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Thursday 29 December 2016

Photo ID and the secret ballot

Let's be honest. We all know the real reason for rolling this out is that those from countries, notably those from Pakistan and Bangladesh, which have a tradition of electoral corruption, personation, vote rigging, electoral fraud and criminal politicians, have been caught many times trying the same tricks at UK elections. That's not racist - the Electoral Commission lays it out quite honestly in its 2014 report

Now photo ID requirements just for certain ethnic groups is of course highly discriminatory and quite wrong. But the Electoral Commission don't want to make it harder for the innocent majority to vote in the next election. What to do? Well, why not roll out a 'trial ID scheme' in all those places most likely to be subject to voting fraud? The EC identified the following; 

Cue howls of rage and anguish from the corrupt Left whose poll in many red areas depends on voting fraud and corruption. And thereby they also declare that for them, party comes before country. 

Labour's support of democratic corruption left the coalition in 2010 with a voting system of third world standards; Michael Pinto-Duschinsky advised parliament that there were 3m electors on the rolls who shouldn't be, and 3m missing who should be. Our constituency boundaries, and Electoral Quotient, did not even meet the minimum standards for First World standards of +/- 5%, let alone the +/- 3% standard applied by advanced economies such as New Zealand.

Since 2010, and since this blog joined in the chorus of horror and shock at Labour's complacency, from 2008 onwards, the EC have reformed voter registration (new IVR) and made some valuable changes to postal voting. New constituency boundaries are scheduled to be in place by 2020. All that remains (except reversing the Blair corruption of postal votes) is to tackle the South Asian practice of electoral corruption by personation - and this is now being done.  

I think cautious praise is due. It's all been done quietly and incrementally, drawing howls of rage from corrupt Labour each time but the changes have a fairness and equity that the population can recognise and welcome. So well done, the Electoral Commission. Don't let it all be corrupted again.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Woman achievers, stress and cancer

I'm just throwing a thought, a question, out this morning. Along with the headline sudden death of this Christmas, I received in an email exchange with an old workmate news that a woman ex-colleague died of cancer last month. Nothing unusual about that, you may think, but she's either either the fourth or fifth that I know about - albeit over about twenty years. 

They all had certain things in common. They were ambitious achievers, in reasonably senior positions and all worked under greater than usual stress and all have died of cancer in their 40s and 50s. The blokes all seem to be buggering on, with various ailments coming with age but not the attrition rate of the big C. And that's anecdotal, not empirical, so not science.

The science I can find tends to say there's no link between stress and female cancer but the many answers seem to indicate that I'm not the only one seeing a correlation and asking the question. Which is, does busting the glass ceiling, competing with men in a male-normative environment, and coping with above normal stress, increase the cancer risk for women?

H, who died most recently, had actually left her high-stress job more than a year ago to do something far more relaxed, that she enjoyed, in a county city that she loved. So poignant.