Maintaining Pressure on the Met for an Investigation into Alleged Postal Voting Fraud in Tower Hamlets (2)

Posted on | Thursday, 21 June 2012 | No Comments

(1) How disappointing; the WebChat was little short of a farce, with a constant steam of unanswered questions rolling through the Met's HashTag #AskMetBoss 

As for my own questions, they received this (Private) response:

[Private Message to Grenville Mills] Hi, if you give us your contact details we will follow it up after the chat with the Commissioner?  (Reply Privately)

Why a private exchange? What is it with this voting issue that causes so much subterfuge?

To compound matters, we were subjected to the following: (6 times!)

While the Commissioner answers this question please watch this video.

This is not the way forward Commissioner. A WebChat project on this scale cannot possibly succeed and you were poorly advised to launch it. It suffers from the same mentality that would have us believe an MP representing 70,000 constituents, can fairly listen to, and represent their interests. Much better you devolve this project down to your Borough Commanders and if possible Wards. This will achieve a workable ratio of public/police dialogue.

p.s. And please, if we are invited to a WebChat, no force fed videos.

(2) Finally on Thursday 21 June 2012, I was able to deliver my collective emails on alleged Postal Voting Fraud prior to the Spitalfields and Banglatown bi-election personally to the Met's Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer. On Friday I received  a call from his office to say that a formal response will be issued next week. 

Maintaining Pressure on the Met for an Investigation into Alleged Postal Voting Fraud in Tower Hamlets (1)

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Tomorrow, Thursday 21 June, I will be (1) joining the Metropolitan Police Commissioner's afternoon WebChat during which I will raise the issue of alleged Postal Voting fraud prior to the Spitalfields and Banglatown bi-election, and (2) in the evening I will be attending a Community Briefing by Tower Hamlets Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, during which I will again raise this issue, specifically:

Why Tower Hamlets Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer has not answered THREE emails concerning accusations of electoral fraud prior to the Spitalfields and Banglatown bi-election. For reference, the Electoral Commission stated that it does not have power to investigate alleged electoral fraud and it is the responsibility of the Police. The Police have so far not even provided (separately requested by me) a single point of contact for electoral offences.

In light of the exceptionally high and unprecedented postal vote and rejection rate during the bi-election, there is ample justification for the Metropolitan Police to investigate and they were asked to:

1. Interview each of the 956 constituents who submitted a postal vote to establish whether any were forced to vote under duress (a clear risk in postal voting), and

2. Examine each of the 135 rejected PVS and in the case of fraudulent signatures/submissions, prosecute as appropriate. (These documents will be destroyed after 1 year)

To recap:
40% of votes were Postal (i.e., 956)
Of these the reject rate was 14% Reject (i.e., 135)
The margin of victory was just 43 votes

Anti Social Behaviour and Lutfur Rahman's Cheeky Roadshow

Posted on | Sunday, 17 June 2012 | No Comments

There is an old East-End Music Hall monologue that starts, "Saturday night in Bethnal Green, naptha lamps a-flarin' Along the gutters for nearly a mile, and men and wimmen blarin". Times have changed in a 100 years, but we can still find a modern version of long lost Music Hall entertainment at the Town Hall and every Sunday night courtesy of clown Lutfur Rahman's East End Life (EEL). This little man's army of quisling editorial staff routinely haul the integrity of a free press through the gutters of dictatorial third world censorship and cheap propaganda, and then have the gall to force this rag through every letter box in the Borough. I say 'force' as it somehow appears in letterboxes in secure apartment blocks, but then that's another issue. 

Today's monologue - how much of this rag does today's Joseph Grimaldi write himself? - promotes him, his small posse of followers, and his THEOs. It's the sheer impudence of the man that's turning him from a threat into a Music Hall act. Most in the Borough will remember that the Metropolitan Police, in conjunction with Safer Neighbourhood Teams, recently completed an exhaustive series of Ward by Ward community meetings. They were big, and well resourced by the Met, SNT, and occasionally THEOs. The focus was unreservedly on anti social behaviour (ASB) and it was a Met initiative.

Notwithstanding the sheer effort and co-operation of the above exercise, scantily reported in the EEL incidentally - in fact I only remember the Met's own advertisements, Mr Rahman has ordered the penning of this piece of self publicity in today's EEL:

'Residents had the opportunity to raise their concerns about ASB....when Mayor Lutfur Rahman put on a community road show with his Deputy, and Cllr Gulam Robbani'. Gulam Robbani, remember, is the controversially elected councillor for Spitalfields and Banglatown. 

Music Hall, aka Town Hall - have times changed that much after all? Perhaps the difference is that we once laughed with the clowns, not at them.

Monarchy or Republic? The Proposition is Premature

Posted on | Friday, 1 June 2012 | No Comments

On Tuesday 29 May 2012, I attended a debate at the Bishopsgate Institute entitled, 'Monarchy or Republic?’ The Panel of speakers were:

Supporting Monarchy
Jacques Arnold (former MP and member of Council of the Constitutional Monarchy Assoc)
Peter Conradi (journalist and author)

Supporting a Republic
Graham Smith (Republic’s CEO)
Joan Smith (columnist and author)

Before the debate commenced the audience were asked to vote on the proposition, 'should we end the Monarchy'.  4 voted 'no', 3 'undecided', and the remainder (around 60) voted 'yes'. The effect of this overwhelming support for the Republican argument resulted in raucous shouts of outrage whenever the Monarchists spoke and rounds of applause extolling almost every Republican viewpoint, regardless of the banality of many comments.

However, it soon became apparent to me that the whole argument of Monarchy v Republic is a side issue to whether we want to be administered within a true democratic system or a sham one.  I’ve blogged many times on concerns over our democracy here, here and here.  

I was one of the 3 abstainers by the way, but by the end of the evening, was left deeply concerned that so many in the audience blindly supported pro Republican arguments that were clearly flawed, or at the very least, were open to more critical debate. Here is an extract from the first speaker, Joan Smith which basically summed up the level of debate:

She commenced by proclaiming that she loves voting and elections, emphasising the value of our democratic process.  Her naïve faith in what I consider to be an outdated and dysfunctional process undermined her credibility from the outset.

Next she ploughed into the quagmire of the Sovereign’s wealth, tax concessions and restricted Freedom of Information (FoI) access. Well, excuse me for mentioning this but our Government gives away unmandated sums far larger than the Sovereign's collective wealth to failed banks and in Foreign Aid. I’ve only to mention Dave Hartnett to send shivers down the spine of HMRC when they reflect on their reluctance to claw back tax owed by major corporations. As for FoI (aka transparency), hello Mr Lansley can we have that NHS Risk Report please?

Already disillusioned by the banality of the lead speaker’s arguments, Ms Smith then announced, ‘the Queen was never interviewed for the job!’  Words almost fail me on this revelation by the obviously popular columnist and author, who incidentally complained that the Queen ignored her after the prickly journalist greeted HRH (at the Palace no less) with a simple ‘hello’. One suspects she’s carried the grudge ever since. Does Ms Smith believe for example that Lutfur Rahman, Tower Hamlets ‘elected’ Mayor (elected incidentally by just 13% of the electorate) was interviewed before he took office controlling a £1billion+ annual budget and wielding almost despotic power? Or that any politician for that matter is interviewed other than by their own party electoral committees that are by definition not representative of the total electorate?

The remaining speakers swayed me to believe there is no substantive case for a Republic and I was getting an uncomfortable feeling that an angry petite bourgeoisie jealousy was bubbling to the surface through their flimsy arguments. Did this Republican cause consider that society ought to be respecting them rather than the untouchable Monarch – seen as a barrier to their own oligarchy’s upward mobility? One dreads to consider the prospect of a Joan Smith Lord Protector.

The final pitiful comment by Ms Smith was to decry the national campaign for the country to be bedecked in ‘red, white and blue’ to mark the Jubilee celebrations. But then perhaps that’s in line with a Cromwellian Puritanism that would denounce any form of revelry, or festivity.  Personally I’ll be flying the flag and hanging bunting - out of national pride; the celebrations are an opportunity for the nation to unite – young and old, poor and rich, black and white. One flag, one people. For the time being at least, God Save the Queen.

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