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Extremely Online and Incredibly Tedious

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 13/06/2024 - 12:03am in

“Brat” reads like a c. 2010 Tumblr page spat up by the Wayback Machine.

Akehurst banned Jewish candidate for blowing whistle on sexual abuse

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/06/2024 - 8:45am in

Jewish would-be candidate says Starmer’s imposed Israel-fanatic candidate for North Durham used NEC position to tell her she couldn’t stand because she would ‘bring Labour into disrepute’ because she blew the whistle on ‘sadistic and criminal’ abuse of domestic violence victims

Luke Akehurst – the fanatically pro-Israel ‘parachute’ candidate imposed by Labour’s national executive (NEC) as the party’s candidate in North Durham – told a Jewish woman last year that she couldn’t stand for the party because she blew the whistle to protect vulnerable domestic violence victims, according to whistleblower Elaina Cohen. Skwawkbox contacted Akehurst for comment on the allegations at the time, but he did not respond.

Elaina Cohen was wrongfully dismissed by right-wing MP Khalid Mahmood after she made ‘protected disclosures’ about abuse and exploitation by Mahmood’s lover of Muslim women fleeing domestic violence. One of the victims gave evidence at Cohen’s industrial tribunal about the ‘sadistic’ and ‘criminal’ abuse she had suffered at the hands of the woman, who also worked for Mahmood. Neither Mahmood nor his lawyers contested the victim’s evidence. As part of her testimony, she said:

Whilst befriending them [the lover] would find out their weaknesses and secrets and then would blackmail and exploit them for her own benefit and amusement and that of others.

She told the court via her unchallenged statement that Mahmood’s female staffer, with whom he was said to be in a relationship:

  • used a domestic violence charity she ran to blackmail domestic violence victims into shoplifting and giving her their social security benefits
  • made victims take speeding points on their licence that they did not incur
  • sadistically abused victims
  • made the chief executive of the charity suicidal by blackmailing her and taunting her
  • targeted Victim A on social media
  • revealed details of the charity’s vulnerable ‘service users’ to others
  • used her and other women from the now-defunct charity ‘for the private entertainment of important people’
  • introduced one victim to a male friend who hurt the woman, ‘but she didn’t care’
  • berated two victims for stealing the wrong jacket from a local department store
  • made victims fund meals for local Labour politicians
  • made victims ‘stalk’ Mahmood and report back on him

Cohen also repeatedly informed Starmer and Labour general secretary David Evans of what was being done to the women, but the pair took no action, part of a pattern of cover-ups that saw Starmer shelter at least two alleged sex pests on his front bench – and one confirmed sex pest in a senior job – while claiming to be a ‘champion’ of women facing domestic violence.

Akehurst’s deranged – and paid – support for Israel even in the midst of the genocide it is committing against the Palestinian people in Gaza is well known, but it is far from the only issue with him being allowed anywhere near a parliamentary seat. And his boss, who is cut from the same cloth, has no business being anywhere near power.

Khalid Mahmood has also been re-selected to stand in Birmingham Perry Barr, despite Cohen’s revelations about the victims and also her allegations of theft and taking cash from Kuwait, which he denied. Labour says it selects ‘quality candidates’.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Private water lobbyist who worked for Cooper claims she will be ‘change’ candidate

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/06/2024 - 5:33am in

Jade Botterill’s employment history raises questions about her campaign claims and ‘about’ section

Jade Botterill, Keir Starmer’s candidate for the new Ossett and Denby Dale seat, has claimed in her ‘about me’ campaign page that,

Unlike many in politics… I haven’t spent a lot of time in the Halls of Westminster.

However, her Linkedin page reveals that she spent six years in Westminster – first as a parliamentary assistant to the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee (from 2016 Yvette Cooper) and then directly for Cooper as her parliamentary head of office:

Her ‘about me’ section also mentioned, according to The Daily Politik, that she worked in PR for petitions site ’38 Degrees’ for about 18 months – the mention now appears to have been removed. However, it makes no mention of her working as a spin doctor for Yorkshire Water, one of the worst sewage polluters of Britain’s waterways:

Instead Ms Bottrill claims, without mentioning her time with Yorkshire Water, that she now spends her working hours ‘holding water companies to account when they pollute our rivers and seas’:

Now, in my professional life, I work to support vital local and national campaigns, like holding water companies to account when they pollute our rivers and seas… These are all key issues facing us across Ossett and Denby Dale.

Ms Bottrill claims she represents ‘change’ and is unlike the usual Starmeroid/Blairite drones who get their selections after working for other Blairite MPs. Her employment history raises serious questions.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

It’s the Real Thing!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 29/05/2024 - 9:59pm in

Realism, optimized.

Graham shredded after flip-flopping on Starmer’s Labour in just 3 days

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 26/05/2024 - 3:59am in

On Wednesday, Labour was the change the country needed, now she’s attacking holes in workers’ ‘new deal’ she said was good only last week – cosying with Starmer exposed again

Sharon Graham has been derided on social media after a feeble flip-flop on Keir Starmer’s red-Tory politics – which she put out a video praising only last week and followed up by claiming Labour could be the ‘real change’ the UK needs.

Last week, Graham told LBC that she was ‘really really pleased’ with Starmer’s plan for working people – despite widespread reporting of his intention to water down the ‘new deal’ to please businesses and billionaires.

On Wednesday, when Tory PM Rishi Sunak called a general election, Graham tweeted – and was correctly lambasted for in hundreds of responses criticising her for spouting support for a party led by Keir Starmer, who has broken every campaign promise he made to get into the leadership and is indistinguishable from the blue version of the Tories apart from his rosette:

But this morning, perhaps attempting to regain some self-destroyed credibility, she claimed to have suddenly realised that the plan she had just been ‘really really pleased’ with had ‘more holes in it than Swiss cheese’ – yet still acted as if Starmer might somehow stop licking the backside of elites and fight for ordinary people:

The response was, predictably, almost uniformly blisteringly negative. A selection is shown below:

Graham has long been criticised for her cosiness with Keir Starmer, her willingness to accommodate his wishes despite his broken promises and his betrayal of workers – and the war she has waged, seemingly on his behalf, on those showing solidarity with those murdered, maimed or smeared by Israel.

Graham and her team have been accused of banning films combating racism and revealing the sabotage of the party and its members by Keir Starmer from the union’s buildings, along with a book exposing the Labour right’s collusion with the Israel lobby against supporters of Palestinian human rights.

One of her team allegedly threatened a soon-to-retire regional official with the loss of his pension bonus if he did not cool his support for the people of Palestine against Israel’s genocide, while Graham herself has been alleged by Unite insiders to have:

Her tenure as Unite boss has also been marked by a string of other allegations – which neither she nor the union has denied – including destruction of evidence against her husband in threat, misogyny and bullying complaints brought by union employees. She is also embroiled in both an employment tribunal for discrimination and a defamation lawsuit brought by Irish union legend Brendan Ogle for the union’s treatment of him and comments made about him by Graham and her close ally Tony Woodhouse.

She has also been accused by Unite’s national officers’ group of showing contempt for the union staff’s collective agreements, taking an anti-trade union stance and attempting to use legal action to intimidate staff with grievances. Graham has suffered an unopposed vote of no confidence by at least one significant union branch over her conduct – and is spending a huge amount of members’ money on expensive lawyers to try to defeat Brendan Ogle’s legal actions against her and her allies.

And Unite’s key ‘Finance and General Purpose Committee’ of elected executive representatives walked out en masse last week in disgust at Graham’s behaviour toward union democracy and staff, saying they will initiate legal action through a complaint to the union Certification Officer.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Sangita Myska: More Media Figures Sign Open Letter to LBC Expressing ‘Deep Concern’ About Her Departure

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 14/05/2024 - 4:25pm in

More than 170 journalists, broadcasters, celebrities, politicians, academics and activists have now signed an open letter to LBC expressing their "deep concern" at the "sudden disappearance" of the presenter Sangita Myska from the station.

Dozens more signatories were added to the list, which already included senior BBC and Channel 4 News journalists, Members of Parliament and the singer Charlotte Church.

Those signing the letter say that Myska's departure from the station "has been interpreted by many as the station’s complete disregard for industry standards relating to diversity [and] transparency".

They also express concern that her departure shows that "excellent journalists are at risk for simply doing their job and asking robust questions."

Myska's departure led to widespread speculation online that she had been sacked due to her on-air questioning of an Israeli spokesman about the war in Gaza, something that has been denied by figures at LBC.

Among those signing the open letter are the Channel 4 News presenters Symeon Brown, and Lindsey Hilsum, who describes Myska as a "brave, principled and excellent broadcaster" as well as Labour MPs Zarah Sultana, Yasmin Qureshi and John McDonnell.

Other signatories include thejournalists Gary Younge and Owen Jones as well as Martin Forde KC, who led the Forde Inquiry into racism, sexism and bullying within the Labour Party.

In their letter they state that "in a world beset by disinformation and misinformation, Sangita's voice as a truth teller throughout her career is even more sought after now and is missed."

They also say her departure has prompted fears about the station's commitment to diversity in journalism, saying that "Sangita has used her platform to uplift underrepresented voices, mentor diverse talent, provide allyship to a wide range of communities, tell their stories, while challenging racist narratives and institutional bias with intelligence, wit, and lived experience."

Myska's departure led to a large public outpouring of support for the presenter, with tens of thousands of people signing a petition protesting against it.

She has yet to publicly comment about her exit. However, other LBC presenters, have pushed back against suggestions that it was due to anything other than commercial considerations.

The station has since revamped their weekend schedule, with her slot split between the former Conservative Party parliamentary candidate Ali Miraj and Vanessa Feltz.

LBC did not respond to a request for comment.

Open Letter to LBC About Sangita Myska

We, the undersigned colleagues, friends, supporters and allies of Sangita Myska are writing to express our deep concern at her sudden disappearance from LBC.

Sangita is a highly respected award-winning presenter with a proven track record in international journalism for more than 20 years. She has been described by Channel 4 News’s Lindsey Hilsum as a ‘brave, principled and excellent broadcaster’ and ‘a national treasure’ by photographer and film director Misan Harriman. She is also one of the few women of colour to have been so successful in an industry where barriers to entry and progression are many.

The unexplained disappearance for weeks of a high profile, popular journalist from LBC’s schedule - the only Asian presenter in a regular slot - shocked, upset and confused her peers and thousands of listeners across the UK, whose strength of feeling is palpable.

The abrupt nature of Sangita’s departure, and the absence of an explanation, has been interpreted by many as the station’s complete disregard for industry standards relating to diversity, transparency and attributing value to its audiences, and concern that excellent journalists are at risk for simply doing their job and asking robust questions.

Sangita is the daughter of immigrants who settled in London against the backdrop of violent racism in the 1970s and 80s. After a non-selective state school education and a degree made possible only by a full maintenance grant, she secured a highly competitive spot on the prestigious BBC News Trainee Reporter scheme. She is a representative of ordinary everyday people in a media landscape that is dominated by those with immense privilege - be that a private education or Oxbridge degree, familial or social connections, or through their sex, class, race or physical or neurotypical ability.

Sangita’s journalistic record and professional integrity remains unimpeachable. Her approach is fair and balanced. She established a ‘rare rapport’ with her audience, author Tim Walker notes, at a time when public trust in the mainstream media is low. Our concern is recent events could undermine that trust further.

Diversity also matters. Sangita has used her platform to uplift underrepresented voices, mentor diverse talent, provide allyship to a wide range of communities, tell their stories, while challenging racist narratives and institutional bias with intelligence, wit, and lived experience.

Little wonder then that Sangita soon became a favourite presenter at LBC attracting a large, growing and loyal listenership from all backgrounds, inspired by her journalism, honesty, and bravery in holding public figures to account. Clips of her shows have regularly received millions of views online and much praise.

In a world beset by disinformation and misinformation, Sangita's voice as a truth teller throughout her career is even more sought after now and is missed. The huge outcry by her followers in recent weeks and those concerned about press freedoms highlights this. We stand in solidarity with Sangita Myska and look forward to the return of her valued journalism."

The Signatories

Professor Aaqil Ahmed, Former Head of Religion BBC and Channel 4

Afua Hirsch, Writer and Broadcaster, Professor of Journalism

Aina J. Khan, Freelance Journalist

Alex Murray

Alexandra Pringle

Alex Collins

Alvaro Alvarez, Documentary Filmmaker

Amanda Kirton

Anoop Pandhal, Documentary Series Producer, Defiance, Channel 4

Anu Anand, Presenter, Journalist and Podcast Host

Ariane Sherine, Journalist

Arif Asif, Operations Manager, Asian Media Awards

Arifa Akber, Chief Theatre Critic at The Guardian

Ashish Joshi, Health Correspondent, Sky News

Ashitha Nagesh

Asif Kapadia, Film Director

Asjad Nazir, Entertainment Editor of Eastern Eye Newspaper

Aysha Rafaele, Executive Producer

Barnie Choudhury, Journalist and Broadcaster

Becky Gardiner, Goldsmiths, University of London

Bola Mosuro, Journalist and Broadcaster

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Journalist and Editor

Charlotte Church, Musician

Clare Kennedy

Clare Sambrook, Freelance Journalist

Corey Brotherson, Author

Daniel York Loh - Writer, Performer, Filmmaker, Associate Artistic Director - Kakilang, Chair - Equity Race Equality Committee

Daisy Ayliffe, Documentary Director and Filmmaker, BBC, Channel 4

Dal Babu OBE, former Chief Superintendent Metropolitan Police

David Noble, Medical Scientist and Petition Founder

Darshan Sanghrajka, Founder at Super Being Labs

David Chipakupaku, Producer, Sky News

David Robson, Author

Dawn Emery, Freelance Journalist

Professor Des Freedman, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dhruti Shah, Freelance Journalist and Creative Lead, Have You Thought About

Diana Evans, Author

Dionne Shury Trotman, Former BBC Journalist

Dougie Comrie, Retired Detective Inspector, Police Scotland

Emma Maxwell, Senior Producer, Channel 4 News

Fadah Jassem, Freelance Journalist

Fatima Salaria, Freelance TV Executive

Fay Nurse

Frances Coppola, Author and Speaker

Frances Leach, Labour Councillor City of London

Gary Younge, Journalist, Professor and Orwell Prize Winner 2024

Georgia Coan, The Telegraph

Graham Hughes, Adventurer

Hadassah Shah, Writer, Musician, Creator

Hamza Ali Shah, British Palestinian Freelance Journalist / Writer

Hannah Weisfeld, Executive Director and Founder of Yachad UK

Hasan Salim Patel, Communications Consultant

Helena Wadia, Journalist and Co-host of Media Storm Podcast

Hewete Haileselassie, Journalist and Communications Specialist

India Willoughby

Inge Snip, Senior Editor, Women Press Freedom at the Coalition For Women In Journalism

Ishaq Khan, Software Engineer

Jackie Long, Social Affairs Editor, Channel 4 News

James Mates, Europe Editor, ITV News

James Wong, Botanist and Broadcaster

Jamie Klingler, Co-Founder Reclaim These Streets

Jamsheda Ahmad Young, Former Assistant Editor /Senior Journalist, BBC World News

Jane Cashman

Jane C Woods, ChangingPeople

Janey Starling, Co-director Level Up

Jasmine Dotiwala

Jat Dhillon, Freelance Journalist

Javed (Jah-Vhed) Thomas, Co-Founder of Race Equality Matters

Jini Reddy, Author and Journalist

Joanna Hall

John McDonnell MP

Professor Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, King’s College London

Karishma Patel, Journalist/Newsreader

Karnagie Sharp

Kate Watkins, Associate Professor of Journalism

Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Black Studies, Birmingham City University

Keme Nzerem, Freelance Journalist

Kinda Haddad, Journalist, Formerly of BBC Panorama

Kwajo Tweneboa, Social Issues Campaigner

Lehni Lamide Davies, Programme Director - BA Theatre and Social Change (Hons)

Rose Bruford College

Leila Sansour, Filmmaker and Journalist

Leroy Logan MBE, Founding Member of National Black Police Association, Former Superintendent at the Met Police and Author

Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor, Channel 4 News

Lisa Hack, Audio Producer and Educator, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Lisette Johnston, Former BBC World News Planning Editor

Lorraine King, Radio Presenter and Former Journalist

Lovejit Dhaliwal, Freelance Journalist and Documentary Maker

Lyse Doucet

Mai Noman, Journalist

Mark Newbold

The Marsh Family, Musicians

Marsha Ramroop, Author, Inclusion Strategist and Former BBC Journalist

Dr Marcela Pizarro, Goldsmiths, University of London

Martin Forde KC

Mathilda Mallinson, Journalist and Co-host of Media Storm Podcast

Matt Walsh, Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University

Maxine Watson, Executive Producer

Megha Mohan

Melissa Sigodo, Journalist and Founder of The Thread Newsletter

Michael Morgan, Social Media Commentator

Mike Lanchin

Misan Harriman, Photographer and Film Director

Mobeen Azhar, Journalist / Filmmaker

Mohamed Madi

Monisha Rajesh, Author

Myriam Francois, Broadcaster

Nalini Sivathasan

Naresh Kaushik, ,Journalist and Broadcaster

Nathan Holder, Author of If I Were A Racist

Nawal Al-Maghafi

Professor Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths, University of London

Natasha Junejo, Trustee South Asian Heritage Trust, Literary lead South Asian Heritage Month

Nazanine Moshiri, Senior Analyst, International Crisis Group

Nazir Afzal, Former Chief Prosecutor

Neila Butt, Creative Equity Lead, Channel 4

Nina Robinson, CEO Soundtruism Productions

Nimra Shahid, Freelance Journalist

Nitin Sawhney CBE, Composer, Producer and Musician

Olivia Crellin

Dr Omega Douglas, Goldsmiths, University of London

Owen Jones, Columnist, The Guardian

Patsy Stevenson, Public Figure, Equal Rights Campaigner

Revd Peterson Feital, Founder CEO, The Haven + London

Poonam Joshi, Foreign Correspondent and Women’s Rights Activist

Ramaa Sharma, Journalist and Executive Coach

Rasha Qandeel, Egyptian British Journalist, NUJ Member

Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Freelance Journalist

Reha Kansara

Reni Eddo-Lodge, Author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Reshmin Chowdhury, Broadcaster

Saadeya Shamsuddin, Senior Journalist and NUJ's Black Members’ Council

Sam Bright, Journalist and Author

Samantha Smith,

Sajda Mughal OBE, CEO and Consultant

Sean Adams, Editor, Drowned in Sound

Seyi Falodun-Liburd, Co-director Level Up

Shafi Musaddique, Freelance Journalist

Shaista Aziz, Freelance Journalist

Baroness Shaista Gohir OBE

Shamim Chowdhury, Freelance Journalist and Asian Media Awards Judge

Sheela Banerjee, Author and Journalist

Sheeraz Gulsher, Co-Founder of People Like Us

Sheetal Parmar, Freelance Journalist and Executive Producer

Shilpa Kannan, Tech Executive and Journalist

Shivani Dave, Journalist and Broadcaster

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Lawyer, Author, Activist

Shuiab Khan, Journalist and Columnist, Lancashire Telegraph and Asian Image

Sonia Winifred, Psychodynamic Psychotherapist

Sophia Smith Galer, Journalist and Content Creator

Steve Nash

Subhadra Das, Writer and Historian

Professor Sunny Singh, Author, Academic and Director of Jhalak Prize

Suresh Grover, Co-director of The Monitoring Group

Syam Thommandru

Symeon Brown, News Correspondent, Channel 4 News and Author of Get Rich or Lie Trying

Taj Ali, Co-editor Tribune Magazine

Tan Smith, Political Commentator, Supertanskiii

Tashmia Owen, Artist, Writer and Women's Rights Campaigner

Tassia Kobylinska, Goldsmiths, University of London

Tayo Kazzim, Freelance Sync Licensing Manager

Tony Adams, Investigative Journalist and Broadcaster and Chair of NUJ Black Members’ Council

Tony Dolce, Senior Journalist

Dr Toyin Agbetu, Scholar-Activist and Anthropologist, University College London

Triumph Arach, Student at Warwick University

Will Landricombe

Yasmin Alibhai Brown, Writer

Yasmin Qureshi MP

Yousef Eldin, Filmmaker

Zack Polanski, Deputy Leader of the Green Party and London Assembly Member

Zarah Sultana MP

Zita Holbourne, Author, Writer, Poet, National Chair of BARAC UK

This article was updated on May 14 2024, after new signatories were added to the list

Video: Starmer mocked for robotic reply to Elphicke ‘sex victim is a liar’ question

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 13/05/2024 - 7:54am in

Complete short-circuit leads to accusations Starmer welcomes Elphicke because she hates refugees

Robotic: Keir Starmer’s embarrassing response to serious questions about new recruit Elphick and a sexual abuse victim

Keir Starmer has been rightly derided for an embarrassing, robotic and politically appalling response to a question from an ITV News interviewer about Tory defector Natalie Elphicke’s dire comments about one of her then-husband’s sexual assault victims.

Asked whether she could be said to reflect Labour values in view of her vile description of a victim as a liar, Starmer appeared unable to compute the question, let alone think on his feet and respond appropriately, instead regurgitating a clearly-scripted reply that was criticised by many as amounting to ‘well she hates immigrants, so she’s welcome:

The disgraceful performance was, quite properly, hammered by those who saw it:

Labour under Keir Starmer is a cesspit of racism, the sickest of jokes and a political disaster for this country – and he’s not even slick about it.

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Analysis: Spanish PM Sánchez ‘trying to adulterate’ Catalan elections as Puigdemont returns

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 10/05/2024 - 9:02am in

Catalan film-maker Jordi Oriola Folch analyses the run-up to Catalonia’s elections next week

Exiled Catalan politician Carlos Puigdemont (image courtesy of Albert Salamé, www.vilaweb.cat)

On 12 May next week, elections will be held to choose the government of Catalonia. Four years ago, Catalan pro-independence parties won with 52% of the votes and 55% of the seats. A Catalan pro-independence government of ERC and JUNTS was formed with the support of the CUP. But different strategies in the face of constant Spanish judicial repression meant that ERC was left alone in the government.

In these Catalan elections, the situation is totally different, because the result of the last Spanish elections has forced the ruling PSOE to make a pact with JUNTS so that its 7 votes would contribute to the investiture of President Pedro Sánchez. This has forced him to accept an amnesty law with which, soon, all those persecuted by the “lawfare” (judicial warfare using fraudulently the law) of the Spanish justice system will be free of any accusation. Among them, the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who in 2017 organised the referendum on self-determination, was illegally deposed by the Spanish government and had to go into exile in Belgium to avoid being unjustly imprisoned.

At the beginning of this election campaign, the PSC (the Catalan PSOE) was leading the polls because the majority of the non-independence vote is concentrated in this party. A little further behind were the two big pro-independence parties, ERC and JUNTS. But then Puigdemont announced that he was standing as a candidate and that he would return triumphantly to Spain for the investiture with the protection of the amnesty he has managed to wrest from Spain. Then voting intentions began to shift towards JUNTS and closer and closer to the PSC.

The thing is that Puigdemont is the number one enemy of Spanish nationalism and arouses great fear in Spain, because he represents insubordination to the state and has not been able to be subdued. This is why, at the start of the election campaign, Pedro Sánchez surprised everyone with a reckless and disturbing juggling act. Without warning, he published a letter on social media announcing that he was very upset with the extreme right because his wife was accused of corruption. And he announced that he was giving himself five days to reflect on whether he should leave the presidency. Sánchez had always denied the claims of the pro-independence movement that they had been victims of “lawfare”, with the mantra that Spain is a state governed by the rule of law. But now he has acknowledged that, in Spain, judicial dirty war is being practised.

The country was left on the edge of the precipice, waiting for the president’s decision. After five days he affirmed that he would continue and, taking advantage of the state of shock, tried to call on his followers to vote in the Catalan elections with the justification of demonstrating to the extreme right that Pedro Sánchez has the support of the people. With this manipulative strategy, Sánchez managed to increase the PSC’s voting intentions and stay ahead of Puigdemont.

But as the elections approach, it seems that this trend of PSC growth has stalled and, on the other hand, the pro-independence electorate is concentrating its vote on Puigdemont. We shall see who ends up winning… In any case, even if Puigdemont does not come out on top, it is possible that he will be the only one to obtain a majority to be invested as president of Catalonia. In this case: how will Spain react to a person it has persecuted so viscerally? Will it respect the will expressed at the ballot box or will it give free rein to its repressive nationalism?

Jordi Oriola Folch is a physicist, documentary filmmaker and teacher who lives in Barcelona and fights for the independence of Catalonia.

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Libel case winner calls for suspension of sanctioned judge from community chair role

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/05/2024 - 8:49am in

Simon Myerson

The President of Leeds Jewish Representative Council, Judge Laurence Saffer, is facing calls to suspend and investigate its hard-line Zionist Chair, Simon Myerson KC for crude and abusive social media posts.

The call for Myerson’s suspension comes from James Wilson, who published his letter to the President of Leeds Jewish Representative Council on Twitter/X on this week. In April 2023 Myerson re-posted a tweet by Twitter/X user Tom Doran which accused Wilson of being ‘the scum of the earth’ and in some way responsible for the death of Pete Newbon, a director of anti-left pressure group ‘Labour against Antisemitism’ (LAAS).

James Wilson’s post containing his letter to Saffer

Wilson was the claimant in Wilson v Mendelsohn, Newbon and Cantor. He was recently awarded £30,000 in damages by a judge for defamation and misuse of private information. Newbon died by suicide in January 2022.

Doran’s tweet and Myerson’s re-tweet led to the High Court judge awarding Wilson increased damages. The judge said Doran’s tweet was crude abuse of the same dehumanising kind used against Jewish people by the Nazis in the 1930s. Despite the judge’s findings, it appears Myerson has not apologised to Wilson.

Myerson is also the part-time judge who was recently reprimanded by the Lord Chancellor and Lady Chief Justice for engaging in political in political controversy and posting offensive tweets. It is not known whether Mr Myerson KC continues to hold judicial office in light of his very public intervention in relation to a Green Party councillor. Skwawkbox has contacted the Judicial Press Office for comment.

Myerson recently called for the Green Party to suspend one of its elected councillors over his social media posts on the issue of Gaza. Myerson was also interviewed by LBC radio demanding the councillor’s immediate suspension. The hypocrisy of calling for another person to be suspended for their social media posts despite a judicial finding that he has engaged in crude abuse seems not to have been raised.

It is not known what, if any, action Leeds Jewish Representative Council will take about Myerson. The Council represents over 8,000 Jewish people who live in Leeds.

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The Great Conservative Election Data-Trawl Continues

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/05/2024 - 9:26pm in

In mid-April, a number of allegations emerged about Conservative Party candidates collecting voter data ahead of the next election – potentially for campaigning purposes – without clearly indicating those intentions. Byline Times’ VoteWatch team has now clocked four more instances of dubious data harvesting. 

In Chelmsford, Conservative MP Vicky Ford has sent constituents a “safety survey” asking for their priorities regarding local policing. The survey initially asks residents whether they have witnessed crime and what policies would make them “feel safe”  in the constituency. 

It goes on to solicit detailed personal information and requires contact details to submit. The survey asks about political leanings, even asking respondents to rank political parties and candidates.

In the tiny text at the bottom of the screen, it reads: “This question contains special category data relating to your political opinion that may be shared with the wider Conservative Party for the purposes of Democratic Engagement with your permission. Please only answer this question if you consent to the processing of this data and sharing it with Conservative Party. If you do not answer this question then this data will not be shared.” 

Meanwhile, in South Shropshire, Stuart Anderson MP is running a similar survey initiative, this time about “sav[ing] our recycling centres”.

Again, Anderson’s survey begins innocuously with several questions about local policies. After a few pages, it asks constituents for detailed information about their party-political history and voting intentions, and the same notice as above – once again in tiny, barely legible, text – appears beneath it. 

Alicia Kearns, Conservative MP for Rutland and Stamford, has also sent local residents a survey.

In addition to local policy questions, it asks constituents: “How likely is it that you would vote for Alicia in the next election?” The only data notice respondents are given is a (very small) note about the local party’s “Data Protection and Privacy Policy”. 

In Watford, Byline Times has seen a leaflet promoting Dean Russell MP that appears as a newspaper cover and uses a Labour-red colour scheme and font. A QR code on the page sends people to a questionable-looking survey in a pop-up window, asking voters about their “local policing priorities".

The survey requires detailed contact information to submit, and a tick-box at the bottom asks respondents to consent to their privacy policy and receive campaigning material from the Conservative Party (the only time the party is mentioned at all in the process).

Under current UK electoral law, it is difficult to assess the legality of such surveys.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has stated that, while targeted, data-driven social media advertising is widely used in British politics today, “it’s important that it is clear to people if they are being targeted” – and that “parties should make it clear that people’s personal information will be used to send them specific social media advertising”. 

These cases may fall under a grey area. As in the first two examples, respondents are technically informed about how their data will be used, but that information is arguably not presented in a clear manner.

Digital issues can be particularly difficult to contend with under current election rules. The Law Commission has argued previously that the UK’s “Victorian era electoral laws are out-dated, confusing, and no longer fit for purpose”. 

As of yet, it is unclear whether the ICO will be investigating any of these cases.

If you spot similar instances of questionable data harvesting, get in touch by emailing votewatch24@bylinetimes.com and consider reporting it to the ICO. 

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