Wednesday, 8 January 2014

voter ID: the story behind the Electoral Commission's announcement

If the Electoral Commission wants voters to produce IDs at polling stations Parliament could effect this by amending the Representation of the People Act: it's been amended 42 times in its lifetime.

The furore revolves around the 2000 Act’s amendments of the 1985 Act.

Sections 5-9 of the 1985 bill present various safeguards ensuring that absent voters using proxies or postal votes assure the Registration Officers of their identities.

Section 12, para 2 of the Representation of the People Act 2000 informs us that "Sections 5 to 9 of the Representation of the People Act 1985...shall cease to have effect" apart from in Northern Ireland. Replacing them is Section 4, relating to people in mental hospitals who are not detained offenders or on remand.

In other words, the 2000 act allows party activists to satisfy themselves of the identities of absent voters.

Nick Ross’ thesis, expanded in his book Crime, is that crime isn’t facilitated by bad people so much as that which is pilfered being readily available.

In the recent past what’s been pilfered appears to have been votes, to such an extent that even the International Committee of the Fourth International got worked up about it in 2004. The following year, in terms of raw votes, Tony Blair’s New Labour won by 1,500,000, in a General Election in which 6,000,000 postal votes were returned.

But from which "high risk areas" (the Electoral Commission’s words)? These are the ones they identify:

Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Burnley, Calderdale, Coventry, Derby, Hyndburn, Kirklees, Oldham, Pendle, Peterborough, Slough, Tower Hamlets, Walsall, and Woking.

I can identify 7 areas above where the population makeup is skewed away from the average mix in the UK. So why does the Government want to foist ID cards through the back door on all of us?

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Resources

ID needed at polling stations, recommends independent watchdog - Electoral Commission: see Editor's Note para 2 for the "high risk areas"

Representation of the People Act 1985 - see sections 5-9 as mentioned

Representation of the People Act 2000 - see Section 12, para 2 and Section 4 as mentioned

Nick Ross's Crime - 300 words

- Britain: opposition to Iraq war led to Labour vote-rigging in 2004 elections World Socialist Web Site, published by the International Committee of the Fourth International

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