Here's something that would be music to the ears of US election fraud campaigners:
A UK judge investigating vote-rigging in Birmingham's local elections has ruled there was widespread fraud and has ordered new elections. 'The system is wide open to fraud and any would-be political fraudster knows that,' Judge Mawrey said.Way to go! (em... Your Honour.)
And it get's better:
The deputy high court judge said the system was "hopelessly insecure," and determined that "massive, systematic and organised fraud" in the campaign had made a mockery of the election."That's the kind of language heard across the United States from campaigners -in the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election. But never, ever from a judge.
But he's only warming up. Here goes:
He criticised the government's insistence that warnings about the failings were "scaremongering".Bananna republic! This guy is good. Here's the Blair-worrying part:
"Anybody who has sat through the case I have just tried and listened to evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising."
During the hearings Judge Mawrey heard how three candidates were caught operating a "vote-rigging factory". Police found them handling unsealed postal ballots in a deserted warehouse in the city.That's a significant development which could affect voter confidence and thus impact Tony Blair's Labor Party support at the coming UK general election.
Speaking outside court, a spokesman for the People's Justice Party -which brought the case, called for postal voting to be outlawed at the general election. "The commissioner has confirmed our fear that there is every likelihood that the forthcoming general election will be blighted by postal vote fraud," he said. The Electoral Reform Society said urgent action was needed to protect and maintain confidence in the voting system.
Finally, the kicker:
Mr Mawrey ordered that none of the six councillors beTouche! Somebody give that judge a job in the US. Pay him anything. Get him over straight away.
allowed to stand for the vacant seats at the next election.
He could run the 2006 US elections for starters.