Bureaucracy stifling democracy

All is riding on the nomination process at this point. The elections team at Telford told the candidates at their election presentation that they could file all hundred signatories as being from West Mercia, which we did on my form. Yet today I was told by an official viewing my list of signatories in a pre-check by the Elections team of my nomination papers, with all being so signed as West Mercia, that this is not acceptable, and they need to see the signatories’ individual Councils marked. This possibly will reduce their workload and so is understandable from that viewpoint.

Robin Tilbrook, English Democrats leader and solicitor says that there is no statutory requirement to provide either. So this point is confusing.

We reached a compromise where I agreed to add the Council information to the side of each signatory’s entry, next to their electoral roll identifier, and add my initials. The Council lawyer agreed that the signatures were not negated by their being stated as West Mercia, but they would like the extra information adding.

I intend to resubmit my nomination papers again tomorrow, with this requested extra modification.

Previously there were difficulties obtaining a copy of the electoral roll to fill in the nomination form for the one hundred signatories, but a letter from Robin Tilbrook to Shropshire Council succeeded in getting one delivered to me when their previous failure to deliver one to me was queried as being unlawful by Robin. I had waited two weeks and time was running out.

It feels as if democracy is skating on the brink of extinction, with Councils able to alter their rulings on a whim, sometimes contradicting their own statements, thereby halting a candidate’s nomination on minimalistic grounds, if they desire to do so. If I didn’t have the support of Robin and his legal knowledge, and the people who’ve helped me find signatories, with the electoral roll delivery being delayed by two weeks, and expert help with filling in the necessary forms, I doubt I would be as far in as I now am.

I hope that the pre-check indicates that my nomination papers are indeed in order, as I was told today bar the ‘west mercia’ issue. But I was still not offered certainty that a more detailed check might not find further issues, once I submit the live version.

I would prefer to be spending time campaigning, as all this admin takes up days of very valuable time. I would hate to be standing as an independent candidate and not have the support of a political party. In fact it would be next to impossible. So much for the state of England’s democracy. The name English Democrats has significance in that our democratic processes are becoming bureaucratic. The voters should decide who wins position or a seat. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Maybe my misgivings will not be justified and all will be well.

Surely they won’t ask for a resubmission of all the signatures. It took days to collect them all. The April 5th deadline is near and it’s Easter holidays now.

Whatever happens with the nomination, the plans to send out leaflets to 700,000 people are going ahead. We had to book the dates and get the printing ordered last week. Nothing will be stopping that.  It’s all paid for – about £23,000 all in.


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