Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Don't forget the Tory gerrymandering

I am caught up in the general frenzy about the general election Gordo could be about to call: besides attending last weekend's special Federal Policy Committee meeting to draft a general election manifesto (my fourth, I think), just in case, I have two constituencies to look after. In one of them - Cities of London & Westminster - the electorate has in the past repeatedly delivered a mountain of Tory votes. The other constituency is Labour-held and with redrawn boundaries 75th on the list of Tory target seats. In both seats the legacy of England's greatest gerrymandering scandal, carried out in the late 1980s by Shirley Porter and her allies, is as permanent as the housing stock that they socially engineered. In a nutshell, they moved as many poor people out of Westminster as they could in order to ensure Westminster Council remained under Tory control. The result is wards extraordinarily sharply divided into rich and poor. The Tories don't deserve either seat. Labour doesn't deserve them either: the gerrymandering plot was devised and implemented in reaction to the activities of the hard left London Labour Party.

Does the electorate care? Does it even remember? There has been precious little sign of it in past elections even after the gerrymandering scandal had been exposed. And in Cities of London & Westminster the Tory association for the constituency alone gave the central party over £40,000. If the electorate wanted to deliver a message that the parties must clean up British politics, rather than the usual moan of "You're all the same," etc, which I am sick of hearing, it could start by not delivering that mountain of votes to the Tory next time. Now that would be an interesting election.

1 comment:

SOPHIE LWIN said...

Hello,
I would like to ask you for a favor, to talk about and post the new campaign dontforgetburma.org if it is not too much trouble for you.

We created this site because we wanted a space where normal people could show that although the media spotlight over Burma may have dimmed, we are still thinking of Burma.

The team that runs this site came together through the "Support the Monks' Protest in Burma " Facebook group (439,000 members) and has created the website www.burma-watch.org .

We're a team of activists from around the world that work around the clock on our sites, we were key to coordinating the Global Day of Action for Burma on October 6th 2007 and Aung Sang Suu Kyi day (October 24th 2007).

We'd like to thank our launch partners who have helped make this project work., they are: Burma Campaign UK, The US Campaign for Burma, Avaaz.org, the European Burma Network and wearenotafraid.com .

About Burma

Burma is ruled by one of the most brutal military dictatorships in the world; a dictatorship charged by the United Nations with a "crime against humanity" for its systematic abuses of human rights, and condemned internationally for refusing to transfer power to the legally elected Government of the country – the party led by Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

In September 2007 monks led thousands of peaceful protestors onto the streets of Burma. The Burmese military put this peaceful uprising down with ruthless brutality routinely using violence and torture against the protestors, even the monks. The people of Burma have lived under military dictatorship for 45 years. The last peaceful uprising that occurred in1988 was brutally put down by the army killing at least 3,000 people. However the West didn't act because very little news came out of Burma. This time is different, we know people have been tortured, we know hundreds and possibly thousands of people have been murdered by the regime in an attempt to put down the uprising.

To make sure the world doesn't forget get active, submit a photo of support to this site, join the Facebook group and find a local activist organisation via http://www.burma-watch.org/index.php?option=com_glossary&Itemid=113

Sophie Lwin
sophielwin.blogspot.com