COULD YOUNG FABIAN SOCIALISTS BECOME ENGLISH NATIONALISTS?
What I have reproduced below is a speech given by the former Labour Cabinet Minister and long-serving MP for Southampton and now Professor at Winchester University in the Centre for English Policy Studies, John Denham.
John Denham is an intelligent and eloquent man, but his politics are highly Labour Party political partisan.
As the speech shows he is fully alive to the risk to the Labour Party’s future of the fact that the English are becoming more nationally self-aware and that English nationalism is awakening.
In the main his analysis is good although his agenda is unattractive to any real English nationalist. He wants English nationalism to become multi-cultural and therefore in effect cease to be nationalism. The English are to be told in the words of John Prescott “there is no such nationality as English”!
His recipe is really therefore an argument that Labour should be more effectively deceitful about England and the English Nation than they are currently being!
It is a good example of John Denham’s partisan unreliability, lack of objectivity, that despite having met me and quite a few other English Democrats on a number of occasions, he is unwilling to openly admit that there is a campaigning English nationalist party!
It is also deceitful of him to only quote the BBC’s survey which showed many people saying that they are both English and British. Whereas the much larger and much more authoritative survey, the National Census in 2011, showed that 60.4% of English people identified as only English and not British!
The speech will however, I think, be interesting to anybody who cares at all about England and the English Nation.
Chairman - English Democrats
Here is what John Denham said:-
English identity and Labour
This is the text of a talk given to the Young Fabians in Westminster on 8th January 2019.
Thank you for the invitation to talk about English identity. The Young Fabians have led the way in addressing the issue, including your recent suggestion that Labour should support an English Parliament. But in my view it is still too rare and unusual for any part of the Labour Party to organise a discussion about England and English identity.
Because this is the really interesting thing: England and the English are an ever-present component of our national culture and our politics. But England – as England – is barely mentioned in the national political debate; it is only occasionally addressed in the national culture of the establishment. And if English identity is mentioned, it is to be disparaged and abused.
There is now a fair amount of data about English identity, but the quality of academic work – particularly on what people mean when they say they are English – is woefully poor. This allows lazy writers to ascribe to the English dreams of Empire, entrenched racism, or rural idyllic romanticism. They project whatever prejudice takes their fancy unencumbered by troublesome facts.
Despite this, we know more about English identity than many might think. And, of course, those of us who spent a long time talking and listening with English identifiers in our constituencies have plenty of insights ourselves.
The cost of ignoring England and English has been high. If you are a Remainer the cost is paid in the overwhelmingly English decision to Leave. If you are Labour, the cost is paid in the failure to win votes in English places and amongst English people who were once proud to be Labour. If you want a multi-cultural society shaped by tolerance, inclusion and shared values, the cost is paid by our failure to strengthen the versions of Englishness that meet that challenge and in the persistence in a minority of an ethnicised and racist national identity
Above all, if we want to see a radical and progressive transformation of our economy and society to serve the common good, we pay the price in a divided nation, within a divided union, in which the ‘many’ Labour wants to stand for, is too divided and disparate to bring about change.
Engaging with England and Englishness is not a quaint cultural diversion. It’s central to the possibilities of progressive change.
Nationally (in England) about 80% say they are strongly English; and 80% strongly British.
As those figures make clear, most people who live in England say they are English AND British to some degree. The largest group (around 35-40%) are equally English and British. But either side of this there are rather more ‘more English’ than are ‘more British’ – about 3:2 in most surveys.
One striking thing is that, in most Labour meetings, there are few who say they are more English than British, and many who are more British than English. There is no ‘must’ about national identity; no sense that people should feel English. But it is very important to be aware when the identities of those in our own party are out of step with many of the people who we want to vote for us.
National identities are about far more than flags and football. In the classic academic description, they are ‘imagined communities’: that set of shared stories, histories, culture, values and symbols that enable us to feel a sense of common identity with people we have never met.
But they are also offer world views; stories, narratives that help us make sense of the world as we experience it. And in a nation where multiple identities are common, people will emphasise the identity, or the mix of identities that make most sense of our own experience.
People who identify as more English are also more likely to be rooted within England -that is they are more likely to also identify with a town, city or region of England. They are though, much less likely than British identifiers to see themselves as European.
The English are significantly more patriotic – not just about being English but about being British too. You won’t be surprised to know that the people who are more English than British are those most proud to be English. But they are also the most proud to be British! People who are British not English are not particularly proud of being British.
These same is true about national characteristics. In the popular mind, there is virtually no difference about the extent to which British or English identities are seen to be open, welcoming tolerant, friendly, generous. But people who identify as English or English and British, are much more likely to associate both identities with these relatively positive characteristics, than do the people who say ‘I’m only British’.
In summary, as you move across the spectrum of identities, we move from people who are strongly rooted within England, towards those with weaker local and more strongly international identities; we move from those who are strongly patriotic to those who have less pride in any national identity; we move from those who associate national identities with positive values to those who are less likely to be positive about any national identity
And there is a final but very important point: the differ on attitudes to the governance of England, the union, our relationship with the union and people’s sense of political power.
The English are more likely to be dissatisfied with the way they are governed (though few people of any identity think they are well represented), they feel least able to influence politics and business, they are most likely to support an English parliament and certainly to want English MPs to make English laws, most strongly want to put England’s interests ahead of the union. They most strongly feel the Barnett formula is unfair and have a far higher estimation of the importance of the EU in shaping domestic policy than do their peers in Wales or Scotland.
So, we can begin to see how the different world views expressed in these different identities are reflected in people’s political choices. Even though we don’t hear people say ‘I’m voting Leave’ because it is the ‘English’ thing to do, or ‘Labour’ because it is the ‘British’ thing to do, those choices do map strongly on to people’s sense of national identity.
For reasons we don’t entirely understand, Britishness rather than Englishness has emerged as the choice for those who are most comfortable and potentially successful in the world as it is; they are least attached to a sense of place, most open to other identities, less patriotic. Englishness is more rooted in place. We can, then, understand why the cultural impact of immigration is most keenly felt in those places where a rooted sense of belonging is most central to people’s idea of their own identity. And, of course, we find the ‘more English’ living outside the big cities, in the smaller towns, where people have seen social and economic change go against them.
In short, Englishness is felt most deeply in the places where Labour has been losing ground and needs to win.
Tonight, because I’m talking to Fabians, I’m concentrating on that Labour vote (many of whom now unfortunately vote Tory and have supported UKIP); a fuller discussion of English identity would also consider the more traditional Conservative English Leave voters; people who are often somewhat more prosperous than the stereo-typical ‘left behind’ working class voter, though they are no less disconcerted by social change and equally out of step with metropolitan values. They are, though, a harder reach for Labour as they are less likely to share the left of centre economic views of potential English Labour voters.
Let’s just think about those potential Labour voters. They are older, poorer, (though not necessarily the poorest) more working-class, have spent less-time in higher education, are more economically precarious, and least likely to think it is worth voting at all.
If the Labour Party does not exist to work with them to change the world, I’m not sure why we do exist. Yet we are struggling amongst them. And we don’t even talk to them.
At this point, many on the left say: ‘why do we have to engage with national identity of any sort?’ Why can’t we just have policies for older people, policies to improve skills, policies to end austerity, policies for towns and seaside resorts?’
In other words, why can’t we talk about everything except the way people talk about themselves!
Because these voters are English; they are proud to be English, (usually proud to to be British too). If Labour is not palpably proud to be an English party; palpably proud to be British too; then we send a rather clear message: ‘we are not people like you’.
Indeed, many hear the message as ‘we are Labour and we don’t actually like people like you, even though we would like you to vote for us’. Fat chance. And of course, many will not even listen to our policies because most voters look for a party they can identify with BEFORE they will listen to its policies.
People who want to talk about policy not identity are often deliberately trying to avoid the difficult conversations: with people who are more socially conservative, with people who are more worried about migration. People who, in other words, don’t share the cosmopolitan values of the metropolitan graduates.
But that’s the central challenge in social democratic politics right across Europe. We can build a majority that wants to reform capitalism, that wants to make it the economy work for the common good. But only if we can unite those who are on the left economically: to do that we have to find common ground across the cultural issues that divided us.
So, that’s our challenge. To engage with voters who are
· Socially conservative
· On the left economically
· Live disproportionately in key marginal seats
Our willingness to engage with English identity is a test of our willingness to engage with these voters. It’s a powerful symbol of being willing to listen. And it is evidence of a commitment to involve them fully in building a better society, not just promise to do things for them. It’s a clear sign that, for all our internationalism, building a strong, fairer nation is at the centre of our aims.
One of the common objections that is raised is that this is all about pandering to English nationalism. In fact, English nationalism barely exists as a political idea or movement. It has no significant political party, no public intellectuals, no cultural movement or institutions. Unless by nationalism you simply mean loving your country and hoping it will succeed and prosper – but on that basis, Ruth Davidson, most Scottish Tories and the whole of Scottish Labour are Scottish nationalists: which rather begs the question of what the SNP are!
People blame Brexit on English nationalism, but its leaders like Boris Johnson, Daniel Hannam, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage are British politicians who speak, not about England, but about Britain. They certainly have an Anglo-centric world view – only a Johnson who equates Britain and England could talk of ‘1000 years of history’ - but he tells Telegraph readers ‘it’s time to believe in our Greater Britain’.
In short, it is wrong to equate Britain’s English ruling elite with the people of England.
The second problem group is with a different part of the elite. The anti-patriotic, cosmopolitan, British and definitely not English. Predominant in the media, much of politics, the business elite and academia, they disparage English identity as racist and xenophobic; blame the crime of empire exclusively on the English despite the enthusiastic participation of Scotland, Wales and at least some parts of Irish society in it. They, of course, are disproportionately found on the left and within Labour.
By dismissing English voters and English interests as English nationalism they aim to avoid engaging with England at all. They often claim that UKIP is an English nationalist party. Yet, the collapse in support for UKIP is not reflected in any fall in the strength of English identity. UKIP was a temporary home for English votes, not an expression of English interests. Brexit was a cry of pain from people who were not listened to, not people seeking a new imperial glory.
Of course, it is no coincidence that England and the English provided the bulk of the Leave vote. Only England – lacking a parliament or any national institutions of its own – has not had the chance to reimagine itself as a 21 stcentury nation in the way as Wales, Scotland and even Northern Ireland have had a chance to do as a result of democratic and constitutional changes.
And unlike the other devolved nations, the state has played no role in the development of national English identity. Some on the left like to contrast a civic, democratic Scottish identity with an ethnicised Englishness. But where did this come from? The differences between Scotland and England in attitudes towards minorities, immigration or the degree to which identities are ethnic can be greatly overstated – there is much less difference than most people think. But the different images owe a great deal to the active involvement of political leaders and the national (and also the UK) state in promoting the idea of a civic identity.
Nothing like that has happened in England. Neither the UK government nor the Opposition talks about England or plays any role in promoting an inclusive English identity.
From all of this, we can begin to see what our political strategy should be
Firstly, Labour should take a leading role in reinserting England in the national conversation. Yesterday (7 thJanuary) a plan was launched for the NHS, but in sharp contrast to what would happen in Wales and Scotland, little mention was made of the fact that it was for the English NHS. Nor did Labour’s response.
We have a national education service. For which nation? Clearly not for the devolved nations where they have their own policies. If it is a national education service for England, why don’t we want to say the name?
Secondly, Labour needs to have its own English identity, in our material, in our language, in actually celebrating St George’s Day, not just tweeting about four new bank holidays.
Thirdly, we need to grasp the need to England to have a national political identity including, in my view (this is not ELN policy) some form of English Parliament, or real EVEL within Westminster.
Fourth, we need to understand that it is the UK government that makes England such a centralized nation, and the UK government that concentrates resources and energy on London. Labour needs to go way beyond current commitments to devolve power with England – not as an alternative to English governance but as an integral part of it.
Finally, a Labour government should be willing to act, as the Scottish and Welsh governments do, in using the state to promote a patriotic, yet diverse and inclusive English identity.
None of this should be too difficult. But it would make a real difference.
The UK - along with Albania, Azerbaijan and Turkey - was criticised in a hard-hitting resolution adopted by the 47-nation Council of Europe raising concerns that rulings of Sharia councils 'clearly discriminate against women in divorce and inheritance cases'. It calls on the UK to make it a legal requirement for Muslim couples to register their marriages civilly before or at the same time as their religious ceremony.
Article from The Law Gazette:
The body that oversees the European Convention on Human Rights has named the UK - along with Albania, Azerbaijan and Turkey - in a hard-hitting resolution highlighting conflicts between sharia law and universal human rights. A measure adopted last night by the 47-nation Council of Europe raises concerns about the role of sharia councils in family, inheritance and commercial law.
Rulings of sharia councils 'clearly discriminate against women in divorce and inheritance cases', the resolution states. It calls on the UK to make it a legal requirement for Muslim couples to register their marriages civilly before or at the same time as their religious ceremony.
The resolution was passed at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which meets four times a year to set the agenda of the Council of Europe. It notes with 'great concern' that three member states, Albania, Azerbaijan and Turkey, have endorsed explicitly or implicitly, the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.
The assembly is also 'greatly concerned' about the fact that sharia, including provisions that contravene the European Convention on Human Rights, is applied either officially or unofficially in member states. In the UK, 'sharia councils attempt to provide a form of alternative dispute resolution, whereby members of the Muslim community, sometimes voluntarily, often under considerable social pressure, accept their religious jurisdiction mainly in marital and Islamic divorce issues, but also in matters relating to inheritance and Islamic commercial contracts,' the resolution states.
It welcomes recommendations put forward in last year's independent report into the application of sharia in England and Wales and calls on the UK to ensure councils operate within the law 'especially as it relates to the prohibition of discrimination against women, and respect all procedural rights'. It sets a deadline of June 2020 for the UK to report back on reviewing the Marriage Act to make it a legal requirement for Muslim couples to register their marriages civilly, as is required for Christian and Jewish marriages.
The Law Gazette can be found by clicking the link below:-
HOW BRITISH POLITICS IS FAILING
The web based comment blog “Unherd” hosts interesting contributions from politically minded commentators. The one below is interesting.
It is a recent contribution from Peter Kellner. Peter Kellner is the Blairite Director of YouGov, the internet based opinion pollsters. His opinion on the interpretation of statistics is well worth considering. So when Peter Kellner says:- “I wouldn’t bet a great deal against changes that could be immense, and which not everyone will like”, we should take notice. Also, as he is an enemy of English Nationalism and he is fearful of the consequences – so that should be encouraging too!
Here is Peter Kellner’s article:-
HOW BRITISH POLITICS IS FAILING
Something odd, and possibly dangerous, is eating away at the fabric of British politics. Brexit, of course, has much to do with it, but the consequences could be with us long after the current crisis is resolved, one way or another.
Signs of the malaise can be clearly seen in an exclusive survey for UnHerd conducted by Deltapoll. It shows a remarkable lack of faith in both main party leaders, not just by voters generally but by high proportions of their own voters. Loyalties are being tested as never before.
In the past, one party leader has occasionally had a shaky reputation among their own supporters on one or two characteristics. In the early 1980s, many Labour voters thought Michael Foot was weak; towards the end of her premiership, many Tories considered Margaret Thatcher out of touch. But I have never seen so many supporters of both parties simultaneously hold such low opinions of their own leaders across the board.
The responses of all voters shows that both leaders have strongly negative ratings on all counts. That is unusual enough. But when we look at the figures, showing how Conservative voters view Theresa May, and the figures, showing how Labour voters view Jeremy Corbyn, the scale of the drama becomes clear. The positive scores for May range from 57% of Conservative supporters who say she is strong, down to 40% who back her on Brexit. Her average score among Tory voters is 45%. Labour voters give Corbyn positive scores ranging from 64 to 38%; his average is 50%. Among all voters, the averages are, of course, even worse: May 26%, Corbyn 28%.
To put these figures in context, a successful leader would expect average scores of around 80% among their party’s own voters and 40% among the general public. For both leaders to fall so far short of these figures should set off alarm bells in both parties.
Here, though, is the paradox. Precisely because both leaders have terrible ratings, the scale of the problem is less obvious than it would be if only one was doing badly. In that case (as when Foot led Labour and towards the end of Thatcher’s premiership), their party would have support well below 30% in the polls and facing a landslide defeat. Instead, nothing much seems to have changed since the 2017 election. An average of recent polls shows the two parties still close together, and with almost as many supporters as 18 months ago. The high commands in both parties, though plainly struggling over Brexit, see no wider reason to panic.
In truth, they should be terrified. For the poll shows that the disenchantment with the main parties and their leaders has spread throughout Britain. Within Westminster, it is rare to find any backbench Labour or Conservative MP who, giving their candid views in private, will say their leader is any good or that their party is in anything other than deep trouble. But some hope this despair is a feature of the Westminster bubble, and that real voters away from London have not changed their views of politicians and parties that much.
In fact, it is increasingly hard to avoid the conclusion that millions of voters Left and Right are losing faith in the people who either govern us today or aspire to do so in the future.
Which brings us to the possible long-term consequences of current public attitudes. In any country with a different electoral system, the chances are that support for both Labour and the Conservatives would have crashed by now. Across Europe, countries with more proportional voting systems have seen the traditional big parties slump in recent years – even with leaders less widely derided than Britain’s.
Here, first-past-the-post creates a huge barrier to entry. Elsewhere, small parties ranging from the Greens to the far right have obtained a foothold in their parliaments with as little as 5% support, and then managed to increase their credibility. Here, they can’t. In 1983, the Liberal/SDP Alliance won 26% and only 23 seats; in 2015 Ukip’s 14% gave them just a single seat.
The party that might have benefited from the Tory and Labour travails is the Liberal Democrats. But they paid a heavy price for their role in the 2010-15 coalition government. While their support has picked up a little in recent months, they are still scarred by decisions they took almost a decade ago.
It is, of course, possible that when the Brexit drama has played out, normal service will resume. Perhaps May and Corbyn will both be replaced by leaders who have greater personal appeal to the electorate.
I am not so sure. My reason is that May and Corbyn’s truly awful ratings do not flow solely from their personal attributes. Both lead deeply divided parties, and these divisions are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The fault lines will remain: inward-looking nationalism versus outward-looking enterprise with the Tories; ambitious socialism versus progressive capitalism with Labour. A leader that combined the strategic ability of Napoleon with the genius of Einstein and the moral courage of Mandela would still struggle to win public approval if they could not reunite their parties. The Deltapoll figures providence symptoms of a deeper crisis.
In short, both main parties are more fragile and less stable than for many decades. First-past-the-post could save both Labour and the Conservatives from the consequences of their current divisions. But it is no longer ridiculous to image a different future. Once the adhesive glue of our electoral system starts to crack, things can change with bewildering speed. A century ago, amid the stresses of post-First-World-War Britain and the divisions within the Liberal Party, realignment happened quickly. Labour climbed from fourth place in 1918 to government in 1924.
Will Brexit end up having the same glue-cracking effect? And if it does, will the beneficiaries be existing herbivores such as the Liberal Democrats and the Greens; or some new centre party created by disenchanted Labour and Tory moderates; or carnivores on the outer fringes of Right and Left? Is the century-long dominance of Britain’s Parliament by competing forces on the centre Right and centre Left about to end?
Ask me again in 10 years’ time and I shall tell you. Meanwhile I wouldn’t bet a great deal against changes that could be immense, and which not everyone will like.
Please help us prosecute Dan Jarvis MP, the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region for electoral fraud!
On May 3rd 2018 South Yorkshire mayoral elections took place. Dan Jarvis MP for Barnsley central was elected. Unknown to the voters Mr Jarvis was being investigated by South Yorkshire police for electoral fraud. Unfortunately this information was hidden from the voters during the campaign by a conspiracy of silence within the “mainstream” media including the BBC and ITV in particular.
Mr Jarvis was being investigated because he and his agent had provided a false and incomplete home address in his nomination papers. This is against the law. In addition, Mr Jarvis and his agent contrived to camouflage his actual constituency home address by indicating that the Sheffield Trades and Labour club was some sort of home or constituency office. I
In addition, Mr Jarvis suggested to David Allen that owing to his military background he was not bound by electoral law. David contested this and asked him to provide his exemption from the law and that if he did so the matter would be dropped, and David would apologise. Mr Jarvis has produced no such exemption! (Because of course there isn’t one!).
Most shocking was the determined and successful media shutdown. Indeed, David was told before the BBC Radio Sheffield debate by the show’s producer that if David mentioned anything regarding Dan Jarvis being investigated by South Yorkshire police he would ‘cut it out’. He also insinuated that the media conspiracy of silence had a general sanction too. Also David was ‘no platformed’ from some of the Mayoral election hustings debates.
David believes that the Establishment’s efforts to protect Mr Jarvis during the election campaign would have had an effect on the ability of voters to make a proper choice at the ballot box. In short, it was a deliberate attempt to interfere in the democratic process.
Mr Jarvis had already challenged the rules by threatening not to stand as the mayoral candidate after the Labour NEC told him he could not be both MP and mayor of South Yorkshire. In this instance Jarvis realised the importance of his parliamentary seat and its salary. The Labour NEC relented and allowed him to stand for both. It is hard to imagine after this why Mr Jarvis would then think that with the advice of the highly professional electoral staff at Sheffield city region it was a good idea to submit nomination papers clearly in contravention of the law, or indeed that no one would notice.
In cases of election fraud there is limitation of one year on the time available to prosecute. So far South Yorkshire police and the CPS have refused to confirm if any action is to be taken against Mr Jarvis and/or his agent despite several requests to do so. The combination of these actions in concert with those listed above would tend to suggest that the powers that be hold the voters of South Yorkshire in contempt and it appears that the law might apply only when it suits. It is because of this that we intend to take up a private prosecution where the state has failed, so far, to act.
David says that he has personally seen nationalists guilty of electoral fraud severely punished by the courts and their liberty removed and listened to the presiding judge berate the convicted electoral fraudster that even the smallest infraction of our democratic process should and will be punished without restraint.
Recent high profile cases of nationalists flouting the rule of law have seen torrents of self -righteous opprobrium poured upon them by the press.
David says:- “Let’s see if these bastions of moral rectitude are as keen to point out their love of the rule of law should Jarvis come before the court or will they just confirm their establishment credentials and rank hypocrisy?”
Please help us in our cause to see if the rule of law is not only applied to us but applies to them too!
The law is clear that whatever punishment the court decides to impose upon either Dan Jarvis or his Electoral Agent, the automatic civil penalty is that upon conviction there is an automatic ban of 5 years to hold public office and automatically the election for the Sheffield City Region/South Yorkshire Mayoralty is void and has to be re-run.
If Dan Jarvis is convicted, which seems highly, then additionally there will be a by-election for the Parliamentary seat of Barnsley Central.
Please help us make sure that it is brought home to even the entitled British Political elite that they have to obey the law and help us pursue Dan Jarvis and his Agent for deliberately breaking the law by giving a false address and shaming the mainstream media that refused to report this case before it had happened and remind them that they are not just the voice pieces of the British Political Establishment but should properly and fairly report the news.
Please help us raise the £10,000 needed to bring this case.
The address that has been given in Dan Jarvis’ Nomination Forms, of 76 Marsham Road, London, is unquestionably false, in the basic and obvious sense that there is no such address. Here is a link to the Statement of Persons nominated where you can see Dan Jarvis’ false address given as his home address >>> https://sheffieldcityregion.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Statement-of-Persons-Nominated.pdf
The “full home” address has to be given on nomination forms 1a and 1g. On 1g Mr Jarvis would have also formally signed the form in the presence of a witness.
It follows that either Dan Jarvis himself or his Agent, Paul Nicholson, or both of them are guilty of the offence of “a corrupt practice” pursuant to SECTION 65A(1)(A) OF THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1983. The charge sheet might look like this.
On or before 6th April 2018 in the offices of Sheffield City Council in South Yorkshire Dan Jarvis (or his Election Agent) caused or permitted to be included in a document, namely a local government election nomination form relating to a candidate stated to be Dan Jarvis which was delivered or otherwise furnished to Dr Dave Smith the returning officer for use in connection with the Sheffield City Region Mayoral Election in South Yorkshire held on 3rd May 2018 a statement of the home address of the said candidate, which you knew to be false.
(This offence is labelled a “Corrupt Practice” and the successful election of a candidate found guilty (whether personally or by his agent) of a “Corrupt Practice” is void and anyone found personally guilty of a Corrupt Practice is prohibited from holding any elected office for a period of five years.)
There is also an arguable charge under SECTIONS 3 AND 6 OF THE FORGERY AND COUNTERFEITING ACT 1981. The charge sheet for this might look like this.
Details of Offence on or before 6th April 2018 at the offices of Sheffield City Council in the County of South Yorkshire used an instrument, namely a local government election nomination form relating to Dan Jarvis which was and which they knew or believed to be false with the intention of inducing the Returning Officer, Dr Dave Smith, to accept it as genuine and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or another person’s prejudice.
(Upon conviction upon indictment of this offence which is called the “Misuse of a Statutory Instrument”, the person so convicted may be sentenced up to 10 years imprisonment.)
Turning now to prospective pleas in mitigation after conviction. No pleas will make any difference to the voiding of the election if Mr Jarvis wins it and the disqualification from elected public office for 5 years for whoever is convicted, but subject to that proviso other prospective sentences are open to the court and pleas in mitigation will of course be taken into account.
So one plea in mitigation might be that Mr Jarvis does have some connection with 76 Marsham Street (as opposed to “Road”). However 76 Marsham Street is a block of flats and there is no flat address given, nor of course the post code, so the address given will still be wholly inadequate. Furthermore we have carefully checked the Westminster City Council Electoral Roll and, so far as we can see, Mr Jarvis is not registered on the electoral roll anywhere in Westminster, let alone in 76 “Marsham Street”.
In his last two nominations for election to the Parliamentary Constituency of Barnsley Central Mr Jarvis has given an address which is stated in the “statement of persons nominated” to be in the Constituency of Penistone and Stockbridge.”
We have carefully checked the Barnsley Council Electoral Roll and again cannot find Mr Jarvis’ registered on the Electoral Roll as a resident anywhere in Barnsley Council’s District.
As it is a legal requirement to register on the electoral roll, this is curious. This alleged location of his “home address” is given on the published Notice of Persons Nominated for Election as the MP for Barnsley Central here >>> https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/media/5855/statement-of-persons-nominated-barnsley-central.pdf
If there is a pattern of giving wrong or false addresses then that might be corroborated by the fact that the address given in the “imprint” to Mr Jarvis’ election address in the Mayoral Election Booklet. This gives his agent’s, Mr Paul Nicholson, address as being the Labour Party headquarters, but Mr Jarvis’ address is given as, in effect, the side of the same building. The effect is (no doubt deliberately) deceptive to those who look at the booklet, suggesting that Mr Jarvis has a separate address in Sheffield. We doubt whether in fact Mr Jarvis has any real connection to the Sheffield address even if it is an actual real address rather than another false address, since we would have thought he is either working up in Westminster or at his constituency office in Barnsley Central.
Furthermore we understand that Mr Jarvis told fellow Mayoral Candidate, David Allen, that he had given the false address because of “security” reasons. Mr Jarvis claimed he was exempt from having to give his home address. We do not believe this to be true because any exempting must be in the Law (not overriding the Law). Also Mr Jarvis would not have to give a false address if he had a legal exemption. However that he has implicitly admitted that putting a false address was deliberate and we also believe now that he may have done so in the previous parliamentary elections too.
We think that this has been done out of an all too typical politician’s sense of entitlement that legal rules don’t apply to them (just like we saw in the MP’s expenses scandal).
What do you think? Please help us!!