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His "Review of political activities" within the 2007 Statement of Accounts gives Griffin the opportunity to spin to a positively New Labour degree (odd in a party which claims to stand aside from such behaviour).
"2007 was a hard year," he admits, "although we continued to make progress...in May we lost eight seats but gained nine, just taking us to a new record total"
Now Mr Chairman, this is a review of 2007 - not of May 1st and 2nd! So what were your fortunes at 1 January 2007, and where did you stand at 31st December? My sources give a slightly different version of events!
Yes, you made a net gain of one seat in the elections of May 1st - cancelled out almost immediately by the resignation/ expulsion of a Stoke councillor. Then there's the matter of by-elections during the year, in which you made...no gains. You mention your success in holding Loughton & Alderton in the summer, but surely you haven't forgotten the Princes End by-election (Sandwell) in December? You remember; where your councillor was thrown out for not turning up...and where you went from first to third in the by-election, with a 14% swing to Labour? And, of course, some of that "clique" you purged in December were councillors - Sadie Graham certainly was.
So, to explain it simply Mr Griffin:
May +1, but cancelled out in Stoke.
Then Princes End -1, and Sadie Graham, so that's -2.
So, unless I've got something wrong, the "continued...progress" reported by Griffin is represented by fewer councillors at the year end than in January. Has the meaning of "progress" changed since I was at school?
Of course, the inventive Mr Griffin has a plausible explanation for the limited progress made by the BNP. In fact, he has two!
"massive postal fraud by Labour and LibDem activists, which we estimate cost us several dozen seats"
One of those claims that it's very difficult to absolutely disprove (in the same way that it's damned tricky to prove that the world isn't run by shape-shifting lizards!), but the claim would be a little more credible if it had some supporting evidence. Postal fraud is difficult to prove, but there have been successful prosecutions. Interestingly most cases have arisen not in areas of BNP strength but in close contests between the major parties, including the Conservatives, who escape Griffin's ire. Griffin's failure to provide evidence of such fraud, or even to report specific allegations to the relevant authorities, is itself suspicious and the claim of it costing them "several dozen seats", on a day when they won fewer than a dozen seats in the entire country, is frankly ludicrous.
Incidentally, the use of postal voting is still pretty limited across much of the country. In one constituency I know well only 10% of voters have signed up for postal voting - and uptake is highest in affluent Conservative areas, and lowest in Labour/Liberal Democrat areas (which are also the areas of highest ethnic minority/immigrant presence).
"the sight of uninterrupted block votes for Labour at the very top of some ballot boxes...convinces experienced observers that some unscrupulous council officials manning polling booths are abusing their position by voting on behalf of electors who have not voted at the close of polls"
This is a very serious allegation, and one which becomes increasingly improbable as one reviews the implications. I have visited election counts of all kinds for some thirty years; the following remarks are based on my own experiences, and slightly different procedures may be found in other parts of the country.
1. Ballot papers are folded before being placed in the ballot box. They mix within the box. They are bounced around in the boot of a car/back of a van en route to the counting location. They are emptied onto a table, and spread around for the counters to start work. To suggest that - after all that - observers can tell which were placed in the ballot box late in the day is far-fetched to say the least!
2. A sequence of votes for a particular candidate/party is not unusual at a count. Even in a 50:50 vote split ballot papers will not alternate between candidates! A sequence of ballots for Labour (or any other party) is an effect of random chance, not conspiracy!
3. Let's think this through from the point of view of the election officers (and since there are normally two or three at each polling station they would have to enter into an agreement to act illegally). The accusation is that as they close to the public at 10pm they then sit down and:
a) tear off an extra number of ballot papers (not knowing, of course, how many are needed to alter the result) and record a vote on each;
b) identify a corresponding number of voters yet to vote, and cross them off the register;
c) transfer the voter numbers to the stubs of the ballot papers.
All this to seek to influence the political balance of the council, despite the fact that most council officers aren't directly affected and rarely have individual dealings with councillors. And for this they will happily enter into a conspiracy, and risk their careers and their pensions? I think not.
4. And finally, as election frauds go, this would be very easy to detect. The ballot stubs will identify (say) the last 30 papers to be issued (or used by those nasty council officials) and the electors in whose name they were used. The police could simply pop round to see those thirty people and ask whether they had actually voted.
So if this has really been an issue, when did Griffin (or his "experienced observers") report their concerns to the relevant authorities? I suspect never, since that might well reveal these accusations to be false.
No, these increasingly paranoid - and ridiculous - "we wuz robbed" claims are simply a smokescreen to conceal the failure of Griffin and his pathetic little party to progress in the electoral context of 2007.
P.S. And, yes, I do promise to turn to the accounts themselves in Part (3)!