Tag Archives: Vox

Thunberg and climate protesters acquitted because new laws are ‘too broad’ and ‘unworkable’

Greta Thunberg: the courts have sided with her against the police.

This is clear: the Tory government’s changes to protest law are unworkable.

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After nearly five years, it’s time to end my court crowdfunder

Many of you may remember This Writer was involved in a large court case, involving a nationally-known TV ‘celebrity’, for which I raised funds via the CrowdJustice website.

After nearly five years, and with donations of more than a quarter of a million pounds, it is time to end this campaign.​

My legal team has contacted me to say they are happy to close my account now, meaning there is nothing more for me to pay them and no reason to continue asking for donations.

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So it is time for me to thank everybody who supported me during my long and arduous legal battle – more than 11,000 of you.

Although I didn’t win the case, the fact that it took place made many thousands more people aware of the issues I had raised and allowed them to form their own opinions about my opponent.

So it seems that, in this case, it wasn’t necessary to win. The important thing was that I stood up for what I believed was right – and, in so doing, gave others the chance to decide what they believed as well.

This has been a long and exceptionally difficult campaign, and it would not have achieved anything at all without you. Everything I did achieve, I achieved with your help.

Thank you.


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Labour’s ‘boil a frog’ tactic is pulling the party away from voters but towards rich donors

Many years ago, a right-wing cuckoo in the Labour Party called Peter Mandelson assured the party’s then-leaders that they could shift their policies as far to the political right as they fancied because Labour voters didn’t have anywhere else to go.

He was wrong; at every general election after the 1997 landslide, the party lost voters as socialists abandoned what they saw increasingly as a party of Tories in red ties. It took the arrival of Jeremy Corbyn as leader to reverse the trend, with the re-injection of genuinely transformative policies.

And we all know what happened to him: right-wingers he had allowed to remain in the party (in the belief that it should be a genuinely “broad church”, whatever that means?) stabbed him in the back and sabotaged the 2017 (and probably the 2019) general election, eventually forcing him out.

Now, under Mandelson acolyte Keir Starmer, Labour is once-again a hard-right party. He has abandoned any “continuity Corbyn” left-wing pledges in order to follow policies that are indistinguishable from those of Rishi Sunak’s current Conservative government.

Despite this, Starmer’s Substitute Tory Party (formerly Labour) is being tipped to win the next general election by a landslide. Why?

It could be because the Sunak government is now blatantly corrupt, with new evidence of ministers (including the prime minister) lining their own pockets and those of their cronies in big business emerging every day.

It could also be because Starmer has drip-fed his right-wing policies into Labour’s programme for government slowly – giving party members and tribal followers an opportunity to forget (or simply fail to notice) the cumulative lurch to the far right that they represent:

Look at the recent announcement that a Labour government will continue to inflict poverty on 1.1 million UK children in defiance of the party’s own reason for existing (lifting working and working-class people out of poverty).

After this announcement, polls showed no lessening of enthusiasm for a Labour government – and only 20 Labour MPs seem keen to remind their leaders of the party’s duty to its members and supporters:

Why the lurch rightwards?

Obviously this is where Starmer’s political loyalties lie. He was never interested in re-balancing the economy to stop rich employers from impoverishing their workers, or to stop the destruction of our environment for the sake of a quick profit, or to stop the privatisation of our national treasures like the NHS for another quick profit.

But there’s a financial necessity too. One clear detrimental result of his rightward lurch has been an exodus of members away from a Labour Party they now consider toxic. This, along with a series of poor financial decisions, mean Starmer’s party very quickly frittered away the more-than £12 million Jeremy Corbyn had put in its bank account.

It needed funds – and went looking in the same place as the Tories:

The result is clear: two parties – Labour and the Tories – with the same policies, because they have the same people bankrolling them.

And with Starmer’s Labour working for big business, another element of the UK’s broken political system is coming into clearer focus:

That’s right. It seems the UK has been controlled by the same tiny group of super-rich influencers for many decades, with the wishes of voters coming a distant second to their selfish desires.

Continuing to vote for Labour means continuing to let this tiny minority run the rest of us into the ground for their own profit and perverse enjoyment.

It makes no sense at all.

And yet the polls show that is exactly what the majority of people want.

If you know anybody who has been misled or is deluded in this way, then for the sake of the United Kingdom and everyone in it, please explain their mistake to them. It might take a while but it will be worth it in the long run.


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The news in (very) brief from Vox Political

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign].

No time for summaries as I’ve been working on the Covid Inquiry saga all day.

Here are links to other stories I’ve noticed as well:


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Is this the reason the Riley libel case ended the way it did?

Last time I wrote about Rachel Riley’s court case against me, I said I might discuss the judge’s reasons for reaching the conclusion she did.

You will recall that she based her judgment on information that was not factual but was merely supposition by Ms Riley’s legal team (that I had not researched the events in question when I wrote my article. I said then – and repeat now – that I had in fact researched it very thoroughly).

She also said that the conclusions I had reached were not reasonable – this time based on nothing but her own suppositions.The Appeal Court judge said she was entirely within her rights to reach such conclusions without any evidence from either side to even suggest them.

One is led to question why a court of law would make such pronouncements without any facts to support them.

I can only put forward the suggestion that was made to me by a third party, shortly after the hearing on my appeal: that UK law as administered by its courts is set up to defend the reputation of libel claimants – to prevent damage to their good name.

This might explain why a judge, presented with any excuse – no matter how flimsy, might decide that a journalist and former newspaper editor of 25 years’ experience did not carry out any research into an article her wrote, even though no evidence existed to prove the claim.

It might also explain why a judge ignored a series of fact-based arguments, supported by current understanding of certain ways of behaviour, to reach her own conclusions to justify the events that formed the basis of the case.

It certainly explains why I have continued to appeal for funds to pay my legal team – who worked for years in the belief that my evidence would be judged on its own merits.

I would ask you to judge for yourself whether that actually happened but, with only the written judgments of the High Court and the Court of Appeal available, that might be difficult.

Please continue to support me (and my legal team) according to your means, and in the way that has become well-known over the last four years:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

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.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I may discuss the law further in a future update, as efforts have been made to make it more even-handed but I fear that judges have been rejecting those efforts in practise.

Rachel Riley libel case: why I had to fight

A few of my friends have been – shall we say – teasing me about my court loss against Rachel Riley.

They’ve been playing devil’s advocate, taking her (professed) view that I never had any chance to win. And it occurs to me that others might be saying the same, out behind the tiny Mid Wales town I call my home.

To those other people, and my buddies, I’d like to off these words of the late trade union leader Bob Crow:

“If you fight, you won’t always win. But if you don’t fight, you will always lose.”

I chose to fight, and in the end I didn’t win, due to a decision of a judge that was not based on any discernible facts.

That is a shame. But in fighting, I protected dozens of other people from having to go through the same process.

How many of us did Rachel Riley threaten with court? 60? 70? And in the end she only managed to attack three or four of us, to my recollection.

And she lost against one.

Let’s not forget that her friend Tracy-Ann Oberman also threatened me with court but never followed through on it, and her window of opportunity has now long since closed.

I’m going to count that as a win.

So you see, this fight was worthwhile.

I’m going to repeat my appeal for funds to finish paying my legal team for their work on the application to appeal against that last, fact-free court decision. Please continue to consider supporting me (and them) according to your means, and in the way that has become well-known over the last four years:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

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.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I might expand on the reasons for the court’s decision in a future update.

It seems to me that it explains much about British justice.


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Rachel Riley libel case: a question of finances

Remember last time, when I asked the question: if Rachel Riley didn’t spend anything on her libel action against me, why did she demand more than £3,500 from me in costs to do with her strike-out application and my appeal against it?

Some of you have suggested that I should take advice on what to do about that, as it seems wrong to make such a demand if no money was actually spent.

There’s a problem with that, though: I haven’t finished paying my legal team for their most recent work. Until that is cleared, I can hardly ask for more!

This is the first time in four years – and more than £250,000 – of fundraising that I have found myself in this situation.

I would like to put the question to my advisors – but I would also like to pay them, and paying them comes first.

If you think they should be paid for their sterling work, please follow these time-honoured instructions:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

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.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I have still heard nothing from Ms Riley’s advisors on the subject of a deal regarding the judgment in my case, so I think I may be right in assuming that they are waiting to see if I manage to make enough money to pay the money the court has ordered, whether it is deserved or not.

I don’t want this hanging over me indefinitely, and would like to find a way to bring them back to the negotiating table.

This… irregularity? could be one such way.


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Rachel Riley’s libel case: something doesn’t add up

Why is Rachel Riley demanding a huge amount of money in court costs if she didn’t actually spend anything?

Take a look at the Jewish Chronicle report published after I lost my bid for permission to appeal against the judgment in my libel case. In it, her solicitor Mark Lewis stated about me:

“People have crowdfunded [a] quarter of a million pounds to pay his solicitors and barrister … He has outspent Rachel by approximately £250,000.”

This indicates that Rachel Riley paid no money at all towards her court costs.

It’s entirely possible. All of her legal team could have worked for free. Obviously, payment in donations from somebody else would not count because Mr Lewis would have had to mention them, as he mentions donations to my CrowdJustice fund.

But then, why did Ms Riley claim such a large amount of money from me when I appealed against a decision to strike out my defences (and won), back in 2021?

In May that year, the Court of Appeal assessed my costs – for the appeal – at £22,180 and varied the High Court’s order on Ms Riley’s costs – for the strike-out – down to £25,808. That means I had to make a payment of £3,628 to her at that time.

Now, it seems Mr Lewis is saying she did not spend any money on that (or any) part of the case – but she still demanded thousands of pounds from me. Does that seem fair?

If not, does it seem fair that the High Court has gone on to say I should pay £100,000 to her for court costs that her solicitor appears to have said she never paid?

Whatever the facts of the matter – and I doubt we will ever hear them from either Ms Riley or her solicitor – I certainly did incur legal fees, some of which remain outstanding and my representatives deserve to be paid for the outstanding work they did in resisting Ms Riley.

If any of the above disturbs you as much as it does me, please help in the now time-honoured way:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

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.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

There remains no agreement over a possible deal; Ms Riley’s legal team simply have not been in touch, to my knowledge.

While I welcome their apparent reluctance to bankrupt me, I think they are hoping I will make enough money in the future to pay the money the court has ordered – cash that they may not deserve, if the above is accurate.

You may wish to draw your own conclusions about that.


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On This Date 2020: Is EHRC too busy scrabbling for anti-Semitism in Labour to bother with obvious Tory Islamophobia?

Islamophobia: the creator of this image thought it was bad enough in the Tories under Theresa May. Now, with racist Boris Johnson in charge, who knows how far the rot has gone?

How long has the Equalities and Human Rights Commission been looking for anti-Semitism in the Labour Party now? A year?

Either it is very well hidden – which would be odd, considering the number of (admittedly mostly false) claims made against the party – or the EHRC is determined not to stop until it has managed to concoct a convincing case.

It doesn’t fill one with confidence in that organisation.

And now we see that the EHRC is trying to squirm out of handling 300 documented cases of Islamophobia – in the Conservative Party.

Does anybody else smell a rat?

According to the Mirror, the dossier handed to the EHRC – by the Muslim Council of Britain – contains information about 16 Conservative MPs, one MEP, nine election candidates and 183 party members.

That’s 209 people, so presumably some are multiple offenders. I wonder if Boris Johnson is listed among them?

The allegations include:

  • A former councillor calling for “unconditional surrender” by Muslims, who they label “brutes who beat, kill and maim young women”;

  • A local party association chair who called for Muslims to be banned;

  • A member who called for Muslims to be thrown from bridges;

  • Another member who called for the forcible sterilisation of Muslims.

The MCB also condemns the Conservative Party’s failure to suspend MP Daniel Kawczynski after he spoke at an event alongside far-right leaders, and for failing to take action on MP Karl McCartney, who shared Islamophobic and anti-Semitic social media content by Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins.

Secretary General Harun Khan said the EHRC had failed to give any response to the MCB’s first formal complaint in May 2019, and says it was ‘extraordinary’ that the watchdog had taken no action in the 10 months since.

“There is no doubt that the Conservative party has an Islamophobia crisis: it is institutional, systemic and widespread” he said,

“The party’s response has been one of denial, dismissal and deceit – this results in clear discrimination against Muslims because of their religion”

The EHRC says it is waiting for information about a promised internal inquiry by the Conservative Party, which it is claiming will be “independent” even though it is to be carried out within the party structure.

This Writer can only wish them good luck with that. We’re all also awaiting publication of the report on Russian influence on the Conservative government, and on Boris Johnson’s relationship with Jennifer Arcuri.

Wise heads think it won’t just be a cold day in Hell, but their subjects may actually have taken up residence there before these reports are published.

Former Tory-supporting columnist Peter Oborne thinks – well, see for yourself:

In his article, he wrote:

The problem stretches from the lowest ranks of the Tory party to the very top. There is a massive problem with Islamophobic bigotry among Tory grassroots, where the MCB has provided a list of more than 100 cases.

Party members, councillors and officials have repeatedly made disgusting statements about Muslims, calling for them to leave the country, making provocative insults about the Prophet Muhammad and peddling malicious lies.

This should not come as any surprise to anyone, since poll results published by the anti-racist organisation Hope Not Hate last year showed that more than half of Conservative members thought Islam was “generally a threat to the British way of life”.

I’ve written before about Bob Blackman, the Conservative MP for Harrow East, who shared an anti-Muslim post by Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League; hosted the anti-Muslim Tapan Ghosh, the right-wing Hindu nationalist; and shared far-right and Islamophobic content on Facebook.

Anti-Muslim bigotry is not a barrier to promotion. Nadine Dorries, who also shared a tweet by Robinson, is now a health minister. This is no surprise, given that Johnson himself has a long record of making anti-Muslim remarks.

Tellingly, Johnson is surrounded by Islamophobes. Dominic Cummings, his most senior advisor, reportedly had overall responsibility for The Spectator website in 2006, according to Stuart Reid, the magazine’s acting editor at the time, when a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban was posted on the site.

One of Johnson’s up-and-coming advisors is Chloe Westley. She praised Anne Marie Waters, leader of the anti-Islam party For Britain, as a “hero”, even though Waters has called Islam “evil” and also has links to Robinson.

But he made a very important point: the UK’s mass media are ignoring this story:

I could find nothing at all about the MCB report in the Financial Times or Daily Telegraph. There were seven paragraphs on page 16 of the Times and 11 paragraphs on page 7 of the Guardian. Nothing in the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, or the Sun.

Most British newspapers are as Islamophobic as the Conservative Party itself, and in some cases, more so. This means they are effectively giving Johnson and his senior advisers and ministers a free pass to reshape the Tory party as a far-right, populist organisation of the type we already know too well on continental Europe.

It shows how the media have been manipulating your opinions and – by proxy – the actions of organisations like the EHRC.

The papers kicked up a huge fuss about the imaginary crisis of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party (where I doubt if even 200 genuine cases have been found among a membership of more than half a million in the past four years).

But their silence over 300 evidenced cases of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, which is much smaller than Labour, means few people know about it and any outcry is therefore minimised.

So the EHRC can say there’s no real demand for it to investigate, despite the fact that, in real terms, it is a bigger issue.

Source: EHRC Condemned For ‘Failure’ To Act On Tory Islamophobia

Riley libel case: no news means bad news. What’s she up to?

It is now two weeks since my last update and I have heard nothing from Rachel Riley or her legal team.

You may recall that I have demonstrated to her that I have no assets and am therefore in no position to pay her any of the generous £150,000 the High Court awarded her in damages and costs. I offered her a deal, or suggested that she should take proceedings to bankrupt me, with all the adverse publicity that would attract.

She has not responded. It is possible that she is ignoring the point, particularly if she thinks there is nothing to be gained from bankrupting me. It is also possible that her legals are plowing through my other articles (all 16,000+ of them) to try to find a repetition of the defamatory allegations against her, on which they can threaten me with contempt of court proceedings. This would be frustrating, as I have previously asked them to identify any articles that cause them concern.

You will recall that I was led to believe Ms Riley’s solicitor, Mark Lewis, had demanded half of the CrowdJustice fund, after claiming that neither he nor she would see any money from the case. I suggested that Mr Lewis might like to go on the record retracting that demand – or denying that he made it; either would suit me. I have heard nothing from him.

Meanwhile, my own hard-working representatives still have yet to be paid for their work. I’m aware that some of you may be unsympathetic to this after the court loss, but I also hear that there remains considerable support for me – so I’m repeating my appeal. Please:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

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.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I had hoped that this matter would be over by now but it seems Ms Riley is determined to extract something from me, despite there being nothing to gain, and despite the fact that she has known this for a considerable number of years.

Perhaps the intention is just to leave this hanging over me, so that if I ever manage to save an appreciable amount of money, she will be able to swoop in and reduce me to poverty again.

I’ll leave you to judge for yourself what kind of person would behave in such a manner.


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