LibLink: Craig Murray – British democracy: no better than Uzbekistan’s

Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free, blogging Lib Dem and former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray argues that – with postal ballot-rigging, partisan officials, censorship of candidates, etc – no independent observer could call our elections free and fair. Here’s an excerpt:

In my diplomatic career, I spent a great deal of time assessing the democratic merit of elections in various countries abroad. That gives me a peculiar perspective in looking at elections in the UK, and wondering what a foreign observer would make of them. I can do this also with the insight of having twice run as an independent parliamentary candidate. Against international standards, British elections leave a great deal to be desired. …

So, there we have British elections today: an unfair electoral system, censorship of candidates’ electoral addresses, little real political choice for voters, widespread postal ballot-rigging and elections administered by partisan council officials in a corrupt political climate. …

So are British elections still free and fair? If this were a foreign election I was observing, I have no doubt that my answer would be no.

You can read Craig’s article in full here.

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33 Comments

  • Great, the new Tonge Tendency raises its ugly head on CiF.

  • David Allen 9th Apr '10 - 7:14pm

    I would question whether the above posters just want to dissuade you from reading Murray’s full article. Not very helpful.

    If you do read it, you’ll find that at his worst, yes, Murray does go over the top. At his best, he points out real and major “flaws in democracy” which far too many people complacently overlook.

  • paul barker 9th Apr '10 - 8:39pm

    He has always struck me as the sort of ego-tripper who lives to be at the centre of attention, a natural guest for shouty opinion programs. The best thing is to ignore him.

  • I doubt he’d get the chance as the thugs in blue seem more likely to beat up any slightly dissenting member of the public first and ask questions after. Just don’t carry a camera ….

  • “Partisan election officials” ?

    The only bias I’ve ever detected in election officials is a distaste for the BNP. But even then, they afforded them every necessary facility.

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