Tag Archives: ballot

Trigger ballots to decide if Phillips has to fight to remain an MP

Jess Phillips: It’s time for her to go.

Labour Party members in the Birmingham Yardley constituency are to vote on the future of MP Jess Phillips.

She is facing a ‘trigger’ vote to decide whether she should face a challenge to her right to be their Parliamentary candidate in the next general election.

According to Skwawkbox, “Yardley reportedly only has some five hundred Labour members… Ms Phillips is said to have been working hard trying to cultivate their favour.

“Phillips’ neighbour, Roger Godsiff, was ‘triggered‘ earlier this week, with Barking MP Margaret Hodge suffering the same result the week before.”

Ms Phillips is highly controversial. This Site published an article earlier this week, sympathetic with staff at her office after they were targeted by a man banging on the windows and shouting “fascist”.

He seemed unhappy that she had made a speech about the un-Parliamentary language used by Boris Johnson regarding his aborted prorogation.

But I have little sympathy for Ms Phillips as a person and neither do readers of This Site, as evidenced by comments on that previous article.

“Jess Phillips is a fine one to bemoan the violent language currently being used in Parliament,” stated ‘TimFrom’. “She made an early contribution to the trend in 2015 when, in response to talk of Labour MPs back-stabbing Jeremy Corbyn, she proudly proclaimed she’d oh-so-bravely knife him ‘in the front’.”

Mark C added: “I really have very little time for Jess Phillips and her ‘I’m just a working class woman made good bab’ persona. I found myself in an unimpressed minority in regards to her recent impassioned speech at the fate of those expelled from the Tory party – why so het up about the Tories when many within the Labour party have been expelled on trumped up charges that she has often supported?

“And I feel her ‘I don’t understand parliamentary process’ comment is, at worst a wilful and calculated part of that ‘ordinary woman’ act and, at best, pure unadulterated ignorance at the job she is elected to perform.”

Others have criticised her for supporting Ruth Smeeth at the hearing of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee that led to the entirely inappropriate expulsion of anti-racism campaign Marc Wadsworth on a charge relating to anti-Semitic racism. Ms Smeeth had lied about him.

And This Writer came under fire for calling her “mouthy” – with critics claiming I was using sexist language, even though I and others apply that term freely to men, women and groups.

So, while Ms Phillips’s place as a candidate may now be in doubt, This Writer certainly hopes that members of Yardley CLP remove her from the list in the very near future.

There should be no place in the Parliamentary Labour Party for her.

Source: Phillips facing trigger ballots on Monday | The SKWAWKBOX

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Tories get ‘multiple ballots’ for leader vote. Can they resist the urge to cheat?

This is absolutely priceless.

Bosses of both Jeremy Hunt’s and Boris Johnson’s campaign to become leader of the Conservative Party – and prime minister in the process – have begged party members who have received two ballot papers to use only one of them.

It seems that more than 1,000 people could have multiple forms, according to a BBC report citing a party source.

That’s a lot of temptation for the party whose members are known for doing anything to get what they want.

Cheating in a major vote?

I wouldn’t put it past them.

Better count all the papers once they’re in, Tories. Better get someone independent to do it for you. And that includes the spoiled ones.

Source: Tory members sent ‘multiple ballots’ for leadership vote | Politics | The Guardian

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Corbyn WILL be on the Labour leadership ballot paper

Five-time Parliamentary 'Beard of the Year' - the likeable Jeremy Corbyn.

Five-time Parliamentary ‘Beard of the Year’ – the likeable Jeremy Corbyn.

Many critics of Labour will be crowing about this and claiming that Labour has a death wish.

Silly, silly people.

It is a sign that Labour will listen to its grassroots members. The number of votes Corbyn receives will show Labour’s leadership what the majority of party members really want – providing a rough indicator of whether party members think MPs have abandoned True Labour policies in a vain bid to steal votes from the “twin-set and pearls” set.

This Writer will be supporting him. He’s the only candidate who has added any colour to this campaign apart from pale blue.

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Labour and Green candidates left off postal ballot papers

Postal ballot papers for Hull East. Notice that no Labour or Green candidates are listed.

Postal ballot papers for Hull East. Notice that no Labour or Green candidates are listed.

High-profile Labour MP Karl Turner’s name has been omitted from 480 postal ballot papers in his Hull East constituency due to what the local council is calling an “inadvertent mistake”.

Yeah, right.

If that is the case, why were Mr Turner and Green candidate Sarah Walpole only missed off the papers for people who registered to vote after April 1? Doesn’t that imply that somebody removed their names deliberately?

Hull City Council had better check every single ballot paper it is preparing for election day, to prevent any further “inadvertent mistake”. Mr Turner was elected with a majority of more than 8,000, so the potential loss of 480 votes was unlikely to affect him. The loss of who-knows-how-many votes on the day might be a different matter!

Mr Turner told the BBC the mistake was “concerning” because people were “being denied the right to vote and take part in the democratic process”.

He added: “I have had calls from people in East Hull who are going on holiday this week and are angry that they are unable to vote. I have asked Hull City Council to urgently look into the matter and review their processes surrounding sending out ballot papers.”

The campaign is moving from desperation into criminality now, it seems. This Writer does not believe for one moment that those ballot papers were altered by “mistake”.

Expect further incidents like that in the last days of the campaign – and we can be sure plenty of last-minute voters will be locked out of their polling stations again, on the stroke of 10pm, just like last time. This gives Conservative candidates an edge over others because Tory voters are whipped into voting as early as possible.

In other news, it seems more than 70,000 ballot papers destined for Hastings and Rye, in East Sussex, were stolen along with the van that was transporting them there. Hastings Borough Council says it is putting measures in place to ensure that none of the stolen papers can be used, and we are being asked to believe that the loss of the papers was incidental to the theft of the van.

Yeah, right. But opportunism is a wonderful thing. Let’s see what happens there.

Both these events could lead to electoral fraud, which is a crime. Vox Political readers are urged to be alert for any possible “inadvertent mistake” in your own constituency and report anything suspicious to the Returning Officer (usually your local council’s chief executive) and to the police.

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Omnishambles, omnishambles, omnishambles

Feeling tired? Don’t worry, Vince Van Winkle, we’ve got a cosy place in the Cabinet for you, next to Ken ‘Can’t Keep My Eyes Open’ Clarke!

Before the general election in 2010, David Cameron reminded us that Tony Blair had summed up his ambitions in three words, “Education, education, education”, then said he could manage his in three letters: “N.H.S.”

How wrong he was!

We now know that the correct three-word slogan would have been: “Omnishambles, omnishambles, omnishambles”!

Here’s three examples of Coalition government ineptitude that have fallen onto my desk during this morning alone.

1. The government is having to shred £350,000 worth of ballot papers for the Welsh police and crime commissioner elections after a late decision to print them in both English and Welsh.

There really is no excuse for this. I know for a fact that Labour and, I believe, Plaid Cymru were both pushing for bilingual ballots, months before now.

When Christine Gwyther heard the Home Office did not have Parliamentary approval for bi-lingual ballot papers and information to voters, she immediately took steps to rectify the matter, writing to Bryn Parry-Jones, the returning officer, who agreed to pursue it on an all-Wales basis. She told Labour’s Brecon and Radnorshire constituency party the story at its meeting in September, which was one and a half months ago at the time of writing.

The government says the cost will be met from the £75 million election budget. I find this unconscionable. People across the country are getting into terrible states of anxiety over how to afford an extra £20 or £30 a month due to benefit cuts (of which more in a moment), but this government is prepared to throw away hundreds of thousands of pounds because its members couldn’t be bothered to make a perfectly simple decision in a reasonable amount of time.

Shambles.

2. A senior Downing Street aide has quit working for David Cameron in order to join Wonga.com, the loan company that charges bizarrely exorbitant rates of interest – more than 4,000 per cent. This is according to Sky News.

Jonathan Luff has done this, allegedly, at a time when the Office of Fair Trading is trying to crack down on payday lenders and concern is high about the industry’s business practices. The question is whether the move will give Wonga inappropriate access to ministerial decision-makers.

I guess we’ll find out, if the issue mysteriously goes away in the immediate future, with no explanation.

Already, critics have denounced the move as a sign of what Conservative supporters are really interested in – not the good of the country, but the size of their bank accounts.

Shambles.

3. Finally, in an article on this very blog, I seem to have revealed ambiguities in the plan for the new, so-called “bedroom tax” that could add tens, if not hundreds of pounds to the cost for people renting council- or social houses.

It seems that it is unclear whether the amounts to be removed from housing benefit – 14 per cent for one extra bedroom, 25 per cent for two or more – are to be taken from the amount of benefit being paid, or from the total rent being paid on the property. One of my readers tells me that Cornwall Council has taken the latter stance, meaning a loss of £21 per week for the first spare bedroom, £29 per week for two – considerably more than the advertised average of £14 per week.

Social housing provider Bromford, on the other hand, states clearly that it is a household’s housing benefit entitlement that will be cut, which seems to make it clear that it is a percentage of the benefit, not the full rent.

One wonders whether the government will stir itself to provide a definitive answer before the new rules come into practice next April. I shall not be holding my breath in anticipation.

Oh, and households with students away from home for less than 52 weeks per year – exempted under the new rules – will find that Cornwall Council doesn’t see it that way, either. from the form letter: “If you have an extra bedroom(s) for children who don’t live with you full time, the Government will count this as a spare bedroom and your benefit will be cut.”

Omnishambles.

Bubbling under, we have the accusation against Business Secretary Vince Cable that he slept through the new Cabinet Growth Committee’s meetings, as he seems to know nothing about them despite being, as I understand it, the vice-chair.

Coming soon: Borishambles.