This is a letter being sent out by the trade union Unison, intent on interfering with the result of the Fenham ward by-election which is being fought on Thursday. This is on top of a scurrilous leaflet put out earlier in the campaign by the same trade union. It will be interesting to see on which candidate's election expenses these items appear.
On the subject of interference in elections by "third parties", I am delighted to report that the BNP's legal eagle, Lee Barnes, has been in touch with the Electoral Commission with regard to a number of recent developments which appear to indicate that huge sums of money are already being spent by such "third parties" which could be in breech of electoral law. Needless to say this money is being spent on schemes designed to try to stop people voting for the British National Party. I will keep you up to date with any developments.
"It was all fair!" That's the bleat from the deputy returning officer at Bexley Council after he received a deluge of complaints concerning dubious electoral practices at the recent East Wickham by-election where the Tories held the seat by just eight votes from the BNP. In a letter to a regular reader of this blog he wrote:
"The Council has received a number of enquiries about comments appearing on the website “ Vote UK Discussion forum.” This website has nothing to do with the Council. I can confirm that the count was conducted to the highest professional standards within election rules. If you need further clarification I suggest you take up your concerns directly with the author of the comments.
Deputy Returning Officer / Electoral Services Manager
London Borough of Bexley"
I was offered a 3 minute slot on Sunday's Politics Show which is covering the growth of the British National Party in Cumbria and the North East, but because of pressure of work (Freedom must be ready for next week) I had to decline the invitation. I understand that Adam Walker from Durham has been lined up as a more than suitable replacement.
I have appeared on the Politics Show before, back in 2004, when once again I was promised a three minute slot. I travelled over to Sunderland, a drive which took nearly 2 hours. I waited around for another two hours, did the interview and then drove back home. It was a day out from work but which would be worthwhile if it provided some good publicity. When I was watching the programme a couple of days later, the door bell rang and I opened it to let in a friend of my daughter. When I settled back to watch the rest of the show, I suddenly realised that I had been and gone. My three minute slot was, in fact, just 15 seconds. I have had numerous similar experiences which have put me off ever making any effort to accommodate the media.
I forgot to tell you about Christmas, I won the draw to choose the afternoon film and we all watched "Brassed Off". Everyone liked it and I will no doubt enjoy watching again. Here's a scene that's quite poignant. Stephen Tompkinson is Phil, a miner badly in debt after being arrested and imprisoned during the Miner's Strike. He supplements his income by being a clown for children's parties but when his wife and children walk out on him because the debt collectors have taken their furniture, he votes to take the pay-off offered by the Coal Board and votes to close the Grimley pit - hence this scene is called Coco the Scab