Postal Vote Fraud still being ignored by government and politicians alike

I would like to bring to your attention a national scandal that has been disgracefully ignored by politicians and the media.  It concerns fraudulent postal voting.  Needless to say, that is a matter going to the heart of our system of government, and indeed one of the defining features of our way of life – democracy.

The case of Ali v Bashir [2013] EWHC 2572 (QB) before Judge Richard Mawrey may be found free on the website Bailii (the charity which publishes judgments online
for free):

It is a long judgment, but the salient points are as follows:

1.  This is the High Court of England and Wales.  It does not deal with low level fraud or minor activities. Only matters involving large sums of money or, as here, matters of public significance are permitted to proceed to trial.

2.  The proceedings concerned the election of the first defendant, Bashir, to the Maybury and Sheerwater Ward of Woking Borough Council in May 2012, by a narrow majority of 16 votes.

The High Court held that:

(i) On the evidence, there had been a high proportion of postal votes to personal votes in the ward. There had also been abnormally high turnout figures, well beyond the natural expectations of a keenly-contested election. All the classic indicators of electoral fraud had been present in the ward (see [126], [129], [130], [132] of the judgment).

Viewing the properties as a whole, there was no doubt that false registration and false votes, both personal and postal, had been widespread in the ward. The evidence was overwhelming that the frauds had been perpetrated by B’s team of close relatives and associates (see [262] -[263] of the judgment).

(ii) Applying the criminal standard of proof, the widespread corruption could be reasonably supposed to have affected the result of the election. B was, by himself and by his agents, guilty of corrupt practices contrary to the 1983 Act. The election of B would be declared voided by corrupt or illegal practices. B was incapable of being elected to the ward (see [266], [273]-[276] of the judgment). Mr Bashir was deprived of his seat.

This is not the first time such fraud has been uncovered.  The judge, Commissioner Mawrey QC, lost his temper in a most unjudicial fashion because of the utter failure of the authorities to act.  He finished with the following:


“279. The Birmingham judgment[1] was the first arising from mass electoral fraud resulting directly from the introduction of postal voting on demand. I had hoped that, by drawing attention to the flawed basis of the scheme and the opportunities it had created for vote-rigging on an industrial scale, public and Parliament would be alerted to the problem and that something might be done about it.”

“280. I was wrong.”

“281. In Slough, where the problem of roll-stuffing came to the fore and where the combined effect of a wholly insecure registration system and postal voting on demand had allowed the creation of phantom armies of ‘ghost voters’, once again I hoped that some action might be taken.”

“282. I was wrong again.”

“283. Nine years have passed since the fraudulent Birmingham election and five since the Slough judgment. The media and the public are fully alive to the threat that electoral fraud poses to our democracy. The politicians are in denial and, it must be said, the approach of the Electoral Commission would appear optimistic even to Dr Pangloss.”

“284. I concluded the Birmingham Judgment with the words:

The systems to deal with fraud are not working well. They are not working badly. The fact is that there are no systems to deal realistically with fraud and there never have been. Until there are, fraud will continue unabated.”

“285. And the Slough Judgment with:

It would have been pleasant to conclude this judgment by saying that this had now all changed. But I cannot. Despite the 2006 Act, the opportunities for easy and effective electoral fraud remain substantially as they were on 4th April 2005.”

“286. And here we are again.”

Ageing Albion continues

Virtually all wrongdoing in all of the cases was traced to people with obviously Pakistani-Islamic names. It would appear that the media and politicians are paralysed by a fear of upsetting anyone or rocking the multicultural boat – just as they were with the sex gangs who assaulted young girls for so long with the authorities failing to act[2].

This is bad enough (but sadly to be expected) from the mainstream media.  It is contemptible from politicians, and confirms why the general public generally despises the political class.  But from the Electoral Commission it constitutes a gross dereliction of duty.  And for all of us it constitutes an assault on the fabric of our society.


[1] [From the Editor] The 2005 Birmingham judgement, also by Commissioner (Judge) Richard Mawrey QC, convicted 6 Pakistani Labour candidates of electoral fraud in the 2004 local elections and ordered new elections without the six, but also scathingly criticised the Birmingham Chief Executive Officer, Lin Homer, who was the returning officer at the election. Homer defended her role at the election as “motivational management and firefighting”. Shortly afterwards, in August 2005, she was appointed head of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, described later as “not fit for purpose” by the Home Secretary of the day, John Reid. In 2013 Homer’s tenure 2008-10 at its successor organisation, the UK Border Agency, was criticised by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee for its “catastrophic leadership failure”. In 2010 Homer was appointed the Civil Service head of the Transport Department when she and her department were accused by Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Trains of ignoring concerns about the West line letting process, causing its cancellation at an estimated cost of £100 million. In 2011 Homer, with no financial or non-personal tax experience whatever, was appointed head of the UK’s tax collection system (HMRC). In March 2013 HMRC was criticised by the UK Public Accounts Select Committee for its “unambitious and woefully inadequate performance”. No male could possibly have survived Homer’s record of failure in this succession of highly important positions. Why, in these supposedly egalitarian days, is she allowed to continue? See“Immigration Scandals Continue” posted in 2011 [Ed].

[2] [From the Editor] In this connection it is important to note that the Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer at the Woking election, Mr Ray Morgan, was also, along with Bashir, a defendant in the case. However, Judge Mawrey commended Mr Morgan (para. 267) for “running a tight ship” and noted Mr Morgan’s frustration that he couldn’t do more to “nip electoral fraud in the bud.”

Clearly when people in public office can’t do their jobs properly for whatever reason, then the structure of any society will collapse.

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3 Responses to “Postal Vote Fraud still being ignored by government and politicians alike”

  1. Ageing Albion says:

    I would simply add this: if we’re not prepared to defend democracy any more, what have we got left in this country?

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  2. Ageing Albion says:

    I said above that part of the problem was that electoral fraud practices seem to have involved almost exclusively individuals of Pakistani origin. I then suggested that the failure to act by politicians and the media was because of a fear of rocking the multicultural boat.

    On 22 November, there was a glimmer of hope as the Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve, pointed out that corruption was endemic in Pakistani society and it posed serious problems for Britain:

    I had intended to draw this to your readers’ attention as a glimmer of hope. Some hope: Mr Grieve was immediately attacked by the usual suspects, and, as to be expected from modern British politicians, he surrendered without a fight.

    Grieve might have mentioned the judgment of Commissioner Mawrey QC who implied that the Pakistani community should act on the concerns therein if they were worried about adverse publicity, rather than try and shout down anyone who dared criticise them. Unfortunately Mr Grieve MP did not. Instead he offered a supine apology.

    I have two comments to make. The first is that what in Britain is considered bribery is in Pakistan considered normal business practice (though presumably even in Pakistan blatant electoral fraud would be seen as wrong). Multiculturalism/cultural relativism maintains that no society or values are better than any other, so we are not entitled to criticise Pakistani culture on this basis. The answer is that if one accepts that (and I do not) we will be compelled to adjudge “honour killings” and female genital mutilation as culturally defensible. This would make for an impossible society. The country cannot function if one section of the community expects a payment as a matter of course and the rest would consider the same payment a criminal offence. The foundation for any successful, stable society is one law for all. [As pointed out by Ms Nuzhat Ali in The Economist of 9th-15th November, cultural norms are continually being reinforced in Britain by the practice of importing wives/husbands from up-country areas of Pakistan – Ed]

    The second comment is to repeat what I said in the comment box above: if we are not prepared to defend democracy, what do we have left in Britain? Mr Grieve’s remark about electoral fraud suggests he was aware of the judgment this posts deals with (and it would be shocking if the government’s senior legal adviser had not had the judgment drawn to his attention). As you say above, “when people in public office can’t do their jobs properly for whatever reason, then the structure of any society will collapse.” Mr Grieve now adds his name to that list of those in public office unable to do their jobs.

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  3. Ageing Albion says:

    Incidentally here is a longer extract of the Birmingham judgment by Judge Mawrey:

    “715. In the course of preparing my judgment, my attention was drawn to what I am told is an official Government statement about postal voting which I hope I quote correctly, as follows:

    “There are no proposals to change the rules governing election procedures for the next election, including those for postal voting. The systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working.”

    716. 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. To assert that “The systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working” indicates a state not simply of complacency but of denial.

    717. The systems to deal with fraud are not working well. They are not working badly. The fact is that there are no systems to deal realistically with fraud and there never have been. Until there are, fraud will continue unabated.”

    “. . . electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic” said Judge Mawrey in 2005. No-one listened and no-one did a thing. When Britain finally collapses, at least we can’t say we weren’t warned.

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