Saturday, 25 June 2016

Article 50 may be legal, but was Gordon Brown's premiership valid?

Tony Blair may not be telling the whole truth about the reasons for his unhappiness with the British EU referendum result.

When he says Brexiteers "dismissed" the Remain campaign as scaremongering, he seems - seems to be buying into the absolutely toxic stream of thinking that questions the intelligence of people who voted for Brexit. For more of this see today's Times, which beside the usual graphs of what the regional votes were, gives the average percentage of people in that area with 5 or more GCSEs at A-c. One woman interviewed this morning complained that she was "highly educated" and didn't understand the case for Leaving. Are the metropolitan intelligentsia preparing to take us down a slippery slope, similar to one that caused a lot of trouble in the 20th century?

I believe Blair is nervous because of a little-mentioned change to electoral law during his first term. The Representation of the People Act 2000 effectively legalised postal voting on demand by abolishing safeguards built into the Representation of the People Act 1985 (and earlier versions) which stipulated that anybody who wished to vote by post had to give a reason for doing so to the Registration Officer. A House of Commons Library investigation into electoral fraud dates the rise of such fraud to industrial levels to that change.

Jump to the 2005 General Election, and as you can see in the tables below, the number of postal votes cast were a massive 514% of Labour's majority over the Conservative Party, who were the runner up, ie they formed the main Opposition Party. This is in terms of raw numbers and does not take into account our first-past-the-post system, of course, but look at what the raw numbers are: there were 5,500,000 postal votes, and Labour's majority over the Tories was a mere 770,000.

Here's what Judge Richard Mawrey QC had to say about electoral fraud in his famous "banana republic" judgement, delivered two months before the 2005 General Election:

Anybody who has just sat through the case I have just tried and listened to the evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising. To assert that ‘the systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working’ indicates a state not simply of complacency but of denial.

The systems to deal with fraud are not working well. They are not working badly. The fact is that there are no systems to deal realistically with fraud and there never have been. Until there are, fraud will continue unabated.

This matters because, after Tony Blair retired, Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon Treaty.

Article 50 of this treaty specifies the procedure to be followed if a country is to secede from the EU. There has been some debate over whether Article 50 is the sole legal way of achieving Brexit. But there may well be another factor to consider here: was Tony Blair's 2005 election win democratically valid? In other words when Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon TReaty, including its Article 50, did he have a legal mandate to represent the people of Great Britain?

Mr Blair - and Mr Brown - have some very interesting times ahead.

Gerry Dorrian

Resources

Representation of the People Act 2000

House of Commons Library: Postal Voting and Electoral Fraud 2001-2009 (Isobel White, 2012)

House of Commons Library: Election Statistics 1918-2007

House of commons Library Election Statistics 1918-2012

Postal voting an invitation to fraud, says judge Nick Brittien, The Telegraph, April 2005)

Judge Mawrey's "banana republic" remarks on postal voting fraud in full

Article 50 may be legal, but was Gordon Brown's premiership valid?

Tony Blair may not be telling the whole truth about the reasons for his unhappiness with the British EU referendum result.

When he says Brexiteers "dismissed" the Remain campaign as scaremongering, he seems - seems to be buying into the absolutely toxic stream of thinking that questions the intelligence of people who voted for Brexit. For more of this see today's Times, which beside the usual graphs of what the regional votes were, gives the average percentage of people in that area with 5 or more GCSEs at A-c. One woman interviewed this morning complained that she was "highly educated" and didn't understand the case for Leaving. Are the metropolitan intelligentsia preparing to take us down a slippery slope, similar to one that caused a lot of trouble in the 20th century?

I believe Blair is nervous because of a little-mentioned change to electoral law during his first term. The Representation of the People Act 2000 effectively legalised postal voting on demand by abolishing safeguards built into the Representation of the People Act 1985 (and earlier versions) which stipulated that anybody who wished to vote by post had to give a reason for doing so to the Registration Officer. A House of Commons Library investigation into electoral fraud dates the rise of such fraud to industrial levels to that change.

Jump to the 2005 General Election, and as you can see in the tables below, the number of postal votes cast were a massive 514% of Labour's majority over the Conservative Party, who were the runner up, ie they formed the main Opposition Party. This is in terms of raw numbers and does not take into account our first-past-the-post system, of course, but look at what the raw numbers are: there were 5,500,000 postal votes, and Labour's majority over the Tories was a mere 770,000. (click to enlarge)

Here's what Judge Richard Mawrey QC had to say about electoral fraud in his famous "banana republic" judgement, delivered two months before the 2005 General Election:

Anybody who has just sat through the case I have just tried and listened to the evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising. To assert that ‘the systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working’ indicates a state not simply of complacency but of denial.

The systems to deal with fraud are not working well. They are not working badly. The fact is that there are no systems to deal realistically with fraud and there never have been. Until there are, fraud will continue unabated.

This matters because, after Tony Blair retired, Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon Treaty.

Article 50 of this treaty specifies the procedure to be followed if a country is to secede from the EU. There has been some debate over whether Article 50 is the sole legal way of achieving Brexit. But there may well be another factor to consider here: was Tony Blair's 2005 election win democratically valid? In other words when Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon TReaty, including its Article 50, did he have a legal mandate to represent the people of Great Britain?

Mr Blair - and Mr Brown - have some very interesting times ahead.

Gerry Dorrian

Resources

Representation of the People Act 2000

House of Commons Library: Postal Voting and Electoral Fraud 2001-2009 (Isobel White, 2012)

House of Commons Library: Election Statistics 1918-2007

House of commons Library Election Statistics 1918-2012

Postal voting an invitation to fraud, says judge Nick Brittien, The Telegraph, April 2005)

Judge Mawrey's "banana republic" remarks on postal voting fraud in full

Article 50 may be legal, but was Gordon Brown's premiership valid?

Tony Blair may not be telling the whole truth about the reasons for his unhappiness with the British EU referendum result.

When he says Brexiteers "dismissed" the Remain campaign as scaremongering, he seems - seems to be buying into the absolutely toxic stream of thinking that questions the intelligence of people who voted for Brexit. For more of this see today's Times, which beside the usual graphs of what the regional votes were, gives the average percentage of people in that area with 5 or more GCSEs at A-c. One woman interviewed this morning complained that she was "highly educated" and didn't understand the case for Leaving. Are the metropolitan intelligentsia preparing to take us down a slippery slope, similar to one that caused a lot of trouble in the 20th century?

I believe Blair is nervous because of a little-mentioned change to electoral law during his first term. The Representation of the People Act 2000 effectively legalised postal voting on demand by abolishing safeguards built into the REpresentation of the People Act 1985 (and earlier versions) which stipulated that anybody who wished to vote by post had to give a reason for doing so to the Registration Officer. A House of Commons Library investigation into electoral fraud dates the rise of such fraud to industrial levels to that change.

Jump to the 2005 General Election, and as you can see in the tables below, the number of postal votes cast were a massive 514% of Labour's majority over the Conservative Party, who were the runner up, ie they formed the main Opposition Party. This is in terms of raw numbers and does not take into account our first-past-the-post system, of course, but look at what the raw numbers are: there were 5,500,000 postal votes, and Labour's majority over the Tories was a mere 770,000. (Click to enlarge)

Here's what Judge Richard Mawrey QC had to say about electoral fraud in his famous "banana republic" judgement, delivered two months before the 2005 General Election:

Anybody who has just sat through the case I have just tried and listened to the evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising. To assert that ‘the systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working’ indicates a state not simply of complacency but of denial.

The systems to deal with fraud are not working well. They are not working badly. The fact is that there are no systems to deal realistically with fraud and there never have been. Until there are, fraud will continue unabated.

This matters because, after Tony Blair retired, Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon Treaty.

Article 50 of this treaty specifies the procedure to be followed if a country is to secede from the EU. There has been some debate over whether Article 50 is the sole legal way of achieving Brexit. But there may well be another factor to consider here: was Tony Blair's 2005 election win democratically valid? In other words when Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon TReaty, including its Article 50, did he have a legal mandate to represent the people of Great Britain?

Mr Blair - and Mr Brown - have some very interesting times ahead.

Gerry Dorrian

Resources

Representation of the People Act 2000

House of Commons Library: Postal Voting and Electoral Fraud 2001-2009 (Isobel White, 2012)

House of Commons Library: Election Statistics 1918-2007

House of commons Library Election Statistics 1918-2012

Postal voting an invitation to fraud, says judge Nick Brittien, The Telegraph, April 2005)

Judge Mawrey's "banana republic" remarks on postal voting fraud in full

Article 50 may be legal, but was Gordon Brown's premiership valid?

Tony Blair may not be telling the whole truth about the reasons for his unhappiness with the British EU referendum result.

When he says Brexiteers "dismissed" the Remain campaign as scaremongering, he seems - seems to be buying into the absolutely toxic stream of thinking that questions the intelligence of people who voted for Brexit. For more of this see today's Times, which beside the usual graphs of what the regional votes were, gives the average percentage of people in that area with 5 or more GCSEs at A-C. One woman interviewed this morning complained that she was "highly educated" and didn't understand the case for Leaving. Are the metropolitan intelligentsia preparing to take us down a slippery slope, similar to one that caused a lot of trouble in the 20th century?

I believe Blair is nervous because of a little-mentioned change to electoral law during his first term. The REpresentation of the People Act 2000 effectively legalised postal voting on demand by abolishing safeguards built into the REpresentation of the People Act 1985 (and earlier versions) which stipulated that anybody who wished to vote by post had to give a reason for doing so to the Registration Officer. A House of Commons Library investigation into electoral fraud dates the rise of such fraud to industrial levels to that change.

Jump to the 2005 General Election, and as you can see in the tables below, the number of postal votes cast were a massive 514% of Labour's majority over the Conservative Party, who were the runner up, ie they formed the main Opposition Party. This is in terms of raw numbers and does not take into account our first-past-the-post system, of course, but look at what the raw numbers are: there were 5,500,000 postal votes, and Labour's majority over the Tories was a mere 770,000. (click to enlarge

Here's what Judge Richard Mawrey QC had to say about electoral fraud in his famous "banana republic" judgement, delivered two months before the 2005 General Election:

Anybody who has just sat through the case I have just tried and listened to the evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising. To assert that ‘the systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working’ indicates a state not simply of complacency but of denial.

The systems to deal with fraud are not working well. They are not working badly. The fact is that there are no systems to deal realistically with fraud and there never have been. Until there are, fraud will continue unabated.

This matters because, after Tony Blair retired, Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon Treaty.

Article 50 of this treaty specifies the procedure to be followed if a country is to secede from the EU. There has been some debate over whether Article 50 is the sole legal way of achieving Brexit. But there may well be another factor to consider here: was Tony Blair's 2005 election win democratically valid? In other words when Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon TReaty, including its Article 50, did he have a legal mandate to represent the people of Great Britain?

Mr Blair - and Mr Brown - have some very interesting times ahead.

Gerry Dorrian

Resources

Representation of the People Act 2000

House of Commons Library: Postal Voting and Electoral Fraud 2001-2009 (Isobel White, 2012)

House of Commons Library: Election Statistics 1918-2007

House of commons Library Election Statistics 1918-2012

The Federalist Derivation Kriss Day, academia.edu - the graphs are onpp15-17 (free access, but requires login via email, Google+ or FAcebook

Postal voting an invitation to fraud, says judge Nick Brittien, The Telegraph, April 2005)

Judge Mawrey's "banana republic" remarks on postal voting fraud in full

Article 50 may be legal, but was Gordon Brown's premiership valid?

Tony Blair may not be telling the whole truth about the reasons for his unhappiness with the British EU referendum result.

When he says Brexiteers "dismissed" the Remain campaign as scaremongering, he seems - seems to be buying into the absolutely toxic stream of thinking that questions the intelligence of people who voted for Brexit. For more of this see today's Times, which beside the usual graphs of what the regional votes were, gives the average percentage of people in that area with 5 or more GCSEs at A-c. One woman interviewed this morning complained that she was "highly educated" and didn't understand the case for Leaving. Are the metropolitan intelligentsia preparing to take us down a slippery slope, similar to one that caused a lot of trouble in the 20th century?

I believe Blair is nervous because of a little-mentioned change to electoral law during his first term. The REpresentation of the People Act 2000 effectively legalised postal voting on demand by abolishing safeguards built into the REpresentation of the People Act 1985 (and earlier versions) which stipulated that anybody who wished to vote by post had to give a reason for doing so to the Registration Officer. A House of Commons Library investigation into electoral fraud dates the rise of such fraud to industrial levels to that change.

Jump to the 2005 General Election, and as you can see in the tables below, the number of postal votes cast were a massive 514% of Labour's majority over the Conservative Party, who were the runner up, ie they formed the main Opposition Party. This is in terms of raw numbers and does not take into account our first-past-the-post system, of course, but look at what the raw numbers are: there were 5,500,000 postal votes, and Labour's majority over the Tories was a mere 770,000.

Here's what Judge Richard Mawrey QC had to say about electoral fraud in his famous "banana republic" judgement, delivered two months before the 2005 General Election:

Anybody who has just sat through the case I have just tried and listened to the evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising. To assert that ‘the systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working’ indicates a state not simply of complacency but of denial.

The systems to deal with fraud are not working well. They are not working badly. The fact is that there are no systems to deal realistically with fraud and there never have been. Until there are, fraud will continue unabated.

This matters because, after Tony Blair retired, Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon Treaty.

Article 50 of this treaty specifies the procedure to be followed if a country is to secede from the EU. There has been some debate over whether Article 50 is the sole legal way of achieving Brexit. But there may well be another factor to consider here: was Tony Blair's 2005 election win democratically valid? In other words when Gordon Brown signed us up to the Lisbon TReaty, including its Article 50, did he have a legal mandate to represent the people of Great Britain?

Mr Blair - and Mr Brown - have some very interesting times ahead.

Gerry Dorrian

Resources

Representation of the People Act 2000

House of Commons Library: Postal Voting and Electoral Fraud 2001-2009 (Isobel White, 2012)

House of Commons Library: Election Statistics 1918-2007

House of commons Library Election Statistics 1918-2012

Postal voting an invitation to fraud, says judge Nick Brittien, The Telegraph, April 2005)

Judge Mawrey's "banana republic" remarks on postal voting fraud in full

Monday, 25 January 2016

are the SNP "managing" news of 10,000 job losses?

I’d hoped to have something a bit cheerier to write about on Burns’ Day, but was alerted to a haemorrhage of jobs by a Scottish friend: 5,500 late last year, forecast to rise to 10,000 soon, mostly in Aberdeen. I replied I was surprised that I hadn’t read about losses on such a scale in the national press, to be told "the SNP is managing the news".

The Scottish National Party (SNP), I should say, is the party that won 56 out of 59 Scottish seats in Westminster (with 50% of the national vote), making them Britain’s third largest party in the process.

Much of their astonishing performance was based on their own predictions of a new oil field discovered off the East Coast of Scotland which, they said, would add a minimum of £15.8 billion to the nation’s coffers, and a maximum of £38.7 billion.

After they had won 94% of the nation’s seats in the Westminster election, they were forced to admit that the true range was £2.4-£10.8 billion, but it turns out this estimated sum had already been factored into figures available before the election and therefore adds nothing new to anybody’s coffers.

As if the misery caused by unemployment on this (or any) scale were not enough, a brain-drain of highly skilled workers formerly employed in Scottish oil is taking place, taking not just income but know-how out of the country. If they’ve settled down by the time (please God) the industry recovers from what looks like turning into a global financial meltdown, how will they be replaced?

The Scottish National Party is a socialist party. Socialism and nationalism have been mixed before and it didn’t work. Personally, although I’m Scottish I live in England and, much as I value my Scottish heritage, in neither country have I ever voted for a party whose name ends in –NP.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Resources

Oil explorers predict 10,000 more job losses in North Sea sector Kiran Stacey, Financial Times, October 18 2015

Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce survey highlights challenges facing North Sea Mark Williamson, The Herald, 26 November 2015

SNP dramatically cuts pre-referendum oil predictions Simon Johnson, Daily Telegraph 25 June 2015

SNP MSP apologises after causing outrage with comments over North Sea oil crisis Catriona Webster, Daily Record, 6 January 2016

Nicola Sturgeon told to quit blame games and deal with oil crisis as union chief demands summit Andy Philip, Daily Record, 25 January 2016

Click here for the Daily Record's rolling news page on North Sea Oil and the unfolding crisis

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Indoctrination? All About History publishes guide to striking

indoctrination? you decide!

A word can give away so much, and this time the word was “abhorrent”. The word was used by the magazine All about History, saying in a spread entitled Protest across history that the "Red Wedge" of socialist musicians toured the UK in 1987 because of "the abhorrent possibility of a third consecutive Conservative government", in an issue of the magazine timed to come out when many doctors are striking and hard-left unions are pledging to come out in support.

It’s the only point in the feature where an emotive adjective is used to describe the object of protests. Here’s a quick summary of just some of the movements or incidents from the feature that appear not to warrant being described as abhorrent or indeed anything else judgemental:

  • The Imperialist government of India which brought Mahatma Gandhi into conflict with it ( resulting in the Salt March, 12 March 1930)
  • Rosa Parkes being ordered to vacate her seat for a white person in Montgomery, Alabama (Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1 December 1955-20 December 1956)
  • Racists from the US who spawned the Black Power movement (Black Power salute, 1968 Olympics)
  • Homophobes from New York City Council who closed the Stonewall Inn (Stonewall Inn riots, 28 June 1969)
  • Apartheid in South Africa (Soweto School Uprising, 16 June 1976)
  • The Philippines’ murderous Marcos regime (People Power Revolution, 1983-86)
  • Suppression of democracy and democrats in China (Tiananmen Square Protests (15 April-4 June 1989)
  • Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq in the face of a million-strong protest (Iraq War potests, 15 February 2003)
  • The police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (Ferguson Riots, 9 August 2014)

The next spread deals with How to go on strike and gives a pictorial guide to the Miners’ Strike, although there are several facts missing. The very first window is entitled Hold a Ballot, but although we learn the legalities strikers must observe before going out, there’s no mention that the National Union of Mineworkers(NUM) held two national strike ballots in 1982 and one in 1983 it lost all three, and had to resort to holding ballots on a region-by-region basis and concluding that the activist-enforced victories added up to a mandate for a national strike, which was illegal both under UK laws and the NUM’s own constitution, leading people both within and outwith the NUM to conclude that the strike was more about trying to spark a regime-changing revolution than fighting for admittedly bad pay and conditions. Neither do we get the chance to read that there were 989 coalmines employing 502,000 people in 1964, the year Labour’s Harold Wilson started his first stretch as Prime Minister (with the Tories’ Edward Heath holding the post 1970-74) and 219 mines employing 242,000 people in 1979, when James Callaghan, having taken over following Wilson’s resignation in 1976, lost the election to Margaret Thatcher. Nor, unforgiveably, is there any mention of David Wilkie, the taxi driver murdered by two strikers, Reginald Hancock and Russell Shankland, because he was taking a non-striking miner to work. The only mention of violence is:

Acts of violence could alienate some of your supporters. Getting thrown in jail can help gain sympathy to your cause, but you can’t stand on the picket line when under lock and key.

And on the strike’s end, the magazine counsels:

it is important to know when a battle is lost. Cut your losses and you may return another day to win the war.

Some pages on – and significant given Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s chucking Mao’s Little Red Book at Chancellor George Osbourne – is a Lonely Planet-style guide to Maoist China which, while not quite a celebration, mentions that Chinese people "die in their millions" under Mao’s leadership, but leaves out the scale: at least 50 million people, many more than Hitler and Stalin combined. A little later comes an article entitled What if Trotsky had come to power?, which again is not a hagiography, but is remarkable given the Trotskyist tendencies of Labour’s new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and his followers.

Magazines are often compiled over the course of weeks if not months, but the BMA strike was decided on in mid-November, which would have given politically-skewed personnel ample time to partially clear the decks and produce an overtly political "bookazine", printed on glossy paper and with lots of illustrations, that would be especially attractive to young people (David Butt, Group Managing Director of Imagine Publishing, All About History’s parent group, states the company took on many former Ladybird illustrators").

For this reason, I advise you to buy All About History issue 034 for a rare insight an how the wider educational establishment is presenting a skewed narrative to younger people in order to co-opt them as footsoldiers in the war to right what they perceive as being history’s wrongs.

Gerry Dorrian

Recources

Historical coal data: coal production, availability and consumption 1853 to 2014, gov.co.uk - click link to open spreadsheet

McDonnell's great leap forward puts Osborne one step ahead John Grace, The Guardian, 25 November 2015

From the archive, 1 December 1984: Taxi driver killed by striking miners Sarah Boseley, The Guardian, December 2014

Ian Burrell: The publisher of 'bookazines' hopes his reliable, unstuffy medium will appeal to parents everywhere Ian Burrell, The Independent, December 2014

Imagine Publishing homepage

All about History Issue 34