According to this story in The Telegraph by Andrew Gilligan our very own Tower Hamlets police found a “car boot full of postal vote applications” after stopping a vehicle in a routine search.
Which is nice. Unless you were driving the car. In which case it was not very nice at all.
Apparently the ‘substantial number’ of completed postal ballot forms were found when the car was stopped on June 3rd near Westferry Circus, Isle of Dogs and a 24 year old man was arrested on suspicion of postal vote fraud. There is no information as to the political sympathies of the person arrested.
So this was after the main Tower Hamlets elections on May 22nd and before the Blackwall and Cubitt Town election on July 3rd . If all cars are banned from entering the Blackwall and Cubitt Town area before the election now you know why as it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise this is where the dodgy applications where destined.
Industrial scale voting fraud?
It does make you wonder that if a “car boot full of postal vote applications” was found in a routine stop and search how many other cars have been driving around Tower Hamlets with the same cargo? If the case is proved, and the suspect is presumed innocent of course, then it would indicate that postal vote fraud has been carried out on an industrial scale.
Odd how various media organisations – with the noticeable exception of BBC’s Panorama, The Telegraph, The Express and Ted Jeory – who before the election could not even point to Tower Hamlets on a map of London are now running around trying to make stories of voter intimidation at polling stations stand up. Without a huge amount of success.
As previously documented on this site on election day I made a point of walking round our part of the borough and visiting seven different polling stations. And I did not see anything untoward. Apart from this cat of course. I am not blind and I knew exactly what to look for.
Enterprise and innovation
But then if there is some shadowy organisation with the enterprise and innovation to organise electoral fraud on a massive scale why on earth would they bother intimidating people at a polling station? Would you? It would be like a general ordering his infantry to undertake a full frontal assault on an enemy position knowing full well that he had just launched a nuke at the same target. Waste of resources. Let the nukes do the work and victory is guaranteed.
Unless your nukes are found in the boot of a car of course. Let us hope that the democratic process in the Blackwall and Cubitt Town election is safe from the the nuclear vote threat.
But you have to wonder how many cars, each with a “boot full of voting forms”, were busy before May 22nd? Hopefully none. But then this is Tower Hamlets politics where anything can happen and usually does.
Thinking more about this issue – if the allegations are proven and these were not toy voting forms destined for the birthday party of a group of politically precocious eight year olds – the level of organisation needed to attempt to carry out voting fraud on this scale must be extensive.
- Someone has to think of the idea in the first place with a reasonable belief that the plan can be carried out
- Someone else has to get their hands on a genuine postal vote application to be counterfeited
- A printer has to be hired to do a very discrete reproduction job
- Then the counterfeit postal vote applications have to be distributed across the borough to trusted colleagues
- And the fakes have to be introduced into the system without suspicion
Complicated stuff. Not something that could be done ad hoc. This could only be done by an established organisation with a very efficient distribution system.
If this one allegation of voting fraud is proven then it alone should be enough for the Mayoral and local elections to be declared null and void. No need for a petition. (Although it might be a good idea to have one anyway.)
Groundhog Day not guaranteed
Only problem being guaranteeing that another election in Tower Hamlets would be free and fair. Probably impossible.
So one election thrown away and no way to guarantee the fairness of another. A toothless and inept Electoral Commission not fit for purpose. Central Government paralysed and incapable of taking a lead. Local government in the borough discredited. Tower Hamlets First / Independent / Respect Party / whatever they are called today in bullish mood with no credible effective political opposition.
Is it any wonder that voters are apathetic?
The Thin Blue Line
At the moment it seems that the only organisation that is preventing Tower Hamlets from descending into chaos is the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and their associated agencies. Not a fashionable opinion but hey, this ain’t about Shoreditch fashion trends.
Because of the very nature of policing in the UK the MPS are constrained from being more vocal about their work to find out is the truth behind the numerous allegations of voting fraud in the borough. Pity because I am sure every media organisation in the country would fall over themselves to get an inside view of what the police are actually doing.
For the moment we have to trust that the right thing is being done by the right people. In this case Tower Hamlets police.
One person one vote
As ever if you have any information whatsoever relating to possible wrongdoing in the Tower Hamlets elections get in touch with the police. 101 works very nicely.
If you do know something and do not come forward then you take responsibility for any further subversion of democracy in London. Yeah, you.
It’s called one person one vote. Remember that?