When the Mail titles get an election result they don’t like, there is inevitably a slew of articles claiming foul play. So it was when Theresa May lost her majority in 2017, it did not take long for the Daily Mail to tell the world about its “PROBE INTO STUDENTS WHO ‘CAST TWO VOTES FOR CORBYN’”. Except they had to put it in quote marks, because they had no evidence. Now the Mail on Sunday is doing something similar.
After Labour held on to Peterborough last week, actually increasing the party’s majority, there had to be postal vote fiddle claims. It’s always postal vote nod-and-wink, unless it’s the 2016 EU Referendum, where postal voting was strongly in favour of Leave - had it been only down to votes cast on the day, Remain would have won.
So it was that the MoS told readers “Labour's by-election victory is marred by claims that a convicted vote rigger was at the centre of campaign after he was pictured with Corbyn and new MP at centre of anti-Semitism storm”. That’s the paper whose daily stablemate launched a vicious anti-Semitic smear of Ed Miliband’s late father. But hey ho.
So what’s the beef? “Labour’s narrow victory in the Peterborough by-election was marred last night by claims that a convicted vote rigger was at the centre of their campaign … Ex-local Labour branch secretary Tariq Mahmood received a 15-month prison sentence in 2008 for his part in a scheme to fabricate votes for a Peterborough council election”. Sadly, this election was not a local one, and it did not take place in 2008. But do go on.
“But local Tories claimed Mahmood … was ‘front and centre’ of Labour’s bid to mobilise the Muslim vote … He was also photographed with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn last month, as well as being pictured with eventual by-election winner Lisa Forbes”. Being photographed with Jezza is now punishable with, er, oh, who cares?
What’s the source of this dubious claim? “Last night, Wayne Fitzgerald, deputy leader of the Conservative-run Peterborough council, said: ‘Tariq Mahmood is a villain and he was front and centre of the Labour campaign within the Muslim community … We receive repeated reports of postal fraud and personation within the largely urban central parts of the city where the Labour vote is strongest.’” So what’s he doing about it?
Well, “Last year, Mahmood, who runs a letting agency, was accused of racism for calling Home Secretary Sajid Javid a ‘coconut’ on Facebook, a racial slur aimed at those deemed to have betrayed their heritage”. What the merry fuck does that have to do with it?
Any more smears? Sure thing. “Labour were forced into the by-election after a recall petition ousted sitting MP Fiona Onasanya who had been convicted of lying to the police about speeding”. That’s got fuck all to do with it, either.
If Wayne Fitzgerald, or the Mail on Sunday, really had one scrap of evidence that there had been electoral malpractice, they would already have gone to the Police. They haven’t, because they haven’t got any. It’s the Daily Mail 2017 smear reheated.
Sometimes the press can’t con the voters. That is not the Labour Party’s fault.
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So how come the far larger percentage turn out of postal voters than people actually visiting polling stations favoured Labour and were not distributed to other parties in the same manner as the vote on the day? Postal votes should be thoroughly checked, especially if they tend to emanate from one particular part of town or from one section of the community.
Labour call this mobilising the muslim vote, but some would say this is harvesting votes with some, usually female voters having no say in who they for! It may not be illegal but it is immoral and elections should be decided by people who care enough to get off their backsides and vote.
Mahmood should not have been allowed anywhere near the Labour campaign and the party should have no place for him.
I really like and appreciate your post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.
Anonymous - Do you mean disabled and sick people shouldn't be allowed to vote?
No! In the good old days disabled people were given lifts to polling stations. I think they'd appreciate being able to get out to vote!
Really, you decide that a sick person appreciates getting dragged out of bed and to the polling station? They put you in charge?
How about those who have holidays booked or work commitments so they can't make it on that day? You also deem fit to disqualify them?
Oddly enough since hubby and I work in jobs where we both are often away at a moment's notice, we use postal votes a lot as we still want to exercise our right to vote, while doing our jobs and earning money and paying tax from that, not everybody has the leisure to go to the polling station, but how nice of you to want to take it away from us, have you ever looked up democracy?
As for the "good old days" - feel free to go back to horse drawn carts and being treated with blood letting and beads and rattles, some of us are able to move with the times, you might want to try it.
@anon. The turnout for postal votes was higher than the turn out for in-person votes as a percentage. It was not higher in absolute numbers.
The reason for that is very simple... people have made the effort to apply for a postal vote, it gets delivered, they have multiple days that they can then use to fill it in and send it back. No rush to get there on the day, which assumes that they are in the area and not working long enough to get to the station and back. Postal votes are easy and leisurely.
Even noting the fact that people have taken time to register for a postal vote, only 69% actually bothered to use it which I found odd... but it turns out you can apply for a "standing order" postal vote that just arrives whenever there is a vote, who knew! I had assumed you had to apply each time. I mean, its like a no-brainer, arrives in the post, fill it in, and post it back the next time you're down the shops, what could be easier. Nothing sinister, except for people with massive racist dog whistles.
The party I voted for all my life not only defend postal vote rigging in Tower Hamlets but now doing it themselves ? Its a lie, is it ? And give no contrary proof ? Just your opinion ? They go from way behind in the polls to increasing their majority ? I stopped voting Labour in 2010 and while I'll never vote Labour, Brexit will have to do until a NON politically correct non-heterophobic non-misadnrist party comes along
Get rid of the "sociology student" anti-British-working-class, self-serving scum before you become a NON party, Labour
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