The British Electoral Commission seems to be guilty of bizarre behaviour. Having failed miserably to deal with blatant abuse of the system by Established Parties, the Electoral Commission turned the full weight of its guns on one of the smallest, newest and most rapidly expanding political parties in Britain.
The growth of the UK Independence Party and the development of other new parties dramatically demonstrates the level of dissatisfaction that the electorate has for the older established parties and the Blair regime in particular.
The Electoral Commission should be doing everything in its power to help these parties in finding their way and voicing their policies, not just to provide the electorate with freedom of choice, but to use their existence as a lever to ensure that the larger parties observe the spirit and letter of the electoral regulations.
In particular, the Electoral Commission should be assisting small parties by encouragement and advice because every new party starts with trivial funding and has yet to build the administrative support to ensure that they work fully within all of the rules that the Established Parties have proven to be immune to.
The UK Independence Party commented:
The UK Independence Party today accused the Electoral Commission of “kicking the smallest boy in the playground.”
Leader Nigel Farage said that the decision to throw the book at the party over a “clerical error” was “utterly disproportionate.”
He pointed out that the Electoral Commission had failed miserably to take action over the ‘cash-for honours’ scandal and the £2.4 million donation to the Liberal Democrats by a man now in prison.
“In the case of UKIP we are talking about a genuine honest oversight involving a donation by a hard working, respectable British businessman who has paid millions of pounds in tax.
“We are being made the scapegoats for the inadequacies of the Commission. They are kicking the smallest boy in the playground.
“Never in British political history have such Draconian measures been taken against a party.
“We are not taking this lying down, and intend to fight this through the courts; not least because the relevant law exists to ‘prohibit foreign and anonymous donations’, which does not apply to Mr Bown.”
Within hours of the news breaking, party headquarters was inundated with calls of support and donations, including many from non members who were outraged at what they felt was an unfair decision.
Mr Farage added, “The party is standing united in the face of these unprecedented actions and we will fight this all the way.”
He could have added much more criticism of the Electoral Commission which has proved to be unequal to the task of defending the British electorate against the behaviour of the Blair regime. During its 10 years of misrule, the Blair regime has made a number of changes to the electoral system in its own interests. One judge observed that they were guilty of behaviour that would have made a banana republic blush. He also observed that it was inconceivable that the number of electoral fraud cases involving postal ballot voting had not been perpetrated without the active knowledge and direction of the Blair regime. It is also very difficult to understand why the Electoral Commission kept so quiet about these cases, or why they were not effective in questioning voting changes that created the opportunity for widespread fraud and abuse.
Against this direct attack on the electorate, the sale of honours for donations and loans seems almost a minor matter. Since “life peers” were created, every British Government has appointed new peers who have benefited the government of the day, but never on the scale of the Blair regime and never were the honours so closely timed to a political donation or loan made by the new peer.
For those looking at the British political scene from outside, it may not be easy to understand the full impact of the peerage question. The House of Lords cannot completely block legislation passed in the House of Commons but it does provide a vital service in revising defective legislation and forcing the Commons to reconsider contentious legislation. It has been a thorn in the side of a Prime Minister who considers himself above accountability. Even when packed with Blair’s cronies and bankers, the House of Lords has continued to show a level of independence and has delayed or stopped some of the most seriously defective legislation during the last decade.
When a Government appears to take money for honours, it questions the whole integrity of the British system of government and makes it possible for a Prime Minister to go to war on a false prospective. It also provides the money to pay for a massive propaganda programme and to lavishly fund an election campaign, giving an unfair advantage to that political party.
There are many other very serious breaches of democracy that should be addressed and where the Electoral Commission is strangely mute.
Against this background of major serious abuses, the Electoral Commission treatment of the UK Independence Party seems to be more a case of “at last we have found a political party we can beat up for the sake of it”.
Perhaps more information will emerge but, at present, it does look like a deliberate attack directed by some as yet unidentified organization and suggests a deliberate dirty tricks campaign is underway.
BSD News Desk