Today’s Mail on Sunday has picked up Sayeeda Warsi’s reiteration of David Cameron’s UKIP “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists” remark, thus adding to the gaiety of nations, but her words were only a part of a wide-ranging interview with Mehdi Hasan in the Huffington Post – the basis for the Mail’s story. Mehdi’s questions cover immigration, Islamophobia, extremism, Richard Dawkins, women, that bingo poster, class, and her recent TV appearance clutching an “Eton Mess” poster – almost everything, in fact, except whether or not the Senior Minister of State is keeping a diary for publication.
He also asks the Baroness about election fraud, which she has previously claimed cost the Conservatives a majority in 2010, and this is the answer she gives.
“Four years on, does she think the threat of electoral fraud has gone away? “No it hasn’t.” So she’s still worried about the same alleged problem? “I am,” she replies. “There are reforms we have put in place.. and I think some of them will help but there is a real issue in the way in which postal votes are used.” Does she have any regrets for highlighting the alleged ethnic dimension? She fixes an intense stare on me. “No, I don’t.” And it’s still “predominantly within the Asian community”, in her view? The communities minister nods. ” “I’ve never minced my words. If you don’t define what a problem is accurately you’re never going to resolve it.”
Warsi’s warning is in danger of being missed amidst the stir about her UKIP remarks, but they are worth highlighting – and supporting. Here are the seven recommendations previously made on the site by the excellent Councillor Peter Golds, which ConservativeHome supports.
- Institute Individual Voter Registration.
- Review postal votes on demand.
- Make it illegal for anybody to collect ballot papers
- Introduce the system that was put into place in Northern Ireland to prevent personation – in other words, the production of I.D when voting.
- Examine the powers and personnel of the Electoral Commission. It needs somebody like Judge Mawrey, who knows and understands electoral fraud.
- Ensure the police act on allegations.
Ministers have made some progress on the first of these objectives. It is time for them to do so on the remaining six.