Yes AV, No2Press Freedom

Guido understands that newspaper editors are getting grumpy letters this afternoon from lovely lawyers Lewis Silken acting on behalf of the Yes camp. Previous clients include that well known seeker of truth Nat Rothschild. Desperation has crept into the Yes team as they seem to have realised quite how bad the ERS funding controversy is for them.

All very new politics.

Chancellor Says Yes Campaign "Stinks"

Theoretically Hague is meant to be leading the No2AV charge for the Tories, yet he has been virtually invisible so far due to Libya et al. Instead Osborne has given the Yes campaign two barrels in not one, but two, identical interviews this morning. He told the Mail:

“The ERS, which is actually running some of the referendum ballots, and is being paid to do that by the taxpayer, stands to benefit if AV comes in… that organisation, the Electoral Reform Society – part of it is a company that makes money – is funding the Yes campaign. That stinks frankly and is exactly the sort of dodgy, behind the scenes shenanigans that people don’t like about politics.”

He told the Sun it was “dodgy” and they have a new poll that shows the more people know about AV the less they like it. When asked the referendum question 44% said No – with 37% backing Yes. But this grows to 45% and 33% once the system is explained. The bookies prices reflect this with with the latest odds for Yes at 44% (+6%) versus no 60% (-1%). It seems Yes’s attempt to become the anti-politics vote is falling flat.

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.

Alan B'stard Says "Yes to AV"

And The Winner Is….?

Say what you like about First Past The Post, but you know who the winner is without the need for 8 recounts or electronic voting machines. Complexity is the key feature of AV, STV and PR…

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].

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.

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…

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

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…

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…

No 2 Nick

It was heavily recommended last week that the No2AV campaign take the fight to Nick Clegg.

That should do the trick…

AV: What Would Jesus Do?

The looney left and the church don’t often go hand in hand, so imagine Guido’s surprise as Yes to AV declared this afternoon that they are walking in the path of the righteous man. In what is becoming an increasingly surreal campaign from the well funded LibDem front, ten Church of England Bishops have been lined up as a big-hitting endorsement:

“Voting systems are not value free. I am supporting a change on the grounds of justice and accountability. AV will increase the likelihood that the general preference of a majority rather than a plurality will shape the choice of MPs, and so Parliament.”

Although liking a two-thirds majority, the Papal conclave still uses first past the post in a dead-lock so Guido won’t be taking much notice of the new church’s view.

UPDATE: The No Campaign point out that one of the Bishops is the vice-president of the Electoral Reform Society, one of the Yes campaign’s biggest donors.

UPDATE II: Jonathan Bartley, the Yes spinner is also a religious fundamentalist. The Jihad has begun…

No2AV Winning Website War

Promising stuff from the No2AV campaign as their website goes live today, plenty more to come too apparently:

The Yes camp were quick to start whining of “dirty tricks” over the use of the colour purple, which is apparently theirs. Guido wasn’t aware colours were copyrighted, and if they are then it’s UKIP who should be moaning. If that is going to be the level of attack, then the referendum is going to be even more boring than Guido imagined…



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Exclusive: New Government Appointments in Full Exclusive: New Government Appointments in Full
Corbyn Deletes Another Wrong Tweet Corbyn Deletes Another Wrong Tweet
Everything is Awesome for Manufacturing Everything is Awesome for Manufacturing
HMT Predictions Way Off HMT Predictions Way Off
#DespiteBrexit: A Classic of the Genre #DespiteBrexit: A Classic of the Genre
Hat-Trick of Brexit Good News Hat-Trick of Brexit Good News
Guido’s Student Debt Story on Standard Front Page Guido’s Student Debt Story on Standard Front Page
Watch: Shadow Minister Makes Student Debt Promise Watch: Shadow Minister Makes Student Debt Promise
IPSO Throws Out Baroness Scotland Complaints IPSO Throws Out Baroness Scotland Complaints
100% Inheritance Tax: Stupid or Evil? 100% Inheritance Tax: Stupid or Evil?
Paul Mason’s Play in 60 Seconds Paul Mason’s Play in 60 Seconds
Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
City Confident as Hiring Rates Rocket City Confident as Hiring Rates Rocket
Watch: Best Maiden Speech of 2017 Intake Watch: Best Maiden Speech of 2017 Intake
Child Protection Investigation ‘Stalled to Help Labour’ Child Protection Investigation ‘Stalled to Help Labour’
Davis Accepts Donations from Top Blairite and TV Remainer Davis Accepts Donations from Top Blairite and TV Remainer
BBC #NotOnTheList Stars Paid Via Production Companies BBC #NotOnTheList Stars Paid Via Production Companies
Pants-Wearing Councillor Boasted He Had “Vaz in My Right Pocket” Pants-Wearing Councillor Boasted He Had “Vaz in My Right Pocket”
Champion: ‘Not Possible’ to Keep Student Debt Promise Champion: ‘Not Possible’ to Keep Student Debt Promise
BBC Rich List Revealed: Salaries In Full BBC Rich List Revealed: Salaries In Full