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Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

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Gerrymandering

Post by Ivan on Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

This government’s changes to the electoral registration system will lead to a sick democracy, with fewer registered voters and lower turn¬outs. The Tories and their Liberal Democrat poodles are rigging the rules to make it easier for themselves to win parliamentary majorities after 2015. Voter registration will be conducted on an individual rather than household basis, and it will no longer be compulsory to register. The philosophy seems to be that if certain groups aren’t likely to vote for them, they won’t encourage them to vote!

Mehdi Hasan writes:-

“All of the empirical evidence suggests that those who tend not to register to vote are drawn disproportionately from the ranks of the young, the urban poor and ethnic minorities. These eligible voters, by complete coincidence, tend to support Labour. The partisan impact of this is compounded by the government's plan to reduce the number of constituencies, and make them equal in size based on the number of registered voters.

The Tories have form here. According to a paper published in 1992 by the political scientists Iain McLean and Jeremy Smith, the introduction of the poll tax in April 1990 accounted for slightly more than one-third of the estimated one million people shortfall between the electoral register and the [official] estimate of the qualified population. The authors later concluded that this ‘shortfall’ - of poorer, urban, Labour-leaning voters - cost Neil Kinnock the 1992 general election.”


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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:28 pm

Most of us on the left see red on the rare occasions that Nick Clegg sticks his head above the parapet these days. The man who handed Cameron the key to Downing Street, then within months reneged on his party’s pledge on tuition fees, backed the passing of the Health and Social Care Act, squandered the opportunity to get a proportional voting system, and happily reinforced the lie that the global crash of 2008 was “all Labour’s fault”. However, it is worth reading what he has to say now because of what it reveals about Cameron and Osborne and the dangerous direction in which our so-called ‘democracy’ is heading.

Nick Clegg accuses Conservatives of 'rigging the rules' in attempt to create 'one-party state'

From an article by Andrew Grice:-

Clegg said that the Tories had departed dramatically from the tradition that the 'rules of the game' in British politics were agreed on a cross-party basis. He cited their “petty, spiteful” moves to cripple Labour’s funding by changing the way trade unionists pay the political levy and cutting state funding for opposition parties.

Clegg said: “If you look at the way the Conservatives seek to hobble and neuter Westminster, the bullying swagger with which they treat the BBC, the general air of hubris, there is a feeling that politics is being reduced to the whims and mood swings of one political party. That is not healthy.” Clegg likened Osborne to José Mourinho saying they were both “very clever, very skilled” but took “a little too much pleasure at the misfortunes of others” and “twisting the knife”.

Clegg said: “In one-party politics, people can fool themselves that if they have said something, it must be true”. He claimed that Cameron professed to care about social mobility while scrapping maintenance grants that enabled disadvantaged children to go to university; targeting help with childcare to better off families rather than those who need it most; ditching child poverty targets; and cutting the schools’ budget and ‘Pupil Premium’, for children from poor families, in real terms.

When the Lib Dems pushed for money to build social housing, Cameron and Osborne rebuffed them with the stark message: “All it does is produce more Labour voters”. Moreover, the Tories took credit for Lib Dem ideas, notably their flagship policy of raising the personal tax allowance.


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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Redflag on Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:13 am

The only thing that Nick Clegg has got right Ivan, in todays papers it seems that Davy boy is trying to Gerrymandering the Tory party by clipping the wings of Tory associations (what Labour call CLPs) I think Davy boy is begging for those 46 names attached to a letter to rid the Tory party of Davy boy.
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by boatlady on Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:02 pm

He's right - but that means either he is stupid (didn't understand what was happening while he was in the midst of it) or unprincipled (didn't care what happened to anyone else as long as his own career was forwarded) - either way, not much interested in the little man's opinions
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:21 pm

I'm not interested in Clegg's opinions either; I spent too long frothing at the mouth listening to him (and that moron Danny Alexander) repeating the lie that the global crash was "all Labour's fault". However, we should assume Clegg is telling the truth when he says that Cameron and Osborne wouldn't build social housing because  “all it does is produce more Labour voters”. From what we know of those unprincipled, privileged brats that's true to form - and indicative of the way they put party interest way way above the needs of this country.
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Redflag on Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:11 am

IVAN I would something of used something stronger than Moron to describe Danny Alexander, I think maybe you are curbing your temper which says a lot for you. Getting back to Gerrymandering if anybody seen last weeks channel4 news they did a report on the Tory party over spending (against the Electoral Commission rules) in 3 by-elections in 2014 & 1 in South Thanet (Farages intended seat) in May 2015 this is only the beginning of what Davy boy will do come the 2020 gemeral election that is if the Tory party allow him to stay as leader of the Tory party ??
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:18 pm

The maths which show the Tories are stitching up the result of the next election

From an article by Jason Beattie:-

"Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of people on the electoral register had fallen from 45,325,100 in 2014 to 44,722,000 last year. Now the Boundary Commission has revealed its proposals to cut the number of parliamentary seats in England from 533 to 501. These are dry numbers, but between them they amount to a political stitch-up in which the main loser is the validity of our democracy but the main casualty is the Labour Party.

Cameron was elected on a pledge to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600. This was, we were told, part of his drive to cut the cost of politics. Opponents have noted his frugality does not apply to either the House of Lords, which he is packing with Tory cronies and donors, nor the bill for special advisers.

There are arguments for having fewer MPs, but it is being done in away that causes maximum damage to Labour and minimum harm to the Conservatives. Changes to the way people register to vote mean the electoral register has fallen by 603,000, with the majority of those missing young, black and minority ethnic and poor. All these groups are, generally but not exclusively, more likely to back Labour. Some have estimated the figure missing from the electoral roll is much higher than 603,000.

By itself this is a scandal, but it is part of a wider Tory operation to neuter opponents that includes cutting funding for opposition parties, starving Labour of union donations and muzzling charities from speaking out. The ultimate irony is that those Tory MPs fretting about the surrendering of powers to Brussels are complicit in a much greater threat to our democracy
."

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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Redflag on Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:04 am

That is the point Ivan he has NOT cut the cost of politics by cramming the HOL full of Tory cronies so the rest of the political parties can not vote down whatever bill he wants to get through and none of them will be good for the 99% of the people of the UK.
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Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:09 pm

When the votes have been counted in May, either Frank Zacharias Robin Goldsmith (Tory) or Sadiq Aman Khan (Labour) will become the next London mayor, in succession to the utterly useless Boris Johnson, whose appalling eight-year track record is recorded here:-

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Zac Goldsmith is the son of a billionaire and yet another Old Etonian in the Tory Party. Sadiq Khan, who went to a comprehensive school, was born in Tooting (which he currently represents in Parliament) and is the son of Pakistani immigrants; his late father was a London bus driver for over 25 years. Goldsmith has been married twice – first to Sheherazade Ventura-Bentley, and more recently to Alice Miranda Rothschild. Khan has been married to Saadiya Ahmed for 21 years. Goldsmith, who is 41, was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Khan, who is 45, had to share a bunk bed until he was 24.

No Tory campaign would ever be complete without lies, smears and scaremongering, and this one is no exception. Perhaps the most ridiculous assertion so far is that if you vote for Sadiq Khan, your family jewellery will be at risk from a possible Labour wealth tax. More sinister is the predictable attempts to smear Khan, a Muslim, with links to terrorists. Apparently, a man who was once married to Khan’s sister may have spoken at events organised by al-Muhajiroun back in the 1990s, although this is disputed. On the strength of that flimsy connection, ‘The Evening Standard’ ran a story entitled: "Exposed: Sadiq Khan’s family links to extremist organisation". There are more smears like this if you can be bothered to explore them, but I trust you get the drift. The reality is that Sadiq Khan has been outspoken in his denunciations of extremism and terrorism, and he upset many fellow British Muslims by accusing them of “burying their heads in the sand” over the extent of the Islamic State threat to the UK.

Meanwhile ‘The Richmond and Twickenham Times’ recently used the headline “Hit the road, Zac” over a story that Goldsmith was asked to resign as patron of a Richmond charity after voting in Parliament for Osborne’s notorious disability cuts. Lucy Byrne, the chief executive of Richmond Advice and Information on Disability said that the cuts would have a "severe and detrimental impact on the lives of disabled people".

Goldsmith’s hatchet men are even putting out tripe that Sadiq Khan “would not be able to work closely with Cameron and the government”. So because the Tories, with the support of less than a quarter of all eligible voters, scraped back into power last year because of the vagaries of our archaic voting system, Londoners are supposed to elect a Tory mayor if they want their city administration to function properly! Maybe there's a hidden threat there. When Labour regained control of the old Greater London Council in 1981, Thatcher abolished it five years later. What’s to stop this Tory dictatorship from doing something similar?

With the Tories in mind, Nye Bevan once said that if you are selling shoddy goods, you need to be a good salesman. But do you? Can't you just run a dirty campaign and make sure that the playing field is tilted in your favour?

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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by boatlady on Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:12 am

Definitely seems to be a lot of dirty tricks coming from Goldsmith in the mayoral campaign - perhaps he feels he wouldn't really have a chance at all if he didn't smear his opponent?
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:18 am

".... a clean campaign on a level playing field.."

Everything about the Houses of Parliament results from an accretion of self-interest over the past several hundred years. The Nation is not well served by the adversarial jousting imposed by the face-to-face arrangement of the furniture, nor by outmoded first-past-the-post election arrangements.

Younger administrations adopt the horse-shoe-shape of Assembly chamber, and various alternative flexible voting systems which seek to reflect the actual composition of an Electorate.

Meantime, any British party-central-office is going to resemble a mother bear protecting her cubs.
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:27 am

Conservative MPs ‘broke the law to win the 2015 general election’

From an article by Bex Sumner:-

First, there was the evidence that the Conservative Party broke the law in three key by-elections. Now the party faces allegations that 24 of its MPs broke the law to win their seats in the 2015 general election. The party, already under investigation over its campaign spending, now faces calls for an investigation into possible criminal conspiracy. But will it be held to account?

In the weeks before the 2015 election, the Conservatives’ ‘RoadTrip 2015’ campaign buses criss-crossed the country, helping Conservative candidates in marginal seats to win their election campaigns. Those buses have since been credited with winning the election for the Conservatives – including by Cameron, who told the now disgraced head of RoadTrip: “We quite simply could not have done it without you”.

The Tories have said that the costs for the buses were declared in the party’s national campaign spend. Yet in the run-up to the election, the RoadTrip 2015 team seemed very clear that it was campaigning to promote particular candidates. Election law expert Anthony King said: “It all seems pretty fishy. It sounds very plausible that this spending should have been declared by the individual candidates.”

But there’s a catch. To “ensure finality in elections”, there is a 12-month time limit on prosecuting offences relating to election expenses. That time limit is nearly up for any offences committed during the general election. As the Electoral Commission has said: “unless the police apply to the courts for an extension, which they are entitled to do under the Representation of the People Act, they will have missed the opportunity to investigate any allegations”.


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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:39 am

Zac Goldsmith is playing with fire as he bids to lure Asian voters

From an article by Sonia Sodha:-

Goldsmith has accused Labour’s Muslim candidate for mayor, Sadiq Khan, of “giving platform, oxygen and cover” to extremists. It’s a serious allegation made on embarrassingly weak grounds. Goldsmith has attacked Khan for campaigning for Babar Ahmad, a British citizen, to be tried in the UK for terrorism offences, rather than extradited to the US. Yet despite claiming he’d never heard of him before, Goldsmith also spoke in his support in a parliamentary meeting in 2012.

Goldsmith has similarly accused Khan of sharing a platform with Suliman Gani, an imam from Khan’s Tooting constituency, whom he’s labelled as “one of the most repellent figures in this country”. But as Khan’s campaign team have pointed out, Khan and Gani have long clashed on Gani’s illiberal views: Gani was involved in a local campaign to stop Khan voting for gay marriage, and Khan successfully pushed for his removal from the local mosque. It has emerged that other Conservative MPs shared platforms with Gani, and Gani and Goldsmith were photographed together at a Conservative Party event last year.

This creates the impression of Goldsmith desperately trying to fling mud at Khan, no matter how tenuous, in the hope that some of it will stick.


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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Wed May 04, 2016 11:52 pm


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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by boatlady on Thu May 05, 2016 8:30 am

Well, I wonder what will be the outcome here? Could be a real game changer if the police do decide to investigate
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Mon May 09, 2016 3:06 pm

"All spending has been correctly recorded in accordance with the law."

That’s the stock response of the Tory Party whenever it's confronted with the overwhelming evidence, compiled by Channel 4 News, that it broke the law on election expenditure time and again. Even Andrew Neil on ‘The Daily Politics’ told Grant Shapps (Tory co-chairperson at the time of the general election) that he was “bang to rights”.

Here is the timeline of this scandal, with more details:-
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Some police forces are now investigating the Tories. It's the first time in British history that extensions have been sought to time limits for prosecutions under election law:-
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by boatlady on Mon May 09, 2016 4:39 pm

Interesting ---- Good old Channel 4
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:35 am

The inside story of the Tory election scandal

From an article by Ed Howker and Guy Basnett:-

As a result of the biggest investigation the Electoral Commission has ever undertaken, it levied its largest-ever fine against the Conservative Party and referred the case of the party’s treasurer, Simon Day, to the Metropolitan Police for further criminal investigation.

The party’s response to the report has been dismissive from the very start. During their investigation, the Electoral Commission was forced to file papers with the High Court, demanding that the Conservative Party disclose information about its election campaign, after the party had failed to fully comply with their requests for information for three months. Since the report was published, Conservative ministers and spokesmen have pointed out that the commission found only “a series of administrative errors”.

British elections are designed to be cheap. Laws that date back to the 1880s limit campaign spending precisely so that people of all backgrounds have a fair chance to compete for votes. And if that egalitarian principle enhances our political culture, it has another less obvious consequence: even small sums of additional, illegal money, if shrewdly spent, can make a huge difference to results.

We now know that some of the Conservative Party’s central spending did benefit MPs in the tightest races, but it was not declared. It is possible that this money helped to secure the victories from which the Conservative majority was derived. Slowly, a chilling prospect emerges that British politics, our relationship with Europe and the future of our economy, were all transformed following a contest that wasn’t a fair fight.


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Michael Crick, whose investigative journalism brought this scandal to the Electoral Commission’s attention, has commented:-

All the while, despite dozens of our reports, this was a scandal that was largely left to Channel 4 News and social media to champion. With the exception of the BBC’s Daily Politics Show and a couple of pieces in the Daily Mirror, Guardian and Daily Mail, on the whole, the main news organisations in this country neglected to touch this story. All that changed when Gloucestershire police became the first of more than a dozen police forces to launch an investigation into electoral fraud last May.”
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by boatlady on Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:18 am

It seems likely that someone, somewhere, has done a cost/benefit analysis and realised that the payoff from breaking the law in this way was likely to far exceed the possible penalties

If indeed the Tories have cheated it has gained them the time to force through a number of destructive measures and make their own position more or less unassailable

It seems possible we may be seeing the demise of democracy, which rather depends on politicians exercising a measure of decency and honesty
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:07 am

Suggestions for inclusion in the next Tory Manifesto:

1. The end justifies the means.
2. Nice guys come last.
3. If you can't take a joke you shouldn't vote.
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by boatlady on Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:27 am

I don't think they need to debate those propositions - just standard Tory dogma and I think the time may have come when they can maybe be included openly
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:29 pm

"Taken as read." What a way to run a Country!
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue May 02, 2017 7:31 pm

The trouble with you Voters is that you have no comprehension of how difficult it is to be one of the filthy rich as you like to call us.
Imagine entering Monte Carlo with one's 730-foot Yacht, only to be met by the prow of a 750-foot Gin Palace of some Johnny-come-lately hedge-fund manager.

Please do not concern yourselves with matters which you could not possibly comprehend, and just vote for Ms. May in June, so that she can become one of "us".

Obligato.
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Tue May 02, 2017 8:39 pm

This is Mrs May struggling to become one of "us"...... Shocked

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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by Ivan on Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:03 pm

Charities say 'gag law' stops them speaking out on Tory social care plans

From an article by Anushka Asthana:-

Charities have been silenced from speaking out about the Tory social care plans despite believing they will be hugely damaging to elderly and disabled people across the country. One chief executive of a major charity in the social care sector told ‘The Guardian’ they felt “muzzled” by legislation, introduced in 2014, which heavily restricts organisations from intervening on policy during an election period. They said Theresa May’s decision to means test winter fuel allowance would inadvertently result in some of the poorest pensioners in the country losing the support, adding that “will literally cost lives”. And they claimed the so-called 'dementia tax' on social care in the home would stop people who need support from seeking it. “We are ready to speak out at one minute past midnight on 9 June”, the charity leader added, but stressed they were too afraid to do so now.

Some fear that charities face a permanent “chilling effect” after the Electoral Commission said they must declare any work that could be deemed political over the past 12 months to ensure they are not in breach of the Lobbying Act. However, the commission said the legal test for charities was whether their spending on an activity could be reasonably regarded as intended to influence people to vote for a political party, and stressed that organisations could register as a non-party campaigner.

Steve Reed, the shadow minister for civil society, said Labour would scrap the lobbying act because it had “effectively gagged” charities. He said: “Here is this disastrous U-turn on social care and we are not hearing much from the charities that are working on the ground with older people and those with dementia because the Tories have shut them up. They’ve been banned from pointing out the negative consequences of government policy.”


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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:54 pm

I can't decide what to think about the problems of Care Homes, many of which are owned by hedge-find managers who expected to make a killing (wrong word?) but now find they can't break even, and are closing Care Homes at a time when demand is increasing.
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by boatlady on Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:38 pm

Have to mention at this point - in relation to individuals in need presenting for help to statutory, charitable or voluntary organisations - it seems the better funded organisations offer the least help.
Currently working as an unpaid volunteer in a small local charity with an annual income of approx. £500 - in 6 months we have seen and helped nearly 200 people sent away by statutory services and the better funded charities - usually people with complex needs who need lots of time and hours of telephone calls - the organisations that are paid to provide service for these folk just don't have the time - yet I, with 3 untrained volunteers, can do so much to help.
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:13 pm

Volunteer, or career?  Charities do unfortunately attract as many opportunists as philanthropists.
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Re: Would the Tories ever win if they ran a clean campaign on a level playing field?

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