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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Well, this is it

Whatever the outcome of today's epochal election, it will stand as a high water mark of error, poor practice, confusion, division, uncertainty and sheer nastiness. The post-vote washup will go on for some few weeks I expect, but here's my take for starters

Electoral Commission
This election has shown up the failings and shortcomings of the EC like no other. The problem is not that they don't have copious guidance (see postal voting below) but that (a) they have no teeth with which to enforce the rules and (b) that's probably just as well because there are widespread suspicions of their partiality. They're an analogue bureaucracy operating in a digital age. Complete rethink needed.

Postal voting
Prior to the Blair corruption only a very small number voted by post - members of HM Armed Forces overseas, expats, the chronically sick and disabled. Now some 22% of all votes cast are postal. Typically votes are cast two to three weeks before the end of the campaign, which itself is legislated at 25 days and far too long. Previously I think it was 17 days. Yesterday there was a social media eruption over a BBC reporter commenting on postal vote outcomes. When only 3% of votes were postal, this mattered less - but now the secrecy of postal vote outcomes prior to the close of polling is critical. Seats are won or lost by one vote - so even if a handful of electors are swayed by a leak of postal vote information, it corrupts the system.

Social Media
I don't do Facebook so can only comment from the perspective of other platforms and message boards. In many cases it has become toxic. The left in particular use every method of bullying, intimidation, Twitter pile-ons, fake accounts and disruption. Yesterday there was a hack on ConservativeHome's message board. Social media activity is unregulated except for spend by registered parties and supporters - but this is as full of holes as a Swiss cheese

Street thuggery
Again from the Momentum left, the sheer level of street thuggery and intimidation during this election has been unprecedented. Guido identified one organised assault on a ministerial visit (yes, assault - read the legal definition of the offence. It doesn't mean punching the minister in the face). This behaviour has been widespread, and largely confined to the left.

Broadcast media bias
Again, the broadcast media have shown their bias like never before. It has been naked. Politicians are also wising up to the reality that the big broadcasters have passed their zenith, and their bluster, bullying and shoulder-shoving is to disguise the increasing role the internet and alternative media are playing.

Corruption amongst local electoral officials
This has never, to my knowledge, been an issue before. This time around, due I guess to a deeply Remainiac local government sector, we have seen a rise in fake and corrupt voter registration, and yesterday the exposure of fake and corrupt voting credentials. The leak of postal ballot information is a disgrace. It really saddens me to say we can no longer trust unquestionably the integrity of local electoral officials.

Well, we'll know tomorrow how well the polls have performed. Again, we must look at the role of pollsters, and whether we're happy with what they do and how they perform.

I'll be back on line here in the early hours - about 4am here, 3am there. Fingers crossed.   


Stephen J said...

As someone who knows a few Brexit Party PPC's and what's more trust some of them, since those are close relatives... The relentless bullying by the Tory Party is no less nasty or intimidating than what Raedwald is ascribing to the reds.

To me, what is really going wrong is the fact that the whole nation has seen the power of direct democracy and the parliament and even more insidiously the legal profession, have been desperately trying to put it back in its box.

Well I say that it is out now and no amount of fiddling, as in the last three and a half years is going to hide that.

The problem that I see, is that the right way to address the power issue for the 21st century is more democracy, and democracy that is at the behest of the electorate, rather than the lawyer. So this is the big battle, how do we push the two party red and blue system into the reeds, and turn it into the administration and management arrangement... If you like, an actual elected house of scrutiny.

We should remove any lever of power that would allow parliament to unilaterally NUDGE the electorate. Nudging has become the parliamentary tool of choice and I look on with askance every time I see such a nudge hurtling down the line, telling me that we need to take some action for our own good...

….to which I say *metaphorically) "Go Away, you have no idea about my life."

DeeDee99 said...

r_writes .... nicely put.

The whole of the last 4 years has demonstrated the arrogance, corruption and cowardice of the political and governmental class. It is THEY who are terrified of change (and the EU Politburo), not the British people.

And throughout, the institutional bias of the broadcast media has been on clear display with their journalists openly sneering at Brexit-voters. I never watch C4 and very rarely watch or listen to any BBC, or Sky news/current affairs broadcast now.

We need fundamental reform, but the CONs will never do it. Unless their forced to ........

by a Reform Party.

Poisonedchalice said...

I am more fearful for the future of this country now, than I have ever been. Having to go to the polls with a "least worst option" is a very troubling thing. Boris is a buffoon and quite possibly a liar but the alternative is so terrifying, that it makes me stare into the abyss and I don't like what I see. It doesn't take long at all for a wealthy nation to implode and that is precisely what would happen under Corbyn and his henchmen - and I should know, I once lived in Venezuela! Corbyn isn't the worst of them either; McDonnell, driven by Lansman and Willsman show a very clear view of the broken country that we will become if Labour get into power.

So like Dickens "A Christmas Carol" lets hope that the great British Scrooge has seen the three ghosts and, as a result, has seen sense.

John in Cheshire said...

I voted at just after 7.30am and the two ladies manning the polling station said there had been 22 people before me. And this was a higher turnout at that time in the morning than in 2017.

So, on this admittedly scanty evidence, I think there will be a high turn out this year. That should settle once and for all the legitimacy of the 2016 Referendum to Leave the EU. Although, I suspect for the abnormally minded Remainiacs nothing will be settled until they get their own way.

In case anyone is interested, I spoiled my ballot paper. I'm in a strong Conservative constituency so their candidate in almost certain to be elected, but I want to make it known that some of us aren't satisfied with the way politics is being controlled and in many areas gerrymandered. Things have to change; the corruption and lies have to be expunged from the process.

I'm not convinced that Proportional Representation is a good idea. But I do think that the method of selecting candidates must be changed; perhaps with local primaries in each constituency so that we can choose who is put on the ballot paper and not vested interests and central party machinations.

Anonymous said...

I take heart in one thing - that for all the Labour attack dogs' whipping up revolution, it was the ordinary most decent of people who left the comfort of their armchairs and visited upon our establishment enemies a horrible wound.

Whether that wound is mortal - I can only guess; but things will never return to what they were before the referendum.

Those who recognise and adapt to the new zeitgeist will survive: the rest will be in for a bloody fight.

Bring it on.

Dave_G said...

Like Raed I also recognise the double-sided corruption we face. On the one hand we have a system that can be bent to a particular result and on the other we have a media that can make that bent result look, to all appearances, perfectly valid.

The democrats saw that when Trump ran against Hitlery and the look on peoples faces when the result was known was classic - much as Dimbleby's face was on the Referendum result.

We can only hope the result is as dramatic this time as it was on those occasions. God alone knows we don't need the same shit from a different set up. Whatever the percentages.

Mark said...

I held my nose and voted tory. No brexit party where I am. The possibility of the monster (yes that's what he is) Corbyn getting anywhere near No. 10 scares me like nothing and nobody ever has previously.

We have a politics now which bears little resemblance to what we've seen in the past. As you say Radders, the last 4 years has lifted the rock and what is underneath is truly sickening. Many of us have long suspected this, but it can no longer be denied.

When the dust settles who knows what it will look like. I despise the tories, my hatred and loathing of labour I simply cannot express in any sort of even vaguely temperate language. The limpdumps are just infantilised snowflakes. The tories are the best of a bad bunch. That's it I'm afraid.

I do have a belief in the fundamental decency and common sense of the British people though. I think there are a lot more of them out there than weapons grade bellends like Steve coogan generally assume (do the people have ANY capacity to see ANYTHING outside their own bubble?)

DiscoveredJoys said...


Agreed. Perhaps, just perhaps, if the great and the good and the luvvies no longer received any unwarranted respect we might start to alter the direction of our society. What the heck do Steve Coogan or Gary Lineker bring to any debate except their individual point of view?

But, on the downside, politics and society is not just polarised it is frothed into many separate bubbles. Identity politics has driven this, social media is exploited by the bubble generators. And I believe that this is a deliberate political gambit to fracture any common outlook - it renders individuals (generally) uncertain and therefore biddable.

Dr Evil said...

Got to the polling station around 14.30. Almost full of cars in the car park.That is unusual half way through a polling day. Very busy. Corbyn really does scare me. He will impoverish my family. However, regardless of the broadcast media and the load mouthed luvvies. Labour to a person, I think the decent, normal voters will turn out big time and give Labour the slapping it deserves for becoming a Marxist party.

Mark said...



The catastrophe - any rational persons nightmare - would be an actual Marxist (I won't call them labour!) majority. The possibility of that seems pretty remote.

The tories likely would be the biggest party should it be hung. The interesting bit would be what sort of coalition Marx's bastard son would be able to put together. Either with the limpdumps and/or the Scottish nazis.

Even if the tories miss by one, this collection of diseased freaks (as they did in 2017) would consider it their absolute right to form a government.

Marx's bastard son was 60 odd seats short last time and he seemed to think he was PM by right as I recall.

I wouldn't like a hung parliament but it would be interesting to see the everybody but Boris coalition fighting like rats in a dustbin.

A hung parliament it would appear (saw it on the bellylaugh this morning) is something the EU would hate. That tells me it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

I won't say I'm past caring, I'll never be that, but I am at that stage of life - mortgage long gone, no debts etc - that I would be rather better placed than most to ride out the idiocy that might come about.

I can't imagine a marx's bastard son led coalition lasting long and if it does come about, a significant driver will he those who want to spite "gammon boomers" like me. "Well you voted for it" as they bleat about rising interest rates is something I would take delight in saying!

JPM said...

So you want an electoral commission with sweeping, draconian powers to act against a verified near non-existent problem with postal voting, but utterly hobbled when it comes to preventing right wing US billionaires such as Robert Mercer funding, via crypto and the dark web etc., or supplying value in services to manipulate UK elections and referendums, and other illegalities.

That would be a rather strange outfit to construct, wouldn't it?

John Brown said...

It’s not only postal voting which needs to be curbed but also the need to introduce voter ID, checks on voter duplication and implement the necessary and overdue electoral boundary changes.

Mark said...

If you had an infinite number of trolls and an infinite number of typewriters...…..

I doubt if they could match the drooling cockrot of ours!