Beware the Banana Republic Postal Ballot 95

Yet another election is about to be held under the UK’s dreadfully insecure postal ballot system, which an English judge who presides over electoral fraud cases has said “would disgrace a banana republic”.

In a single case, Judge Mawrey had come across postal ballot fraud being committed in 14 different ways. There have in fact been many convictions for postal ballot fraud. Some of these are of Labour councillors in Blackburn, where I personally came across a boarded up empty flat containing fifteen registered postal voters, and we chased Labour councillors from street to street as they collected bagfuls of uncompleted postal ballots. In that election, won by Jack Straw, at 37% Blackburn had the highest percentage of ballots cast by post in the UK. There have been numerous convictions for postal ballot fraud throughout the UK, but that is the tip of the iceberg and most of the time, they get away with it.

The system was introduced by Blair and I have no doubt that party advantage was in mind. There have been Tory convictions for postal ballot fraud in Birmingham, but Labour have been by far the biggest beneficiaries. To the extent that I had been puzzled why on earth the Condem coalition had not repealed this awful legislation. The answer is, of course, that they are willing to sacrifice a little ground in the fake battle between red tories and blue tories, in order to retain the postal ballot against the necessity of large scale vote rigging in the effort to keep Scotland under Westminster rule.

Party political activists know this next point to be true, but it is almost unbelievable. There is an electoral commission regulation which specifically facilitates postal ballot fraud. Postal ballots must be physically mixed in with other ballots before counting, so that it is impossible to tell if the postal ballot result differs markedly from the voting in person result. I can quite understand why they must be counted at the same time as other ballots, but physically mixed in?

The 800,000 postal ballots registered in Scotland are one major reason why we cannot be complacent about the opinion polls. This is wide open to fraud. Multiple voting or voting by non-existent “ghost” voters, or people living elsewhere, is perfectly possible at the ballot box but much more difficult and time consuming and much more open to detection.

The rationale for the abandonment of the classic secret polling booth ballot as the basic method of voting, was that postal voting would increase voter turnout. In fact, voter turnout has steadily fallen since its introduction. I predict in England – where there is no realistic prospect of change from the old trougher tory parties – it will fall again. In Scotland, where there is a vision of real change, turnout will be up. But if anybody thinks the British state is going to let Scotland move closer to independence without fighting dirty, they are extremely naïve.

In future, there should be a return to the principle that normally your vote should be cast in person at the secret ballot. To get off your arse to vote is not too much to ask for maintaining democracy. Postal votes should again be provided only to those who have medical certification that they are unable to attend the polling station, or evidence of living abroad. I favour tax certificates from a foreign country as the norm for the latter.

95 thoughts on “Beware the Banana Republic Postal Ballot

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  • nevermind

    Well the term banana republic, coined by Sydney Porter in 1904, marks unstable Governments and/or rogue countries.

    Artificial instability which is thrown about like confetti by the establishment parties, everything from ‘chaos coalition’ and ‘dangerous’ is thrown at legitimate political parties without redress by ‘banana gatekeepers/reporters’

    The origins were Latin America were the United Fruit company of America ensured that their trade was not disrupted by pesky workers wanting more pay or better conditions, Governments and police forces and armies were supported and the word social responsibility did not come into it. Money rules banana republics, then and now.

    Britain, paradise to many high ranking paedophiles who know how to live in banana republics, with its unfair and disproportionate electoral system and its establishment Angst to give up any of its powers to corrupt and undermine the law, also qualifies for this term.

  • Kempe

    ” Apparently in the referendum there were suspiciously high postal voting turnouts in some areas, where it would seem that there were hardly any postal voters who failed to to return their ballot papers because they could not make up their minds as to which way to vote. ”

    The so-called DSF makes much of this, in particular calling for proof that postal ballot turnouts in Scotland generally exceed 80% and claiming there is none.

    Well here it is:-

    Fairly obvious I’d have thought that having gone to the trouble of applying for a postal vote you wouldn’t then not use it. By recent GE standards turnout in the Scottish Referendum was exceptional overall.

  • fedup

    It is refreshing indeed to see the strong faith in the secret ballot, as though these are fool proof reflections of the arrangements for a choice between tweedledum and tweedledumer.

    Public have voted with their feet, they are not buying the charade and the sham kabuki, the low turn out compelling the arrangers to devise a ludicrously crude advertising campaign (a reflection of their perception of the punters) which evidently is not yielding any results, hence the black ops and the Moouzlam card;

    General Election 2015: Posters telling Muslims not to vote seen in Cardiff

    the lesson of the day;

    See if you don’t vote then you are promoting sharia to become the official language!!!!!!! What else could be the reason for the posters written in English and posted around the place? Do you hate enough to to get off your butts and vote, and dignify the sham charade passed as an exercise in democracy?

  • Mary

    How stupid can he get? Everyone knows what a banana republic is.

    Good comment there Nevermind from which others, who shall be nameless, will learn.

  • Jennifer Watson

    How secure is a postal vote handed in at polling station? I don’t trust the mail. Jennifer.

  • Mary

    From 38 Degrees just now and rather late in the day.

    Today, thousands of ordinary citizens across Europe are hitting the streets to raise the alarm about TTIP. [1] That’s the dodgy EU-US trade deal that threatens to railroad our democracy and privatise our public services. [2] It’s like a manifesto for big business: giving more power to corporations, and less power to us.

    The deal is still shrouded in secrecy – but the more we get the word out, the more toxic it is for politicians to support. [3] So will you help expose the deal by passing this image on to someone you know who maybe hasn’t heard about TTIP yet?

    Please share the image below with your friends and family to expose TTIP. Just click the buttons to share on Facebook and Twitter.

    Together, 38 Degrees members are throwing everything we’ve got at the campaign against TTIP. So, as thousands of us take to the streets today, let’s make sure as many people as possible are seeing and hearing about this dangerous deal.

    Thanks for being involved,

    Bex, Robin, Blanche and the 38 Degrees team

    [1] There are events happening all across the UK, from Brighton to Dundee. To find an event near you and join other 38 Degrees members, click the link here:
    [2] The Independent: What is TTIP and six reasons why it should scare you:
    [3] You can see what we’ve been up to together to stop this deal here:

  • Tin Tin

    @Habbabkuk.. Not just the SNP, a copy was sent to every MSP; what they wish to do with this information is up to them.

    @John Spencer-Davis.. working on a online copy. All been busy 🙂

  • John Goss

    As Joseph Stalin once said: “It’s not the vote that counts; it’s who counts the votes.”

    Did he Becky Cohen? I ask because I cannot find it in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1979) 23 years after Stalin’s death. Or the Bloomsbury Dictionary of Quotations (1987) 31 years after Stalin’s death. I’m not saying he did not say it but I doubt he did. He did however say:

    ” . . . be cautious and don’t allow our country to be drawn into conflicts by warmongers who are accustomed to have others pull the chestnuts out of the fire for them.” (1941) That was just before the Germans invaded Russia and Ukraine.

    I am not fond of Stalin. There are few politicians I am fond of but perhaps I would not be in a minority supporting Vladimir Putin.

    So why if I am not fond of Stalin would I stand up for him. Habbabkuk, his clones and supporters, have over the years made constant attacks on me trying to label me as a Stalinist which of course I am not. They know this is untrue but they hope they can make the lie stick. Stalin did enough bad things but in the interests of honesty and integrity can you please let me know where and when he said this? Otherwise it is just the repetition of a lie.


  • John Spencer-Davis


    Tin Tin, that’s very good of you and thanks. But I am convinced I have seen an online copy posted as a link before, in fact I studied the tables.

    Maybe that was a different report. I might even have saved a copy. I will have a look.

    Kind regards, John

  • Craig Evans

    Craig, I normally support your views however, in regard to a method allowing people who are not at home on Election Day due to say holidays or work commitments must be in place.

    I for instance had a postal vote for the referendum last year because I was in the middle of the North Sea on the day. In May, my wife and I will be in France. Therefore we both have applied for a postal vote.

    I take my responsibility to vote very seriously having voted in every national and local election throughout my lifetime.

    This method however flawed is the only way I have of using my franchise in the above cases.

    Best wishes, CraigE

  • John Goss

    As to my comment at 1.35 pm it looks like the quote is a bastardisation of this from Wikiquotes.

    “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.

    In Russian: Я считаю, что совершенно неважно, кто и как будет в партии голосовать; но вот что чрезвычайно важно, это – кто и как будет считать голоса.”

    Which I think you will agree is a different thing altogether.

  • Ed L

    “I’m away on polling day. Why would you disenfranchise me?”

    Well you’ve had 5 years notice of the exact date of the election so if you can’t be arsed to be anywhere other than “away” then you can FO.

  • Republicofscotland

    Speaking of “Banana Republic’s” a veteran Chinese journalist has been jailed for 7 years,for leaking a document detailing the Communists Party’s plan to target the freedoms of the civil press.

    71 year old Gao Yu,leaked the document,that shows the state intends to crack down on journalistic freedoms of speech.

    The idea is to curb,or stamp out criticism of the ruling party.

  • John Goss

    Boris Bazhanov’s memoirs, from where the Stalin quote comes, was allegedly made in 1923. Bazhanov left the Soviet Union for Germany in 1928. His memoirs were published in 1980. Whether Stalin said this or not must be forever in doubt. Hearsay is a difficult case to prove in law.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Everyone knows what a banana republic is.”

    Exactly. Which is why it is very ignorant to call the UK a banana republic – as you did.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Britain, paradise to many high ranking paedophiles who know how to live in banana republics, with its unfair and disproportionate electoral system and its establishment Angst to give up any of its powers to corrupt and undermine the law, also qualifies for this term.”

    Well, if that is so, then you obviously like banana republics, don’t you.

    After all, you – a foreigner, I believe – live in the UK, don’t you. By choice, it appears.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    18/04/2015 12:54 pm

    Many thanks for the link to the evidence of postal ballot voting above 80%.

    I think the point that the Argyll research is trying to make is that the postal turnout is so high as to be completely, or virtually, impossible, given that there are certain inevitabilities about voting statistics such as death or imprisonment prior to returning the ballot paper.

    Tin Tin, you seem very conversant with this, do you have a reply for Kempe?

    Kind regards,


  • Mary

    ‘After all, you – a foreigner I believe……’

    A racist remark there, worthy of Farage.

  • Villager

    Good God, Mary you are insufferable!

    Btw, have you asked your NHS doctor/surgeon if he shares your view that Britain is a Banana Republic? If you haven’t please ask his view and come back to us.

  • Kempe

    ” I think the point that the Argyll research is trying to make is that the postal turnout is so high as to be completely, or virtually, impossible, given that there are certain inevitabilities about voting statistics such as death or imprisonment prior to returning the ballot paper. ”

    Death rate in Scotland is 10/1,000 and the population of Argyll and Bute is around 90,000 so in a typical year 90 people in the area would die. I don’t know what the time interval was between application for postal ballots and last post before voting day but if it was three months then about 23 people would’ve died. These are crude figures, the death rate in a rural area such as Argyll and Bute would be much lower than in an inner city area and death rates fluctuate during the year with a peak during the winter months, but I still doubt it would’ve been enough to significantly lower the turnout. Similarly crime in the area is reported to be quite low so I would’ve thought the same would apply to incarceration.

  • Kempe

    Sorry, missed off a couple of noughts, that should be 900 and 230 not 90 and 23!

    Not concentrating!

  • John Spencer-Davis

    18/04/2015 4:02 pm

    The Argyll paper does all that work for you, in a much more detailed way.

    I am a bir hampered as I can’t find the link to the full paper.

    Kind regards,


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