Monday, 9 December 2019

Why voting statistics matter in this general election

We need to keep a close eye on voting statistics in the forthcoming general election because, arguably, a general election has been rigged before, in 2005.

In early 2001, postal voting on demand was legalised by Tony Blair’s government, whereas previously any elector wishing to vote by mail had to make a representation to their constituency’s registration officer.

In the general election of May 2001, postal votes, in terms of raw numbers, made up just under a half of Labour’s majority over the Conservatives.

When the 2005 general election came around, however, our attention was diverted elsewhere – to the war in Iraq and its questionable legality. According to the House of Commons Library briefing paper “UK election statistics: 1918-2015”, there were almost 4 million postal votes counted, with Labour’s majority over the Tories – again in terms of raw numbers – being 0.77 million. In the Parliament elected by this poll, Gordon Brown would sign the UK up to the Lisbon Treaty, which was the discredited EU Constitution in rejigged form.

As the “Zombie Parliament” has taught us, the EU’s placemen will stop at nothing to frustrate the democratic process. Just as Jo Cox’s tragic murder was used to try to derail the EU Membership referendum, so we need to watch out for a similar atrocity or a declaration of war between now and the election that will be used to try to deflect our attention from abuses of the electoral process.

Gerry Dorrian

Further reading: Brexit and Democracy: Reclaiming Full and Equal Suffrage from the Political Cartel by Gerry Dorrian at Amazon

Monday, 4 November 2019

Grenfell Tower: letter to Daily Express

The Daily Express were kind enough to print a letter I wrote to them about the true cause of the Grenfell Tower catastrophe. This is the full text of the letter.

Fire chiefs may have questions to answer regarding the loss of life at Grenfell Tower (“So many lives could have been saved”, 31/10/2019). But we need to remember the root cause of the carnage: the cladding voided the block’s fireproofing, which in turn turned London Fire Brigade’s advice to stay put into a death sentence.

We need to remember that the cladding was commissioned by upper-middle-class types from the surrounding Kensington & Chelsea area who had elbowed their way onto the block’s management committee, probably because they thought the building an unsightly carbuncle in their area. The blue paint on the cladding added nothing to the lives of working-class people who lived there, it just made the block more pleasant to look at. It would not have occurred to the sharp-elbowed interlopers to have done something so pedestrian as inform the Fire Brigade of their intentions – if they had, the resulting investigation would have found the cladding not only unsafe, but applied contrary to the US manufacturer’s warning not to apply it higher than fire service ladders could reach.

I can only hope that both survivors and relatives of victims, already struggling with trauma and grief, will come to see the true cause of this terrible tragedy.

Gerry Dorrian