Herald allows hidden Tory minister platform to defend discrimination

In the Herald today:

Democracy is about empowering people. It’s a collective public choice, made of millions of voices. But what happens if one person’s voice can be stifled, silenced or even stolen? Why should a criminal have two votes, having stolen one from someone else?

Currently, you need only say your name and address at the polling station to vote. This Victorian test can easily be faked, leaving the potential for a person to cast someone else’s vote. This kind of fraud is difficult to identify but it is not a victimless crime.

It happened this year, in the Holyrood elections, where a would-be voter in Edinburgh Northern and Leith tried to vote, only to be stopped because someone had already cast a ballot in their name. This victim had their voice stolen.

To prevent these crimes and strengthen the integrity of our elections, we are bringing forward new legislation to update electoral law, making sure our democracy remains secure, fair, modern and transparent, and tomorrow, the Elections Bill will be debated in Parliament.


‘Empowering people?’

In its 2020 report on Black People, Racism and Human Rights, the Joint Committee on Human Rights highlighted the probable racial discriminatory impact of the Government proposals to require a form of photographic ID in UK Parliamentary elections in Great Britain and local elections in England.

The Scottish Government has made clear its opposition to any such development in Scottish elections, noting that voter fraud, used as a justification by the Prime Minister, is extremely rare. The Electoral Commission reported 164 cases in the 2019 General Election. There were 47.6 million eligible voters. Fraud accounted for 0.00035%.

Only at the very bottom do we see that Chloe Smith MP is the UK (Tory) Government Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution.

17 thoughts on “Herald allows hidden Tory minister platform to defend discrimination

  1. “Only at the very bottom do we see that Chloe Smith MP is the UK (Tory) Government Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution.”
    Isn’t that what they always do, provide cover for the ratbags by omitting salient details or putting in a part of report where hardly anybody will read, given most will just scan headlines and maybe first few paragraphs

    Liked by 9 people

  2. Glad to see this issue given profile here. It can all sound so ‘reasonable’ – after all who wants voter fraud? But on evidence of significant fraud there is none.

    (Sneaking in an opinion piece from a Tory minister under that kind of headline is very ‘problematic’!)

    The evidence of widespread and long-standing drip feed of actions that result in voter suppression taken in Republican controlled US states should be a warning. But, candidly, I seriously doubt whether a majority in the UK will bat an eyelid as a Tory Party – voted into government for more than a decade – advances its agenda!

    Just one summary of US history of this: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/13/america-history-voter-suppression-donald-trump-election-fraud

    Liked by 5 people

  3. “…a would-be voter in Edinburgh Northern and Leith tried to vote, only to be stopped because someone had already cast a ballot in their name. This victim had their voice stolen.” Ballcocks, as plumbers say!
    The legitimate voter had already cast his/her vote, so no legitimate vote was lost. Is that the best the UK (Tory) Government Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution can manage?

    Even more sinister than gladly denying over 2 million voters their legitimate right to vote in order to “prevent” fraud of vanishingly small proportions, the Tories want to make the Electoral Commission report to Gove, so they can control the electoral “watchdog”. There have been questions about the Electoral Commission’s neutrality in the past, but the Bill’s proposals would legitimise ministerial interference in the management of future elections. Just imagine how they might interfere in any future indy ref and be very concerned.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Now that the Tories are going to be able to decide the franchise,timing and just about everything else around the democratic process,I think we can see what future eligibility for voting might be.
    Of course,that would depend on there being future elections.
    Why bother with elections when England almost always returns Tory governments anyway?
    Along with their claim of fraud as justification for loading elections in their favour,I can here future claims from them that elections are divisive and so undesirable.
    Now where have I heard that before?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Now where have I heard that before?”

      In contrast to the Herald’s headline, see this written by Peter Walker, Political Correspondent of The Guardian, 31 Aug 2020 with the headline: ‘Tory plan to scrap election watchdog ‘undermines democracy’.

      It includes this comment: ‘Cat Smith, Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, who deals with voting issues, called the Conservative proposal “a harmful and worrying step for the integrity of our democracy”.

      “Removing the Electoral Commission is just one part of a concerted strategy by the Tories to remove scrutiny and proper accountability,” she said. “Without the Electoral Commission, no one could prevent the Tories from introducing policies that fundamentally make it harder for people to vote, such as mandatory Voter ID. This move comes straight out of the Republican party playbook.”

      But just as I was glad to see wider acknowledgement of the dangers of this Tory policy, I am brought up short having just clicked a link to an (apparently) ‘indy supporting’ blog listed as one of the eight followed by TuS. I am opting not to amplify by naming it or describing its content in any detail – it wouldn’t take long to find it from the list of ‘followed’ blogs. Suffice to say charges of ‘facism’ are prominent against those this site supports almost daily.

      Reading this has raised my awareness of the extreme extent of the attempted denigration by (let’s call them) ‘other than Unionists’ of those that I and many in Scotland have voted to entrust with government for a decade.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Amazing, the most dangerous assault on democracy in the UK and Scotland is the BritNat propaganda, lies and misinformation that is piped into peoples’ living rooms and published in the daily rags. That’s the real fraud, the real con. In Scotland the real issue about fraud is who counts the votes and where, as in the 2014 referendum. If folk can vote electronically, that would mean they don’t need to be in the actual country, not quite like postal votes? How secure is that?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We only hear about failed electoral fraud, ie when the perpetrators get caught – how do we know that successful electoral fraud isn’t rife ? Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes we do know – The Electoral roll is where myth meets reality, it’s an immovable record assiduously lined through by an electoral official as each vote is cast.
      Any who have falsified a vote will be recorded when the real voter turns up, these figures are published and they’re miniscule.

      To conduct electoral fraud on a scale which really mattered (industrial) the perpetrators would have to know with certainty who is not going to vote or has not already posted their vote.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t disagree it has happened John, merely that the scale of it is insufficient to warrant wholesale change to current UK methodology.

        On photo-IDs – To vote in Romania it was long established practice the voter surrender their ID to vote (everyone has one) on which is marked that they have voted when done, thereby any attempt to vote elsewhere (some did) is thwarted.

        It did not stop the unscrupulous – Some tried to erase the marker, others tried to use false ID’s, they almost always ended up arrested by the police.
        On election day no alcohol may be sold anywhere, to stop the unscrupulous boozing up a voter to vote for X. I’ve no doubt it still goes on with a stock of booze in the back of a van, but the police are always on the lookout for them.

        The point remains that even here with full photo-id it remained possible to cheat the electoral system, but in reality the scale of it is equally tiny.


  7. The Herald was once the favoured publication for SiU letters, Chloe Smith’s puff piece at least identifies her and her likely agenda.

    As with most Tory games, there is always the sacrificial pawn – The objective is to insert political mechanics in charge of the electoral process rather than independent (or as independent as they may be) bodies dictating events and outcomes. With Tories in England almost in perpetuity they are the fox in charge of the henhouse, but effects beyond England’s boundaries are perhaps being eyed up.

    Gove is a past-master of the sacrificial pawn and distraction, photo-ID will ultimately be sacrificed as the game proceeds “due to strength public opinion”, whilst the real objective is achieved.

    The photo-id is a peculiar UK obsession IMHO – If you have a driving licence or passport, your mugshot is connected via all sorts numbers to your bank accounts, spending habits, health, etc., etc., the few who are truly invisible are I suggest in the minority.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Not everyone has photo ID a passport or a driving licence. ID can be forged. The problem is getting people to vote not preventing them. Many people do not vote. They believe there is no one for which to vote. Especially among the unionist parties in Scotland. They are all the same. Opposing Independence supported by the majority.

    The biggest election fraud is committed by Westminster unionists, Fraudulent Refs. Brexit etc. All electoral rules and guideline broken. Telling complete lies and breaking promises. Illegally and corruptly. False data and fraudulent intervention. Breaking the data protection Act. Illegal donations and manipulations. To make the Hedge Funds more monies illegally. So wealthy people could destroy the economy for personal gain. Making people poorer and putting up the cost of living for the majority. Lowering standards of living for the majority and making life harder for people. Life expectancy going down.

    The biggest electoral fraud is imposed on the electorate in Scotland. D’Hond’t (STV) imposed without a mandate. A million (1st pref) votes go in the bin to let 3rd losers in. A quota imposed to give unionists an unfair advantage. Vote for several candidates. In numerical order. Or it does not count. The voters do not even understand it. Neither does anyone else Making voters dilute their vote and their 1st preference choice. Instead of voting who they want in and voting who they do not want out. Just as important for voter choice. A simple system voter’s will comprehend.

    An absolute shambles of democracy and democratic choice. Scotland outvoted 10 to 1 at Westminster. Tories candidates for Holyrood want to destroy it. A sham of Democracy. The illegal Barnett Formula, illegal wars, the financial fraud. The tax evasion. Hinkley Point, HS2 and Trident etc. a total waste of monies, that Scotland has to pay. Costing Scotland dear.

    Brexit harming the fishing, farming and other industries. Tourism, construction etc all in decline. Major fall in exports and imports costing more.

    Illegal Westminster corruption kept secret under the Official Secrets Act. The Crown illegal interference. Iraq, Lockerbie, Dunblane kept secret for 100 years. An affront to Democracy.

    People can and will vote for Independence. Support increasing when they get the chance. Westminster unionists chancers are a corrupt sham. Trying to refuse the democratic right to others. Lying, cheating, arrogant and ignorant. Breaking the Law with impunity. They break the Laws that they make and International Law. Do not keep to agreements but renege.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mass ID would cost £Billions not available to all. Many eligible people are still not registered to vote. The authorities should concentrate on that. Giving everybody legible the chance to vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Tories could be voted out. The Brexit catastrophe. The tax system corruption. Tax evasion. Tory rating -30 any lead evaporating. Johnston rating among the Party members who elected him. -3. Tory Party members, on average, male and over seventy. Vote Tory to die younger. Life expectancy going down in the South. The fraudsters could be Tory voters.

    Liked by 1 person

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