Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A Geordie Omnibus...

With a remarkable bit of timing, the Prime Minister calls a General Election on the same day that a Judge is reported to have commented about levels of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic. This doesn’t seem to have shocked anyone to much, because deep inside we know that we are indeed living in a third rate quasi-police state region of EUrope, even if we are not producers of Musaceae Musa monocotyledonous plants.

The Judge also said that the government is in denial about the potential for postal abuse, probably because postal voting favours the Labour Party, particularly if it is raining on polling day.

If Parliament wanted to actually gain some credibility on this matter, it would enact emergency legislation to suspend postal voting for all but those qualifying under older schemes, i.e. they would have difficulty getting to the polling station on the day due to being elsewhere or handicapped in some way. Of course, they will use the excuse that there is insufficient time to enact anything, which not being a national emergency is probably realistic.

I’m no expert, but Statutory Instruments seem to be a (much abused) method of getting partially scrutinised law through in a hurry, particularly if there is enabling legislation to prime them. One that said that anyone with a prejudicial interest in the outcome of an election is not allowed within fifty feet of an exposed ballot paper (with an outrageously punative outcome as punishment for transgression) might go down well with voters.

Another approach would be for the Police to serve ASBOs on all Members of political parties. Stranger things have happened!

What does this have to do with Newcastle buses, I hear you ask? Well, in the days of the Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive the joke used to be:

What is yellow and comes in bunches?

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