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


STOP PRESS

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.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/06/the_value_of_ed.html


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

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  • Bella

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

    Paid NuLabour gimps no doubt Craig. Take no notice of them, they’re in the gutter where they belong. And Craig, please don’t get in any helicopters, visit any woods or go up any mountains between now and the elections… we KNOW what they’d do if they got half the chance.

  • eddie

    Paranoia paranoia. I love the “they” – as in “they” should do something. It’s the wail of the clueless and the ignorant.

  • Bella

    OK eddie, now shuffle off back to one of your tedious Labour blogs, there’s a dear.

  • Ed Davies

    In reply to my comment: “You don’t need a TV licence to access YouTube.”

    James D: “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, …”

    Yes, many YouTube users have a terrible attitude to copyright and I can understand that a copyright holder might try to up the ante by arguing that it is a broadcast but I think it would be big news if anybody succeeded with this line of reasoning in court.

    “…and is seen as a threat by traditional broadcasters.”

    Perhaps it is competition to traditional broadcasters but that doesn’t mean it is a broadcaster itself.

    “They are a very good example to support the points I was making.”

    I think quite the opposite – this example clearly delineates the difference between broadcast and mass distribution.

    By the way, I do think your distinction between the post office acting as a common carrier (I believe that’s the US legal term for an entity which carries messages without liability for them) for individually addressed mailings and it perhaps acting in part as a publisher for mass unaddressed mailings is a good one.

  • David Allen

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

    — James D

    The problem, James, is that a heck of a lot of them are all too real. I think if you and I had lived through Craig’s experiences, we’d be pretty strongly biased towards the conspiracy theory (rather than the cock-up theory) by now!

    Yes, the Royal Mail did have some legalistic questions that it had to resolve before it decided to accept Craig’s DVD. But just ask yourself, how could they possibly have justified their public service obligations if they had dithered beyond the deadline – and thus made it impossible for a candidate to campaign on level terms with all the rest? Why did it need Birnberg Pierce to persuade them of their basic civic duty?

  • anticant

    Because my friend Ben Birnberg has always been a damn good civil liberties lawyer.

  • David Allen

    I’m sure you’re right, I wasn’t criticising Birnberg in the slightest. What I meant was, the Royal Mail should have been able to sort it out for themselves! Cheers,

  • George Dutton

    It’s as if New Labour/Tories/Lib dems had someone in the royal mail to do their bidding for them…help them try and fix the outcome of the Norwich North election. You have to ask yourself what kind of low life would be more then willing to do such a thing?. Hmmmm,I wouldn’t have a clue who that could be though.

    By the way I came across this..

    http://tinyurl.com/mgk9a4

  • Ruth

    Paranoia paranoia. I love the “they” – as in “they” should do something. It’s the wail of the clueless and the ignorant.

    According to Vladimir Bukovsky, a writer and dissident who spent 12 years in Soviet labor camps and asylums, Soviet psychiatrists described paranoia as an obsession with “the struggle for truth and justice.”

  • BBC Watcher

    I remember seeing a programme (think it was on good old BBC) about the Independent MP Martin Bell who at his campaign was concerned about being electronically bugged and called in specialists to detect any devices in his offices.

    Of course we are all aware, or should be, of the States ability to listen into any telephone call, mobile and fax not to mention email and SMS. Really the News of the World scandal is nothing compared to what the UK Stasi State is capable of doing. Get advice about using several pay as you go mobile phones dont just use one as subscription based services are easy targets to intercept. Use all the avalable methods of internet communication this is what “helped” the BNP regardless of what you might think of them they are up against the state machinery too!

  • Polo

    So now an accusation of paranoia is supposed to be an answer to legitimate complaints and to paralyse the victim.

    Come on!

    Some one tell me what the UK now the mother of … [hint: parliaments, democracies, justice, human rights?]

    No prizes.

  • mary

    George I did know about Crozier (ex FA) and his astronomical salary and bonuses. Particularly excessive when massive redundancies are happening and there are management wheezes like measuring the speed at which postmen walk.

    The new Chairman, Donald Brydon, who succeeded Leighton this year, is also Chairman of Smiths Industries. One of their divisions is –

    Detection

    Smiths Detection is a leading company in the fast growing sector of detection systems. Products of the company include:

    Trace detectors – For the detection of chemical and biological agents, chemicals or explosives.

    X-Ray security systems

    Biometrics – Authentication, i.e. establishing the identity of an individual by measurement of physiological or behavioral features

    Metal detectors

    Product inspection systems – Systems for quality control of products (e.g. food).

    Fast growing indeed. They are probably doing very well out of NuLabour’s surveillance society.

    See Spyblog for more on this.

  • eddie

    How exactly is Craig Murray a threat to the establishment? Was Martin Bell a threat ditto? Or A.P Herbert or Tom Driberg or James Maxton.? No one is interested. As I say it’s just paranoia – all of a muchness with your looney trooerdom.

  • Bella

    “the avalable methods of internet communication this is what “helped” the BNP regardless of what you might think of them they are up against the state machinery too!”

    My heart bleeds for the fascists. They are also up against the millions of anti-fascists in this country and across Europe.

    Anyone who seeks to put them into the same category as progressives like Craig has a nasty little agenda. NON PASARAN.

  • anticant

    If eddie doesn’t realise that Craig Murray is a threat to the establishment, he is living in political cloud cuckoo land. If Craig succeeds in getting greater coverage in the mainstream media, and especially in winning a seat in Parliament, many establishment heads are likely to roll, not least Jack Straw’s (and you couldn’t get much more establishment than that erstwhile student agitator).

  • eddie

    Come off it. Martin Bell was an MP for ages. Did anything change? No. You seem to be confusing individuals with the establishment, Jack Straw is not the establishment. Individuals may come and go but the establishment goes on. The occasional election of independents is good for democracy and good for the nation, but to suggest that MI5 has any serious interest in a nonentity like Craig is just mad. By the way, he is not going to win the seat. He is already setting up reasons for his defeat, so that he doesn’t look too stupid. Victimhood.

  • anticant

    eddie, there wouldn’t be any democracy if no-one stood for election who wasn’t 100 per cent. sure they would win.

    As for MI5, you evidently know more about its inner mind than I do.

  • George Laird

    Dear Craig

    I hope the campaign is going well and is positive.

    Don’t do negitive, it is a slippy slope.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • KevinB

    If Independents regularly start to defeat the main (controlled) parties it would be a huge cause for concern for MI5 and their godfathers.

    The all-seeing eye is paying close attention.

    Don’t doubt it.

    ‘eddie’ might mock such a notion but he(she/it?) would, wouldn’t they.

    Craig cannot ‘threaten’ power on his own but if he is elected he can severely embarrass it. Craig will say the kind of things about systemic corruption that millions already know and want to hear spoken out loud in public.

    If unrestrained truth telling were to take hold amongst our elected representative who knows where it would all end?

    We do know where it would begin…..with media silence…..

    ……but this is a mode of behaviour that can only hold out for so long.

  • George Dutton

    10 July 2009

    “On July 8, Sheffield City Council voted to close Abbeydale Grange secondary school in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The vote was approved by a cabinet meeting of the Liberal Party-led council. The school currently has around 600 pupils.”…

    http://tinyurl.com/lap988

    That will be of interest to the voters of Norwich North,as it’s starting to happen all over the UK…

    tinyurl.com/lle8b6

  • Ruth

    Jack Straw must be the executive of the establishment/unelected permanent government. To have Craig in parliament would be their worst nightmare. He’d want answers as we want answers to questions such as the following:

    1) Is Aegis an extension of the British army without accountability?

    2) Why is the government reluctant to hold an inquiry into Lockebie when all the evidence points to the fact that Megrahi/Libya weren’t involved? There’s very strong evidence that the bomb was put on the plane at Heathrow.

    3) Why is the government so reluctant to hold an inquiry into 7/7 when there is so much conflicting evidence.

    4) Billions of pounds have left the country under the guise of vat fraud and yet each case is dealt with in isolation even though most of the cases are related. Why doesn’t government want to match up and get the perpetrators and of course our money back?

  • Rob Speare

    I see you have been flyposting, Craig “honest man” Murray.

    http://norfolkblogger.blogspot.com/2009/07/craig-murray-honest-campaigner.html

    You probably knew this was illegal, and that the posters would be removed. Was it a deliberate tactic to allow you to play the victim? “THEY (the evil political parties/NuLieBour-controlled BBC) are trying to SILENCE me!” Grow up.

    If you had any support at all in Norwich North, you could actually ask people to display your posters in their windows, which actually is legal.

    How many people have done so, Craig? How many people have put up Craig Murray posters in comparison to Labour, Tory or Liberal posters? Yeah, I thought so.

  • Ruth

    Jack Straw must be the executive of the establishment/unelected permanent government. To have Craig in parliament would be their worst nightmare. He’d want answers as we want answers to questions such as the following:

    1) Is Aegis an extension of the British army without accountability?

    2) Why is the government reluctant to hold an inquiry into Lockebie when all the evidence points to the fact that Megrahi/Libya weren’t involved? There’s very strong evidence that the bomb was put on the plane at Heathrow.

    3) Why is the government so reluctant to hold an inquiry into 7/7 when there is so much conflicting evidence.

    4) Billions of pounds have left the country under the guise of vat fraud and yet each case is dealt with in isolation even though most of the cases are related. Why doesn’t government want to match up and get the perpetrators and of course our money back?

  • Anonymous

    Quite **

    Norfolk Blogger

    Age: 38

    Gender: Male

    Astrological Sign: Aquarius

    Zodiac Year: Dog

    Industry: Education

    Occupation: Teacher

    Location: Norwich : Norfolk : United Kingdom

    About Me

    AKA – Nich Starling. A teacher, former councillor, ranter and Norwich City season ticket holder. **He has a degree in useless information.

  • eddie

    There are 650 MPs in Parliament. One independent is a nobody and means nothing. To suggest Craig in Parliament would be their “worst nightmare” is just SILLY. Grow Up.

    P.S. Craig is not going to win. He is not even going to come in the top four. Get over it and move on.

  • anticant

    eddie in parliament would be an even worse nightmare than Bob Ainsworth as Defence Secretary.

    A grandmother of one of the soldiers whose bodies have just been brought home from Afghanistan said on TV tonight that Ainsworth ought to be shot. But he comes over as so thick I doubt whether if he was he would notice the difference.

  • George Dutton

    Rob Speare

    What’s up Rob…You sound very frightened…You need to build up your self confidence,stop feeling hopelessly inadequate. It’s not winning that counts Rob, it’s the taken part that counts,even though your party will lose,like so many that have lost their homes under New Labour and the Tories and God knows how many more in the future.This may help you…

    http://tinyurl.com/lhpxa8

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