Tag Archives: voter

Welsh Tory claims that ‘voter ID’ Bill is ‘nothing to fear’ are nonsense

Voting: if the Tories get their way, don’t bank on being allowed to put your ‘X’ in any boxes unless you are prepared to go through a new layer of pointless bureaucracy.

The Welsh Conservatives: what a ridiculous, small-minded clutch of creeps!

Their current wheeze is trying to pretend that the new Elections Bill in Westminster – that will cheat 3.5 million people out of being able to vote – is “nothing to fear”.

Well, it might be nothing for them to fear, but for Welsh voters it is very serious! This Site calls it the Voter Restriction Bill.

The Welsh Government is rightly opposing the Bill, for reasons we’ll discuss shortly.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Constitution, Darren Millar (who?) said: “This is nothing more than mischief making from the Welsh Government and its allies.

“Voters in Wales have nothing to fear from these proposals. The only people who should be concerned are those who intend to commit election fraud.

“People are required to present ID to vote in many vibrant democracies around the world including Canada, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Iceland and Italy so I see no reason why this shouldn’t be the norm here in Wales.”

Fortunately there are adults in Welsh politics who are able to explain to these Tory might-as-well-be children what their own party’s legislation means.

Jess Blair, Director of Electoral Reform Society Cymru (Wales), said: “This Elections Bill could lead to a ‘two tier franchise’ in Wales, with some elections banning those without ID, and others remaining open and free.”

It means that, if any UK and Welsh elections took place on the same day, two sets of rules about how people take part would apply. Some people would be certain to become confused and fail to take ID – if they had it – meaning they would be excluded from voting in the Westminster election.

“This bill would ban anyone without ID from voting, while forcing over-stretched council workers to become bouncers at the ballot box, turning away potentially thousands of would-be voters each election. There is simply no need for this costly barrier to democracy. At a cost of up to £180m per decade, forcing this through is a strange priority for UK ministers right now.

“Moreover, the changes to the Electoral Commission represent a UK government power grab, with ministers given new controls over our elections watchdog. This is a dangerous and unprecedented move that the Welsh Government is right to oppose.”

Other plans would remove the 15-year limit on overseas electors in UK general elections – to allow Tory donors to continue participating in elections; ban party campaigners from handling postal votes, and stop people from collecting postal votes from people who are unable to get to post boxes and handing them in.

In a paper published on the Senedd website Counsel General Mick Antoniw wrote: “The Welsh government does not support the introduction of voter ID, the placing of unnecessary constraints on postal and proxy voting, or the extension of the overseas franchise.”

Do not be confused: the BBC may claim the move toward voter ID is a bid to prevent possible fraud from people pretending to be someone they are not at a voting station – but how can it be, when such crime is practically nonexistent in the UK and this legislation will cost £180 million per decade?

No – this is a bid to make it harder for working class, older and black, Asian and minority ethnic people to vote.

And the reason is clear: these are all people who are unlikely to vote for Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.

Source: Welsh Tories claim there’s ‘nothing to fear’ from bill that bans those without ID from voting

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Vaccine passports scrapped – but what does that say about Voter ID?

The ballot box: Boris Johnson doesn’t want you to be able to put anything into it until you can show valid photo ID, like a Tory Party membership card.

Let’s remind ourselves of something Boris Johnson said, way back in pre-history:

Brilliant! And half-true…

The plan for Covid-19 vaccination passports has just been scrapped by Sajid  Javid.

Clearly he has been reading This Site’s discussion of the rights and wrongs of forcing people to vaccinate. Denying them entry to places unless they have been forced to vaccinate is still forcing people to vaccinate, of course.

(Amazingly, one of the guys who was so determined to force his will on other people – even though it wouldn’t make any difference to whether they passed the virus on to him – is still demanding it. His latest effort was to say that people should be force-vaccinated for the same reason we aren’t allowed to smoke in offices – to prevent passive smoking. But passive smoking is forced on non-smokers by smokers and the prohibition is to stop smokers putting something in non-smokers’ bodies that they don’t want there – which is exactly what this guy is trying to do by forcing injections on people who don’t want them. Some might say that’s practically rape.)

However Johnson is still forcing voter ID on us.

It makes a nonsense of Javid’s claim that “I’ve never liked the idea of saying to people you must show your papers or something to do what is just an everyday activity.” Voting might not be everyday but is still regular.

The Welsh Assembly has already recommended that consent for the Elections Bill – which demands that voters produce a recognised form of photo ID or be turned away – should be refused.

It would make sweeping changes to the UK’s electoral system with very little justification – the “voter ID” demand is being made in spite of the fact that voter impersonation is very nearly nonexistent in the UK.

So convention requires the Assembly to give consent – and it is being withheld. The Welsh Government is seeking amendments that will reduce the impact on Welsh law.

That should keep the Bill tied up for a while.

And just as well, to judge from the reactions:

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Could ‘tinpot dictator’ Boris Johnson learn a lesson from Haiti – before it’s too late?

Dictator Johnson: but will he learn a lesson from the death of Haitian president Jovenel Moise – or will he carry on attacking your freedoms in the belief that “it couldn’t happen here”?

On the day when Haitian president – and, some say, dictator – Jovenel Moise was shot dead in his own home, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was labelled a “tinpot dictator” in the House of Commons. Do you think the parallel will prompt a rethink?

I don’t.

Moise was accused of being a dictator because he did not hold elections when he was expected to – including legislative elections. As I understand it, this meant Haiti has been left without lawmakers since 2019 and he had been ruling by decree for the past two years.

According to The Guardian,

Allegations of an attempted coup – which Moïse said included plans to murder him – marked the latest episode in his controversial period in power that has been characterised by fraudulent elections, protests, economic hardship, repression and rampant corruption.

Does that seem familiar to you?

In February this year he claimed an attempt to kill him and overthrow his government had been foiled, arresting 23 people including a top judge and a senior police officer and using police to put down political protests after they became violent.

Does that remind you of the Johnson regime?

The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, referred to Johnson as a “tinpot dictator” during Prime Minister’s Questions, when he raised the Tory government’s plan for vote-rigging by introducing a system in which voters will have to provide a specific form of identification before being allowed to take part in elections.

Mr Blackford said, “It’s easier to get re-elected if the government can choose the voters rather than the voters choosing the government.”

(I note that Voter ID will not be introduced for elections here in Wales. The Labour-run government here rightly states that electoral fraud is practically nonexistent and could disenfranchise millions of voters in the UK.)

Looking at Haiti, it is easy to see where interference with elections can lead.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking:

“It couldn’t happen here.” Really?

I bet you can think of at least one person in the UK who has died under mysterious circumstances that may have been politically-motivated – and may have been covered up in subsequent inquiries. I can.

It could happen here, just as it could happen in Haiti – as soon as Johnson outlives his usefulness.

And he’s not doing very well with his plan to spread new variants of Covid-19 by lifting social distancing rules, is he?

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Labour is losing young voters to the Greens – because of Starmer

Not for the young: flag-shagging Keir Starmer has turned young voters away from the Labour Party.

How tragically revealing.

Admittedly this has to come with the caveat that the pollster is the Tory-run organisation YouGov.

However, the size of the numbers suggests there’s something in this.

They show that Labour’s share of the 18-24-year-old vote has plummetted by 21 points (from 56 per cent to 35 per cent). It seems all those voters have gone to the Green Party.

There’s a good reason for that…

Let’s be honest. We can name the reason in two words:

Keir Starmer.

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The Tories have started their attack on court power and their plan to create a dictatorship

Manifesto commitment: the Conservatives made their plan to end democracy clear in their 2019 election manifesto. Every Conservative voter demanded an end to democracy and a slide into dictatorship.

We all knew this was coming because the Conservatives announced their plan to attack the so-called separation of powers that prevents our country from slipping into dictatorship back in 2019.

It was in their manifesto, which means everybody who voted for Boris Johnson and his Conservatives deliberately and knowingly supported it.

For those who have had their heads in the sand for the last two years, or have only become politically aware since the election, I’ll explain:

The separation of powers is the division of any state’s government into different branches, each with its own powers and responsibilities.

The intention is to prevent the concentration of power under any leader that would lead to a dictatorship, by providing checks and balances: each branch has power to limit or check the other two, induces them to prevent either of the other branches from becoming supreme, thereby securing political liberty.

The typical separation of powers is into three parts: a legislature (Parliament), an executive (government) and a judiciary (courts). That is what we have in the United Kingdom.

Each branch must have legitimate means to defend their own legitimate powers from those of the other branches.

But Boris Johnson’s plan – as laid out in his 2019 manifesto – is to strip the courts of their power to act as a check and balance against his government, allowing himself to enact laws that would be illegal otherwise.

Currently the courts have a mechanism known as judicial review, which allows them to decide whether decisions by government ministers or public bodies are against the law.

As it stands now, it works very well.

The courts cannot overturn Acts of Parliament; they can only rule that decisions made in the name of particular laws were wrong because either a minister did not have the power to make them, or the process leading to them was unfair or irrational – or does not conform with the Human Rights Act.

Most appeals for judicial review do not reach the courts: in 2018, 3,597 were lodged and only 218 saw the inside of a courtroom. The government went on to win half of them.

But Johnson was upset by two court decisions – on the government’s management of Brexit, and on his aborted prorogation of Parliament.

He says that the decisions of the judges meant they were acting politically, considering the merits of his government’s political decisions rather than the way those decisions were made. This is not true.

The claim that the current system allows judges to retake decisions on how a policy should operate is wrong. They don’t. They have stepped in to clarify the law after the government failed to do so – probably in an attempt to push through offences against democracy under a fuzzily-worded law – but that is not the same thing. The courts have merely acted in accordance with their power to rule whether the government acted within the bounds of its own laws or not.

So now, Johnson intends to ensuring that, when his government breaks the law in the future, the courts will not have the power either to reveal the illegality or to prevent it.

It is part of the three pillars of his manifesto that drag us into dictatorship – the other two being removal of our right to protest (in the Police Bill currently going through Parliament) and imposition of indefinite government (by repealing the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, which has not yet happened).

All were on page 48 of the Tories 2019 manifesto.

I stated in an article a week before the 2019 election:

While the manifesto states: “We will get rid of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act – it has led to paralysis at a time the country needed decisive action,” it means: We will impose an indefinite Conservative government.

While it states: “We will ensure that judicial review is available to protect the rights of the individuals against an overbearing state, while ensuring that it is not abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays,” it means: We will impose a Conservative dictatorship that the courts cannot stop from acting illegally.

And while it states: “We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government,” it means: We will remove your right to protest against our dictatorship and if you try to stop us, we will use the police and the armed forces to PUT YOU DOWN.

If you vote Conservative on December 12, that is what you are demanding.

And they did demand it. More than 13 million people voted for a dictatorship – less than one-quarter of the UK’s population – but that was enough to give Johnson a mandate to end democracy here.

I added:

A vote for the Conservatives is a vote to end the rule of law.

And I was right. But my words were read only by those who already knew the truth of what I was saying.

Now we’re all going to experience it, and it will be very ugly indeed.

But if you ever see a Tory complaining about the hardships that are to come, feel free to remind them:

You voted for it. You wanted it. And you got what you wanted.

Source: Right to challenge government in courts overhauled – BBC News

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Labour isn’t winning back Tory voters by trying to be Tory. What will Starmer try next?

Spot the difference: one of these men has the experience, the principles, and the arguments to win voters to the Labour Party, and the other is a chameleon who can only fake similarity with the Tories in a bid to steal their votes.

Chameleon Starmer’s bid to out-Tory the Conservative Party seems set to fail, with only four per cent of Tory voters expected to switch to Labour in the May elections.

This means Labour is likely to lose a swathe of council seats due to Starmer’s failure to understand that leading an opposition political party implies offering an alternative to the government – not trying to be just as bad.

Labour officials have been briefing that a “standstill” result, where the party gains no seats and minimises losses, would be a good outcome.

Of the constituencies that Labour lost to the Conservatives in 2019, 37 have council seats up for election this year.

Shadow ministers have been warned that the party’s 20-point poll advance has come from cannibalising the Liberal Democrat vote, as that party languishes in single figures.

It’s a trick.

Pretending to be what supporters of other parties want might seem an easy way to win votes but it doesn’t work. People have seen through it. The Liberal Democrats haemorrhaged support because of the disastrous leaderships of Nick Clegg and Jo Swinson.

And now Labour is likely to lose support because of Keir Starmer.

The only UK party guaranteed to keep its core vote is the Conservatives, because they rely on selfishness and there are a lot of very selfish people in the country.

And the only way to take voters away from the Tories is to explain why Tory selfishness doesn’t work and to have the principled political policies that would provide a better future – given the chance.

That’s why Jeremy Corbyn was such a threat to the status quo. He had the principled policies and people realised it. That’s why Labour, under him, had the highest membership of any political party in western Europe.

It is also why right-wing politicians and their client news media spent years undermining him with lies (most commonly the false claims that he was an anti-Semite and a supporter of terrorism).

Starmer doesn’t have the policies; he doesn’t have the principles; and he doesn’t have the patience.

And there’s something else he doesn’t have, too: he doesn’t have a chance.

Source: Labour failing to win back enough Tory voters, officials warn | Labour | The Guardian

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Well done, Tory voters now on Universal Credit! You ASKED to be made poor

 

Tory voters who are employees really are the stupidest people on the planet. If that’s you, I’m very sorry but go and look in the mirror and understand that you’re looking at a fool.

You see, these people voted for a government that dumped around one and a half million of them onto Universal Credit – the so-called benefit that the Tories actually use to persecute people who have been plunged into poverty – as soon as the Covid-19 crisis hit.

Now 63 per cent of those people – and you can bet that many of them voted ‘Conservative’ like good little sheeple in December 2019 – are having cash removed from their benefit payments.

The money is being used to repay loans they took out – advances of their Universal Credit payments are loans, you see – to cover their living costs or outstanding debts while they endured the five-week delay the Tories impose on everybody who claims.

1,060,000 ‘Covid claimants’ have a deduction of some kind from their UC. Of those, 810,000 are repaying an advance only, 50,000 have a deduction for another reason and 200,000 have deductions to repay a UC advance and another debt.

It means a million people are trying to live on payments that are less than their assessed benefit need.

That is to say that the Department for Work and Pensions has worked out that they need a particular amount but is refusing to let them have it.

DWP officers do this on the orders of the Conservative government – voted for, most likely, by a majority of the claimants who are now being forced into poverty and starvation.

I wonder how Tory-voting UC claimants feel if they are also parents – knowing that their vote in 2019 is also forcing their children to go without.

(The information on the so-called “Covid claimants” has been compiled by Child Poverty Action Group for the Covid Realities research project).

The worst part of it is that these absolute dimwits are so tribal that they will almost certainly defend their 2019 decision and repeat the mistake, first chance they get. There is no reasoning with them.

Source: Over one million on Universal Credit have money deducted to repay debts

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Cambridge Analytica did not misuse data in EU referendum; it just lied about what it could do, says watchdog

This can’t be the first time an organisation harmed its own reputation with wild claims.

But Cambridge Analytica seems to have engineered its own destruction with its claim to be able to influence people using data it had accrued about them.

These referred to Americans but it seems they raised questions about the organisation’s role in the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union in 2016.

As a result, the (UK’s) Information Commissioner launched an investigation into the company in 2017 – and it collapsed in 2018.

Were the two events related? If so, it could be argued that Cambridge Analytica’s own boasts destroyed it.

Cambridge Analytica had repeatedly claimed in its marketing material to have “5,000+ data points per individual on 230 million adult Americans”, suggesting it had incredible power to micro-target individuals with suggestive political messaging using a giant psychographic database.

However, the investigation concluded that “based on what we found it appears that this may have been an exaggeration” and much of the company’s activities followed “well recognised processes using commonly available technology”.

So did it attract the unwanted attention of the information regulator needlessly?

Well, it seems the firm wasn’t involved in the EU referendum campaign at all:

[Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner] said she found no evidence that Cambridge Analytica were actively involved in the EU referendum campaign, beyond an early proposal to work with UKIP which was not put into action.

It turns out the Information Commissioner found no evidence of collusion with Russia to influence the referendum either:

[Denham] said her team also found no evidence Cambridge Analytica aided Russian intervention in the UK political process.

Particularly interesting to This Writer, though, was the revelation that

the company’s data protection practices were lax “with little thought for effective security measures”.

Couple this with the following –

Cambridge Analytica founder Alexander Nix was disqualified from acting as a company director for seven years for “offering potentially unethical services to prospective clients” including bribery or honey trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents, and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns.

– and we see that the firm (or at least its founder) was quite happy to break the Data Protection Act left, right and centre by obtaining information and then distributing it to the public in breach of the law.

This links with my recent court case against the Labour Party, in which I gave evidence that employees had put together false information about me and passed it to newspapers who then published it to thousands of people.

Labour’s representative tried to claim that, even though the party (as represented by its general secretary) was the data manager responsible for the way the information was used, it was not responsible for the acts of any employees because (as I understand it) there is no evidence that it ordered them to commit those acts.

But then, they wouldn’t have had access to this – false, in my case – information if Labour had not ordered them to compile it.

Put the two cases together and it seems the Data Protection Act is a dead letter – unless a person whose information has been misused can prove exactly who misused it and why they did it. That’s going to be impossible in most cases, isn’t it?

I was therefore hoping to read that the Information Commissioner was bringing recommendations to the government that would strengthen the law.

And I was keen to see what they would be.

I was disappointed. It seems all the information that we are obliged to provide to organisations, just to get on in modern life, is vulnerable to abuse every way you can imagine. Not a happy thought!

Source: Cambridge Analytica did not misuse data in EU referendum, says watchdog | UK news | The Guardian

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Tories love being racist: they lied about voter ID demand stopping BAME people from voting

The Conservative government said its plan to demand ID from voters at elections did not discriminate against black people and those minority ethnic groups, when the only available facts showed that it did.

As far as This Writer is concerned, that is an example of blatant racism – an attempt to deny people who aren’t white their basic democratic right.

Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith said in June that “the evidence shows there is no impact on any particular demographic group … the evidence of our pilots shows that there is no impact on any particular demographic group from this policy.”

But the Electoral Commission showed information that suggests the exact opposite.

A 2019 report found in Derby, one of the pilot areas, that there was a strong correlation between the proportion of each ward’s population from an Asian background and the number of people not issued with a ballot paper – similar to a 2018 finding in Watford.

But the Commission said, “Polling station staff were not asked to collect demographic data about the people who did not come back, owing to the practical challenges involved in carrying out that data collection exercise.”

It cautioned against drawing any conclusions from the data and said there was not yet sufficient evidence in either direction.

But we can draw conclusions.

If the Tories had wanted to know who would be deprived of the vote, and how badly it affected particular groups, they would have carried out the research. They didn’t.

They then went on to tell falsehoods that the research had been carried out when it hadn’t and that it showed no impact on any demographic group.

You don’t lie about something like this unless you are deliberately trying to harm people from ethnic minorities.

We can only conclude that the Tory voter ID plan is intended to stop black people and those from other ethnic minorities from voting:

Yes, voter suppression. Tories in government are a racist attack on democracy.

Source: MPs may have been misled over BAME voter ID claims | Electoral reform | The Guardian

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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Raise taxes on the rich, voters tell Johnson. They’ll be disappointed – it was never in his manifesto

Voter confusion: a survey has shown that voters’ policy preferences indicate they should have put Labour in power, not the Tories.

The Independent reckons Boris Johnson is facing a dilemma after a survey found voters who gave him his election landslide want him to raise taxes on the rich.

There’s just one problem:

That was never a Conservative manifesto promise so he’s under no obligation to do anything of the sort.

Did these people not realise that they were voting for the promises the Tories put in their manifesto?

Voters have never had the right to make demands on a government after putting it in power.

And I know it must seem unfair, considering governments very rarely act according to their manifestos. Theresa May’s 2017 manifesto was obsolete almost before it was published.

And in Johnson’s case, the dilemma isn’t even “Does he deliver for Conservative voters or business leaders?” as the news website claims.

Johnson will deliver for himself, as always. If anybody else profits, that’ll be their good fortune.

But the survey does make one thing very clear.

Voters who want government intervention in the economy, tax rises for the wealthy and spending on public services made a mistake voting Tory.

Those were Labour policies.

Source: People who voted for Boris Johnson want government to raise taxes on the rich, survey finds | The Independent

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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