Delingpole: To Deliver Brexit Boris Must Scrap the Biased, Incompetent, Remainer Electoral Commission

electoral
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So now we know what Boris Johnson’s most pressing task when he becomes the United Kingdom’s prime minister next Tuesday: destroy the Electoral Commission.

Not only should he disband the failing, corrupt, anti-democratic quango itself, but he must sack all the people who have anything to do with it, and make damn sure they never worm their way into any position of public influence ever again in their miserable, squalid and oh so very un-British lives.

I say “un-British” because you may remember that not so long ago, Great Britain was a nation renowned around the world for its probity: the place that most other countries looked up to as a moral exemplar; a place where everyone was happy to do business because of its impartial legal system, incorruptible politicians and famously thorough, efficient, unbiased administrative state.

Not any more though. The rot set in under the spiv Tony Blair who politicised the Civil Service in an irredeemably leftwards direction, infested the judiciary with his politically correct human rights cronies, and generally corrupted the body politic with parti pris regulatory quangos like the Electoral Commission.

You might guess from the name of the Electoral Commission (founded in 2001) that its purpose has something to do with ensuring that British elections are conducted fairly, legally and without political bias. Well, that may be the theory. But the reality for some time — possibly right since the start — is that the Electoral Commission has, as Arron Banks once put it, been little more than a “Blairite swamp creation” packed full of low-grade Establishment Remoaners who couldn’t make it to the House of Lords.

Traditionally such bodies have two overriding duties: to be competent and to be unbiased. The Electoral Commission — reflecting the moral failings of the various second-raters who’ve been appointed to run it — has failed lamentably on both counts on any number of occasions.

The case it has just lost against Darren Grimes is an all too typical example both of its thoroughgoing uselessness and its vindictive bias.

Grimes was a young volunteer (a fashion student in his early twenties at the time) campaigning for Vote Leave in the Brexit referendum campaign.

Because of a technicality — an incorrectly ticked box on an application form — the Electoral Commission decided that he had made “false declarations of campaign spending” and, in addition to fining him £20,000, reported him to the Metropolitan Police.

Grimes crowdfunded his defence and fought back.

Rather than admit it had overstepped the mark, the Electoral Commission squandered half a million pounds of its taxpayer-funded budget chasing the penniless young working-class researcher through the courts.

Was this a responsible use of taxpayers’ money? Hardly — given that the Electoral Commission comprehensively lost its case.

But even worse than its incompetence in this particular case was its political bias.

Time and again, the Electoral Commission has been caught flagrantly pursuing largely imaginary offences by Brexit campaigners while giving their Remain-voting rivals a free pass.

The reasons for this can be seen at a glance here:

Yes, that’s right. The Electoral Commission, a nominally impartial watchdog, is stuffed with leftists, Remainers, and Remain-voting leftists. Worse than that, though, is the fact that these people are so shameless that they haven’t even pretended to have a stab at attempting to be neutral. They appear to have figured — up until now, it must be said, quite correctly — that no one in government would bother to pull them up on their venality, fecklessness and grotesque bias.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? asks an oft-quoted phrase from the Roman poet Juvenal: “Who will guard the guardians?”

And the answer in this particular case has been: absolutely bloody nobody.

For years, the Electoral Commission has got away with murder, as Nigel Vinson reported here in 2014 for Standpoint:

In 2009, the Commission approved a £2.4 million donation to the Liberal Democrats which was later proved to have come from stolen funds. In July this year, following a complaint from a Conservative MP, the Parliamentary Ombudsman ruled that the Commission was guilty of “maladministration”.

The Ombudsman said the Commission “fell significantly short of what was required” about donations in cash and also flights. “It failed to ask for relevant information without good reason and so failed adequately to discharge its monitoring function,” the Ombudsman continued. Obviously feeling itself to be above and beyond criticism, the Commission has refused to accede to the Ombudsman’s quite reasonable request that it should apologise for its incompetence.

In 2010, it was heavily criticised for the handling of the General Election, including allegations of fraudulent postal voting, a shortage of ballot papers in Liverpool Wavertree (one polling station only had enough ballot papers for 80 per cent of the electorate), and failure to foresee problems at polling stations, which found themselves overrun as the 10pm deadline for votes approached.

For several years, there have been persistent allegations of bribery, intimidation and postal voting fraud connected with Tower Hamlets in east London, all of which have been brought to the attention of the Electoral Commission. The result is a current court case in which residents are seeking to overturn the election of their latest mayor, amid another swathe of allegations of electoral improprieties, including intimidation at polling stations, not to mention the fact that it took officials in Tower Hamlets four days to count the votes. The Commission has been long on written recommendations for improvement but short on action. One prominent local politician described the May elections in Tower Hamlets as having been “the stage for third-world village politics”.

That was five years ago – more than enough time for this grotesque institution to change its ways. And perhaps it might have done but for two things: one, the vaunting arrogance of a left-liberal Deep State so entrenched it knows it doesn’t need to reform itself; two, a Conservative-in-name-only government, first under David Cameron, then under Theresa May, which appears to find conservatism so embarrassing it would never dream of appointing actual conservatives to run any of these arms-length government institutions.

For years, the Electoral Commission has continued to be paid upwards of £25 million per year of public money — while utterly failing to do its job.

One example of this is the postal voting fraud rife now across Britain — thanks largely to corrupt practices imported from the Indian subcontinent.

The Tower Hamlets scandal mentioned above ought to have acted as a warning shot. But the Electoral Commission appears to have been far too busy harassing students for minor bureaucratic infringements to deal with trivia like concerted election fraud.

Police are currently investigating allegations of electoral fraud at the recent Peterborough by-election in which The Brexit Party candidate was narrowly beaten by Labour.

What may have swung that election for Labour were the postal votes — which Labour denies had anything to do with the influence of one Tariq Mahmoud, a Labour activist jailed in 2008 for postal vote interference and who was photographed recently at the Peterborough election.

Again, the Electoral Commission appears to have overlooked this detail — busy as it was instead launching raids on The Brexit Party’s headquarters in search of accounting irregularities. (Needless to say, it found none).

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage commented at the time that Britain’s political establishment was “rotten to the core.”

This latest court case won by Darren Grimes against the Electoral Commission merely confirms it.

Boris Johnson really must suppress his natural instinct to pussyfoot about with this problem when he becomes Prime Minister. Sure there will be siren voices within the Civil Service urging him not to rock the boat, persuading him that all that is needed are a few cosmetic adjustments.

Really?

In the case of the Electoral Commission, we are talking about an “independent” regulatory body which for years — despite frequent criticisms — has been flagrantly biased in favour of Remain against Leave, and which has allowed Muslim-dominated constituencies to act as though Britain were a Third World nepotism-driven kleptocracy.

Sure, on the latter front it may be embarrassing, “Islamophobic” even to point out how that’s not how we do things here. But it isn’t how we do things here and it shouldn’t be how we do things here and it’s a crying disgrace that we’ve allowed it to happen here for so long.

That fact that it has happened here and continues to happen here is almost entirely the fault of the Electoral Commission.

There’s a general election coming up shortly and if Boris is to deliver Brexit, every seat will count.

We cannot have a state of affairs where seats like Peterborough – which should almost certainly by rights be in the hands of the Brexit Party — go to Labour (and therefore Remain) not because that is what the majority of voters voted for but simply because a corrupt, incompetent, Labour- and Remain-biased quango is incapable of doing its job.

Dealing with the Electoral Commission is a more urgent priority even than delivering Brexit.

That’s because, if the Electoral Commission isn’t sorted out — and very soon — Boris may not even attain  the parliamentary majority he needs to deliver Brexit.

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