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.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

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

1 2 3 4 5
  • Jaded

    Good job on the dvd’s. What nonsesne the Post Office spoke. They made a particular ruling about dvd’s after an Ebay seller made a complaint a few years back. The ruling was ‘If it fits through the letter hole it goes, even if it isn’t a letter’. Thin cardboard would also be fine. Your site was indeed down for most of last night and this morning, as others have previously mentioned.

    P.S. I liked the cartoon linked to Worzel the council tax thief Mary.

  • Jon

    Very pleased to hear that the DVDs can now start going out!

    Meanwhile if someone has the DVD and is not part of the busy campaign team, please digitise it in low-res, stick it on a video sharing site, and send the link here. Thanks!

  • Ed Davies

    James D: “…distributing video content in this way may mean the electoral address falls under the remit of other legislation because it is in effect a broadcast.”

    Sorry, but no. Just because video can be broadcast (or even because for a long time receiving broadcasts was the main way people got hold of video material) it doesn’t follow that any video file is somehow a broadcast. You don’t need a TV licence to access YouTube.

  • tony_opmoc

    James D,

    Your reply is almost certainly bullshit. A Google search reveals from the Royal Mail itself

    “Direct mail DVD rental firm LOVEFiLM International has experienced massive growth in a short space of time, aided by a close partnership with Royal Mail, and use of its reliable First Class and Second Class services. As a result, LOVEFiLM has become the poster child of the post-dotcom generation, winning numerous industry awards.”

    Are you trying to make out that the Royal Mail vets every LOVEFiLM DVD – before it gets sent out? The idea that the Royal Mail could be sued for distributing such content is ludicrous.

    In my view Craig Murray is right to feel paranoid, because there is overwhelming multiple evidence of the bastards trying to silence him.

    Personally I think everything that is happenning to him is tremendously newsworthy on an International scale. There must be a good chance that some Independent Journalist will pick this up and by whatever means get it out to the electors of Norwich, so that the attempted Censorship of him Backfires on the Stalinist Authorities in a Spectatacular Way.

    Even in the Music and Games publishing industries, attempts to ban material often turned out to result in Blockbuster sales. If something is banned, people naturally want to see and hear what all the fuss is about.

    Abe Rene’s idea of soap box distribution, and also attempted entry to meetings you have been banned from should result in compelling imagery. If you haven’t got a hoard of professional camera crews and journalists following you around, then what exactly are they doing to earn a living?

    Surely ALL their potential outlets can’t have banned you?

    Your website seems to be innaccessible most of the time. Are the security services doing Denial of Service Attacks, or it it that your ISP is crap? A competent ISP would quickly be able to block most DOS attacks.


  • mary

    Does James D work in the Cabinet Office or even Conservative HQ or possibly in the so called Ministry of Justice for the Man of Straw?

  • MJ

    James D:

    I’m afraid you’re just going to have to accept the fact that the Post Office has now relented and Craig’s DVD will be delivered. Sorry.

  • Rob Speare

    Craig, what about those people who haven’t got a DVD player, like older people or poorer people?

    Or is your campaign just for Guardian-reading snobs?

  • KevinB

    Rob Speare,

    So only “Guardian-reading snobs” are likely to own a DVD player???

    For God’s sake if you are trying to slyly undermine Craig’s candidacy please do so intelligently.

  • James D

    MJ – I wasn’t defending their decision, merely explaining it. They will no doubt be aware of the implications of the decision.

    Ed Davies: “You don’t need a TV licence to access YouTube.” No you don’t. that’s not the point. But YouTube’s status as a broadcaster is the subject of persistent legal enquiry by copyright holders, and is seen as a threat by traditional broadcasters. They are a very good example to support the points I was making.

    Tony_Opmoc: you didn’t read my response properly . I made the point that there is a difference being agent for someone else and being the direct method of delivery. Can you imagine what Lovefilm would think if the Royal Mail started using its monopoly to offer its own DVD rental service?

    That’s why Royal Mail needs to tread a careful line – celebrating lucrative commercial contracts or competing with its own customers.

    Read what I wrote again – I happen to think Royal Mail’s initial decision was wrong, but I can understand it given to current circumstances it finds itself in, and the wider debate about the future of broadcasting in the UK.

    Why do you assume that because I can see someone else’s point of view, even though I disagree with it, that I’m a government stooge? Pathetic.

  • James D

    tony_opmoc: “Are you trying to make out that the Royal Mail vets every LOVEFiLM DVD – before it gets sent out? The idea that the Royal Mail could be sued for distributing such content is ludicrous.”

    If you took the trouble to read what I wrote you’d see that I made a clear distinction between Royal Mail acting as deliverers of requested mail (doesn’t require looking at) and unsolicited mail (does require looking at) because as the BNP case in the European elections showed, the law on distributing information that could be viewed as libellous or inciteful is shaky. If Lovefilm sent you a DVD with racist material on it, Royal Mail would not be liable. If the BNP sent you a DVD with racist material on it as part of their free election communication, Royal Mail *may* be liable. I suspect if it came to court they wouldn’t be held liable, depending on the judge, but you can’t blame them for their initial decision given the time limits.

    Please read before you criticise. It’s the mark of a rational mind.

  • dreoilin

    “Your website seems to be innaccessible most of the time.”

    Yep, it’s been happening all day today, as well as yesterday. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence. I’ve never had such regular problems with one site, other than [e.g.] when goes off for maintenance for a couple of hours. In which case you’re redirected to a page saying as much, and giving the timing.

    (I have my 3 browsers set to clear their caches when I shut down.)

  • eddie


    You are starting to sound like a victim. It’s the beginning of paranoia. And you know where that ends – David Shayler.

  • Dundee Grad

    Sorry Craig, you’re not the Rector *of* a university, you’re the Rector *at* a university.

    The Rectorship at Dundee is largely ceremonial with any real powers proxied to elected student officials in the same way that royal prerogatives are given to the PM (your predecessor was Lorraine Kelly and before you the biggest scandal was the withdrawal of David Hasselhoff from the race in 2001).

    You’re the only person who thinks the position has any authority beyond attending degree ceremonies and being paraded through the city in a shopping cart.

    It is wrong to use your position, such as it is, for personal political gain. You’d fit in well in Westminster.

  • Polo

    The implications of requiring previous electoral support in the current constituency would rule out a candidate whose previous electoral support, however high, was gained outside the constituency.

    No help to Craig in this case, but it should be noted, so that, when the general election comes round and some political hobnob is switching constituencies, the BBC can be forced to ignore that candidate’s previous electoral support.

    I’ll bet they wouldn’t be so quick to enforce their own newly modified rule if the candidate in question happened to be a NuLab Minister or suchlike.

    What a bunch of craven cowards.

  • dreoilin

    “You may be an “honest man” but you see plots everywhere.”

    — James D

    And if you knew one iota of Craig’s history you wouldn’t be remotely surprised. They’ve done everything they can, short of shooting or poisoning him, to shut him up.

  • KevinB

    New voices are lining up to attack you Craig. You must be making a mark up there in sunny Norwich.

  • Freedom

    — TWITTER —

    When the UK students rose up earlier this year on GAZA and other matters, it was reported they used TWITTER for quick exchange of essential information.

    Craig and Co, it may be worth your while having someone full-time on Twitter and Facebook every day.

    At present you have approx 200 Twitter subscribers for your news. My experience has been that if you surf around within Twitter’s membership and subscribe yourself to the accounts of various Twitter users, around 90% of them will subscribe back to you within 48 hours.

    If you keep subscribing to more and more people, the process will continue.

    You could have A LOT of people subscribed to your news before Polling Day.

    On Facebook, you can launch a ‘CAUSE’. Such as: HELP BRING DEMOCRACY TO THE UK. It might spread fast. When people join your cause they are given the option of extending an invitation to all of their friends.

    You have good people here who know the Internet – how about it / what do you think?

    TWITTER – If you decide to put a large effort into Twitter, you probably need to put one news item out every hour for British daylight hours, to keep a momentum going. You can cover associated news – news vital to the type of Britain (and world) we all want; then keep coming back to your own campaign news.

    If you want TWITTER and FACEBOOK to work for you, you probably need one person on each 18 hours every day. If you know some good people who can do it, or share it, they can work from anywhere – they don’t need to be based at your Norwich HQ.

    CRAIG’S TWITTER Account:

    Subscribe NOW – and get your friends to subscribe … NOW.

    Let’s hope you can get your 80,000 DVDs delivered soon.

    People Power.

  • Tom Kennedy

    Almost overlooked, because of the Royal Mail’s scandalous attempts to get out of their obligations, is what a great idea the DVD is.

    It shows that Craig and his team can think outside the box and will be different from the majority of MPs, exactly the point he has been making in his election campaign.

    Hopefully there are more surprises to come, surprises of the pleasant variety that is!

  • James D

    “They’ve done everything they can, short of shooting or poisoning him, to shut him up.”

    Which makes plotting to stop him sending a DVD out even less likely.

  • tony_opmoc

    Tom Kennedy,

    I agree with you. I think its a brilliant idea. And whilst I have no personal experience of Twitter or Facebook and have serious objections to this technology on Privacy grounds, I can completely understand their potential power in a situation like this.

    I should also expand on the fact that for a considerable period Craig Murray’s site has been inaccessible. This is commercial suicide for any ISP. Most ISP’s guarantee very high availability and deliver it. Not only can a competent ISP block DOS attacks very quickly, they can also identify the source of the attacks to a high degree of accuracy. This is something the UK Authorities are very good at policing – and they work together with ISP’s – often informing each other of potential attacks before they have become serious. Even now, most such attacks come from spotty teenagers, but they should realise that a Policeman may come knocking on their door. It’s all about fair play. No one is going to be too bothered about the occasional download – but if you deliberately set out to be malicious, that is another matter entirely.


  • Courtenay Barnett

    Use technology, twitter, the internet, your voice on a public soapbox in the public square ( like in the old days) – use all you have to make your voice heard, and they will be compelled to let you have a fair crack at it….do what you have to ….you have a lot of support….does that make me one more…guess so!

  • Rob Speare

    I see Craig is already building up a number of straw men to burn down in case he gets a humiliating result, which is inevitable at this point.

  • Frazer

    If they are coming at you mob handed you must be doing something right…Noli Carborundum Illigitimi.

  • Frazer

    PS..did u get the photos ? Spoke to Akawari as Ben has CD with all from Tema..

  • Mark Jones


    I was interested to hear last night that Question Time will be held in Norwich in two weeks time. Will you be, or rather do you want to be a part of that?

  • Craig Murray

    Dundee Grad,

    What complete nonsense you talk. Those Rectors who have worked and turned up for the committee meetings (like Stephen Fry, Clement Freud and Gordon Wilson) have had great influence. Those who have treated it in the way you describe (Like Lorraine Kelly) have thankfully been a minority.

    I most certainly am Rector of Dundee.

    Educate yourself a bit.

  • JimmyGiro

    I hope to see the DVD up on YouTube… maybe as a plan B, to ask the good people of Norfolk to look you up there, by posting or otherwise broadcasting the YouTube title.

  • mary

    As if Mark. You saw that fob off reply from BBC complaints earlier (SNB @ 1.39 yesterday). The letter was addressed to Caroline Thomson who should have answered it herself. She and Mark Thompson are running things at the ZBC who so cruelly denied the broadcast of the DEC appeal for Gaza.

    They are the Common Purpose riddled mouthpiece of this Zionist supporting state and would not give Craig airtime under any circumstances.

    Shame on them. Their remit – The status quo must be maintained at all costs. Proportionality is the watchword.


    Turning to the subject of your complaint; especially when there are a large

    number of candidates (at least 10 so far in Norwich North) the broader

    interests of the voters would not be served by giving equal coverage

    to each and every candidate, irrespective of their chances of success. So when

    editors are deciding how much coverage to give, relatively, to different

    parties and candidates in any election, one of the key factors they look

    for is “evidence of past and/or current electoral support” in that electoral area.

    On that basis, in Norwich there is clear evidence of support for the three

    main parties as well as for the Green Party and therefore those parties

    will be getting similar levels of coverage. Similarly, there is evidence

    from the recent elections that both UKIP and the BNP have some support in

    at least parts of the constituency and they will also, proportionately, be

    given an appropriate level of coverage by programmes covering the by-election.

    Other candidates, including independents, will receive at least a minimum

    level of coverage and may, where editorially justified, receive more coverage

    proportionate to the other parties – again taking some account of evidence

    of electoral support in the constituency.’

  • Bella

    “You may be an “honest man” but you see plots everywhere.”

    — James D

    “And if you knew one iota of Craig’s history you wouldn’t be remotely surprised. They’ve done everything they can, short of shooting or poisoning him, to shut him up.” — dreoilin

    Indeed – what an embarrassingly naive and clueless person ‘James D’ is. Why do people comment when they don’t know their arse from their elbow?

1 2 3 4 5

Comments are closed.