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Lin Wood: Lawyer Described as Having “Supernatural Discernment” Denounces Mike Pence

From Charisma News, 24 November:

Prominent Lawyer Fights Election Fraud With Supernatural Discernment

Lin Wood, one of the most prominent and patriotic attorneys in America, joined the legal fight alongside President Trump’s legal team to save election integrity from fraud and political treachery, thereby, preserving the U.S. Constitution. However, according to his tweets, Wood, a man of deep faith and intimacy with the Holy Spirit, quickly discerned the spiritual battle of biblical proportions between God’s revelations and satanic influences fighting for control of the soul and future of America.

Then, the next day:

Prominent attorney Lin Wood also warns believers to be careful what information they choose to consume. Once-trusted sources of news and information may have come under the sway of globalists and compromised people who favor “The Great Reset,” a globalist initiative to rebuild the world economy after the COVID pandemic. It could open the doors wider for socialism and big government control, thus limiting people’s freedoms, including religious freedom and freedom of speech.

…Wood’s #FightBack Foundation Inc. was instrumental in recently raising financial support to post bail for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who was arrested and charged with alleged murder in Wisconsin, even though video evidence showed him defending himself.

And finally, on 3 December:

In a historic event in Atlanta, Georgia, almost entirely ignored by mainstream media, patriotic legal duo Lin Wood and Sidney Powell held a press conference Wednesday.

…’We the People’ will not let them steal our vote,” he said. “We will not allow them to steal our freedom. Every lie will be exposed.”

Then, as if the Holy Spirit had downloaded a prophetic word to him, Wood launched into a faith-filled declaration, “And on Jan. 20, 2021, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as president of the United States of America.”

Charisma News represents the neo-Pentecostal end of the Christian Right; the site is just one manifestation of Charisma Media, whose founding CEO Stephen Strang (in 2005 one of Time‘s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America”) is the author of several books that ruminate on the spiritual significance of Donald Trump. One of these, God, Trump, and the 2020 Election, includes a chapter on “Why Trump Might Lose”, in which Strang pre-emptively lays out an election fraud narrative, citing the thoughts of Tom Ertl, the national director for Christians For Trump (1). As such, it is not surprising that Charisma News has embraced all kinds of election trutherism, the reality of which is supposedly blatant and self-evident.

Alongside the alleged mountain of evidence, there are also special signs from God – thus the site reported on 2 December that onlookers had “photographed and videotaped what could be an angel” above Independence Hall in Philadelphia during a post-election prayer event led by Pastor Dutch Sheets, who had been instructed by God to engage in spiritual warfare against “Valkyrie”, a supernatural and demonic “plan to take over the country”. In the case of Lin Wood (previously discussed here), the trilogy of articles about him (2) amount to an irrevocable investment. Wood speaks with “supernatural discernment”, and his prediction of Trump’s second term amounts to a prophecy. This is impossible to back away from without making a humiliating climb-down.

As such, Wood’s more recent discourses may be problematic. Following the failure of so many legal challenges, and ridicule of their shortcomings (a Freudian slip turned “penalty of perjury” into “plenty of perjury” in one filing), Wood is now lashing out wildly, and he includes none other than Mike Pence in a list of “criminals & perverts who threaten our freedom”. Here’s the context, from recent Tweets (the first is embedded in the second, making the connection clear):

It is time to shine red hot light of truth on Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Stephen Breyer, Joe Biden, Obama, Clintons, Bill Gates, VP Mike Pence, Mark Meadows, Pat Cippoloni, Bush 41 & 43, George Soros, Cocaine Mitch, etc. Man, where is Jeffrey Epstein when you need him? [here]

And this is just the TIP of the iceberg. We The People now demand TRUTH. We The People now demand ACCOUNTABILITY for wrongdoing. This is OUR country. It is time for American Patriots to prepare to take it back from the criminals & perverts who threaten our freedom. [here]

In further Tweets, Wood makes QAnon-adjacent insinuations about Roberts in particular, implying that a black eye has some occult ritualistic meaning and making vile insinuations about his motives for having adopted children. He has also now made an utterly bizarre link between his first name being “Lucian” (Lincoln is his middle name) and St Lucian of Antioch, which is supposedly significant because his client Kyle Rittenhouse lives in Antioch, Illinois, and the apparent Nashville bomber Anthony Warner lived in Antioch, Tennessee. It appears, then, that Wood is in the grip of a grandiose religious mania.

On social media, there is some disquiet over Wood’s attack on Pence, who of course has played an important role in making Trump acceptable to evangelicals. In all likelihood, though, Charisma News will simply ignore it while continuing to promote claims made by Wood that are more useful for its owner’s religious-political agenda.

Notes

1. The book comes with a foreword by Eric Metaxas, whose transformation from evangelical “public intellectual” to Trump loyalist and election truther was recently charted by the Religious News Service. There are also blurbs from a Christian Right Who’s Who of Pat Robertson, Mike Huckabee, Paula White Cain, Alex McFarland, Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jim Bakker, Kenneth Copeland, David Barton, David Lane, Michele Bachmann and Robert Jeffress (plus Dennis Prager, who is Jewish).

2. All three articles are by A.B. Petrucci, also known as Anthony Petrucci. Petrucci is a professional writer who “helps thought leaders tell the stories that will change the world”. He is particularly associated with Jorge L. Valdes, a former international drug dealer who had a conversion experience and is today a motivational speaker.

Franklin Graham “Tends To Believe” Stolen Election Narrative

From Franklin Graham, on Twitter:

Since the 2016 election, @POTUS @realDonaldTrump has been falsely accused, maligned, and attacked. He told us his campaign was spied on. He was right. He told us there was no collusion. He was proven right. When he says this election was rigged or stolen, I tend to believe him.

This is clever: Graham’s position does not rely any particular piece of evidence that might be deconstructed. Instead, he appeals on his many followers to invest in the election fraud narrative simply by having faith in the leader.

Even here, though, Graham qualifies his statement with “tend to”. This slight hedge against giving a hostage to fortune has been characteristic of his comments since the election. On 4 November he wrote that “many fear that some are trying to steal the election”, but although he didn’t explicitly give his own view he called for prayer “that the enemies of God would be quieted”; in the weeks that followed, he opined that “if there was fraud, let’s pray that God would reveal it, and that those responsible would be found out” and on 8 December he exhorted everyone to join him “in praying that if there is fraud, it would be proven… Forces of evil are at work”.

Yet despite piously intoning that “the American people need to know the truth”, he has had nothing to say about the shortcomings of the many cases that have been put before the courts, nor about the overheated conspiratorial rhetoric of the lawyers around Trump. The word “if” gives Graham an out, but there is no possibility in his mind that it might be Trump’s lawyers who ought to be “found out”, for spreading “fears” that are baseless and corrupt in intent.

Graham’s new statement is surprising given that on 14 December Graham seemed at last to have accepted that Trump had lost the election. On Facebook, he wrote that

I’m disappointed about the election… It is unfortunate that many people got confused and made the election about personalities rather than the policies of the candidates. President Trump will go down in history as one of the great presidents of our nation, bringing peace and prosperity to millions here in the U.S. and around the world. May God bless him, Melania, and their family, as God leads him to the next chapter in his life.

The evangelist then turned to the holy task of whipping up resentment against Biden’s appointments, on 18 December complaining that while Trump had “searched for the best of the best to run the various levels of gov’t” for Biden “competence doesn’t seem to be as important as diversity”.

So why now has Graham suddenly now come closer than ever to endorsing election fraud claims? Perhaps he was encouraged by news that Trump had discussed a military option for staying in power with Michael Flynn – Graham is an enthusiast for the disgraced general, whom he has described as “a man who has a distinguished record of service to this country and who many people feel was unfairly targeted”.

It’s also possible that he feels his position ought to align more clearly with what is now the default position on the Christian Right. If he were to say outright that Trump ought to accept that he has lost, it would put him at odds with allies such as Eric Metaxaas and alienate much of his base. Public thanks he received from Trump for his Facebook post may also have been an influence.

UPDATE: On 22 December, Graham promoted an article alleging election fraud by Newt Gringrich, adding: “I’ve known former Speaker of the House @NewtGingrich for a number of yrs. He might be one of the smartest people in politics today. In this article he shares his perspective of where we are today politically.” This amplification via character reference once again allows Graham to dodge the risk of endorsing any particular detail put forward as evidence.

Excurcus

On 5 November, before all the votes were finalised, Graham Tweeted that “my prayer is that we will have four more years of leadership that defends religious freedom, supports law and order, and is the most pro-life administration ever”. A few days later, this formed the basis of a item on the Christian Right website Charisma News by Amir George headed “Franklin Graham Says ‘4 More Years’ for President Trump”. The article was mainly about election fraud allegations and Rudy Giuliani’s planned lawsuits, and a false impression was given that Franklin’s comment was a reaction to these developments, rather than something he had said earlier.

Former Mail on Sunday Journalist Denies Role In Virginia Giuffre’s Alan Dershowitz Accusation

At the Daily Telegraph, Camilla Tominey notes some details from a transcript of a conversation between British journalist Sharon Churcher and New York publisher Tony Lyons concerning Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s allegations against Alan Dershowitz:

Ms Churcher then refers to an email Ms Roberts Giuffre sent her on May 5, 2011, also submitted in evidence, asking her to clarify the names of the men she claimed “had sent me to” during the interview to help her with a book pitch. The transcript of the email suggests Ms Churcher responded six days later, on May 11, 2011, saying: “Don’t forget Alan Dershowitz. JEs buddy and lawyer… We all suspect Alan is a pedo”.

Ms Churcher tells Mr Lyons she would never use the word “pedo”, adding: “I wonder about some of these emails, too, that she’s produced. Because of course you can change emails.”

Describing Prof Dershowitz as “a victim”, Ms Churcher suggests Ms Roberts Giuffre may have “confused him with this other Harvard professor” who was also friends with Epstein.

Roberts Giuffre is currently suing Alan Dershowitz in New York for defamation; the transcript has been filed by Dershowitz as part of his defence, and can be accessed here. Lyons has published books by Dershowitz, and Churcher had come to his office to discuss a book proposal of her own. She was unaware that Lyons was recording their exchange.

The 2011 email exchange between Churcher and Roberts Giuffre was published last year. Roberts Guiffre was attempting to put together a memoir, and she had emailed Churcher asking “if you have any information on you from when you and I were doing interviews about the J.E. story”, particularly as regards names of “pedo’s” (sic) “that J.E. sent me to”.

Churcher’s reply, in fuller detail:

Don’t forget Alan Dershowitz… J.E.’s buddy and lawyer… good name for your pitch as he repped Claus von Bulow and a movie was made about that case… title was Reversal of Fortune. We all suspect Alan is a pedo and tho no proof of that, you probably met him when he was hanging out with JE.

As I noted at the time, “You probably met him” indicates that this is a name that Churcher is speculatively proposing, rather than someone Roberts Guiffre had herself previously named to her. Even though this is Churcher providing informal advice rather than working on a new story, the implications of a journalist advising a source about whom they might derive benefit from accusing are troubling.

The fuller exchange is important additional context for Churcher’s explanation to Lyons. As regards the term “pedo”, Churcher tells Lyons “I’ve never heard the word”, but it appears that Roberts Giuffre herself used it when she emailed Churcher. Therefore Churcher was aware of the word, and even if it’s not part of her usual vocabulary it would be natural to adopt the terminology of her correspondent. The 2011 reply to Roberts Guiffre and the conversation with Lyons also both include mention of Dershowitz’s representation of Claus von Bülow.

Churcher goes on to suggest that the allegation against Dershowitz had been made up by “Brad Edwards and his team”, and that “If I were Alan, I wouldn’t bother so much with it”.

As regards Churcher’s claim that it is possible to “change emails”, she also tells Lyons “you can edit emails. I wanted to try it, and you can do it”. It’s not clear what she is getting at here – certainly, it’s possible to edit the text of an email if you are forwarding it to someone else, because the text then becomes part of a new email. But the original remains unchanged. And why doesn’t she have a copy of what she wrote in her “Sent” folder? An alternative is that the email was completely fabricated, which Churcher hints at by saying “I’m not positive I remember this email”.

The interviews between Churcher and Roberts Guiffre formed the basis for the 2011 Mail on Sunday splash “Prince Andrew and the 17-year-old girl his sex offender friend flew to Britain to meet him“, which became the focus of renewed interest last year. According to Churcher:

It was quite a falling out with them after I wrote that story because they are part of the British establishment, and they ran it without thinking about the fact that the editor-in-chief is a friend of the royal family’s. I got laid off.

This would appear to be a reference to Geordie Greig, who is related to royal courtiers. However, Greig did not become editor of the MoS until 2012, some months after Churcher’s article was published.

Tom Newton Dunn and “Hijacked Labour”: Still No Answers One Year On

On Twitter, three left-wing journalists (Ash Sarkar, Owen Jones and Ellie Mae O’Hagan) remonstrate with former Sun political editor Tom Newton Dunn over his promotion a year ago of a bizarre conspiracy chart called “Hijacked Labour”:

Newton Dunn responded to the above (also highlighted by others as “Tom Newton Dunn Day”) by blocking Jones; some journalists apparently consider Jones’s subsequent complaint about this reaction to be more worthy of commentary than Newton Dunn’s continuing failure to account for how the “Hijacked Labour” story came to be published or why it was then deleted. To date, Newton Dunn’s only public comments on the matter are correctives to the claim that he promoted a neo-Nazi website, rather than a site that included some neo-Nazi sources.

The chart, as I have mentioned before, was self-evidently a crank effusion that made connections that were either banal, inexplicable or simply wrong (a point overshadowed by revulsion at its use of far-right sources). One link led to the actor Matt Berry, while a bizarre emphasis was placed on the supposed influence of the deceased French philosophers Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard and Jacques Derrida. At least one person named on the chart complained about their inclusion: this was a doctor named David Rouse, who stated that “I quit labour the moment Corbyn got in as I disagree with his politics. So looks like they need to try and get their facts right”. The Sun published only a low-resolution blurry screenshot, I suspect because Newton Dunn knew that it could not withstand scrutiny.

Newton Dunn’s story was headlined “Ex-British intelligence officers say Jeremy Corbyn is at the centre of a hard-left extremist network”. Presented as leading the supposed group of officers was one “Mark Bles”, the pen-name of a former SAS soldier turned author named Mark Whitcombe-Power. IPSO rejected a complaint that an SAS soldier should not be described as an “intelligence officer”, on the grounds that members of the unit may undertake surveillance work, and the press regulator also judged that the word “say” distanced the paper from the claims being made. Crucially, the Sun was not asked by IPSO to substantiate the existence of “intelligence officers” in the plural, even though that central detail is presented as established fact in the headline.

However, although it’s tempting to see secretive propaganda outfits lurking behind the scenes, one would hope that an operation connected to intelligence agencies would have done a more competent job. The truth is shabbier. Prior to the appearance of the “Hijacked Labour” website, a previous version of the same chart was hosted at a site called “Traitors’ Chart”. The repackaging occurred days before Newton Dunn’s story was published, and it was only with the Sun story that Bles became publicly associated with the project. As such, it seems that his involvement from this point both obscures the chart’s actual provenance and gives it more credible pedigree. If Bles – retired and living in France – was induced to be the front-man in good faith, it would be very difficult for Newton Dunn to now give an explanation about what actually happened.

Clues to the true provenance of the chart are traced in Daniel Trilling’s Guardian piece linked to by Sarkar and Jones. There are also some details on a Twitter thread by a researcher named Steve Rose. His Tweets include a video with a distinctive voice-over that was created to publicise the “Traitors Chart” version of the chart.

On the one hand, the story is not going away. But on the other, as noted by another Twitter user, “What’s kind of amazing is that Tom Newton Dunn’s strategy of ‘just pretend/insist that it didn’t happen’ has actually been completely successful”.

Lin Wood “Paedophilia and Satanic Worship” Claim Promoted Online

Comment made on “business coach” entrepreneur radio show

A quote from Atlanta attorney L. Lin Wood:

So there is potentially a great awakening. The truth has to come out. I believe it will. I do not think that you can hide the truth. I do say it and I believe it, every lie will be revealed. This country’s going to be shocked when the find the truth about who’s been occupying the Oval Office for some periods of years. They’re going to be shocked at the level of pedophilia. They are going to be shocked at what I believe is going to be a revelation in terms of people who are engaged in satanic worship.

Wood made the comment during a radio interview a couple of weeks ago, and it has more recently been extracted from it and is now being passed around on social media.

In context, the above is simply a reflection of what passes for received wisdom within Lin’s Christian fundamentalist conspiracy milieu, but due to his current association with Sidney Powell and the pursuit of election fraud lawsuits his statement is being taken as an authoritative promise of shocking revelations from someone “in the know”. The reference to a “great awakening”, of course, evokes the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Wood (whose fondness for referring to Kamala Harris as “Cabala Harris” I noted previously) was speaking on a programme called the ThriveTime Show, which describes itself as a “Business Coach Program… founded by former United States Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year and current member of the Forbes Coaches Council, Clay Clark.” Clark’s introduction referred to the “Satanic Luciferian Left”, and the episode’s webpage has a list of links to sites promoting election fraud claims. The episode itself is titled “BOMBSHELL VOTER FRAUD REVEALED!!! | LIN WOOD EXPOSES VOTER FRAUD AND SHARES HOW KYLE RITTENHOUSE IS OUT OF JAIL IN TIME FOR THANKSGIVING!!!”, and the “satanic worship” comment comes at about 40 minues in.

Clark and his ThiveTime Show associate “optometrist turned entrepreneur, Doctor Robert Zoellner” appear to be celebrities within the “motivational entrepreneur” / “business guru” subculture, with an impressive back-catalogue of guests ranging from Ken Blanchard and John Maxwell to Horst Schulze to Ken Auletta and many more besides (including a few pastors). Yet the show’s “business podcast” in recent weeks is a slew of conspiracy content about supposed voter fraud and Covid-19 vaccines. Among those featured is Charlie Ward, a British QAnon influencer.

There is also religious content, with Clark having an “urgent prophetic message for President Donald J. Trump” that he says he was told to convey by the late Kim Clement, a neo-Pentecostal evangelist whose 2007 claim that “Trump will become a trumpet” has since been taken as a prophecy of the Trump presidency (discussed further here).

Influencers promoting Wood’s “satanic worship” comment on social media include Boris Johnson’s former mistress Jennifer Arcuri; it is perhaps relevant here to note that the Digital Marketing Manager at her Hacker House company was Wesley Hall, a promoter the Hampstead Satanic Ritual Abuse hoax.

A Note on Lin Wood and the “Cabala Harris” Nickname

From Capital Beat News Service, earlier this month:

Republican leaders in Georgia delivered different responses Friday to President Donald Trump’s claims of voting irregularities

…Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel…. was joined at the podium by former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, Trump’s agriculture secretary; outgoing state Rep. Vernon Jones; and attorney Lin Wood, who intentionally mispronounced Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ name as “Cabala” Harris during his remarks.

Wood has now achieved greater prominence after stating that he has been working closely with Sidney Powell, the former federal prosecutor whose wide-ranging and conspiratorial claims of electoral fraud have been eagerly embraced by many Trump supporters (but that have apparently proven too extravagant for Trump himself). In the wake of his announcement, Wood has made a further reference to “Cabala Harris” on his Twitter feed, which also includes numerous Biblical quotes and religious exhortations.

Apparently, the abusive nickname has been going around for some time. It’s significance is not simply wilfully ignorant mockery of an unusual name (as in Georgia Senator David Perdue’s “Kamala-mala-mala”) or some vague allusion to a “Deep State” cabal – it is pointedly meant to associate Harris with the Jewish mystical tradition. Other, more explicit, variants on Twitter include “Kabbalah Heiress” and even “Kabbalah Haaretz”, referring to the left-of-centre Israeli newspaper. These must be allusions to the fact that Harris’s husband is Jewish, and there is a wider context here in that kabbalah is regarded with suspicion by many evangelicals, who see its esoteric doctrines and practices as occultism rather than spiritual exercise. The implication is that Harris is some kind of witch, embroiled with malign supernatural forces and hidden networks through her Jewish husband.

As such, it is surprising that Wood’s “Cabala” rhetoric has not drawn more adverse comment.

Footnote: The Capital Beat News Service report refers to “Kalama Harris”; this has been silently corrected in the above quote.

Public Figures and Fringe Media: A Note on Martin Kulldorff and the Richie Allen Show

From the Guardian:

Anti-lockdown advocate appears on radio show that has featured Holocaust deniers

Dr Martin Kulldorff discussed ‘Great Barrington declaration’ letter on Richie Allen Show

…When asked by the Guardian about his appearance on the show, Kulldorff said: “As a public health professional, it is critically important to reach all segments of the population.

“I have appeared in both right (eg the Spectator) and left media (eg Jacobin) … Regarding the Richie Allen Show, I had never heard of it before they invited me.”

Kulldorff is professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a biostatistician and epidemiologist. The article notes that the show has previously featured the Holocaust deniers Nick Kollerstrom and Alison Chabloz, as well as “longstanding conspiracy theorists Dr Vernon Coleman and Piers Corbyn” – Allen, a protégé of David Icke, called Kollerstrom an “old friend”. The story has also been picked by the Jewish Chronicle.

The headline, it seems to me, unfairly gives the impression of some sort of affinity between Kulldorff and extremism, when I think we can take him at his word that he knew nothing about Richie Allen when he agreed to talk to him.

At the same time, though, it is a strategy of bad actors involved with alternative media and the conspiracy milieu to elicit content from more mainstream figures as a way to boost their own reach and credibility. When this happens, it is appropriate to ask the guest contributor to clarify their association and where exactly they stand. Appearing on the Richie Allen Show ought to be a reputational risk for anyone who wants to be taken seriously in public life.

Previous guests on the Richie Allen Show with reputations beyond the conspiracy milieu include Michael Mansfield, Ann Widdecombe and Maggie Oliver. Oliver in particular is much lauded as “the Rochdale whistleblower”, yet she frequently accepts interview requests from bad actors, whose sites she then amplifies on social media. Yet there seems to be less appetite for criticising “the angel of the North” than for going after a lockdown sceptic. (1)

Note

1. The “Great Barrington Declaration” is a creation of the American Institute for Economic Research, which is based in Great Barrington in Massachusetts. It claims to have the support of a large number of medical experts, although it has transpired that anyone can sign the document online without having their identity or credentials checked. When a journalist named Nafeez Ahmed demonstrated how easily a false name can be added, the AIER’s Editorial Director Jeffrey Tucker accused him of having “urged his followers to commit fraud and impersonate medical doctors and scientists”.

Some Notes on Laurence Fox and Libel

From Sky News:

A RuPaul’s Drag Race star and a charity boss have said they are suing actor Laurence Fox for defamation following arguments on Twitter in which he called some of his critics “paedophiles”.

Fox has since deleted the tweets, but said he made the comments after being “falsely smeared as a racist” when he criticised Sainsbury’s for supporting Black History Month.

Drag star Crystal and Simon Blake, the deputy chair of Stonewall and chief executive of Mental Health First Aid England, have both said they are suing Fox.

There are shades here of Elon Musk’s similar abuse against Vernon Unsworth, which led to a legal case in Los Angeles. That libel action failed primarily because Musk’s defence successfully argued that the term “pedo guy” was an insult rather than an actual allegation, even though Musk initially doubled down and looked for substantive evidence. The defence was characterised as “JDART”, meaning “Joke that was badly received, therefore was Deleted, with an Apology, followed by Responsive Tweets to move on from the issue”.

Fox could argue along similar lines in London, and there is a semi-precedent from 2007, when a High Court ruling made a distinction between serious allegations posted to an online message board and “messages which are barely defamatory or little more than abusive or likely to be understood as jokes”. On the other hand, though, and as I’ve argued before, “paedophile” is not just some meaningless term of crude abuse like “bastard” or “wanker”. It is a highly stigmatising allegation, and a public figure being allowed to bandy it around even as a “joke” is a sinister development. “Jokes” can be a form of intimidation and incitement, and amplified by others beyond the original context may easily become established as some kind of spurious “common knowledge”.

Oddly, Fox’s outburst and its was not chronicled in the Daily Telegraph or the Sunday Telegraph, even though the two papers have spent the last two weeks puffing the actor’s political pretensions based on nothing more than the fact that a wealthy donor, Jeremy Hosking, is reportedly bankrolling his efforts to create a “UKIP for culture”. Presumably the papers have decided that the incident is not to Fox’s credit and as such is best passed over in silence.

Excursus – the “racist” allegations

Fox could of course himself sue for libel over the “racism” allegations, although the case would hinge on the defendants’ right to express a view on what kind of opinions constitute racism – nobody is accusing Fox of having said or done anything that he disputes actually happened.

It should also be noted that allegations of racism are central to Fox’s own rhetoric – the Question Time appearance that launched his new activist persona included the claim that the concept of “white privilege” is racist, and he more recently accused Rebecca Front of using a “racist phrase”. He also essentially accused Sainsbury’s of racism (“you promote racial segregation and discrimination”). This works against the suggestion that his “paedophile” Tweets were some kind of principled protest against the casual deployment of “racist” as a descriptive term.

One last point: it appears that Fox objected in particular to Sainsbury’s announcing “online support groups for black colleagues across the business”. However, he does not appear to have objected to widespread media reports that have alluded his Tweet in relation to Sainsbury’s promotion of Black History Month more generally.

Darren Grimes and the Police: Some Observations and Suggestions

From the Daily Telegraph:

Darren Grimes is being investigated by police on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred over an interview with the historian David Starkey that he published, it has emerged.

Mr Grimes, a conservative commentator, has been asked to attend a police station to be interviewed under caution after publishing a podcast in which Dr Starkey said slavery was not genocide because there are “so many damn blacks”.

…Mr Grimes is accused of a public order offence of stirring up racial hatred by publishing the interview on his podcast on July 2, The Telegraph can reveal. He has since apologised…

Grimes is framing the affair as a journalist being persecuted for a comment made by an interviewee, although his hack credentials are slight and the “interview” was a cosy chat with a man he described as being his hero.

Nevertheless, the sight of Grimes once again in the public eye as a martyr is dispiriting, and the policing priorities it exposes are disturbing. I here make a few observations.

First, the bar at which someone may be interviewed under caution is quite low. This has been obscured in recent years by sensationalising headlines and news stories, such as this one about the late Edward Heath.

Second, the police are not obligated to interview someone just because a complaint has been made. They could have decided that there was no case to answer based on the evidence already in the public domain; they could have logged Starkey’s words as a more trivial “hate incident“; or they could have given Starkey and Grimes informal “words of advice”.

Third, there is little chance of this coming to court, and Grimes may want to demonstrate that the complaint has no merit by declining to cooperate. He could do this in two ways:

(a) He could refuse to come in for a “voluntary” interview, and see if the police back down or escalate to an arrest. There is a risk to police if they make a wrongful arrest, but they can get away with threatening to make an arrest that would be wrongful, if the threat remains hypothetical because the suspect complies.

(b) He could give a “no comment” interview. Grimes is confident that he has acted within the law, and so he has no need to explain himself. It may go against his natural inclinations, and of course there is a popular conception that refusing to answer is suspicious, but a police investigation that fails without a suspect even putting forward a defence case will be exposed more unambiguously as having been deficient from the start.

Also, if Grimes provides a statement, the police can spend months mulling it over, and then announce that a “dossier” has been passed to the CPS. The CPS can then sit on it indefinitely, especially given the current circumstances. A “no comment” interview is more likely to lead to a speedy resolution.

Satanic Ritual Abuse Conspiracy Campaigner Sentenced After Harassing Judge

From the Newark Advertiser in March:

A 43-year-old man was found guilty of harassing a judge after posting video footage online and writing a blog.

Richard Carvath was arrested by Nottinghamshire Police officers on March 12, 2019, after a report he was tweeting and posting footage online of a judge.

The judge was involved with a family case in 2017 that cannot be reported on for legal reasons.

I understand that Carvath has just now – six month later – been sentenced to 20 weeks in prison. The reason for the long delay was that Carvath previously declined to make himself available for sentencing; in a video message in June, he stated mysteriously that he was “unavoidably detained on assignment” but would return in due course.

Carvath is well-known for his promotion of Satanic abuse conspiracy theories, including the Hampstead Ritual Abuse hoax – his activism here included creating and uploading a pointless video of the school at the centre of the false allegations. Last December he stood trial after accusing “a dad of abusing his own children in a satanic ritual”, although he was found not guilty; a report at the time described Carvath as claiming “to have links to a shadowy world of secret agents and military contractors”. He certainly has at least indirect links with the milieu that includes the likes of Jon Wedger and Wilfred Wong, although as far as I know they don’t appear to have commented about Carvath’s trial.

Reporting restrictions mean that I’m not linking to any of Carvath’s online writings, or going into further detail.