Saintly Dominic Grieve has forced himself back into SW1’s consciousness this morning, with a typically level-headed and measured op-ed in The Times. He screeches that “Voter ID will be a nail in the coffin for democracy and MPs’ integrity”, going on to slam the proposals for having an “unfair impact on marginalised groups”:
“… without there being any real evidence that this has led to significant electoral offences through the personation of another voter.
Every vote matters, yet these new rules threaten to create a two tier electorate and discourage participation by the least advantaged.”
Grieve’s opening gambit is to accuse the government of “rewriting the rules to suit themselves” – something he had no issue with when trampling over centuries of parliamentary precedent to try and cancel Brexit…
Grieve’s grievances appear, however, to represent a major u-turn from the supposedly-principled MP. In 2001 the Labour government introduced voter ID to Northern Ireland, requiring photo identification from 2003’s elections onwards – something the government’s been keen to point to in selling the current elections bill. Not only did Grieve back the introduction of voter ID at the time – he called on the government to consider expanding the scheme to Great Britain:
“I believe that there is ample evidence that the degree of personation and fraud in elections on the mainland of Great Britain is a growing problem. I suspect that the House will have to tackle that problem in the near future… the Opposition welcome the measure and will not seek to divide the House. We appreciate what the Government are doing, and they have our support“
It seems Grieve’s only principle is that of remaining bitter towards his former party in the most prima donna way possible…