Labour not interested in ending corrupt postal voting on demand’
PUBLISHED: 15:14 21 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 05 October 2010
Dear Editor, I WROTE to the leaders of the three other major parties on Tower Hamlets council urging them to support the call for an end to the corrupt postal voting on demand’ system. The Tory leader and Lib Dem leader responded immediately saying they would support it. But it took eight days for the ruling Labour leader to reply—and he would not support it
I WROTE to the leaders of the three other major parties on Tower Hamlets council on November 5 (Guy Fawkes Night) urging them to support the call for an end to the corrupt postal voting on demand’ system.
To their enormous credit, Tory leader Peter Golds and Lib Dem leader Stephanie Eaton responded immediately saying they would support such a call.
But it took eight days for Labour leader Lutfur Rahman to reply—and he would not support my proposal to end this iniquitous system.
Instead, he trotted out the usual old guff about how postal votes on demand’ enables all sorts of people to vote who would not otherwise be able to and how this contributes to higher turnouts.
This is nonsense! Voting can be made easier for shift-workers and others by extending voting times, voting over two days or voting at weekends.
For those physically unable to get to the polling station, postal votes would remain available as they have always been.
However, postal votes on demand’ have effectively abolished the secret ballot and protection from undue pressure that goes with it, the issue that Cllr Rahman singularly fails to address in his reply. It thus makes it so much easier for unscrupulous people to manipulate the election.
Cllr Rahman knows that most people who sign up for postal votes in the East End sign up with the encouragement’ of one or other of the major parties. In Tower Hamlets, this means mostly by his New Labour party.
The postal votes on demand’ system has got nothing to do with enabling voters to exercise their rights, but everything to do with maximising Labour’s slim chances of holding onto the council and the two Parliamentary seats at Bethnal Green & Bow and Poplar & Limehouse in 2010.
Cllr Dulal Uddin,
Deputy Leader, Respect Group
Tower Hamlets Council
Mulberry Place, Blackwall