City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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By Theodore Dalrymple

The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism.

Eye on the News

Theodore Dalrymple
Blair’s Banana Republic?
A new Labour Party scheme to allow voting by mail is a recipe for corruption.
19 April 2005

Under the firm leadership of Tony Blair, Britain, once a country notable for the honesty of its inhabitants and the uprightness of its public administration, is fast descending into banana-republic status.

The latest institution subverted under Blair’s rule is the electoral system. His Labour government has extended the option of voting by mail, previously open only to those who could show good cause, to anyone seeking it. The system is so casual, with so few safeguards—and the government received so many warnings about the corruption likely to result from it—that one suspects that it was introduced not in spite of its open invitation to electoral fraud but because of it. And in any contest to find which party can commit the most fraud, Blair’s party is likely to win hands down.

A recent inquiry—obstructed by Blair’s party every inch of the way—found that six Muslim city councilors from Muslim areas of Birmingham, Labour Party members all, had committed outrageous electoral fraud. They, their acolytes, helpers, and corrupt or intimidated allies in the post office stole and altered thousands of mail votes. In one case, the police stumbled upon a postal vote “factory,” where six men, including three of the councilors, were busily filling in scores of votes. The police, now thoroughly corrupted by Blairite methods, in effect did nothing, and the three candidates wound up duly elected to the council. The inquiry, set up after vociferous protests, concluded that up to a third of the votes for the six elected candidates were fraudulent. The winning candidates would not have won without them, nor would Labour have controlled the city council.

Of course, postal votes (the numbers increased in one ward alone from 691 to 8,488 between one election and the next) are a disaster for Muslim women, even without widespread ballot box stuffing and vote-altering. In effect, the postal vote deprives Muslim women of the franchise and gives Muslim males more than one vote: when the ballots arrive at the house, the Muslim women, who are subordinate to the men, will be forced to go along with the men’s voting preferences.

Combined with Mrs. Blair’s defense in court of Muslim schoolgirls’ “right” to wear concealing clothes in school, and the Labour Party’s resort to latently anti-Semitic election posters (if a Conservative government were elected—no longer unthinkable though still unlikely—the prime minister and chancellor of the exchequer would be Jewish), we see a government desperately trying to square a circle: how to wage war in Iraq and retain the allegiance of an electorally important Muslim population. If doing so means resorting to anti-Semitism and condoning the abuse of women and depriving them of the vote—well, it is a small price to pay for the inestimable good that Tony Blair thinks he’s doing in the world. Like Hillary Clinton, he was born not with original sin, but original virtue.

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