Friday, 2 April 2010

Integrity of the poll is crucial for democracy - Farage please note

I listened to Bob Crow, the RMT rail union leader, demolish John Humphrys, the scourge of our sordid politicians, on Radio 4 this morning. Humphrys first alleged the ballot was unfair, then backtracked to it raised suspicions the ballot was rigged. Crow then nailed Humphrys on his improper use of the word rigged. Crow then pointed out the ballot was conducted by the Electoral Reform Society and that the ballot papers went direct to the member's home address, was then returned to the ERS who counted the votes and returned their scrutineers report to the Union.

Humphrys then tried it was only a small majority of only the members who voted and that undermined its democratic legitimacy. A pathetic effort by a man who is the BBC's most feared interviewer! As Crow pointed out the result of the General Election will be decided by tiny majorities in marginal constituencies so will Humprhys be calling for a rerun of that vote as well. Collapse of stout Humphrys.

It was a masterclass in how someone who knows the facts and has done things properly can demolish the media gods like Humprhys. Its well worth listening to, Click on link below to listen to it. Crowe used no Farage type rant just facts and reasoned argument but then Bob Crow is a real talented political operator.


It took me back to my time on the NEC regarding UKIP MEP regional selection votes by the members to order candidates on the UKIP slate when I argued strongly with David and Del's support that this ballot should be carried out by the ERS, as the RMT poll was, so no questions could ever be raised concerning the integrity or probity of the UKIP MEP selection process. Using the ERS had already been approved by the SWCC for use in the South West something Farage and the Cabal subsequently countermanded. I had obtained a quote from the ERS to carry out this ballot, implement the UKIP vote weighting system and produce and sign off the final results and return their report to the NEC. Their quote to carry out this work was just less than one pound per member.

Farage and the Cabal could not accept this. Farage stated that the ERS would only do single transferable vote ballots. He had personally investigated this! Enough said. Whittaker said he had also contacted the ERS and supported Farage's statement on the STV issue. They either both misled the NEC or were both incompetent in this matter. They were both 100% wrong and not for the first time. The ballot went ahead run by Lexdrum house. The late Piers Merchant was the returning officer and reported on his significant misgivings particularly about the Eastern region result.

Given what had happened with Ashley Mote and Tom Wise I was shocked the Cabal, and in particular Clarke and Bannerman, were so vehemently opposed to using the ERS.

I was gratified to see the latest UKIP leadership ballot was carried out by the ERS paid for I believe by a UKIP member not UKIP. The probity and conduct of this poll cannot be questioned. Other parts of the leadership election, in particular Farage's disgraceful denigration of the non-Pearson candidates on national TV, were absolutely disgraceful and straight out of the Cabal's smear tactics manual. The non-appearance on UKIP web sites of one of Pearson's bumbling, rambling, hustings speeches is another Cabal sourced mystery. The last NEC elections did not use the ERS. I hope the next mysteriously delayed NEC elections will use the ERS. Eat Crow pie Mr Farage, it might improve UKIP's health.


Chairman Bill said...

I too listened to the invertiew and Crow cam across very poorly. He sounded like he belonged in the Natural History Museum and was attacking Humphrys for something he never even said.

Crow is an idiot if he thinks this tactic is going to gain him public support. He's lost it big time.

Eric Edmond said...

Thx for your comment. The phrase Humprhys used was "it raised suspicions the ballot was rigged". Crow took exception to the last 3 words but in its full context they were both right. Score draw!

I don't think Crow is in the least worried about public opinion but his point on small majorities was well made. The result of the coming General Election will be decided by less than 50000 swing voters in the marginals out of an electorate of near 40 million. On that argument the RMT is a shining light for democracy compared to the British electoral system.

As a political debate Crow won hands down. Humprhys never laid a glove on him. Wait and see what Humprhys does to Farage if NF has the guts to take him on. I doubt if he will.

David Abbott said...

It was indeed a good thing that the votes in the leadership elections were counted by the ERS. However the membership list was provided by Lexdrum House. Did the ERS procedure include a verification that these names and addresses were genuine? It would not be impossible for some extra, fictitious 'members' to be inserted. Much depends on honour and integrity.

Eric Edmond said...


I don't know what checks the ERS carry out to detect the sort of fraud you describe. As you say you have eventually to rely on people's innate honesty but as we both know some UKIP members are less honest than others.