Now where have they hidden that vodka?Nick Griffin has recently returned from Moscow following an invitation for him to be an independent elections advisor in last week’s Russian parliamentary elections.
Griffin obviously couldn’t believe his luck. Known to like the food and drink, Griffin was in hog heaven with copious amounts of food and free flowing vodka along with dancing Cossacks being the order of the day.
Perhaps it was the vodka or his own sense of self importance that clouded Griffin’s judgement when it came to the actual reason he was in Russia, to give an impartial view of the Russian election. Or maybe Moscow just wanted a few gullible idiots to churn out their version of events on state television?
The election has been widely condemned as being loaded in favour of the ruling “United Russia” party, with numerous accounts of vote rigging, harassment and state interference. Yet Nick Griffin declared that there were “A handful of small technical failings in a few polling stations that didn't affect the validity of the election”.
Posting on Twitter he also said that “UK Electoral Commission could learn a lot from the Russian set up to monitor & improve elections.”
Really? Do we want the Russian system that has seen opposition leaders such as the veteran liberal politician Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister turned vocal government opponent rounded up and detained? The same Russian system that banned a number of political parties from even standing in the elections? The same system that arrested two well known anti corruption bloggers and placed them in jail?
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said “Reports of procedural violations are a serious concern". She also highlighted the "lack of media impartiality, a lack of separation between party and state, and the harassments of independent monitoring attempts".
A report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe details alleged attempts to stuff ballot boxes, manipulate voter lists and harass election monitors. The group, which monitors and promotes democracy and human rights in Europe, cited the lack of an independent body running the election or impartial news media.
Yet Griffin wrote “Eye opening being in a country that has set up a democratic system recently and with intention of being honest & transparent. UK elections are a bent farce by comparison.”
The election results triggered two days of protests in Moscow and St Petersburg with several thousand protestors taking to the streets. Russian police are thought to have arrested hundreds of the protestors as anger over allegations of official corruption and economic stagnation started to boil over.
United Russia, the party of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin remains the largest party, albeit with a smaller majority and his reputation tarnished.
Is this the sort of democracy Nick Griffin and the BNP would like in this country?
Of course it is.
Hope not hate