Britisk journalist kulturberiget på jobbet.
Op til det britiske valg på torsdag er der afsløret massiv valgsvindel med navnlig brevstemmerne. Set udefra kan det undre at nogen gider gøre sig ulejligheden, da valgets udfald er givet på forhånd: de tre socialdemokratier vil tilsammen besætte næsten samtlige pladser i parlamentet. Men visse, kulturberigende elementer i nogle ganske bestemte valgkredse har åbenbart ikke har andet at tage sig til:
Scotland Yard has launched criminal investigations into four allegations of bogus voter registration. Bundles of fictitious names have been put on the electoral roll in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in what looks like a blatant attempt to steal the elections. It will raise concern in an area notorious for election fraud and where a last-minute flood of applications to vote mean that more than 5,000 have been accepted without any checks — enough to sway Thursday’s results. The council tried to clean up the register. Officials visited any home with nine or more voters and removed 141 names from the roll. But a surge of 5,166 new registrations were received just before the deadline of April 20 and there was no time to check them. Alarm bells rang when parties were given lists of postal voters to help with electioneering.
Så vidt vi forstår udfylder og afleverer man brevstemmer fra folk der bor i Pakistan, Bangladesh o.s.v., men med fiktive adresser i enkelte, britiske lejligheder. Det er så faldet nogle emsige, racistiske embedsmænd for brystet, hvilket – ejendommeligt nok – har ført til presseomtale. Og i det gamle imperium har man åbenbart stadig enkelte journalister af den gamle skole. En sådan fik lyst til at undersøge svindelen lidt nærmere. Det skulle han ikke have gjort:
‘The first punch came, landing on my nose, sending blood down my face’ – ‘Independent’ reporter Jerome Taylor relives his bloody experience on the trail of voting fraud in east London. – When I look back on it now what surprises me is how disarmingly polite my attackers were. “What are you doing?” asked one of the two, seemingly inquisitive, Asian teenagers who approached me on a quiet cul-de-sac in Bow, east London, shortly after 1pm yesterday. – “There’s been a photographer around here, do you know her?” he added. – I didn’t, but I explained I was a journalist for The Independent looking to speak to a man at an address in the area, who was standing as a candidate in the local elections, about allegations of postal vote fraud. “Can we see your note pad,” the boy asked. I declined and then the first punch came – landing straight on my nose, sending blood and tears streaming down my face. Then another. Then another. I tried to protect myself but a fresh crop of attackers – I guess between four and six – joined in. As they knocked me to the ground one of them brought a traffic cone repeatedly down on the back of my head.
Læse hele den gribende beretning fra demokratiets frontlinie ovre på The Independent.