The Tories are now so desperate that if they cannot win the election fair and square they’ll do so by hook. Or by crook. The Electoral Commission is the watchdog which ensures a level democratic playing field for all political parties. But the Tories plan to clip its wings on Wednesday in a way which two Commons committees reckon will undermine its independence.
It is yet another bid by Rishi Sunak to stop voters consigning his party to oblivion. A poll last week showed that, if a General Election was held tomorrow, the Tories would end up with just 42 MPs.
Those figures will most likely improve as the election draws near. But in any event we should be outraged at attempts by the PM to rig the final outcome. Yet the Tories have already introduced voter ID, which threatens to disenfranchise two million people if they turn up on the day without the right documents. And you can bet most wouldn’t have voted Conservative.
What little electoral fraud there is comes from postal votes scooped up by unscrupulous candidates, which this does not address. The rules for overseas donations and voting have been changed to boost Tory fortunes in marginal seats.
And proposed Rwanda legislation shows the PM’s scant regard for decisions made by British judges, or the rule of international law. We need an Electoral Commission free to act without fear or favour so voters know their democratic rights are being protected. Our confidence in the political process will be irreparably damaged by any move that tries to turn a watchdog into a lapdog.
Piling on grief
The grieving parents of Lucy Letby’s victims have suffered enough. Yet now they learn of the perks the baby killer is enjoying in a cushy jail. Just five months after being given a whole life sentence for killing seven babies, Letby has her own key to her cell at HMP Bronzefield.
She can pop out to mix with other prisoners, or lock herself in to enjoy some private time. The former nurse will never be let out on parole because of the babies she murdered, and the six others she tried to kill.
But with cells at the jail coming with an en-suite shower, desk, phone and TV, the life sentence she inflicted on her victims’ families is far worse than anything she is enduring.
On the ball
Congratulations to Watford FC for asking fans to help lower its carbon footprint. Step one is to offer them the chance to pick up litter with the club’s stars. Sir Elton John is Watford’s Honorary Life-President.
He knows if we don’t all do our bit for climate change, sorry really will be the hardest word.
Source: The Mirror