Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yes To Vaguer Votes

The Yes campaign broadcast that is going out tonight consists of slightly odd-looking LibDem types annoyingly screaming through megaphones into people’s faces. It pretty much sums up their entire campaigning style.

It’s notable that they don’t even try to explain how their complex system works or how it would make centrist MPs, like the LibDems, work any harder. They are the ones that will benefit with  AV as they are naturally the second preference choice of most Labour and Tory voters. But they’re hardly going to cough that this late in the game.

The Indy have regurgitated a Yes press release this morning “revealing” that the No team has a fair sprinkling of Tories among its staff, yet fail to note the senior Labour players. It’s hardly a surprise that the Tories are on board given which way the parties are split on the issue and it’s not as if they tried to hide them. Campaign chairman Matthew Elliot and Finance Director Charlotte Vere even popped up in their broadcast last night:

The Yes campaign is a LibDem front, funded by LibDem donors and reliant on LibDem supporters. Pushing Labour’s Jessica Asato out as fig leaf is never going to disguise that.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Alan B’stard Says “Yes to AV”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

And The Winner Is….?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Under Alternative Vote the BNP’s Voters Could Swing 35 Seats

Research out today from the No to AV campaign suggests that in the region of 35 constituencies could have their outcomes determined by the second preferences of BNP voters. This is the unwelcome empowerment that the AV system brings to democracy.

There is nothing new about the idea of an Alternative Voting system. When the idea was last mooted in 1931, Winston Churchill spoke up against it precisely because “the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates.” Churchill said AV “adds new features of caprice and uncertainty to the conduct of each individual election… Imagine making the representation of great constituencies dependent on the second preferences of the hindmost candidates. The hindmost candidate would become a personage of considerable importance, and the old phrase, ‘Devil take the hindmost’ will acquire a new significance.” As with so many things, Winston saw the danger to democracy clearly.

Source: NO2AV research summary here [PDF].

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AV Too Much for BBC

The BBC’s two hour attempt to sell AV to the listeners of Radio 5 backfired spectacularly. Not only did Labour win with the Greens in second, something which is sure to go down with their core audience of cabbies and truckers, but it also went out of its way to prove the complexity of the system. And to top it all off, it didn’t work.

Because some people refused to put anything other than a first preference. Something that will happen in reality, the winning candidate could not get over 50% of the vote, rendering the whole basis for the change useless. The election would have been void. Guido can’t imagines the pious and godly Yes campaign staff being the sweary type, but they must have come pretty bloody close when Victoria Derbyshire read out the flawed result.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kinnock Supports “Yes to AV”
Pockets £103,000 in Fees from Electronic Voting Lobbyists

Neil Kinnock was leader of the Labour Party during the heyday of the SDP-Liberal Alliance. During that period if he had offered the olive branch of electoral reform to the third party he could well have become prime minister. He didn’t out of principle, because in those days he wanted a left-wing Labour government. So what has converted him to the complex cause of electoral reform? Guy News investigates:

£103,000 in director’s fees so far and 30,000 shares in the company poised to make millions in profits from the introduction of electronic voting… what was it exactly that first attracted Lord Kinnock to the cause of the alternative vote system?

Kinnock is a non-executive director of DRS Limited which works closely with ERS Limited, most recently on the multi-million pound deal that unsuccessfully introduced electronic voting systems in Scotland.  The multi-million pound business which is ERS Limited funnels money into the not-for-profit ERS which has so far given over a £1 million to the “Yes to AV” campaign. Guido doesn’t think it too cynical to ask why a private profiteering corporation would throw a million quid at a political campaign unless there was something in it for their shareholders. Kinnock isn’t doing it for nothing either, so far he has only pocketed £103,000 in director’s fees from the electronic voting systems profiteers. The fact is, if we get AV, Kinnock’s shares in DRS Limited will rocket up in value…

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AV Drives a Wedge Through Miliband’s Troops

As Miliband steps up to give his first proper speech on why he apparently loves AV, two hundred of his MPs and Peers, including some in his Shadow Cabinet, are thumbing their nose at him. As the Labour Yes and No campaigns launch, a huge divide is opening up right down the middle of the Labour Party. John Healey, Shadow Health Secretary, is leading the charge in this morning’s Indy:

“The reason the number of Labour MPs in favour of a “No” vote runs into three figures is because we haven’t been persuaded that AV is an upgrade to the voting system.”

He goes on to reject the “perverse” fact that BNP voters will have more influence.

Elsewhere “Operation Black Vote” are coming in for heavy criticism for allowing their logo to be used by the Yes campaign. Labour councillor Terence Paul slams them: “Surely we have moved on from assuming that Britain’s ethnic communities thinks and moves with only one voice.” He says the BNP activists see AV as a stepping stone to PR.

He goes on to challenge OBV to a debate on the issues. However given the levels the Yes campaign have gone to recently to avoid having to debate their case when challenged, Guido isn’t holding his breath….

UPDATE: Crowds gather on College Green for the launch of Labour No:

Labour No Launch

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Clegg Fails to Recall His Manifesto

Nick Clegg has just said during DPMQs that the power to recall MPs isn’t going to be granted anytime soon. He said he didn’t want to aid “vexatious and unjustified” complaints and was very vague about when such a procedure will be put in place, or how it will work.  Quite a blow for the Yes to AV headbangers and their attempts to steal the anti-politics message.

They say voting reform – in connection with other reforms – would make MPs more accountable, responsive and harder working. Yet their standard bearer Clegg has knifed them in the back by stopping the only real measure to allow recourse against MPs between elections. Not only that, but recall powers were promised in both the governing parties’ manifestos…

Monday, February 28, 2011

13 Counts in Kilkenny

The Irish have been counting the results of their general election on… Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and still today, Kilkenny has gone to a thirteenth count. Imagine if last year’s general election had taken days to count, n0t to mention negotiate a coalition at the same time. The markets wouldn’t have taken kindly to that…

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No 2 Nick


Seen Elsewhere

Tory MP Tells Leftie Jon Snow to Retire | Guardian
Russell Brand’s New Book “Sub-Undergraduate Dross” | Telegraph
Tory MP Barrister Represents Monaco Billionaire | Scrapbook
MOBO Singers Slam UKIP | ITV
Could UKIP Keep Britain in the EU? | Iain Martin
Why Piketty is Wrong | ConHome
Guido Whips Politicians Into Shape | Guardian
Milburn Levelling Down | Kathy Gyngell
Crosby and Carswell Make Friends at Guido’s Dinner | Mail
Mrs Danczuk Beats Mensch to Win Guido | Telegaph
PM Congratulates Blogger Who Destroyed Minister | Mail


VOTER-RECALL
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Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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