Residents of Tower Hamlets can breath a collective sigh of relief as there were no problems with the electoral process during the elections.
Or that is the version of reality that is now being propagated in our troubled borough.
East End Life, the Council’s free ‘newspaper’ has achieved new levels of Orwellian ‘doublespeak’ which may cause even the most cynical to pause for thought.
On page two of the current issue there are two articles entitled ‘Commission is reviewing delays’ and Protocol in place’. The authors seem entirely ignorant of the shambles that was the Tower Hamlets election process last week or the controversy it caused across the country.
Here is the text of ‘Commission is reviewing delays’ as shown in the page above.
Commission is reviewing delays
A high turnout, increased security around the voting system and the closeness of some results all helped to explain the delay in counting votes in the borough’s three elections last month.
The Electoral Commission is reviewing the council’s arrangements following some criticism of the delays.
However a council spokesman said a combination of several factors meant the last of the council results was not announced until last Tuesday, May 27, five days after the poll on May 22. They included:
- A high turnout of almost 50 per cent
- A much higher than average number of split (cross-party) votes resulting in increased counting time
- A high number of adjudications requested by candidates and agents on individual ballot papers
- Recounts for six of the 39 wards where council elections were held
- Close results in many wards that had to be double checked
- Increased security for the counting process
The mayoral election in Tower Hamlets was also the only one in London to go to second preference votes, which meant extra counting time was required.
John Williams, the borough’s returning officer, said: “I welcome the review as an opportunity to examine arrangements for the election count. While the count took longer than expected, the primary objective was to ensure that the result was not only fair and accurate but was seen to be so by all the parties concerned and most importantly by the residents and stakeholders in Tower Hamlets.”
Feel free to pinch yourself. Yes you are expected to believe the above.
(And if you don’t live in Tower Hamlets this is quite normal. Honest.)
I won’t quote the ‘Protocol in place’ piece as I have only just had my breakfast.
Those who do live in the real world (anywhere outside the Tower Hamlets borough boundary) will almost certainly be familiar with one or more of the articles below that have appeared in the national media.
- Divide and rule: How race politics has poisoned Tower Hamlets (Panorama’s John Ware writing in Independent)
- Election: Narrow victory for Lutfur Rahman in Tower Hamlets mayoral vote (Rob Virtue, The Wharf)
- Tower Hamlets count reviewed by Electoral Commission (BBC News)
- MP blasts ‘shambles’ Tower Hamlets election and calls for wider inquiry (Adam Barnett, East London Advertiser)
- Election watchdog investigates Tower Hamlets count (Guardian)
- ‘Stolen election’ in the heart of London (Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph)
- We take electoral integrity for granted (Mary Dejevsky, Independent)
- Our voting system is flawed, but politicians don’t seem to care (Charles Moore, Telegraph)
- Spiral Notebook: Lutfur Rahman – here comes the new boss, same as the old boss? (Giles Broadbent, The Wharf)
- Electoral Commission: Clearly there have been issues at Tower Hamlets (ITV)
- Tower Hamlets — London’s rotten borough? (Sebastian Payne, Spectator)
- Tower Hamlets suspends council election count, again (Evening Standard)
Spot the difference?