Friday, 1 October 2010

The politics of the sub-continent

Mehdi Hasan at the New Statesman has what could be an extraordinary pre-conference story for the Conservatives. In an interview with Baroness Warsi she alleges that there were at least three seats at the election which the Conservatives didn't win directly as a result of electoral fraud. She goes on to say that the problem is 'predominantly in the Asian community'.

Ben Brogan provides a good summary of the problem politicians have faced in raising this issue in public when they have happily admitted to it in private. I hope that Lady Warsi's political opponents don't try and make political capital out of this. It is a problem that political activists of all parties have witnessed first hand.

While politicians perhaps haven't been as forthcoming on raising this issue as they should have been, the media also need to accept their part in ignoring the problem. When working on a by-election campaign a few years ago, I saw at firsthand the candidate of one of the other main parties busing in what can only be described as 'heavies' to intimidate voters as they made their way to the polling station.

These heavies, dressed in leather jackets and head scarfs, blocked the way of voters, shouting directions as to who to vote for while holding up the number of fingers that corresponded to their man's position on the ballot paper. It really was the politics of the sub-continent. I attempted to highlight this to all the main broadcasters but none were at all interested. Without getting this behaviour on film I couldn't make any accusations.

It will be interesting how the political correspondents - maybe even the same ones who ignored my attempt to raise this shoddy practice - will cover Baroness Warsi's claims.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and I will be interested in what you have to say.