Thursday, 22 October 2015

Broken Kent and UK elections

FAO Michael-georg Link, Director OSCE, Office for Democratic Institutions

Dear Michael-georg

In your OSCE election observer/reporter role I wanted to raise various issues with the UK/Kent 2015 elections:

1. Not free: £500 or £5k charge for candidates
2. Illegal candidate: LibDem in in Thanet North election George Cunningham a civil servant for the EU/Taiwan
3. Dual roles: MP and magistrate – not strictly illegal but not a separation of powers
4. Doublehatters: numerous candidates standing for roles ie 4 seats but the same person so reducing democracy and increasing costs
5. Parachute candidates: numerous candidates from out of area ie diminishing local representation
6. Numerous family members and ex-civil servants standing
7. Police silence on point 2 despite being the required investigative authority
8. Electoral Commission: ditto
9. Vote at 16: bias to some UK regions eg Scotland (as well as in EU eg Austria) with greater representation
10. Postal ballots: numerous and weak
11. Election night ballot box counting discrepancies: some counts returned within two hours and some 12 hours for similar numbers of ballots
12. Hereditary Lords: a strange internal/undemocratic election when a hereditary Lord dies
13. Lords: excessive numbers – the largest assembly outside of China
14. Civil service £62k fee for election night – excessive cost and should be contractually required
15. FOI: weak and presumption towards seeking exemptions and minimising EIR and illegal eg Environment Agency and Fire Brigade refusing Public Interest test
16. UK High Court: fraud and weak BSB/SRA regulatory oversight as Clementi review
17. Sangcom – previously Al-Yamamah – Saudi guns for bungs bribes by MOD with specific MOD and civil service departments to bribe Saudi princes
18. Local Government Ombudsman: a tame whitewash facility
19. Ostend/Manston/Lydd/Vienna airports gunrunning and banned flights
20. Election manifestos vague/incomplete and not provided unti 10 days before an election despite fixed terms
21. Thor/Southern Water pollution ignored/illegal

It is worth noting the various corruption incidents in Kent – by the councils eg Infratil monitors, Pleasurama BVI tax haven, 0% salary fraud etc as detailed in Private Eye describing the councils as: “ a byword for corruption”.

Can you advise on the above are OSCE election observers seem invisible in UK and the above should form part of your reports and recommendations for reform.

Kindest regards
Tim Garbutt

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