Tuesday 15 October 2019

Rigging their reports?

The Government's plans to tackle voter fraud by introducing a legal requirement for voters to show photographic identification before they are allowed to vote in an election - the 'Voter ID proposal' - are certainly riling some people and exciting others - at least if my social media feeds are anything to go by (which, as ever, they possibly aren't).

For the purposes of this blog, I'll just point out that the BBC News website's two pieces about this (via a 'search') have borne the following headlines respectively: Voting: Could ID checks affect who participates in elections? and Corbyn: Voter ID plans discriminate against ethnic minorities

Now, the BBC could have borne alternative headlines, such as: Voting: Could ID checks eliminate electoral fraud? and Government: Voter ID plans will increase public confidence in the integrity of our democratic system, but they obviously weren't minded to do such a thing.

Both of these BBC reports - one a BBC-stamped Reality Check - make evident the BBC's belief (as it very much appears to be) that (a) electoral fraud is actually at an almost negligably low level in the UK and that (b), as the proposal's critics say, the racially discriminatory potential of introducing ID checks is clear and will be harmful to social cohesion.

(Note: The BBC's 'Corbyn' report has just one reinforcing sub-headline: 'Marginalised'.)

I'm slightly torn on the issue myself but, from this, I don't think the BBC is. They seem decided on the matter.


  1. It would be a miracle if there wasn't fraudulent voting.
    Consider that there is no disincentive to register extra adults in a house above the first two, (exceed one person and lose council tax discount). No-one checks and it is very hard to check the electoral roll now.
    At the polling station they don't even check the poll card, they only ask for a name and address. Royal Mail requires identity checks for collecting mail from sorting offices, do the poor and 'minorities' suffer there too?
    I don't doubt that a good few students vote twice as well, aided by the postal vote which no longer serves its original purpose

    1. Postal voting is corruption-friendly. A populist government should restrict its use to those who genuinely require one, people over say 80, registered disabled or those who have completed a form countersigned by a doctor indicating illness prevents them from voting.

      You'll also find in many parts of the country that the privacy of the ballot booth at polling stations is not respected at all - with the paterfamilias of large family groups often inspecting the completed ballot papers.

  2. Of course Corbyn would hate the idea of personal responsibility, but isn’t the notion that obtaining a voter ID would be beyond the capabilities of “marginalised” groups rather racist. Sorry, I forgot Corbyn has been fighting racism all his life.

  3. I managed to track this one down too - isn't the internet handy :


    BBC File on 4 - Election Fraud from 2014

    It's a good programme if I remember rightly.

    1. I'm listening to it again now. My, how things have changed since 2014 (with regard to how the BBC reports). You couldn't make this programme now.


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