Tag Archives: rig

Join the campaign to keep Tory choice Paul Dacre from running ‘independent’ Ofcom

Paul Dacre: if he’s the Tory choice, then he certainly shouldn’t get the job.

The Conservatives are trying to rig the selection of a new chairman for communications regulator Ofcom.

They want to install former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, even though he has already been through the selection process and was rejected.

The interview panel deemed him “not appointable” a few months ago – so the Tories have taken time out to appoint a new panel member: Michael Simmonds, a former Conservative Party advisor who is married to Conservative MP Nick Gibb (and therefore brother-in-law to BBC board member Sir Robbie Gibb, himself a former Downing Street comms chief under Theresa May).

In fact, the interview panel’s connections with the Conservatives are multiple (and therefore extremely suspicious). See the Guardian article (link below) for further details.

They have also rewritten the job description.

The intention seems clear – as the Good Law Project states in its article (link below): “When Boris Johnson doesn’t like the outcome of an official process, he tries to rip up the rules and start again.

“Ministers… are now shamelessly pushing to appoint Mr Dacre by adjusting the requirements of the role and re-running the recruitment process with a different interview panel.”

Lawyers acting for the Good Law Project have written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who has the ultimate say over the appointment, stating that this “second competition raises very serious concerns, in particular as to whether it has been held, and designed, in order to favour Mr Dacre’s candidacy”. And they have a point.

Ofcom should be independent of both the Government and the services it regulates. The appointment process must follow the rules of the Governance Code for Public Appointments: whoever is hired should be selected on merit, through an open and fair process.

The Governance Code for Public Appointments does allow for Ministers to appoint someone who is not deemed “appointable” by the Assessment Panel. But there are safeguards built into the Governance Code: they must first consult the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and they are required to explain their reasons and justify their decision publicly.

“The reason why Ofcom must remain independent of Government is the same reason the media must remain independent of Government: neither can do their job if they are in the Government’s pocket,” states the GLP in its article.

“We’re asking the Secretary of State to explain why the competition for Chair is being rerun and why Mr Dacre is being allowed to reapply.”

Unfortunately, the Culture Secretary is Nadine Dorries.

The GLP says it wants proper answers but is hardly likely to get any from her.

It is threatening court action if it doesn’t get them.

You can help… try… to change Dorries’s mind – by signing a petition calling on Dorries not to appoint Dacre.

Also the video is worth watching.

In honesty, this will probably end up in court. The Tories want to dismantle the BBC – despite having stuffed it with their own people – and they know Dacre will help them do it.

But this would be blatant government interference in an organisation that should be independent.

And it needs to be fought.

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Evans wins card vote on his GenSec job amid claims of vote-rigging

Rigging the vote? Keir Starmer (left) retains the services of his hitman David Evans (right) – but how many delegates to Labour conference were denied their vote by foul means in order to achieve the outcome? And will any of the votes in this year’s conference be honest?

David Evans has survived a vote on whether he will be allowed to continue as Labour Party general secretary.

Evans’s boss, Keir Starmer, had been pushing for the vote to be by ‘show of hands’ – an inaccurate method which right-wingers have allegedly used to rig vote results in the past.

But Evans himself announced that the vote would be by the more accurate ‘card’ system, in which every vote is counted.

It seems clear that Evans – and Starmer – had become confident of the result, and claims are circulating that they had eliminated enough anti-Evans delegates to make the vote go their way.

It was still a relatively close-run thing, with 59 per cent for Evans and 41 against. I wonder how many votes that translates into – and expect that we’ll all be surprised at how low the number are.

Stories of delegates’ party memberships being suspended before they could attend conference, being refused admittance for “security” reasons, or being denied the chance to vote when they did, are rife.

And who actually counted the votes?

But the result did not prevent humiliation for the hated general secretary. During his report, Evans told the assembled delegates, “Everybody remembers why they joined Labour,” and asked: “What was it for you?”

The response? Delegates broke into a chant of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn!”

The vote result does not bode well for the rest of the conference – or, indeed, for the future of the Labour Party under these two Tory cuckoos. Expect a mass exodus as Starmer and Evans steer a once-great party of the people into obscurity and ignominy.

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Tories plan to rig local elections with change from proportional representation to FPTP

The Conservatives are planning to make it easier for them to win local elections by changing the voting system to make it less representative.

Currently, elections for Combined Authority mayors, the mayor of London and police and crime commissioners are carrried out using a version of proportional representation which takes into account the preferences of people whose first choices do not have the highest number of votes.

Two candidates go through to the second round if no one gets more than 50 per cent of the primary vote.

A winner is then chosen from the remaining two by taking preferences into account from the voters who chose eliminated candidates as their first preference.

This means that everybody’s vote helps to influence the result – but the Conservatives lose out.

That’s why they want to change the system to FPTP – “First Past The Post” – in which the party winning the most votes in a single round of voting wins the election, even if it doesn’t have the support of a majority of the people.

Priti Patel announcing the plan to change the system, lied that the British people had rejected proportional representation in a referendum in 2011.

She was wrong. The public endorsed FPTP only for general elections, because the referendum was focused only on them.

The intention is clear: the Tories are going to rig local elections to ensure that they have the best chance of winning.

The London School of Economics has warned that the change could wipe out the accountability of a London mayor (for example) by removing small parties like the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party from the London Assembly, which holds the mayor to account.

And London Labour warned,

For the Tory Government to impose a change to the electoral system without first asking the views of Londoners in a follow-up referendum demonstrates their breathtaking arrogance and their utter disdain for devolution.

Fortunately for democracy, any change to electoral systems will have to be approved by Parliament via legislation, and this cannot happen before the local elections – including the London mayoral election – on May 6 this year.

Just watch how quickly the Tories try to impose the change if they lose that election!

Source: Government plans to change London mayor elections to First Past the Post : CityAM

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Is Con-man Cameron trying to rig the EU referendum – or are his backbenchers?

Image: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** David Cameron

Image: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

These party games will test David Cameron’s stamina.

Today’s jape involves 50 of his own MPs who reckon he is rigging the rules of the European Union referendum and want to force through their own changes.

The sad fact is that the rebels’ amendments seem more likely to create bias than anything Cameron wants to do. Moves to prevent the referendum taking place on the same day as other elections may be reasonable, but trying to ensure that the Government cannot publish pro-EU reports “on the eve” of the vote seem intended to promote anti-EU sentiment when a level playing field is required.

But Cameron’s response, it seems, is not to reassure them of his good intentions at all – they’re Tory MPs; he might be able to fool the public that way but he won’t fool them. Instead he is resorting to bribery.

According to the Torygraph, he’s hoping rebels including former Cabinet ministers Liam Fox and Owen Paterson can be “bought off” with “credible assurances” ahead of a vote on backbench amendments to the EU referendum bill tomorrow (Tuesday, June 16).

A rebellion by 50 Tory MPs, if supported by Labour and the SNP, will overturn the Conservative Party’s tiny majority in the House of Commons and make it impossible for Cameron to have his way.

If it succeeds in changing his mind, you can rest assured it will be the first of many more such party games.

Cameron is a lame duck who has already been shot. Before you know it, he’ll be plucked and roasted.

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Six million people fall off electoral register due to ‘lackadaisical’ councils

vote

Local councils have been failing to check voter lists by making door-to-door visits – leading to a loss of no less than six million people from the electoral register, the BBC has reported.

This is before a new system comes into operation that will require people to put themselves on the register individually, rather than being registered as part of a household. This has been designed by the Coalition government and it is widely believed that it will discourage people who are not Tories or Lib Dems from registering – effectively rigging elections in favour of the ruling parties.

In addition, it is widely believed that the public in general is losing faith in democracy after being forced to put up with one government after another who have sidled into office with a minority of the vote – most people have voted against them. These governments have then imposed policies that have sucked prosperity from those who rely most heavily on the state for support, handing ever more cash and power to people who have too much of it already. The leaders of the Coalition government (the Conservative Party) were supported by around 29 per cent of the electorate in 2010 (although not all of the electorate voted).

In the light of this, it seems unfair to penalise our already put-upon councils for failing to go door-to-door – the Coalition has contrived to suck resources away from councils, meaning fewer officers are being asked to do much more work, and electoral matters could be deemed easy to sideline in favour of more pressing issues.

The story mentions Mid Devon Council, whose chief executive said he did not believe house-to-house canvassing was an effective use of resources when budgets were being cut.

So the electoral roll dwindles, faith in democracy stutters, leaving zealots to vote in the worst possible governments.

Is there an alternative?

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