Iain Dale's Rules - Number 94 : Never criticise a Banana Republic when it is your own Banana Republic

Interesting to see today that Iain Dale is hailing the results in Breckland for the Tories on the same day as the Conservatives are asking for an enquiry in to the counting debacle in Scotland. What utter hypocrisy ?

In Breckland they have, according to the Eastern Daily Press, sonly just finished the count (18:05 hrs) . The Returning Officer has refused to use the e-counting machines, but was also refusing to recount votes declared last week which were done using the e-counting machines which Breckland no longer wished to use for the remainder of the count. There were in the first batch of counts last Friday some suspiciously low turnouts and some odd results for Labour. There is also a strong suspicion that the results last Friday do not accurately reflect the votes cast and it has caused all sorts of problems at the count, as the EDP reports HERE.

So in this case, in a Tory run council, we have a debacle using counting machines. Why aren't the Tories asking for an enquiry in to this ?

What surprised me about Iain Dale is that I e-mailed him details of the Breckland fiasco last week because it is such an awful mess and with his Norfolk links, I assumed (wrongly) that he would be interested. As it is, I was wrong.

So the rules is that you can hail the results from a Banana Republic if they are the results you want and you never criticise a Banana Republic so long as it is your Banana Republic. It's a shame Iain. I like your blog and whilst I don't expect political balance, I would expect some reporting of the problems in Breckland given that you are so keen to publicise the results of the count.

Update - Iain, polite as ever, has emailed me this response.

"I have no idea who is to blame either in Scotland or in Breckland. I am tempted to put it at the door of the Electoral Commission. Next week I am interviewing Sam Younger for an hour and will be questioning him hard on this. If Breckland Council are to blame in any way then I am very happy to criticize them. From what I remember of your email (which I appear to have deleted) it looked like a complete balls up (in Breckland)."


Ralph said...

And you do know that the Returning Officer isn't a Tory?

Anonymous said...

Nich, are you aware of the rules for candidates at Local elections with regards to what party they stand for. In Breckland I notice that the Conservative candidates stood as 'Local Conservatives' and some stood as 'Local Conservatives - Stop the hospital cuts'. Neither I believe are registered political parties so if I understand the rules correctly, then the candidates are not standing for a proper party so should not have been able to stand under this banner, at the very least - the 4 conservatives elected as 'stop the hospital cuts' should have been counted as a seperate grouping of councillors to the others? I would welcome your views on this.

Norfolk Blogger said...

It does seem odd doesn't it. they also stood under that banner in North Norfolk. I would be interested to know under what rules they were allowed to do this.

Hywel said...

Each party registers up to 12 descriptions to use on the ballot paper - they are listed on the Electoral Commission website

They include "Local Conservatives" and "Conservatives: Stop the Hospital Cuts". It would seem though that "Local Conservatives - Stop the Hospital Cuts" shouldn't have been allowed.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Actually, having checked the Breckland Website they put "Conservatives", not "local Conservatives".