Tony Blair accused of Election Rigging Tony Blair accused of Election Rigging

By our woman who knows a rotten borough when she steps in one, Miranda Givings

LONDON—In an impassioned speech delivered to a stunned nation on live Television tonight, Prime Minister Tony Bliar lashed out at critics who have accused him of election fraud after he announced that E-voting would be rolled out across the country in time for the General Election on May 5th

"Look," he implored, "Resistance is futile. I know this is the right thing to do. I know there are some misguided people who passionately disagree with my decision, but I simply ask people to believe that in launching this war, wa—er, initiative, I am acting in the best interests of the country. I really can't understand why people won't trust me."

E-voting—or as some misguided cynics who have not yet had an ASBO slapped on them, are calling it—'Dialling Tone'—involves texting an SMS text message to one of several, secure telephone numbers in order to register a vote. Fears that this will make this the dirtiest General Election since the debacle of 1891, when Sir Tarquin Greebling-Gussett, the Liberal candidate for Littlehampton, notoriously bicycled from pub to pub, pressing sovereigns into the grubby hands of the poor, were allayed when Mr Blair promised that an independent group of US 'telephone inspectors'—on secondment from Diebold Voting Machines Inc—would be on hand to ensure that the special mobile telephones being distributed across the country from midnight tonight 'would be as reliable as the intelligence we received prior to invading Iraq.'

Opposition party leaders have been swift to condemn the proposal, led by the distinguished Liberal Democrat Peer, Sir Montague Belch, who took time off from cataloguing his priceless collection of Victorian bicycle saddles, to talk exclusively to utterpants. "The government are cynically exploiting the ignorance of the most disadvantaged members of society," thundered the notorious technophobe. "Many of these wretched people cannot even speak English or write their own names. Why, only the other day I had a text message from someone in Romford who wanted to know what a 'four-line whip' was. Naturally, I referred them to David Blindgit, the ex-Home Secretary, as I understand he has some expertise in these matters."

"What was the message?" we asked.
"Here, read it yourself," snorted Sir Montague, thrusting his mobile telephone into our reporter's hands.
"god im sooo wet, wanna cyber?"
"No! Not that message, bellowed Sir Montague, "the one from 'fitchav47."
"Ah—sorry." we replied. "Oi y u say us chavs been a lower class wot cant spel 4 shit when it is our fuckin' money wot put u in parleymont innit?"
"Yes, that's the one. Now, I ask you, how can a person like that possibly be trusted to vote by mobile telephone?"

We put this very reasonable point to a young person in a hooded tracksuit and Burberry baseball cap who we found crouched beside the front, nearside wheel of our reporter's BMW which he was in the process of removing for 'cleaning purposes'—or so he claimed.
"Well, I've only gotta press a button, mate, innit?"
"How will you know what Party to vote for?" we asked him.
"Gotta be Labour, innit?"
"Why's that?"
"Cos I get me giros down the Labour innit?"

For those who don't receive a government approved mobile telephone in time—thought likely to include many members of opposition parties who may be unable to return home from foreign holidays owning to an unexpected lightning strike by Air Traffic controllers scheduled for 5th May—the Prime Minister has thoughtfully promised to extend the Postal Voting system. Informed citizens will recall that this is the same system that proved so phenomenally successful during the local elections for Birmingham City Council last June in which Labour romped home, despite implausible claims that a few, unscrupulous individuals had forged ballot papers. Some unpatriotic voices—almost certainly disgruntled Congestion Charge evaders who want to see a return to the dark days when the wealth of the Nation was squandered on education and healthcare rather than winning the War on Terror—have suggested that extending postal voting might lead to fraud.

The senior Labour Party Press officer we spoke to was quick to refute this ludicrous objection. "Stuff and nonsense," he snorted derisively. "Registered voters names will be rigorously cross checked against Labour Party membership records and if they're not listed their vote won't be counted. Now what could be fairer than that?"
"Voting in person at a Polling Station?" we suggested tentatively.
"Impossible, we simply don't have enough police officers to protect them all."
"Protect them from whom?"
"Ruthless terrorists, who despise the rule of law and order and are hell bent on overturning any vestige of democracy left in this country!" shouted the Press officer.
"But Tony Blair and Gordon Brown can't possibly be in so many different places at once," we objected.

We politely declined the Press officer's kind invitation to enjoy an extended holiday in Belmarsh Detention Centre and legged it via a convenient fire escape before a group of very large men wearing dark glasses could persuade us to change our minds.

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© 2005 utterpants.co.uk / 020505

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