to see eye-to-eye politically.

And Ms Swinson’s behaviour makes it clear that it is her party that has moved into conjunction with the Tories, not the other way round.

This must be heartbreaking for all the traditional Liberals who have supported their party through nightmares like the Coalition government and beyond – not to mention those who voted LD because they want to remain in the EU. What a bare-faced betrayal.

Source: Lib Dems to stand aside for Rory Stewart and other Tory rebels in general election | News | The Sunday Times

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Did Boris Johnson really cancel Parliamentary passes of rebel Tory MPs? And what did drunken Dominic do?

Banged up: Someone’s impression of what should happen to Dominic Cummings after the alleged incident in which he drunkenly shouted at Jeremy Corbyn.

We all know that Boris Johnson has withdrawn the Conservative whip from 21 Tory MPs – but rumours are emerging that, in a fit of spite, he has also cancelled their Parliamentary passes, making it harder (but not impossible) for them to get into the House of Commons and vote against him today (September 4).

Commentators are suggesting this was on the advice of Dominic Cummings, Dictator Johnson’s chief advisor and Brexit guru.

Consider:

https://twitter.com/twychy12/status/1169017162943606784

Mr Cummings seems to be losing the plot a bit. Eyewitnesses are claiming he accosted Jeremy Corbyn in a corridor of the Palace of Westminster and drunkenly challenged him to support BoJob’s desperate call for a general election, late last night (September 3):

This is the quality of the people we have running the country today: drunkenness and spite.

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Tory rebels are set to call Dictator Johnson’s bluff

He THINKS he’s the law: Dominic Cummings, the Leave campaigner now seen as Boris Johnson’s top henchman, warns Tory rebels including David Gauke, Philip Hammond and – is that Theresa May or Ken Clarke? Michael Gove cheers him on while Dictator Johnson, wrapped in a Union Flag like a good ultra-nationalist fascist, watches from the background in this cartoon by Morton Morland.

Tory MPs who say they will not support Boris Johnson’s “no deal” Brexit may stand as independent Conservatives if he goes through with his threat to withdraw the whip from them – effectively expelling them from his party in Parliament.

The Dictator’s warning is already seen as an empty threat by many, as he would lose his majority in Parliament if he goes through with it.

And if BoJob’s government falls as a result, then he will not be leader and will be unable to follow through his threat to stop them standing as Tory election candidates.

So it could be crippling to him that as many as 20 Tory MPs are preparing to defy him:

The Mirror report, to which the tweet links, states that potential rebel MPs had been expecting to attend a meeting with Mr Johnson today (September 2), but this was cancelled after David Gauke appeared on a TV interview and said he was prepared to stand as an independent candidate in a future election, in the “national interest”.

BoJob said he would hold a “summit” meeting with Philip Hammond instead, but it seems unlikely that this will mollify the potential rebels.

The Dictator’s ultimatum means MPs who were cabinet ministers just six weeks ago may find themselves ejected from the party they used to lead in a matter of days – including, possibly, former prime minister Theresa May.

Also in the firing line are Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Dominic Grieve.

Some leading members of the Johnson camp have – astonishingly – claimed that nobody will be deselected at all, in what seems a transparent attempt to deflect attention away from what’s going on – particularly with reference to the apparent rebel ringleader, David Gauke:

It has been suggested that James Cleverly’s tweet may be deleted soon, so let’s just repeat its claim: “THERE IS NO DESELECTION MECHANISM IN THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY. We have had these Leave EU stories amplified by the press for months and no Conservative MP has been deselected. David Gauke is a great MP and a huge asset to our party.”

The threat from the Johnson camp has already been likened to a Stalinist purge, with some commentators pointing out that the only reason the mass media aren’t using those words is because it is happening in the Conservative Party and not Labour:

Indeed, the fact that Labour has not purged any MPs is being used against the Johnson regime:

But the most clear comparison is with Adolf Hitler – against whom Dictator Johnson has actually made himself appear the less acceptable figure:

Some have even adopted the optimistic view that this crisis could finish the Conservatives for good:

https://twitter.com/SurreyAmps/status/1168171760522604546

This Writer would not go that far. Conservatives are resilient and seem to have the survival instinct of the mythical hydra; cut off their head and two more will take its place.

And they are wily, too. Where the stick seems ineffective, Johnson and Cummings may try to apply the carrot and bribe their wayward colleagues back into line.

But the possible loss of his majority could represent a quantum leap forward in the battle against Boris Johnson’s bid to become the UK’s dictator.

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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Coercion: Now Dictator Johnson is saying Tory rebels will be barred from being election candidates

Threats and bluster: That’s all Boris Johnson has. He can’t follow through on any plan to remove rebel Tory MPs from Parliament because – if they vote against him – he won’t be their leader long enough to do it.

It’s another step into dictatorship – and it makes the Labour de-selection row look pale in comparison.

Boris Johnson has said any Conservative MP who votes against his plan for a “no deal” Brexit on October 31 will be barred from standing as a Tory candidate in the next general election.

He’s saying he will end their careers if they do what they think is right for the country. Here‘s The Sun (of all places) reporting it:

ANY Tory MP who votes for the extension legislation next week will not be allowed to stand as a Tory candidate at the next election.

I understand No10 have decided to treat next week’s votes as they would a confidence vote, with anyone not backing the Government being immediately disqualified from standing for the party again. They hope this will keep some Tory waverers in the Government lobby next week.

Dictator Johnson is effectively demanding that his MPs swear personal loyalty to him – in the same way Hitler did in the 1930s, for those of you who need the historical perspective.

This would directly contravene the terms on which they were elected in the first place, of course. Voters elect UK MPs on the basis of how they understand that person will represent their constituency – not their political party, and certainly not that party’s leader.

It is an empty threat. If Mr Johnson is defeated and his government falls, then it is unlikely that he will be the leader of the Conservative Party at the next general election, so he would be unable to ensure that rebels are de-selected.

And they have the balance of power here. If they vote against him, then his government falls – and he would be unable to follow through with his threat.

Also, look how good this makes Labour seem: Jeremy Corbyn’s party has offered constituency members the opportunity to de-select MPs they do not believe are representing them adequately in an entirely democratic process – a stark contrast to Dictator Johnson’s stance.

BoJob’s ultimatum has been met with disgust on the social media (although I’ve only seen a few tweets):

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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