Treating Jack Straw Differently 97

A UKIP candidate has been obliged to report to the police for breaking the law on “treating” for providing sausage rolls at an event. Yet Jack Straw at elections in 2005 and 2010 held rallies for the Muslim community in Blackburn at which the Labour Party provided hundreds of voters with full sit down meals, free of charge, and Police refused to take any action – indeed they were protecting the event. This is yet another example of the political elite being above the law.

This is what I posted on this blog seven years ago:

On 24 April 2005, in an election rally in Jack Straw’s Blackburn Constituency, over one hundred Blackburn electors were given a full free meal by the Labour party, with Jack Straw present, having just made an election speech to the lucky partakers of this generosity.

Every reader involved in electoral politics will know that this is a criminal offence under the Representation of the People Act, formally known as “Treating” – the provision of free food and drink to electors in an attempt to influence their vote. Conviction leads to forfeiture of the election, banning from public office and a prison sentence of up to two years.

It is also an offence of strict liability – a candidate is liable even if it was organised by someone else on his behalf. A candidate is viewed in law as responsible for his campaign. But in this instance, Jack Straw was actually present.

There was no shortage of witnesses – protestors were ringing the hall. The police were actually providing protection for this criminal event, and showed no interest in the fact that the proceeding was illegal. Jack Straw runs Blackburn as a personal fiefdom.

I therefore went to a police station and made a formal complaint. This obliged the police to investigate, and to do them justice, the detectives of Lancashire Police did a very good job, establishing the facts of the incident. They then sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Crown Prosecution Service returned the file to Lancashire Police, saying that the offence was “Trivial” and there would be no prosecution. As this was one of the worst examples of large scale electoral treating since it was made a criminal offence in 1832, presumably this means the CPS has decided that the law on treating has fallen into desuetude, and candidates may now provide food and drink to electors.

Or only New Labour ministers?

I have no sympathy for UKIP. But if action is taken against UKIP where none was taken against Jack Straw for an absolutely blatant example, on a far greater scale, of the same offence, then that would be sickening, and yet a further example of the fact that the law is in no sense applied equally in the UK.

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97 thoughts on “Treating Jack Straw Differently

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  • Tony_0pmoc

    What Do You Want Me To Say To These Americans???

    My Uncle Was an English Diplomat..Very Posh..lived most of his life in Africa..but I met him when I was a little boy in his home very near Sussex University Near Brighton…

    How Can I Diplomatically Tell The Americans

    To Fck Off Back Home..To The USA

    We Seriously Do Not Need Your Help..

    Please Take All Your Armed Forces Out Of England and Europe..Back Home To The USA

    The Russians are Our Friends and Trading Partners…

    If You Americans want to make war with Anyone

    Make War With Yourselves

    Go on – Just Go On and Kill Each Other

    And The Rest of The World Will Just Watch

    Sad B@stards

    Leave Us Alone.

    We Do Not Like You.


  • YouKnowMyName

    Perhaps simply J. Straw has a higher authority behind him, than an average UKipper?

    Could Mr Straw perhaps once have met, as the other part of his business opportunities, representatives of , say, the End-User Review Committee (ERC) in the Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) at the US Department of Commerce.

    The ERC is a joint operation run by the Departments of Commerce, State, Defense, and Energy, and occasionally the Treasury, to decide who American companies can and can’t sell to.

    in February 2015, the ERC added the National Supercomputing Center Changsha in Changsha City, the National Supercomputing Center Guangzhou at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, the National Supercomputing Center Tianjin in Tianjin, and the National University of Defense Technology in Changsha City to its blockade list.

    China is now no longer able to buy Intel ™ Xeon processors for supercomputers! It’s definitely the Cold War ™ all-over again!

  • Villager

    Krishnamurti telling a joke…
    “This happens to be the time when Nixon was still President,” he explained with a smile. “Brezhnev calls Nixon over the hotline telephone and says, ‘Hello, Mr. President, how are you? I’ve heard that you have the most incredible super-computer in the whole world.’ Nixon replies, ‘Well, Mr. Chairman, I don’t know how you obtained this information, because it’s top secret. But I can tell you that it’s the fastest computer in the world and can foretell events up to thirty years ahead.’ Brezhnev is impressed. ‘Thirty year: that is truly astonishing. Not even here in the Soviet Union do we have anything like that. In fact, I would like to ask you a favor, if you don’t mind.’ Nixon answers, ‘Anything you like, in the name of détente, as long as it isn’t a state secret or against the interests of the United States.’ Brezhnev replies, ‘I wouldn’t dream of anything like that. But could you please ask your computer who will be in the Communist Party politburo here in the year 2000?’ The President answers, ‘No problem, Leonid. Just give me a minute.’ And the telephone line goes silent while he is consulting the computer. Brezhnev presses his ear to the reciever but hears only Moscow static as the minutes tick by. Finally he asks, ‘Are you still there, Richard?’ (They’re on first name terms by now.) ‘Well, yes, Leonid,’ Nixon replies, ‘but I can’t figure it out.’ ‘But what does it say?’ Brezhnev asks impatiently. And Nixon says, ‘That’s just it. I can’t read and what is says—it’s all in Chinese.’”

  • Mary

    Prince Charles, Secrecy, and the British Government
    The Black Spider Memos
    by Binoy Kampmark / April 10th, 2015

    ‘The rather vague constitutional justifications for secrecy again demonstrate how woolly logic has a habit of finding its ways into the highest departments of supposed constitutional democracy. Should the public be interested in what the Prince and future heir to the throne is considering in letters to the ministers of the crown? Perhaps less than the efforts of government to suppress the contents of such correspondence.’

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Tony Opmoc

    “What Do You Want Me To Say To These Americans???”

    I don’t think most of us care very much, but we should be grateful if you could say it elsewhere than on this blog.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Make your mind up, man! Either bugger off or stay and stop buggering around.

  • Ishmael

    And those posts where over about an hour, that often goes by with nobody posting. Yes I really drown out the crowd to make myself heard. lol

    And poetry or prophecy. I assume your referring to the Shelly. Are you purposefully pushing my buttons. Shame on that man. 🙂

    Get back to your ploughman’s lunch, i’m sure there is more in there besides a sausage roll.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    John Goss
    10/04/2015 11:41 pm

    I’m glad you like it, John, and I agree strongly that any writer can learn from Foot’s style. No nonsense, stripped to the bone, with maximum impact.

    Kind regards,


  • John Spencer-Davis

    10/04/2015 10:45pm

    I would not venture to guess what side the Guardian will support (editorially of course – Guardian writers are not an army of androids [well…]).

    But if you cut Alan Rusbridger in half, would he not have “New Labour” imprinted vertically through his body like a stick of rock?

    Kind regards,


  • Ishmael

    Picking out bits of straw. sigh

    You know what they say about trustworthyness and proper eating.

  • Dreoilin

    And I say to my people’s masters: Beware
    Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people
    Who shall take what ye would not give.
    Did ye think to conquer the people, or that law is stronger than life,
    And than men’s desire to be free?
    We will try it out with you ye that have harried and held,
    Ye that have bullied and bribed.
    Tyrants… hypocrites… liars!

    –Patrick Pearse

  • nevermind

    Thanks for the link to the Levellers song, Ishmael, there is only one way, agree and it has to be sustainable or we’re toast.
    I’m also helping the Greens here in Norwich, for all its worth.

    That said, I will not vote in local or national election until there is a fairer system, its totally overrated, all this talk, especially at election time, about the power of the pen and what you can achieve by voting, its pure exaggeration, in this perverted FPTP system only minorities win.

    The next election will show how much this system has bypassed democracy, will people make something of it and scream louder? I somehow doubt it.
    So, lets keep dropping leaflets into the bins of voters, after a brief scornful look at the breakfast table, that’s were they end up.

    what a day I had, finished a nice raised bed full of bindweed all done down to the foot deep, put a nice netting over the op to stop the cat shitting in it, two days of sweat.
    You will not believe it, this morning this damn cat had shit on top of the netting??
    Wonder what the RSPCA advises next for the removal of toxicara delights?

  • John Spencer-Davis

    11/04/2015 10:58 am

    That didn’t half make me laugh about your cat. Flaming animals!!

    Kind regards, John

  • Googler

    It seems we hate UKIP so much because it is such a perfect mirror of everything awful in Britain since Thatcher. It is kind of like the disfigurement of our face, which we would like to remove with the plastic surgery of a Labour victory. I’d almost like to see UKIP in power and watch the empire crumble so miserably, rather than have one of the other parties put an idiotically happy face on that crumbling. Alas, though, England has always been too sensible, with money coming first in all things.

    I don’t think politics could possibly be free of all this scum until we set the bar significantly higher, and require any runners-up to have some sort of education in human decency first.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    You cannot hope to bribe or twist,
    thank God! the British journalist.
    But, seeing what the man will do
    unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

    Humbert Wolfe (1885 – 1940)

    Not as inspiring as Dreolin’s. But very droll. J

  • Ishmael


    “I’d almost like to see UKIP in power and watch the empire crumble so miserably”

    Feeding the fire so it burns out. And idea iv heard/ thought about. I think there is enough doing that.

  • Mary

    Tuesday 31 March 2015

    Glad to see Timothy Garton Ash touching on the question of corruption in parliament **(It’s not just parliament’s buildings that require extensive renovation, 28 March). The full charge sheet is as follows: cash for questions, cash for access (twice), cash for honours, cash for influence (twice), Jowellgate, Peter Watt, Michael Brown, Bernie Ecclestone, Werrittygate, Hunt, Rifkind and Straw. One scandal every 18 months or so. Then we have the institutionalised cultural corruption of corporate lobbying, directorships, revolving doors and political donations. And last but not least, the alleged 14 cases where the Metropolitan police terminated investigations that were implicating MPs and establishment figures and the 46 instances where similar cover-ups took place. All these are in addition to the absurd spectacle of PMQs and the House of Lords, and spadocracy and MPs’ expenses, which were mentioned by Timothy Garton Ash.

    In the face of this elephantine boil on the fat buttock of Westminster, we are being treated to prolonged national debate over the layout of Miliband’s second kitchen. No wonder so many people are turning away from electoral politics.

    Dr Richard Lawson
    Green PPC for Weston-super-Mare


  • doug scorgie

    It is interesting that the people who accepted the free food at Jack Straws do as well as those who had the sausage rolls at the UKIP do are also guilty of an offence.

    Representation of the People Act 1983
    1983 c. 2 Part II Bribery, treating and undue influence

    114 (3):
    “Every ELECTOR or his proxy who corruptly ACCEPTS OR TAKES any such meat, drink, entertainment or provision shall also be guilty of treating.”

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Doug Scorgie
    11/04/2015 12:29 pm

    I didn’t know that, Doug, and it is indeed very interesting.

    But how would it be proved that treating was corruptly accepted, given that ballots are secret (supposedly)?

    “I never voted for Jack Straw anyway, guv. Honestly, I just come for the free meal. I’ve never voted for no-one in me life.”

    Kind regards, John

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I wonder how the Lancashire police felt, after having done all that work, just to have the case – which was presumably cast-iron – just kicked out by the Crown Prosecution Service.

    And I wonder how it feels to be investigating, say, an awful case of child abuse, or child pornography, and for a superior to just say: “Stop. No further action on this. Just shut up and do as you are told, if you value your career and your pension.”

    Kind regards,


  • Ishmael


    If I give respect I expect it back. Not that I am better than anyone. But I see no reason for me to be slighted.

    I’m always open to (however an ineffectual) Clarification.

    “Make your mind up, man! Either bugger off or stay and stop buggering around”

    This gives me no insecurity about myself. I’m and actual person. And no I won’t stuck around feeling people are not on the level. Though of course i’d expect that sort of attempted disrespect from you. And I don’t imagine there is much worth saving, or you’d have to work very hard to prove me otherwise.

    Even if I don’t continue posting Craig will get my respect. But he is (a) trying to push my buttons, or (b) clutching at straws to save an apology. Though perhaps i’m content with a clarification.

    I’d rather keep some to tender hooks about such things perhaps.

  • nevermind

    As always a great letter from Richard Lawson, ta Mary, a very knowledgeable man I’m proud to have had some good debates and interesting discussions with.

    ‘elephantine boil’ …priceless

    Add to his collection the defrauding of public budgets to the tune of 2.6 billion plus, the local OBN’s and long term gratuitous self serving, and this boil reaches easily over both buttocks, the local and nationally afflicted….

  • Anon1

    John Spencer-Davies

    “I wonder how the Lancashire police felt, after having done all that work, just to have the case – which was presumably cast-iron – just kicked out by the Crown Prosecution Service.

    And I wonder how it feels to be investigating, say, an awful case of child abuse, or child pornography, and for a superior to just say: “Stop. No further action on this. Just shut up and do as you are told, if you value your career and your pension.”


    Shameful, isn’t it John. To deliberately conceal the rapes of thousands of children so as not to upset political sensibilities.

    But I must correct you on one minor detail – Rotherham is in Yorkshire, not Lancashire.

  • nevermind

    Ishamel, don’t let one glass of bad wine ruin your palate, this blog is for everyone.
    I experienced one month of Jack Straws wrath and corrupt practises, the man is beyond redemption. He fed 700 people and was served an affidavit for it, after the police made Craig wait for 3 hours.
    When I was manhandled by the sacrister of Blackburn cathedral, in front of jack Straws private police, ‘they saw nottin’ gov, we had to wait for three hours at the police station before we could give our accounts, everything they did demanded a slow go from us.
    jacks local council is entranced with his kind of machinations, it goes right to the top, but the democratic services are getting his special attention.
    35 years of corruption by a man choosen for his ‘guile and cunning’ (Barbara Castle)

  • John Spencer-Davis

    11/04/2015 1:18 pm

    “But I must correct you on one minor detail – Rotherham is in Yorkshire, not Lancashire.”

    But Craig Murray refers in his posting to the Lancashire police investigating the matter.


  • Clark

    Anon1, 1:18 pm:

    “To deliberately conceal the rapes of thousands of children so as not to upset political sensibilities.”

    I can’t believe the abuse cover-up was merely “so as not to upset political sensibilities”. Such knowledge never being used for blackmail seems as unlikely as fifty pound notes being left blowing about on the High Street pavement for decades.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    I do hope you’re going to put aside a little time this afternoon to watch the Boat Race – I take it that you, as an Oxford man, have heard of it (unlike the Bullingdon Club)?

    Why, there might be some chaps from your old college (still unidentified) in the Oxford Eight! 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “When I was manhandled by the sacrister (do you mean “sacristan”?)of Blackburn cathedral..”

    The mind boggles. Were you doing a Pussy Riot? If so, not a pretty sight I’m sure.

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