Douglas Alexander master fiddler
Following his key role in the success of New Labour in the 2005 General Election Alexander became a confidant of Tony Blair and the year following he was promoted to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Transport and Scotland.
But at the time of the upcoming 2007 Holyrood elections the Labour Government was in crisis. The aftermath of the illegal Iraq and Afghanistan invasions and Westminster scandals, (cash for honours) requiring Tony Blair to be interviewed by the police, gave warning of a humiliating SNP victory in Scotland.
Alex Salmond, fearing skulduggery lobbied Westminster seeking that the election process, in all respects be transferred to the authority of the Scottish Parliament. This was refused and the duty of election supremo was delegated to, “Wee Douglas” who would also run Labour’s electoral campaign in Scotland.
Elections to Holyrood, in 1999 and 2003 had used two separate ballot papers for the constituency and regional lists, preventing voter confusion.
But Alexander and Scottish (Labour) government ministers, without precedence decided that Local Council Elections would be held at the same time as the parliamentary election and both election selections would be printed on one ballot paper.
Civil servants and an independent marketing firm warned that the ballot forms would lead to confusion and a higher-than-average number of rejected votes.
The advice was ignored, Alexander and the Governing, (Labour) party claimed their changes would prove to be extremely popular. Civil servants and the, “Electoral Commission” were silenced.
In the election the SNP won by a single seat and Alexander was praised by Labour Party mandarins since he had just about, “saved the day” for Labour.
The elections, were badly tainted by a chaotic voting process, blamed on the Scottish Office’s design of ballot papers. In excess of 146,000 votes were declared void. The largest in electoral history.
Seventeen MSP’s were elected to Parliament with majorities lower than the number of spoiled ballots in their constituency.
There was a public outcry and, “Returning Officers” voiced their discontent about the election process.
Alexander, “Scottish Secretary”, the accountable person that organized the elections, stated there would be a statutory review of the election under the auspices of the Labour Party loaded Electoral Commission.
The Scottish Electorate was outraged and demanded an independent inquiry and Tony Blair was forced to concede this and an inquiry was commissioned.
Following an extensive, lengthy inquiry, an official report submitted by, Ron Gould, (a senior Canadian election official), heavily censured Alexander and the Labour Party stating that ministers in the Labour Scottish Government and at Westminster together with Mr Alexander’s political, “self-interested” moves, (as the Labour Party in Scotland’s election supremo), had abused their, “offices of state” making decisions about the election on “party political interest grounds”, with voters treated as an “after-thought.”
So be warned. Alexander and the Labour Party are “snakes in the grass”. They care only for the Party. The voter is a means to an end.