Regular readers will remember Katie “Ghastly” Ghose, who spent her whole time as chairman of the Yes to AV campaign trashing the ‘old political parties’. You would have thought that the woman who turned a 27-point lead for AV into a 36-point victory for the No campaign might have moved on to pastures new, but no, she’s back. And she’s in the running to be a Labour MP…
Labour shortlists for Brighton Kemptown, Katie Ghose and Nancy Platts are the two candidates vying for selection
— Labour South East (@SELabour) May 28, 2013
Her controversial company Electoral Reform Services Ltd won’t be counting the votes this time, but Guido takes some pleasure in knowing that as it’s a shortlist of two, her fate will be decided by First Past the Post. No doubt Ghastly Ghose will gain plenty of support from those Labour MPs who refused to deliver her Yes2AV leaflets that branded them lazy. Best of luck Katie…
John Denham, Labour’s anti-Business Secretary, told an electoral reform fringe meeting yesterday that the:
“Lib Dems were totally kippered in Yes campaign by thinking ‘We mustn’t do anything to upset the Tories…'”
N02AV veterans have barely been able to keep a straight face at this one, especially given that Chris Huhne was sitting on the very same panel. What was it about Huhne calling other members of the Cabinet Nazis that suggested he was reining in his behaviour?
Whisper it quietly, but is the AV referendum campaign finally gearing up? Osborne and Danny Alexander have scraped in the papers, which must have made for an interesting morning meeting in the Treasury today. The Indy seem to be the only one who thinks Yes calling in lawyers looks good. Meanwhile sports stars have lined up to scratch their heads and say “huh?” for the No campaign, pushing the powerful “winner-may-not-win” line. And in typical style the New Statesman says AV is crap, but wants people to not think and just vote for it anyway stop the evil Tories. Glad they have the best interests of country rather than party at heart. Not much of a shift in the polls and No still well ahead with the bookies this morning.
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…
Every weirdy-beardy electoral reform purist hated the thought of the “miserable compromise” of AV before they got a whiff of a referendum. Not all of them have sold out it though.
In a day of letters, perhaps the most interesting is the David Owen’s to the Guardian:
“In the light of that conclusion, based on the fundamental need for stability in constitutional reform, we will reluctantly vote no to the alternative vote, while continuing to campaign for the principles behind proportional representation under the slogan “No to AV, Yes to PR”.”
Could very well upset the Yes apple cart if this is played right.
Get ready for much more of this after the budget, but this morning twenty-five historians have written to the Times to reject AV as discredited and a historically dead voting system that Britain shouldn’t embrace. Over at the Telegraph a B-list group of eleven business types argue that we must jump on the bandwagon.
A head-to-head on the Today program had the business side, in all seriousness, try the line that because we are the only country in Europe that uses first past the post we should immediately jump on the first offer of change. With the foresight of history, it was an open goal for no voice to remind the audience it was business voices clambering for the UK to join the Euro…
UPDATE: The latest betting prices are here.