The fifth instalment in the #skada series for Byline is now out:
The third article in my #skada series on crime and immigration in Sweden is out now via Byline.
Back in 2010/11 I knew I was making a rebellious declaration of war on Scotland Yard. I won’t bore you with it but you can either read my book, The Rest Is Silence, or read the whistleblowing section of this website to find out what went on.
Going into that, I made sure I was as fit as could be. I was in my early thirties, twelve-and-a-half stone of lean muscle, and trained two hours a day. A few years of trauma did quite the job, taking me down to six-and-a-half stone at the lowest ebb, and I walked away with my fair share of trauma from the stress, too.
After that, there came the real falling to pieces – I ended up bankrupted and living in a hell-hole on alternate day rations of Gingernuts while doing a physical job. By the time my 37th birthday came around in May, I was suffering the full effects of malnutrition, had no body fat left to go, and was suffering a headache which neither started nor ended. It just was.
Things have, thankfully, moved on quite a way and my body-weight is now back around eleven stone. But my joints are pretty much buggered, particularly in my hands thanks to the genetic gift of arthritis which my life provoked to pinch a little early.
Next month, my 38th birthday will arrive and it’s time to start to redress the way I enter my forties. I’ve been spurred on by my inspirational other half but I’m not doing my side of it for charity as she is. This is personal.
I remember how my body felt, and it bloody well will behave now I’ve fed it for a while.
I’ll also need to be fighting fit as I’ve turned my attention towards pursuing investigative journalism across the world – see here – and who knows when I’ll need to run or fight. Maybe never, but that’s a huge what if. I also hope my clambering back into exercise inspires others, or simply gives some good pointers on what not to do.
Today was the start and I ventured into the hallowed Sports Direct of Bletchley, where I got myself a haul of starter goods in the sale – it’s the only way to fly, my mum always taught me. These might not be ‘ethical’ purchases (if you’ve ever tried charity shopping as a bloke you’ll know why this is so hard) but these are budget pinching items I’ve saved up for from the day job. These are also the first clothes I’ve bought new in nearly two years.
I’ve bagged two Everlast T-shirts for £12, Two pairs of joggers at £12.99 each, a hoody at £12.99, two packs of sport socks for £9, and a pair of Karrimor trail runners for £69.99 reduced from £139.99 (the most expensive item here, but your feet need looking after and I haven’t bought trainers for five years now).
Because it was a sale, I’ve also snaffled a set of grip-strengtheners for £2.49 (to help my poor hands alongside a set of chinese medicine balls from Ebay), a resistance band for £8.49, a phone arm-band for £4.99, and some running headphones for £6.99
I also invested in a cast iron set of Lonsdale dumbbells, reduced by 50% to £39.99 and I still have and a doorway bar for pull ups and press ups.
Sit ups are, of course, free but I don’t know yet whether I’ll be reaching the giddy heights of the thousand a day I used to do after being inspired by American Psycho and Fight Club as a younger, less damaged man.
The only other essential equipment I already have is a firm knee support which I bought a few years back when an old injury started playing up.
All in all, this is not a bad way to spend your savings, though I am apparently still racked with guilt at buying things for myself that you can’t eat…
So, I guess this is me ready for the first run and exercises tonight.
I’ll let you know how it goes…
That’s the opener of someone who really means something.
And I do.
If you’re sick of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ then this is for you. If not, don’t bother reading another word.
“No more alternatives, just good, old-fashioned investigative journalism delivered when you need it – which is when stuff is happening, not months later when it’s too bloody late.”
I don’t work for a newspaper, I’m not on big bucks. I was once bankrupt. I was once a whistleblower. I was once a copper. I’m none of those things now, but I want to make chasing far-right bullshit my full-time job.
And I don’t just mean being a keyboard warrior, I want to get up in their grubby little business and get to the goddamned truth. I’m doing this properly, as an NUJ card-holding investigative journalist.
“Fuck it, I’m begging and we all know it.”
I started doing this for free again earlier this year, being published by The Common Space and accidentally crowdfunded £2,000 to take on the alt-right over Trump’s comments on Sweden. As a result, I now write for Byline, an independent journalism platform which is fully signed up to the new Impress regulations – so it’s legit.
You can read the work out of Sweden so far on the links below, but I need to stop pussyfooting around and ask you something.
Fuck it, I’m begging and we all know it.
I want you to support my work so I can chase down the leads I’ve already picked up and follow the trail from Sweden, across the UK, to France, to Germany, and beyond. And I have to be honest, time isn’t going to fucking wait.
To be able to cover the work, drop my day job which puts food on the table, and cover the regular travel I need to be doing to kick these rocks, I need to be hitting £6,000 a month.
Sounds like a lot, right?
To you, that’s a quid a month if 6,000 if you sign up to monthly subscriptions at my Byline page. That’s also £1 not spent on the Express, Mail, or anything owned by Rupert Bloody Murdoch.
That means I can get on with this.
Some people have already committed more. Others have chucked in what they can as a one-off. Quite a few people prefer to donate to me directly through PayPal.
Yeah, I’m begging. No I’m not ashamed.
And yes, I do want to make sure that every article I produce is balanced, factual, and without a single sniff of fake about it. No more alternatives, just good, old-fashioned investigative journalism delivered when you need it – which is when stuff is happening, not months later when it’s too bloody late.
“I’m not prepared to sit here on my hands when there’s a chance my actions could make a difference.”
I don’t care whether you donate £1 or a £1,000 but what I can’t do is sit by in this mental world and do nothing. This is all I’ve got and I’m going at it hard, I just need a leg up.
Donate, share, slag me off, I don’t care. But I’m not prepared to sit here on my hands when there’s a chance my actions could make a difference. (And I know for a fact one person can make a difference because I’ve done that before).
“I don’t care whether you donate £1 or a £1,000 but what I can’t do is sit by in this mental world and do nothing.”
That’s me begging. Fuck pussyfooting.
Donate, share, slag me off, I don’t care.
As I said on the Twitters:
Okay, here’s the plan, neatly contained in a thread, which I will also put on my blog to make things easier for those off Twitter too…
This has led me into so interesting territory, which led me to a crowdfunded fight with the Alt-right: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/damages-action-against-prison-planet
In the wake of the Stockholm attack, I travelled to Malmö to investigate crime and immigration in Sweden. To uncover the truth…The first article in the
#skada series is now published by @Byline_Media with many more to come. Read it here: https://www.byline.com/column/67/article/1583
Working as a journalist with Byline, I am signed up to comply with the new Impress regulations on journalistic conduct. The platform is also designed to fund its investigative journalists directly from public donations, to preserve impartiality. I’m currently working on a hard hitting exclusive on hidden crime in Mexico, which you can find out about here: https://www.byline.com/project/69
The Mexico story is a world exclusive based on unprecedented access to state level Mexican data, now hugely relevant given US rhetoric.
As a result of my rock-kicking so far, starting with
@TheCommonSpace and moving on to Malmö, I’ve uncovered something pretty grim. Behind all the right wing parties, the hacking, the psychometrics, and the fake news stands an enemy. Supported by a tangled web. And I want to chase them down. Hunt them out. I used to be a good cop, and it’s still in my blood. But I can’t do this alone. Nor can I do this from behind a computer screen. That will only take me so far. Not far enough. Boots on the ground is the only way.
@Byline_Media platform I want to fund this fight in the #AlternativeWar and start fighting back with the truth. The only way I can do this full time is with the financial support of you. Doesn’t matter if it’s £1 or £1000. This is too important.
The leads I’ve picked up as a result of
#skada mean I need to head to France, before the elections and kick the rock over on Le Pen…There is something very wrong there, and even the latest polls are saying so. And it’s almost too late. Without you, it’s all footnotes.
From France it’s going to be Germany, then who knows? I’ve leads to follow everywhere and this puzzle is one worth unpicking. All I know is that Byline provides an opportunity for all of us to get to the bottom of this. To get out in harm’s way and do some good.
I know it’s a lot to ask, especially given the state of Brexit Britain, but, if you can, please head over to my Byline pages and pledge.
Alternatively, I have also added a direct way to support my independent journalism with a Paypal button which you can get to by scrolling down here.
Thanks for listening and best wishes to all of you, James.