Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I am prevented from sharing new articles on Facebook

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In the last three weeks our website has had 28,841 absolute unique visitors, but it raises the question: how many unique visitors would we have had given half a shot? The Department for Work and Pensions are all out on the termination of our benefits (see the previous blog Mr Justice Mitting rules that Declan's claim is not "Totally without Merit"); our live-in landlady has given us backdated notice to vacate our flat by the end of January; our local housing authority, Haringey Council, has left us every month since July with a £77 shortfall in rent to pay (now a High Court case); and Facebook has restricted me since last August to my own wall and sharing my articles with private groups, the latter only because I have been added to these groups by Facebook friends. Not even a letter from Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone last August has elicited a response from Facebook regarding the last time they barred my account.

Now a very strange thing is happening: since yesterday afternoon the photo and text of my new articles are not showing when I share them in Facebook:
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This anomaly also applies to our "About" page and Declan's petition to the UN in support of embryonic stem cell research which has been signed by no less than 28 Nobel laureates, 13 US National Medal of Science winners and seven UK Royal Medal winners, as well as hundreds of other scholars from around the world. It is an uphill struggle but both Declan and I believe that we are encountering nothing that money cannot solve: living and fighting on half our squalid benefits, we are no more than an easy target. With two months to go to vacate this property (that MI5 whistleblower David Shayler aka Delores Kane once lived in), we are left with no choice now but to focus on the development of our N4CM Survival Appeal Pledge Scheme to raise $35,000. Even this is a serious challenge: to get one email through to somebody in America, Declan regularly has to make one or two phone calls, and this despite his application last month to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the interception of his communications and directed surveillance.

Perhaps I should also add that I am prevented from submitting articles to Reddit. I have only ever submitted seven links, but every time I try to submit a new link I am told: "You've submitted too many links recently. Please try again in an hour." Just like Facebook, Reddit does not reply to my emails. I actually have some snags because frankly it is difficult to believe: from 16 November, 17 November, 20 November and 30 November. My articles are so good, I can't even submit them for other people to vote! Here is an article that has been shared 1,951 times on Facebook and was given 166 votes by Reddit users after somebody submitted it. Undoubtedly our site has massive potential. If only we had half a shot ...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mr Justice Mitting rules that Declan's claim is "not totally without merit"

As I wrote in the previous blog Will we get the internet back?, Declan had an oral hearing in the High Court last Tuesday of his claim in person against our jobcentre, Highgate Jobcentre Plus, for discrimination and harassment - formally through A4E and currently through Reed in Partnership. Highgate Jobcentre Plus is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Mr Justice Mitting refused permission to apply for Judicial Review, but ruled that the claim was "not totally without merit" as soon as Counsel representing the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions raised the issue of costs. The first thing I did when Declan obtained a copy of Counsel's note of hearing last week was to check that this ruling was there. It was.

This afternoon Declan filed his claim with the Court of Appeal. This is his Skeleton Argument (the Grounds of Appeal can be found here) - MI5 whistleblower David Shayler, who lived in one of the rooms below us for a couple of years, is mentioned in paragraph 25 (there is a stunning photograph of Shayler aka Delores Kane in the previous blog):

This appeal will apparently be quite a challenge. The "Judgment", which sets out the reasons the Judge gave for his decision, was recorded but when Declan asked the Judge for the transcript at public expense, he was told that if he wanted it he would have to pay for it himself (an impossibility). Last week DWP Legal Services refused to provide Declan with a note of judgment approved by the Judge because the hearing was recorded. This afternoon Declan sought to reapply for the transcript but was refused a receipt for the application by the Civil Appeals Office.

This raises the question: If the person appealing a High Court ruling is on state benefits and cannot afford the cost of the transcript of judgment, does this mean he loses his case because the Lord Justice cannot read and therefore cannot understand the reasons why the Judge reached his decision?

Declan was told by the Civil Appeals Office that if he didn't want to apply for the transcript of judgment without a receipt, he should deal with his case manager, as soon as he is allocated one. Surely he will not be told by this case manager that his claim can go no further because he cannot afford to pay for the transcript. It would certainly make for a very strange application to the European Court of Human Rights - from a High Court judge ruling that the claim is not "Totally without Merit" to the end of the domestic line with a case manager in the Civil Appeals Office!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Will we get the internet back?

Declan has an oral hearing in the High Court next Tuesday of his claim against our jobcentre, Highgate Jobcentre Plus, and as I showed in the previous blog We are removed from the internet ... this time no bandwidth, since 3 November our bandwidths have been frequently 'squeezed' to death. Declan started an IT course on 31 October and had to pull out last week because he couldn't use the online courseware. The last time we lost our home internet connection, we did so for six weeks commencing on 4 July, as Declan states in paragraph 9 of his skeleton argument for a High Court judge next Tuesday, which I published in the previous blog. This has now gone on for two weeks and is just one of the forms of harassment we deal with, as Declan makes clear in his application last month to the European Court of Human Rights regarding the interception of our communications and directed surveillance.

Yesterday Declan had almost no internet connection at all ('Guest' is our network, the others are from neighbouring houses):

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And last night I was taken out as well (we used to have access to another network, "moj", but we can't access it any more):
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Our live-in landlady is human rights activist Belinda McKenzie. Belinda is not your usual landlord: apart from being involved in a variety of causes – from anti-war and abuse in the church to involvement with the Iranian community for more than 20 years – she had MI5 whistleblower David Shayler living in one of the rooms below us for a couple of years, until 2007 more or less. According to the BBC, Shayler "caused the biggest crisis of official secrecy since the spy catcher affair". By around 2007, he had been successfully neutralised: he changed his name to Delores Kane, declared himself to be Jesus, and became a squatter. A New Statesman article dated 11 September 2006 featuring Belinda and Shayler gives no indication that he believed he was the Messiah at that time; whilst a Daily Mail interview with Shayler explicitly shows that he believed himself to be Jesus by June 2007. This photograph comes from the Daily Mail (Shayler is the one sitting on the chair):

Belinda has served us with backdated notice to vacate our flat by the end of January, so maybe those keeping us off the internet have a squat in mind for us too!

Monday, November 07, 2011

We are removed from the internet ... this time no bandwidth

Tomorrow Declan will lodge with the High Court his skeleton argument for his oral hearing on 22 November. He is looking for permission to apply for judicial review against our jobcentre, Highgate Jobcentre Plus. He argues an important point of principle or practice, namely, that he is provided with no remedy under welfare law for discriminatory practice by private sector providers of the Department for Work and Pensions' Work Programme. He will have just seven days to appeal to the Court of Appeal following the hearing but, given 132 breaches of contract by Action for Employment (A4E), we believe we are left with no option but to appeal.

You would think that the application Declan lodged last month with the European Court of Human Rights regarding the interception of our communications and directed surveillance might cut some ice, but not at all! The blogs I have written since have been designed to show that there has been no let up on any front, and now I can add no internet access to the mix. Since last Thursday, our bandwidth has been 'squeezed' to death. Yesterday it went the entire day. It seems we could well be back to the British Library, the no.1 library in the UK, to be 'squeezed' some more. Just as well we have plenty of work to do offline!
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This was yesterday:
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I would expect a better connection at the bottom of the ocean!