Ministry of Justice Blocks My Electoral Address: BBC Changes The Rules: UCU Bars Me From Candidates’ Debate 128


With grateful thanks to famous human rights lawyers Birnberg Peirce, (who advised I had a complete legal right) the Royal Mail have now at the last possible second relented and accepted that I can send out a DVD as an Electoral Communication. So we are going full blast to get it out!!

This has so far been a rollocking campaign of small victories, all achieved because of the friends I have made in my civil rights work over the years. I am both buoyed and humbled.

Every candidate in a parliamentary election has the right to have one “election communication” delivered free of charge by the Post Office.

These are normally rather dull leaflets, so I decided to put my election address on a DVD. It’s rather picturesque and entitled “A Norfolk Journey”. 80,000 copies are being made.

The Post Office is so far refusing to deliver it. The “election communication” must meet the Post Office’s “Reasonable Terms And Conditions” for such communications. These are published. The main ones are that it:

Must weigh less than 60gm – mine is less than 40gm

Must be less than 5mm thick – mine is 2mm thick

Must meet length and width criteria – mine is well inside

Must be securely folded or in a sealed envelope – mine is the latter

Must marked “electoral communication” amd carry printed and published info – mine does

Must be sorted by postcode and address – mine is.

Extraordinarily, the Post Office must also vet the content for libel, incitement to violence or incitement to racial hatred. That is a strange bit of censorship – they don’t check the content of normal mail theydeliver – but my DVD passes that test too.

There is nothing in the criteria at all that says the communication must be in the 14th century medium of printed ink on paper. The regulations are silent on the medium of communication. If you took a DVD in an envelope to any Post Office, you would have no difficulty posting it as a letter.

Yet the Post Office refuses to give permission for the delivery, apparently on the grounds that nobody has ever sent a DVD before as their election communication. They have not actually refused, but have delayed beyond the stage where it is logistically possible to get it out.

They are acting, they say, on legal advice from the Ministry of Justice – prop. Jack Straw! The man who brought you the dodgy dossier on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction.

At the moment, it looks like the voters of Norwich North will be denied my electoral address before they vote – unless we can get a real flood of volunteers in to deliver them ourselves.

Even more sleazy is the BBC’s response to the many complaints about their decision to exclude me from all election coverage. They have started to send out standard replies saying:

one of the key factors they look for is “evidence of past and/or current electoral support” in that electoral area.

Note the BBC’s own quotation marks within that quote. They have tacked on “In that area” to their formal criterion.

When the BBC banned me from all coverage at the last General Election when I stood in Blackburn against Jack Straw, who is blocking my electoral address now, the BBC explained it was because I had no “evidence of past and/or current electoral support”.

I gained 5% in that election – which is a lot better than the 3% the Greens got in the same election in Norwich North. That 5% may have been modest, but it does meet the BBC’s criterion. So the BBC have now moved the goalposts to exclude me, by adding a brand new stipulation “in that area” to their criterion, so the electoral support in Blackburn does not count – despite the fact I might reasonably expect to do a lot better in my own county.

Finally, despite numerous representations from within their own union, the Universities and Colleges Union have still banned me from this evenings candidates’ education debate, despite the fact that I am the Rector of a Univeristy and a great deal more interesting on the subject than the rest of the candidates put together.

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128 thoughts on “Ministry of Justice Blocks My Electoral Address: BBC Changes The Rules: UCU Bars Me From Candidates’ Debate

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  • steve

    Where was it you are electioneering? It must be either in Iran or Zimbabwe judging by the corrupt political interference. Good to think this could never happen in Great Britain 🙁

  • dreoilin

    “Craig MUST have the opposition worried,they wouldn’t be coming on here and saying what they are if it were not so.” –George

    So we’ll be happy to see more of them. 🙂

  • eddie

    Dreolin – abuse? – you called me a troll, no arguments just abuse. I am happy to engage in debate but no one seems willing. Don’t worry I’m used to it. You and your friends can’t seem to argue, you just abuse people. 1) DVD is a silly idea, most people will glance at a leaflet but perhaps 1 in 10 will bother to load a dvd and watch it, quite apart from the environmental waste. 2) Craig is flyposting? That is illegal – hardly a good start for a wannabe MP is it? 3) He has no credibility as a local candidate and is not going to come in the top three. He is already setting out the reasons why he won’t win – and I have said before it all chimes with general paranaoia about dark forces and state conspiracies, as if the state gives a toss about him. Stop wasting your time and money and do something useful – go and visit an old lady in your neighbourhood or go out litter picking – it would have more impact than supporting Craig’s doomed election effort.

  • Someone

    This is THE KEY isn’t it ….

    Angie: ‘LISTEN I suggest for you to go to Anglia Square (dilapidated but popular shopping precinct) and TALK to PEOPLE on the street (not just invited audiences). Ask them how they feel.’

    What do people need? First thing – and this is nearly the most important item – they need listening to. They need to be heard / we need to be heard.

    I mostly related to the 1997 general election through reading Teletext messages on the television, maximum of 50 words, sent in by viewers. Many teletext messages were saying variations on: ‘I will vote for the person I least dislike… no-one is expressing anything which means much to me’. This was the most common message in 1997.

    In the 2001 general election, no messages of the above nature appeared on Teletext. Either those millions of people had given up expressing completely, or more likely, there was a new type of editing happening with Teletext opinions on the election.


    A politician doesn’t need to say they will solve everything. Just listen, and learn. When we really hear people, what they say changes us. That’s all that’s asked: “Please listen to me. Hear my voice.”


    You’ll notice Angie started by saying: ‘LISTEN’ !

    Isn’t this what Politics is meant to be about … representing the people?

    And what if you agreed with them, and considered some or all of what people need is possible. Then, if you stood for those things, you, and ‘the people’ stand a chance of both being happy.

  • Someone

    You are largely standing on an ‘Anti’ platform, aren’t you Craig. I think most people are fairly sure of what they don’t like, so just pointing the finger at sleaze and dishonesty isn’t a great heart-grabber. Better to ask people what they WANT, and then stand for those things. That’s representation isn’t it. Maybe you’ll find out you need and want the same things.

  • Bella

    Eddie would it upset you more if an MP voted to drop bombs on a nation or engaged in a bit of flyposting? (well, hanging boards on lamp-posts which is not exactly the same as flyposting)

    Craig is only ‘flyposting’ in the face of organisations like the BBC denying him a platform. The main parties are being given unfair advantages – as usual – and the public is being denied information about Craig’s candidacy. So he has to do things that other candidates are not forced to do.

    I must say though, it is quite flattering that Craig has so many haters/trolls on here. Good to see he is rattling cages!!!!

  • SJB

    Someone: “Better to ask people what they WANT, and then stand for those things. That’s representation isn’t it.”

    “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” – Edmund Burke

  • eddie

    Bella, it’s a question that is meaningless and any answer would obviously depend upon the circumstance. I don’t hate Craig – I have a certain amount of respect for him, but I am puzzled as to why his site attracts so many strange bodies. Perhaps that is the zeitgeist of the internet these days.

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