Peter Reynolds vs. Clear: Rolling updates

March 30, 2012

in Opinion, Personal

Peter Reynolds campaigning in the Corby by-election5th April, 22:42: Peter has called a vote of no confidence in him as leader:

My leadership has come under sustained attack. There has been a vicious hate campaign of lies, abuse, forgeries and false allegations. Recently, those responsible have also turned on my colleagues, Derek Williams, Jan Wells and Mark Palmer. These brave individuals fight for truth and justice against jealous, ignoble and cowardly bullies. They are champions of the cause.

Those who waste their energy on opposing us rather than campaigning for reform have demonstrated that their real ambition is to hijack CLEAR, just as they tried to hijack our website.

Now is the time for a new leadership mandate. I am calling for a vote of confidence in me.

The vote will take place in about a fortnight’s time. It will be administered by Jan Wells, the party secretary and treasurer. Jan will devise a robust process which will be verifiable and subject to audit by any legitimate outside organisation. It will ensure that all votes are cast by members and that each member can only vote once. Further details will follow.

Fair enough then. If that happens. People are already complaining about being censored on the CLEAR Facebook page calling for both sides to be able to put their case to the membership, so we shall see what happens with this “robust”, “subject to audit” process.

But if Peter does win in a fair-handed manner, then I do think that puts paid to efforts to oust him as leader. There’s still very valid and compelling criticisms to be made, but if he manages to persuade 350 people to vote him, then fair enough, really. Folks should go elsewhere.

The Politics UK poll is at 462-41 in favour of Peter’s sacking, btw. It will be genuinely interesting to see if this is reflected in the party vote.

Now, I said before that I was closing this rolling updates, but then interesting things happened. As we now await the result of this vote, I am not expecting anything hugely exciting to happen, and I have very, very nearly finished my dissertation while all this has been going on…

Although, before everyone gets distracted by this vote, perhaps someone could ask what happened with the internet lawyers that Peter’s parents paid for so he could sue Chris Bovey?

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19:55pm: Well, I got up from a nap to discover that someone’s apparently been emailing CLEAR party members. CLEAR know exactly what to do – call the police again. It’s a good job that so many people *did* give false membership details, really isn’t it? Peter’s apparently been away:

Now, this is where it gets serious, folks. Sanj Chowdhary is currently on a suspended sentence for growing and possessing cannabis, which he did because he has an incurable medical condition – for Peter Reynolds to call the police on a medicinal cannabis user who is publicly known to use and grow cannabis, and claim to represent cannabis users, is nothing short of treason, whatever it is that you think they’ve done.

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11:42am: I have split this post into two and put the old one here.

I’m pretty sure that physicists are quite right that there are multiple dimensions, it’s the only explanation for Peter’s belief that there are not objections whatsoever to his leadership.

Yep, 445 “sabateurs“. Someone has released this artists’ impression of Peter’s withdrawn award:

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4th April 09:16am: I was on a definite roll with my dissertation last night and finished the copyedit, so forgive if me that took precedence over this rolling update.

So, stuff has happened, albeit nothing with that legal action Peter said he was going to take against Chris Bovey, or the police complaint he made about eight people. Jan Wells, Party Treasurer, posted this on her Facebook yesterday:

“I noticed leaked emails from me on Sarah M’s latest offering, there you can plainly see that Derek and myself supported Chris & Greg’s call for an vote, this democratic process was ended when Chris stopped trying to work with us in the admin group and took control of the website, then we found that Chris and some others had planned for this event by hacking into Peters password. Hardly democratic!

Fighting damages the whole campaign, it make every cannabis user look bad, when the local papers have to close their comments because of people attacking Peter, all users look bad, the only winner is prohibition.
I rarely post because it often seems to inflame rather than inform, which is my aim.

Many of the people that complain loudest have never been Clear members, so of course we dont listen to them, members complaints are listened to, hopefully we can learn from them, but you cant please everyone.
All Clear wants is to get on with the campaign, to focus on the real fight, hopefully a vote will make everything much Clearer :)

As secretary, my job is to support the members, I will be contacting them all soon with our plans. Once we get the site working properly again we can move on.”

Good to know you’re a fan, Jan.

The Politics UK poll continues to rise, currently stands at 439-37. Obviously keen-eyed stoners were waiting for the moment it hit 420:

439 people, btw, is not a tiny group of trouble-makers. If there were that many anti-Peter Reynolds Party MPs in the House of Commons, they’d have a historic majority.

But this is probably the least of CLEAR’s worries right now, as their website is apparently now under a DDoS attack (thousands of computers accessing the website a second in an attempt to knock it offline under the strain):

null

Oh, and sadly ignored and unloved since the PoliticsUK poll went up, the Change.org Petition for the Resignation of Peter Reynolds has now got 293 signatures. I’m assuming there’s probably some overlap between signatories, but even allowing for that, these numbers are approaching the number of actual CLEAR party members…

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13:41pm: The infamous phone call between Denzil White and Peter Reynolds was deleted by Soundcloud, and has now been moved here, apparently (I don’t have the necessary codecs to hear it).

Politics UK poll is at 402-35 in favour of Peter’s sacking. Damn, Peter would be all over that shit if it were the other way round…

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11:10am: Well, that lasted a while:

‎”There has been a concerted effort to get CLEAR members to call for a leadership election by emailing Jan Wells. As CLEAR’s Executive has a past record of ignoring what they don’t want to see, we think it is time for some external accountability. Please forward the message that you sent to Jan Wells to letsbeclear03@gmail.com with a message stating that you are a member of CLEAR. We will make a list of names to verify and if we have the required number then we will announce this and send it to the Electoral Commission.”

Any emails you send to this address will not be published.

Politics UK poll is at 390-34. The Peter Reynolds Downfall parody, btw, now has 1400 views.

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00:44am: After three days of statements, counter-statements and threats, I think I will call this blog-post to a day now!

If something dramatic happens, I will create a new post, but otherwise I have a dissertation to write. :)

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22:05pm:

This just in from someone with Unite Against Fascism pretentions:

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20:14pm: New email to Chris Bovey from Peter Reynolds has just been released:

“Dear Chris,

We have now appointed solicitors to act on our behalf.

Adam Taylor
Adlex Solicitors
UK internet and domain name lawyers
76A, Belsize Lane
London
NW3 5BJ

Telephone: 020 7317 8404

My family has provided funds in order to take whatever action is necessary to regain control of the clear-uk.org domain name and to recover damages from you.

Your hosting company has already removed your control of the domain.

“Who is” records clearly show that you changed the registration details of the domain within the last day or two. This was unauthorised and as you know has already been reported to the police as has your interception of email accounts yesterday.

The attached exhibit, Bovey1, clearly shows your dishonest intent.

The attached exhibit, Bovey2, clearly shows in your own words that “I have no claim to the domain name”

The attached regulated entity profile from the Electoral Commission shows that party officers are Janice Wells and myself. The Electoral Commission has been warned of your and your co-conspirators’ preposterous attempt to take control of the party.

It is crystal clear that your hijacking of the domain is unlawful and it must be restored to our control immediately.

The deadline is 3.00pm today. If, at that time you have not restored control of the domain name to Jan and me then we will commence legal action. At that point the costs immediately become £1800.00 incl VAT.

The longer you prolong your unlawful conduct the higher our claim for damages and costs will rise and may include the costs of re-printing all party literature, stationery and restoration of the website to its proper state, The website is already back online at an alternative domain.

Be assured that we will pursue you until judgment is obtained and all necessary enforcement measures will be taken including the appointment of sherriff’s officers to seize your assets and property by force if required.

If you restore control of the domain name before the deadline we will halt any further legal action and will be prepared to negotiate a financial settlement with you.

The complaints of criminal offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and the Interception of Communications Act 1985 will be not be withdrawn under any circumstances.

You do not need to communicate with me to restore control of the domain name, simply instruct your hosting company to transfer it.

If you do this then our solicitors will be in touch in due course to negotiate a financial settlement.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds”

I am no lawyer, but it is decidedly odd that someone with legal representation would contact the person he has instructed them against by himself. I am also no party mandarin, but I’m also pretty certain that getting your family to pay for your party’s legal actions is decidedly nepotistic (and indicative that the party is broke). And while I am no psychologist, it is decidedly interesting that Peter Reynolds wrote that Chris doesn’t actually have to talk to him to avoid legal action. Sounds rather pleading to me.

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19:08pm: Peter Reynolds sees a comment from someone with an EDL avatar calling his opposition “hippie scum” – and likes it. And then defends it to someone who says they are so disgusted they are leaving Clear. Yeah, I’m sure associating with racists who flatter you are a sure ticket to mainstream popularity.

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18:37pm: Clear-uk.com are apparently now in control of clear-uk.org. Statement from Peter Reynolds:

“I am delighted to announce that control of the CLEAR domain name has now been restored.

This has been a terrible 10 days. In fact, it’s been a pretty terrible year so far with the relentless hate campaign against me and the noisy trolling of CLEAR by a small group of people who are angry, bitter and jealous of our success. I am immensely proud of the way that, through all of this, CLEAR has continued to take the lead in the cannabis campaign. It is CLEAR that has been putting out positive campaigning effort seven days of every week, of every month.

We now have a valiant and diligent team of comment warriors who take the truth to every corner of Britain, every day. Our PCC complaints are changing the way that the press behaves. A year ago, could anyone imagine a letter like yesterday’s in the Mail on Sunday being published by a Paul Dacre newspaper? We have forced them to start publishing the truth.

I have almost finished reading the drugs inquiry evidence and around 50% of all submissions cite CLEAR evidence. This is an astonishing achievement of which we can be very proud. We have mobilised people who previously would never have considered making a submission to a parliamentary inquiry. We are making change happen!

This is why a coup was attempted. CLEAR is the most successful and effective cannabis campaign Britain has ever seen. Those who attacked me wanted to take over what we have created because they can’t do it themselves.

It will take some days yet before the website is fully restored. We will move it back to its proper domain name in the next day or so. All membership data is safe.

Thank you to all those who have stood by CLEAR, even in the face of the most disgraceful and underhand plotting, scheming and sabotage. We have lost some good people who were duped and led astray by the lies and propaganda. What we need to do now is ramp up the campaign even harder, show that we deserve their trust and welcome them back to the party.

Thank you.”

Oter news:

The Lou Collins Radio Show is now available as a podcast here.

Politics UK poll is at 365-30.

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12:19pm: The Clear Facebook has finally got around to admitting they censor the Facebook page:

That’s mostly their own members that they are dealing with “ruthlessly”, btw. Still, makes a change from when Politics UK interviewed Peter and had this exchange:

“Politics UK
There are accusations that you “censor” CLEAR members and supporter on the internet by banning or deleting the post/comments on discussion boards. How would you answer this accusation?

Peter Reynolds
Another unsubstantiated allegation. The facts are that since it started the CLEAR FB page has banned 23 people and fewer than a half a dozen in the last couple of weeks. These are very low numbers for a forum on such a contentious subject.”

At least everyone knows it’s happening now.

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12:03am: Peter Reynolds has launched a new Clear website at http://www.clear-uk.com:

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11:37am: Chris Bovey is live on the Lou Collin Radio Show, you can listen live here.

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3rd April 10:31am: It’s a slightly overcast, slightly damp looking day today in Manchester, and I am feeling the effects of the morning after the night before.

Today kicked off with a bang, it’s 10am and we’ve got a statement from Clear:

The Politics UK poll is at 325-26.

The Re:Vision Drug Policy Network blog has also published some thoughts on the Peter Reynolds situation:

“In the cannabis community, and the drug law reform community, we all know there’s a significant number of people who use the drugs that we’re campaigning to have controlled and regulated, some are medicinal users, some recreational. It’s not that surprising. Some are public about it, some aren’t. All rely on the rest of us not calling up the cops to let them know what they’ve got and where they’ve got it. I’ve always thought it something of a no-brainer that if I don’t consider something a crime, then I don’t report it. For someone to break that code, for someone to threaten people who use cannabis for severe and chronic illness with police action, and then to claim they represent three million cannabis users, is not being consistent, politically or morally.”

Read more here.

We’ve also got a new dopecast out from the Dopefiend, thanks very much to the shoutout to me and the link to this post in the links section – welcome dopefiend tribers. :)

“On this week’s epsiode of the Web’s Favourite Cannabis Podcast, the Dopefiend is enjoying the spring sunshine in Panorama Park, where he talks about the recent events in the ongoing saga of Peter Reynolds and CLEAR, and how this week saw a stand-off develop between Reynolds and CLEAR’s former executive committee. The Dopefiend talks to former CLEAR press officer Chris Bovey about how he got involved in CLEAR and his dealings with Reynolds.”

And finally, Chris Bovey is going on the Lou Collin Radio Show in about ten minutes, you can listen live here.

Bit manic for mid-morning, innit?

This blogpost covers events from the 3rd April onwards. The previous updates can be found here.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

David Hart March 31, 2012 at 12:35 am

You might want to insert a hyphen (or, possibly, you might want to not insert a hyphen) in ‘deadminned’ in the first bullet point, which I read as (dead)(minned) before working it out:-)

Reply

sarah March 31, 2012 at 1:05 am

I have done so, purely for you and your semantic ways. Feel special. :)

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David Hart March 31, 2012 at 11:58 am

You’ve made a terrible pedant smile.

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Josie April 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I’m sure I’ve had the same conversation with you before :-P

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Sarah Martin March 31, 2012 at 9:32 am

Thanks for the detailed update Sarah.

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Rev Paul March 31, 2012 at 10:02 am

Thanks for the detailed update Sarah. ;)

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Alan Wyllie March 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Sarah, I just want to clarify one point.

“And Politics UK (the folks who originally awarded Peter Reynolds “Politician of the Year”)”

PoliticsUK ‘Politician of the Year’ was awarded in good faith to Peter Reynolds after a public vote on Facebook.

At the time there was no indication of foul play and Peter Reynolds votes seemed to come from legitimate Facebook users.

PoliticsUK neither endorse Peter Reynold’s opinion nor have any view on Peter Reynolds leadership(or non leadership) of CLEAR.

PUK’s Terms of Use is clear on this subject:

“12. Modifications to service
……Any awards can be withdrawn if the is sufficient believe that the award was not won either with the rules or outwith the spirit of the rules. Any award can be reclaimed if it is felt that it reflects badly on PoliticsUK or its owner.”
https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=246680175365029

If anyone has evidence on any wrongdoing, I can be contacted via Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/alan.wyllie1
or via email @ politicsintheuk@gmail.com

All correspondents would be treated in strictest confidence.

Alan

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sarah March 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Hi Alan,

what I meant by that was that it was Politics UK that did the awarding, not necessarily that it was them what did the deciding. I accept what you said yesterday about you checking all the individual users to make sure they were real people, I don’t think Peter Reynolds was anywhere near as unpopular then…

Sarah

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Alan Wyllie March 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I understood that Sarah. At the time Peter Reynolds was exceptionally popular. He had done a Q&A on PUK and impressed a lot of people.

I never knew of comment warriors or his link on the CLEAR website…

Thank you for you reply
xox

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Mike April 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm

The word Facebook is appearing a little too often in this sorry saga for my liking. Didn’t I read somewhere that one of Peter’s supporters was a Facebook moderator?

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sarah April 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I think so, I’ve seen emails from Peter to a Facebook moderator email, and I have no idea how he would’ve gotten hold of that.

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Edwin Stratton March 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm

“Any award can be reclaimed if it is felt that it reflects badly on PoliticsUK or its owner.”

What does it take to revoke an award? It reflects very badly on PoliticsUK to have championed a racist, misogynist, homophobic, antisemitic bully – even by extension. His ‘award’ may have been the result of an election, but is an election free and fair with an ignorant electorate?

Mill taught us that propaganda is effected by concealing half the truth, and Reynolds achieved PR control by way of hiding his past and censoring any and all dissent. Reynolds secured any popularity via manipulation, but once his actual stance became known, most abandoned him.

I feel there’s a clear case for revocation.

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Alan Wyllie March 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm

We need an official compliant…Maybe by executives of CLEAR?

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Lem March 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Didn’t politics UK used to promote Peter’s blog, didn’t you say he was a man who knew how to pick his fights and was a breath of fresh air in the political arena (generally against minority groups and disabled people from what I’ve seen)? Top judgement there.

Didn’t you notice all the racist, white-nationalist, homophobic, anti-islamic, anti-semitic things he said when you originally read it?

Or, as it seems to me, are you just trying to get out of this with as little damage to yourselves as possible?

I wrote an email to you many months ago, pointing out the obviously flawed voting process, I didn’t even have the courtesy of an email of acknowledgement.

An internet nobody, who has achieved nothing but outraging and offending massive swathes of population gains the politician of the year award ahead of Caroline Lucas, the first Green party MP. Hmmmm, lemme think about that for just no seconds at all… absolute and obvious fraud.

If you want to exit this affair with even the slightest shred of dignity and respect, I’d revoke the award as soon as I was back at my desk. Giving an award to a man like Reynolds’ whether genuinely earned (yeah right) or not sure as heck reflects badly (as per quoted section 12 of your Terms of Service) on Politics UK and you personally in my book.

Regardless of what you do, you are tainted by the amount of grandstanding you have allowed Reynolds’ to carry out on your site, I would also have to question long and hard the journalistic capabilities of anybody who has taken this long to see the other side of the story, let alone think about publishing it.

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Alan Wyllie March 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Sorry, complaint, not compliant..

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Philip Walsh March 31, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Peter is a liability.

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Educated Chappie April 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Hey ! Here’s a good idea . . .

Why not go back to how things were before Peter was elected leader.

I’m sure the whole reform movement will benefit from the LCA image that did so well over the years with its handful of members.

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Darryl April 7, 2012 at 11:26 am

I don’t think it matters one jot how naff the LCA were, at least they had some personal integrity, didn’t grass people up, threaten legal action at a drop of a hat, sell out the ordinary members to try and milk profits from selective prohibition, create numerous fake personas to have conversations with themselves ad nauseum, make outrageous comments about immigrants, gays, jews, moslems etc etc

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sarah April 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

It’s very interesting that CLEAR supporters cannot distinguish between “CLEAR” and “Peter Reynolds”. You know, good leaders create followers, and great leaders create leaders. What does it say about Peter Reynolds that even his supporters buy into the idea that only he is CLEAR?

I think that CLEAR’s approach of a slick, professional campaign is a good one, and I personally wasn’t impressed with the LCA when I first checked out their site in 2006. But Peter Reynolds didn’t just make CLEAR, he was part of a large group of people who were tired of what the LCA were doing and wanted something different. And all of them have worked over the past year to make that happen, and as all of them have left, they’ve all said that it is because Peter Reynolds is impossible to work with. And they haven’t just stopped because involved in drug law reform, btw – from the people who have left CLEAR has come LEAP UK, the UKCSC, the Winston Matthews Campaign, the Cannabis Alliance, and there are more organisations setting up even now. All of these groups could have been either born under CLEAR’s wings or could have worked very closely with it, but they have all sworn not to have anything whatsoever to do with CLEAR as long as Peter Reynolds is leader – so what does that say about his image in the movement?

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Mike April 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Why not cut out the middle man and merge CLEAR with the EDL?

It could make for some interesting rallies!

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Rick April 16, 2012 at 12:17 am

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