Kiss of death: for benefit claimants, letters from the Department for Work and Pensions – no matter what colour the envelope in which they arrive, cause more problems than they solve. It isn’t the packaging of the letters that is the problem, it is the content – and the malice of the people writing it. [Image: www.disabledgo.com]
Can you believe the Department for Work and Pensions is planning to change the colour of its envelopes from brown to white, to encourage disabled people to open its letters?
Officials have apparently discovered the existence of “brown envelope anxiety”, which is a nervous condition triggered in some people whenever they receive an envelope of that colour – denoting a communication from an official source – through the letterbox.
They have wrongly deduced – probably from the name of the condition – that merely changing the colour of the envelope will magic away the anxiety.
How stupid can they be?
As a friend posted on Facebook,
It’s not the envelopes that need changing, DWP and Tory government, it’s your inhumane assessments processes that cause untold harm and distress to many.
I have a total fear of the postie coming to my house; that’s a huge trigger for me, let alone what’s put through the door.
[It’s about] living with never knowing when the review will come up and living with constant financial insecurity and the amount being taken away and leaving you destitute and probably homeless.
To add insult to injury, DWP officials think people with brown envelope anxiety will be more likely to read their white-envelope missives immediately if they print on the front: “IMPORTANT INFORMATION INSIDE. PLEASE OPEN.”
In fact – as they would know if they had asked any experts instead of listening to the tweeting birds inside their empty heads – this is more likely to trigger an anxiety (if not a heart) attack.
Rather than reading the contents of these white envelopes and responding to the Job Centres, it is more likely that overworked doctors will be examining the recipients’ vital signs – if they manage to get to a hospital in time.
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.
Is it just a coincidence that this happened a week after a High Court judge decided that ‘blue tick’ Twitter users should not be considered responsible for the behaviour of their followers?
Clearly the ruling by Mrs Justice Collins Rice, in Rachel Riley’s case against me, is factually wrong. The experience of Huffington Post reporter Nadine White simply underlines the fact.
Ms White had emailed Tory equalities minister (surely a contradiction in terms?) Kemi Badenoch to inquire why she had not supported a pro-vaccine video by participating in it.
Badenoch had responded by putting the emails on Twitter alongside a comment that they were “creepy and bizarre” and the HuffPost was “looking to sow distrust”.
Labour has demanded an investigation into whether this breached the ministerial code.
In a letter to civil service head Simon Case, the party said Ms White had been exposed to “a torrent of abuse online” – a dogpile.
Riley’s case against This Writer also concerns questions about whether the TV parlour game-player deliberately intended to expose a teenage girl with mental health issues to a torrent of abuse also.
The world “torrent” has been applicable to Twitter dogpiles since the case of Jack Monroe and Katie Hopkins, in which the word was used to describe the number of messages Ms Monroe received after Hopkins tweeted a false claim about her.
It was also disputed. But Mr Justice Warby stated that “‘Torrent’ is a noun, used metaphorically here. It may be colourful, and may tend to overstate what happened. But it is not an invention and nor is it in my judgment a serious distortion.”
This means even if the size of the dogpile against Ms White was not very large, the description may still be applied justifiably.
Labour’s involvement is hypocritical though. It comes from a political party whose members (including MPs) have also triggered dogpiles – for example against This Writer after The Sunday Times falsely accused me of holocaust denial (on the basis of false information leaked by – guess who? – a Labour Party officer).
I am appealing against the judgment that suggests ‘blue tick’ Twitter users can publish anything they like about other people without having regard for the possible consequences to those people.
If I win – and evidence including the Warby judgment suggests that I may – then this could have severe consequences for a minister who tried to discredit a journalist who seems merely to have been doing her job.
I am crowdfunding for the means to win my case, which is proving extremely costly because of the behaviour of Riley’s legal team. Information about that is available here (a search for “libel Mike Sivier” should reveal the necessary links).
Anyone interested in helping is urged to do one or more of the following:
Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the 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.
Justice isn’t for everybody – not in Tory Britain. It’s too expensive for most of us.
That doesn’t mean we should let a government minister – who should know better – inflict retaliatory harm against somebody who was only doing her job.
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.
Mad McVey: she looks like a pop-eyed loon in this image, and she’s been behaving like one in her attack on a beloved children’s charity.
Remember Esther McVile McVey? She was the poster girl for Tory bigotry before Priti Patel and she is still carrying out her vile work.
McVey has returned to headline news with an attack on Barnardo’s – one that could harm the organisation’s position as a charity.
She has said that a blog post by Barnardo’s, which aims to offer a guide to parents on how to talk to their children about racial inequality and white privilege in the UK, is “political”.
Charities are forbidden to campaign on political issues and could lose their status if found to be doing so.
But is it political campaigning when an organisation raises awareness of racism and the fact – fact – that in the UK white people have advantages that other ethnic groups don’t have?
Or is McVile distorting the facts in order to perpetuate the very racism the charity is highlighting?
In an opinion piece unwisely published by the Telegraph, she claimed that Barnardo’s could be “hijacked by people who want to use it as a platform for their political views”.
She said it would jeopardise Barnardo’s fundraising efforts it if it becomes “yet another charity more obsessed with political correctness and virtue signalling than actually helping people in need”.
That is a threat.
And what did Barnardos say, to provoke it?
The blog post states: “For the one in five Barnardo’s service users who are black, Asian or minority ethnic, the colour of their skin is an additional factor that negatively affects them and their families in a multitude of well documented ways.”
The article referenced well evidenced examples of white privilege, including higher employment rates, lower rates of prosecution and sentencing and a longer life expectancy for white people, with black African women having a mortality rate four times higher than white women in the UK.
The blog post states that being white doesn’t mean life is not hard, but it means it is not made harder because of your race.
“Helping children and those who nurture them, to understand what white privilege really means will not only prevent future generations from growing up to ignore race as an issue – but to be actively anti-racist through their actions.”
That all seems perfectly reasonable to This Writer.
But McVile went off the deep end:
McVey said while she will always be “grateful” to Barnardo’s, she was “deeply troubled” by its decision to “divert its attention to political activism”.
She continued: “This is such a misguided and misjudged move away from what the charity is about and what it ought to be doing.
“Barnardo’s is too important a charity to be hijacked by people who want to use it as a platform for their political views.”
On Friday, a group of 12 Conservative MPs reportedly wrote a letter to Barnardo’s chief executive, Javed Khan, to express their “concern and disappointment” over the post.
According to The Guardian, the MPs described the post as “ideological dogma” and “divisive militancy”. They also asked for it to be investigated by the Charity Commission.
So there it is – a threat against Barnardo’s charity status, simply because the charity spoke up about racial inequality.
Perhaps the 12 Tory MPs should be reported to the Equality and Human Rights Commission? Ah, but the EHRC has already refused to investigate Tory racism, hasn’t it? Isn’t that an example of white privilege, right there?
It seems the UK’s governing party is employing that classic DARVO gaslighting technique – deny, attack, reverse victim and oppressor. By claiming Barnardo’s has become political, the Tories are hiding their own racism.
This was Green MP Caroline Lucas’s attempt to stop Jeremy Corbyn from forming a government after he wins a ‘no confidence’ vote in Boris Johnson’s government.
It will be a relief for Corbyn supporters that her plan is so badly flawed that any of the other women she had suggested for it would be fools to support it.
Here’s how The Guardian reported her plan:
The Green MP, Caroline Lucas, has thrown down the gauntlet to 10 high-profile female politicians over blocking a no-deal Brexit, proposing a cabinet of national unity including Labour’s Emily Thornberry, the Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, and the former Conservative cabinet minister Justine Greening to seek legislation for a fresh referendum.
Lucas offered to broker a deal with female MPs from all the main political parties in Westminster, as well as the SNP’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon.
Lucas, who is understood to have begun talks with the women she has addressed in her open letter, sent the offer to Thornberry, Swinson, Greening and Sturgeon, as well as the Change UK MP Anna Soubry, the independent MP Heidi Allen, the SNP’s Kirsty Blackman, the independent Northern Irish MP Sylvia Hermon and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts.
The final MP who has been approached is Yvette Cooper, one of the leading Labour figures coordinating efforts to stop no deal, but the only one of the addressees who has not explicitly endorsed a second referendum herself.
Unfortunately for Ms Lucas, critics on the social media were quick to point out that her all-female cabinet was also all-white. Why were there no black MPs among them?
And why did they have to be all-female anyway?
Against this sexist and racist background, they also asked why Yvette Cooper had been included; a backbencher who does not support Ms Lucas’s call for a second referendum.
Can you explain why Yvette Cooper – who is a backbencher who isn’t on record anywhere backing a new referendum – represents the Labour leadership – while Diane Abbott – who is Shadow Home Secretary and who backs a new referendum – doesn’t? Why have you just selected white women? https://t.co/Prkr9ETrUq
I thank @CarolineLucas for her fight against Brexit, and I will always stand with her on a platform to Remain, but I worry her new proposed plan would not solve our country's divisions. The people must have the final say, not politicians from either side. Here's my full reply. pic.twitter.com/VByHbf9d7Y
What is the point of the Greens? Acting as Tory & Lib Dem pawns. Brexit their only concern. Vehemently anti Corbyn & hence anti socialism. Veering to the right in policy making. Little noise on the impending climate disaster.
Theresa May: “Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are exploiting populist politics” [Image: Pool New/Reuters].
She just can’t stop putting her foot in her mouth.
I wonder that nobody questioned the wisdom of attacking the so-called “populist politics” of Mr Corbyn at an exclusive dinner to which only very rich people are invited.
Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party states repeatedly that it is “for the many” – but Mrs May made her speech at an event that was open only to those who could afford the £15,000 admission fee.
That’s more than most people earn in a year.
The “free trade” and “economic liberalism” extolled by Mrs May are Tory myths. She is taking the UK into an era of highly-taxed trade, thanks to Brexit.
And what about her “rules-based order”? Tories belong to the party of deregulation. Their relaxation of the rules allowed the Grenfell Tower fire to happen, and it is on their orders that Carillion collapsed.
Mrs May’s claim that a Labour government will cause a run on the pound is rich; she has started several, simply by making speeches.
Her claim about capital flight – businesses and wealth deserting the UK – is already coming true due to Brexit (so, again, the Tories are responsible).
And Labour’s plans for re-nationalisation will return the profits from water, energy and rail companies to the United Kingdom after decades in which we paid for other nations to prosper.
She could not have made a better case for electing a Labour government.
Theresa May has pledged to “defeat socialism” as she attacked Jeremy Corbyn for exploiting “populist politics”.
Amid an increasingly divided Tory party, the Prime Minister has attempted to rally flagging Conservatives by turning her fire on the Labour Party.
Speaking at the Conservative Party Black and White Ball on Wednesday night, May was expected to contrast Labour’s left-wing agenda to her party being champions of “free trade, economic liberalism and the rules-based order”.
Lola Olufemi: When the Daily Telegraph published its retraction, she tweeted: “Small victories, hopefully I can get on with my job now.”
You couldn’t make it up – unless you worked for a right-wing rag like the Daily Heil or the Torygraph. And from now on, even if reporters at those organs try, they won’t be believed.
The Daily Mail blotted its own copy(book) with an article on “Our Remainer Universities”. Building on the revelation that Tory whip Chris Heaton-Harris had written to universities, requesting details of courses and lecturers dealing with the European Union and Brexit, the <ahem> paper asked readers to send in their own stories.
Apparently nobody in the editorial team stopped to consider the kind of responses they would get from respondents who are – not to put too fine a point on it – educated.
Nor did they expect the floodgates to open in quite the way they did. This Site has already published one professor’s response. Here are a few more, from a range of sources:
For those who cannot read images, Steve Peers wrote: “Dear Witchfinder General,
“I am writing to turn myself in as what your paper would consider a biased professor.
“I discuss the details of refugee law with my students, whereas your paper referred to the ‘problem’ of Jewish refugees ‘pouring into the country’ and depicted recent asylum seekers as rats.
“I ask students to look at EU and human rights laws on LGBT equality, whereas your paper referred to ‘abortion hope’ after a ‘gay gene’ was found.
“I discuss the risk that far right extremism poses to human rights, whereas your paper cheered ‘hurrah to the blackshirts’; and I outline the importance of the rule of law, whereas your paper shrieks that judges it disagrees with are ‘enemies of the people’.
“Despite all this, I can only dream of receiving the huge sums from the EU that your editor Paul Dacre has obtained.
“I can only salute your paper’s commitment to the truth, in spite of its many losses and settlements in libel cases and the frequent readers’ complaints it provokes.
“Professor of Law, University of Essex.”
“I attend updog university, and we are being taught anti Brexit propaganda by our left wing professors. We are now made to gather in the study hall once a week and salute an EU flag whilst the professor slowly eats a croissant.
“Another lesson that is now mandatory is ‘brexit may not have been a good idea and blind patriotism is a foolish and extremely dangerous answer’. I think this is disgusting. If you keep saying it will be ok, it will be ok. We all know this. I once had a rabbit that got smashed to bits by a tractor and I said it would be ok and a few days later my dad got me a new rabbit.
“Please help me, there is no longer any room for bigots like myself at places of education and thought.
“I thought you might be interested in the behaviour of one of our lecturers. In a 2nd year module I take (‘Cultural Maxism and Masculinities’ – 15 credits) our lecturer declared that they were committed to ‘free speech’, but on condition that the speech was in a language other than English. My mate was determined to give an opinion on why Brexit was good, but was forced to stand at the front of the class explaining it in French, a language he doesn’t really speak.
“I wish to inform you that I have indeed experienced bias around Brexit at the University of Leeds.
“Only yesterday, I had a lecturer of International Communication show us a study which supposedly demonstrated that the wider international community believe that Brexit is a bad idea. I soon put him straight by showing him my curved banana and asking him whether or not this was the kind of thing that should be influenced by bureaucrats in Brussels.
“Needless to say, the spineless lefty had no response to my compelling argument.
“It is totally scandalous that the lecturers there have based their opinions about Brexit on both fact and quantifiable research that has been critically assessed and approved of by other members of the academic community.
“I can only pray that my lecturers stop using verifiably true information to influence the young minds that they are placed in charge of, and instead use publications such as yours to show students that Brexit will not only bring prosperity to our nation, but will also rid our proud island of the scourge of immigrants, with their unpronounceable names and funny accents.
“I hope this anecdote will be useful to you and your fine fact reporting establishment.
And from Tim Brudenell: “Dear Sir/Madam, but hopefully Sir
“There I was performing my morning salute to the national anthem in my commemorative Princess Diana knitwear when my History lecturer kegged me and forced me to eat a copy of Das Capital.
“I was so distressed by this event I had to cancel my erotic pottery class.
Not to be outdone, the Daily Telegraph ran a story claiming that Cambridge University Student Union women’s officer Lola Olufemi had forced the university to stop discussing white authors in order to “decolonise” its curriculum.
Of course the letter signed by Ms Olufemi and more than 100 students, on which the article was based, did not call for the exclusion of white men from reading lists and Cambridge University has not dropped any authors from its courses.
Nevertheless, the Mail (again) followed up the story with a a profile of Ms Olufemi headlined ‘Feminist killjoy* behind the campaign (*It’s what she calls herself)’.
"Remember that black student yesterday, the one on the front cover, who was attacking white authors? Yeah, we made that up. Sorry." pic.twitter.com/eaAx4l8HkT
The apology that appeared in the Torygraph‘s ‘Corrections and clarifications’ the following day stated: “An Oct 25 article incorrectly stated that under proposals by academic staff in response to an open letter from students on “decolonising” its English Faculty, Cambridge University will be forced to replace white authors with black writers. The proposals were in ract recommendations. Neither they nor the open letter called for the University to replace white authors with black ones and there are no plans to do so.”
These are just the latest blunders by our supposedly impartial mainstream media – which still, improbably, expect us to believe they are more reliable than online news sites.
Now, it seems people have decided enough is enough – and have started lampooning mainstream news stories as they come out.
For example, try this retooling of the story that the man who (allegedly) shot John F Kennedy – Lee Harvey Oswald – met representatives of the KGB before setting out to kill the then-president. It has been re-written to present a story that might be considered more in line with Heil readers’ leanings (and the version I’m using has been edited by an acquaintance to add some salient facts):
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Thomas Mair killed Jo Cox in what her husband Brendan described as “an incompetent and self-defeating act of terrorism” and the Judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, said was “carried out to advance a political cause of violent white supremacism, associated with Nazism”.
But The Sun and The Mirror want you to believe it was because his mother married a black man, and the Daily Mail would rather blame the phantom threat of immigrants taking his home.
What utter drivel.
There is no evidence that Mair’s family history contributed to his crime.
There is no evidence that his landlord – the local council – wanted to evict him. In fact, under the terms of his tenancy, it seems this was impossible.
It seems all three periodicals have become apologists for terrorism.
The Mail‘s dubious stance was compounded by the fact that it buried its report of the court’s verdict on page 30 of that day’s edition of the paper – an act that drew justified attention from LBC radio’s James O’Brien.
Speaking on his show, he said: “The Daily Mail has chosen to put the murder by a neo-Nazi of a serving British MP – and by her own husband’s account, a mother who put her children ahead of anything career-wise – on page 30.
“I don’t really understand why. Unless a murder by a neo-Nazi is less offensive to the sensibilities of the editor of this newspaper than a murder by a radical Islamist.
“Surely any fully-functioning moral compass would be equally disgusted by both.
“For people to use terror and death to pursue a political or an ideological goal in a civilised, peaceful society, it doesn’t matter what colour the killer is, does it?
“Or what religion they are? Or what ludicrous, violent ideology they are trying to pump. The point is it is violent. It’s ideological. White supremacy, radical Islam, they are both equally vile, equally repugnant.
“And yet, if this woman had been murdered by a Muslim? Page 30? You think?”
The Public Order Act 1986 is still in effect, is it not?
According to that Act, “A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred or, having regard to all the circumstances, racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.”
The articles discussed above were certainly likely to stir up racial hatred because of their abusive or insulting attitude towards people of colour and/or immigrants.
So when will the owners, editors and writers of these pieces be prosecuted?
According to Wikipedia, “The alt–right is a loose group of people with far right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States.”
The article goes on to say: “The alt-right has no formal ideology, although various sources have stated that white nationalism is fundamental. It has also been associated with white supremacism, Islamophobia, antifeminism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, ethno-nationalism, right-wing populism, nativism, traditionalism, and the neoreactionary movement.”
White supremacism, anti-Semitism and right-wing populism would have swung it for me – they’re Nazis in a new suit (or perhaps uniform).
But it seems they are self-identifying as Nazis as well. Take a look at this alt-right logo:
Now see an original Nazi newspaper propaganda rag:
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