Tag Archives: votes

Humiliation for Tories as they give up on ‘English Votes for English Laws’

EVEL: John Redwood – seen here speaking from his home planet of Vulcan (apparently), said the end of English Votes for English Laws was a “sad occasion”, even while his fellow right-wingers like Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted that the procedure had “undermined” Parliament.

The Conservative government tried to quietly scrap its unsuccessful attempt to placate Little Englanders – but couldn’t stop the hoots of derision from across the House of Commons.

They have scrapped their English Votes for English Laws system – otherwise known as EVEL – because it didn’t work.

And quite right, too – especially on the eve of a debate on yet another top-down restructuring of the NHS in England, that will affect patients in the other UK countries as well.

As a citizen of Wales, This Writer would still have to travel into England for treatment at English hospitals in certain citcumstances, and it would be utterly inappropriate for my MP – Tory though Fay Jones may be! – to have her vote on such a matter disregarded.

As it was, the Tories had to grin and bear it as ridicule was piled on humiliation by critics from other parties – most notably the Scottish Nationalists.

The SNP’s Pete Wishart called scrapping the procedure an “utter, utter humiliation” for the government and said it was a victory for his party.

Thangham Debbonaire, shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said the procedure “undermines democracy” and helped feed “the SNP’s indignation”.

And even Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Tory Leader of the House, admitted that the procedure had “added complexity and delay to the legislative process”.

He said EVEL had “undermined” Parliament and all MPs should be represented equally, rejected accusations the move was to appease nationalists and said the government was “trying to restore the beauty and the uniformity of our constitution so that it will work properly”.

You can see how bad EVEL was by the quality of its supporters: swivel-eyed John Redwood said “England deserved better”, that it was a “sad occasion”, and that EVEL was the “only modest devolution ever offered to England”.

Fine words from the Tory minister for the planet Vulcan

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Labour NEC elections: should Electoral Commission investigate Starmer vote-rigging claims?

Stymied: Keir Starmer has failed to increase his power on Labour’s ruling NEC – and may face an investigation by the Electoral Commission over the possibility that his leadership team interfered with the votes, binning many that should have been counted.

Perhaps Labour Party members – the few who remain – should be grateful for small mercies: after the NEC election left-wing Grassroots Voice candidates took five of the nine CLP seats.

It means Keir Starmer’s ‘Stalinist Right’ (apparently) faction has been denied a chance to consolidate its power over the party; he will continue to face opposition to his more extreme right-wing policies in the party’s ruling committee.

But do these results really matter, when they come amid allegations of vote-rigging?

The claim is that Starmer’s leadership has been disregarding votes by people who subsequently quit their membership of the Labour Party in disgust at the undemocratic decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn for no reason at all.

And it seems this claim may have validity. The number of votes counted in this election is said to be around 117,000 – 27 per cent of the membership, according to the most recent figures we have. Last time, 68 per cent of the membership voted.

That’s a huge difference.

It is entirely possible that the 117k figure represents 68 per cent of the current membership, after the party haemmorrhaged members following Starmer’s election as leader and his immediate choice to betray those who voted for him by ignoring his 10 pledges and turning the party’s direction sharply to the right.

But if Starmer’s people have been binning votes from people who were members before they quit in disgust, then it seems they have acted unconstitutionally by removing votes that should have counted; these people were members when they voted and had every right to vote at the time.

Fortunately for democracy in the UK, we have an organisation dedicated to ensuring that elections are carried out in a free, fair and legal way.

So here’s the question:

Should the Electoral Commission be called in to investigate this election?

And if so:

Should the result of the NEC election – as currently reported – be ignored until the Electoral Commission is able to confirm (or deny) it?

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Is this the most disgraceful comment ever associated with Brexit?

Memorial: A photograph of Labour MP Jo Cox among flowers left in tribute to her. Economist Andrew Lilico’s words about her murder are vile.

Economist Andrew Lilico deserves recognition.

This Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and Chairman of the IEA/Sunday Times Monetary Policy Committee, as chief economist of Policy Exchange from 2009-10, produced what the BBC has described as the “essential theory” behind the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government’s initial deficit reduction strategy.

Not only that, he also takes credit for being the lead economist of the UK’s official Leave campaign that led to Brexit.

The association with the two atrocities against the UK’s population mentioned above – austerity and Brexit – should be enough to mark this man out as a vile individual, but the tweet reproduced immediately below should leave no doubt in anybody’s mind:

This person’s only interest in the politically-motivated murder of a fellow human being, it seems clear, lies in the effect of that murder on his campaign for the UK to leave the European Union; he’s more concerned about the loss of votes than the loss of a life.

He makes no mention of the fact that the killing was carried out because his campaign, and those that supported it, whipped up far-right nationalists to a point at which one of them believed murder was acceptable.

His only interest is in the number of votes the Leave campaign may have lost as a result of it – as if it makes a difference. Leave won anyway and UK politicians have been planning the country’s departure from the EU, which is set to take place at the end of March 2019.

And he’s lying about the Leave campaign having a 10 per cent poll lead, too.

So his claim that it is “impossible” to avoid thinking about this murder in terms of its effect on the vote is nonsense.

And his tweet is an offence against decency.

Fortunately, there are people left in the UK who have the backbone to stand up to this disgrace, and I am glad to report that they have made their rejection of this man and his vile ideas clear:

And they should be now.

But this Lilico person remains an influential economist and the UK remains on the course to which he and his like have set it; he is in control, it seems.

How do you feel about that?

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Labour will discount leader election votes AFTER they’ve been cast – won’t that encourage vote-RIGGING?

The right-wing Labour leadership has put itself in a proper dilemma, thanks to the candidacy – and popularity – of Jeremy Corbyn.

Look at the denial of comedian Mark Steel’s application to become a Labour supporter – and vote for Corbyn – because he does not “support Labour values” – this is a man who wrote newspaper articles in favour of Labour, doorstepped members of the public to encourage them to vote Labour, and actually voted Labour himself.

It seems that, because he admitted he’d vote for the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas if he was in her Brighton Pavilion constituency, he’s out. That’s a comment in favour of a person, not a party.

Is his endorsement of Ms Lucas then really the reason he got the boot? Or is it because he supports Mr Corbyn now?

That is the question that will be worrying many dedicated Labour supporters who have signed up in good faith, in order to do the same.

Now, the Labour leadership has said it will remove “infiltrators'” votes, even after they have been cast. The Daily Mirror reports:

The party will carry on vetting people right up until the September 10 voting deadline to stop ‘stooges’ and ‘entryists’ taking over the race.

Insiders say that means they will tell independent vote-counters to strip out individual ballots if they suspect foul play – for example if a Tory stooge mocks Labour by posting their paper on Twitter.

This plan is wide-open to abuse. What’s to stop right-wingers, neoliberals, Blairites (or whatever else you want to call them) from looking at votes, thinking, “These people voted for Corbyn – they’re disqualified”, and finding a reason for the decision later?

Conversely, there is nothing to stop Corbyn-supporting voters from making that accusation right now. The decision brings the election into disrepute.

The decision has been attacked by the Electoral Reform Society campaign group – which partly owns the company running the election – as it said Labour should delay sending out ballot papers for a few days.

This would have been a better choice – and it counts against Labour’s leaders that they did not support it.

The current system of weeding out members of other parties is working perfectly well. This Writer took part in the process, here in Mid Wales, and managed to identify Conservatives and Greens who were trying to skew the process.

I also recognised the names of many genuine Labour supporters who will certainly vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Their applications have been accepted and their votes will be counted.

By the time the count takes place, though, will the entire process have been discredited beyond redemption?

I am seriously considering writing a letter to Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNichol, about this issue. Perhaps other Labour members, of long-standing in the party, may wish to do the same.

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