So what happens next? Johnson is keen to obtain a news agenda on his terms; Number 10 needs to keep up the gaslighting… they even have a giant gaslamp outside the front door to remind everyone… So Johnson instructed non-partisan news outlets to be banned from PM briefings. Now we may now get no news at all after journalists, in solidarity, walked out together. It was left to one of Boris Johnson’s aides to ban reporters. “The confrontation took place inside No 10 after Lee Cain, Johnson’s most senior communications adviser, tried to exclude reporters from the Mirror, the i, HuffPost, PoliticsHome, the Independent and others from an official government briefing.” You know what they say, “first they came for the journalists and I said nothing… I don’t know what happened after that!” Was stopping every news report, all part of the plan? Since we can only expect bad news for the next few years…
So connecting the dots between what is happening in the UK and the USA: the billionaire class attempting to subvert democracy by promoting toadies and stooges and crippling the election process… what does this mean for the 2020 US Presidental election?
Currently it is not looking good. What exactly that happened in the Iowa Caucus last night? Details are sketchy but this is the Daily Gaslight’s current understanding:
With just a few districts announced, Bernie supporters, checking their own canvassing called foul. The Shadow software was underreporting Sanders’ support by 40%! The Sanders team showed their estimates: a lead for Sanders with some 29% of the vote.
In the resulting confusion, every candidate announced they were the winner.
Twitter was a buzz with anti-Bernie jibes that he had cheated (!) and was encouraging anti-semitism in the party.
So Gaslighting continues… the DNC party leadership seem to have this real grudge against Bernie Sanders and the democratic process… let’s see what happens next in the USA (since we will be getting precious little news from Number 10 by the look of things!)
To tie this news back to the theme of this post: what happens to the UK Trump deal if Bernie wins the Presidential race?
Situation Awareness or “How to win an election without really trying!”
How could the Tories be so certain that they would win a General Election? The answer is “Situation Awareness”. You just need to read up on Dominic Cummings’ blog about his Voter Intention Collection System on how it was used in the Vote Leave campaign and how it was re-used for GE2019.
On October 24th, 2019 – there were fears of electoral chaos…
“Britain is facing the possibility of electoral chaos if Boris Johnson pushes ahead with plans for a December general election…. A pre-Christmas snap election would force officials to use two different electoral registers to manage voting, potentially leading to confusion and delays…. The electoral roll is updated annually on 1 December, meaning the new register would be in place in time to be used for a possible election… However, polling cards for an early December election would need to be sent out in November, meaning one electoral register would be used for sending the cards and another used for the actual election… It means that people could see their polling cards, which include details of where they should go to vote, sent to their old address… Peter Stanyon, chief executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators, which represents returning officers, said a poll in December would… risked people being wrongly marked as having voted when they had not.“
Would this bother the Conservatives? Obviously not, who are most likely to one of the 9 million voters elible to vote but not correctly registerd? The poor (in rented accomodation) or youngsters – both demographics likely to vote Labour. As the article says “You shouldn’t have to opt in to your right to vote. As the Electoral Commission note, we need to move towards automatic registration now, starting with being able to check you are registered online, and being able to register whenever you engage with government bodies or services. We know this works from other countries.” So the information is available of where the voters are and whether they mismatch the electoral rolls… I bet this information had been captured for complete situation awareness of Voter Intentions! It could even by itself explain the drop in the number of Labour votes…
No-one seems to be talking about this yet… GE2019 and the use of Social Media Sock Puppets and Psychological Operations, Postal Vote Fraud and Voter Suppression. This wasn’t so much a political event, trading policy ideas on a level playground, but more like a military operation with one side armed to to teeth with tanks and fighter jets with the other with handbags.
The Tories were in a real mess in October 2019 running a minority government. Johnson was goading Corbyn to call for an election. Johnson obviously had a plan for the election and it had nothing to do with policy or a vision of the future for Britain, it was just three words “Get Brexit Done” – whatever that means (as far as I can tell it is just to let Tory Donors off the hook from tax avoidance scams).
The Tories ran a pretty dreadful campaign. Johnson was Boo-ed on many of his public outings and his team were a shambles, offending Greenfeld victims, NHS workers and patients, and dodging any questions regarding climate change or the environment. Johnson was defending a marginal seat with only 4000 odd majority, but did not even attend hustings in his consituency. A similar story can be found in constituencies in the north of England (soon to be won by them in the GE) where there was precious little evidence of a Tory campaign on the ground.
Various commentators noted that the gap between Conservatives and Labour was narrowing mainly because the polls had not accounted for the Youth Quake, dying Brexit voters and Campaign disasters (such as Fridge Gate). There was the issue of Labour voters moving to the Brexit Party but both the LibDems, Brexit Party and Tories had a dreadful campaign and many people expected a shift to Labour and at least a hung parlaiment.
General Election 12th December 2019
So on the day of the General Election, there were extraordinary queues at polling stations in many consituencies: Young Voters coming out in force. But at 10.30pm the exit polls were announced and the BBC was 99% accurate to the actual result… which is rather strange since the postal votes were at an extraordinary high – double the number in 2017 and not counted towards the exit poll. Did the BBC have other data to work with other than the exit poll information?
According to the official figures, while the registered voter population had grown from 46m to 47m, turned out had dropped slightly from 68.7% to 67.3%. These figures seem to be a bit of puzzle… considering not only the Youth Quake, Polling Booth Queues but also the reported doubling of the postal vote from around 16% in 2017 to 32% in 2019 – these figures are still being collated since official figures will not be fully available until Jun 2020.
The official explanation is that former Labour Voters moved to Conservative (and Brexit Party) and while this story has credibility according to these figures, more striking is the move from Labour to LibDem, Green and SNP. Perhaps the real story is how efficient the Tories had optimised their vote in the very unfair First-Past-The-Post election system, allowing them to pick one seat for every 38264 votes while the LibDems were amazingly less efficient moving from 200,000 in 2017 for each seat to 300,000 in 2019. It seems that the Conservatives with only 100,000 or so paid up party members had out-campaigned Labour, the largest political party in Europe with 500,000 party members, through the use of capital-intensive technology.
Before the EU Referendum, Dominic Cummings had created a system for Vote Leave called the Voter Intentions Collection System (VICS). This is well documented in Dominic Cummings own blog. https://dominiccummings.com/on-the-eu-referendum/ It provides a statistical probability of each and every vote and voter, fed by data sources “conventional and unconventional”.
In 2019, Dominic Cummings claimed that voters were persuaded to change their attitudes to people, party and desire to vote by targetted adverts. Facebook allows targetted ads including by location, demographics (age, gender, education, job title), interests, behaviour and connections, include people who are connected to your people or events, or to exclude them. So the Tories had the ability to target people that were likely to be swayed by their ads. Cummings claim they tested the ads on small groups, fine tuned them and then pushed out to larger groups. The ads were largely attack ads against Corbyn or “Get Brexit Done” messages with overtone of racism. The ads were targetted towards football supporters and football supporter mentality… which is largely pretty tribal if not racist…
However to really guage voter intention, VICS needs more than just targetting information it needs, feedback and engagement. Social media, particularly facebook, is the tool of choice. Sock Puppet accounts and bots were enabled to do a number of things:
a) identify a person who was likely to vote for a particular party – if confirmed views, would they be voting?
b) identify people who could possibly be infulenced “floating voters”, and if infulenced would they vote?
c) identify people who were unlikely to vote at all
In particular, besides identifying voter’s political view, the sock puppets and bots could re-inforce tribal behaviour and commitment to vote by either “liking” posts, engaging in chit-chat and obtaining such confirmation. As mentioned above, the Tories had demonstrated a massive capability for its sock puppets and bots but it is unlikely that these were directly controlled by Tory Party operatives but either UK Intelligence Services or Foriegn Intelligence Services – the most likely being, not Russia, but USA and Israel who both have massive capability for such “Pyschological Operations“.
IDOX systems are used to used to manage Postal Votes in around 80% of UK constituencies. It does not count votes but managing the requests, sending out voter packs, verifying the packs and managing the electoral rolls. This is gold dust info into a system like VICS. So was the data passed deliberately to Tory CCHQ? Maybe not necessary – just hacked – Rabid Tory Peter Lilly was a former director of IDOX – he could have passed on details to people that could then easily hack the IDOX systems. We know for instance that each IDOX installation was separated (so no central database) and I’m sure, “good security controls” but each system was also capable of being connected by wi-fi and/or the internet and so, of course, wide open to any determined organisation to hack into it. (See picture). The Institue of Statecraft for example, would easily be able to achieve this.
Postal Vote Fraud
Various efforts are now in play to investigate the postal vote fraud but this is nothing new. There was a postal vote court case in England in September 2019 and suspected postal vote fraud in the Scottish Referendum For GE2019 early information indicates that both Safe Tory Seats and Marginals won by the Conservative, had high Postal Ballot percentages, double the usual figures.
The VICS data would have indentified those people unlikely to vote. These would be the perfect people to impersonate for postal vote ballot stuffing.
Finally there is evidence of voter suppression, particularly of youngsters, people living abroad and new British Citizens, (and there’s more on the way). The evidence for this is available all over Twitter. Another group, confirmed non-Tory voters, could have been identified by VICS data and these voters could have been somehow twarted from voting (by a variety of means).
The different methods to achieve the goal, a conservative landslide, would have been diverse in order to stop any one particular method being fully understood and the fraud exposed. All that really was required was “Situational Awareness” – a military term that is now widely used within business – to provide a complete overall picture of progress towards the goal. In the conversative case, this was provided by Dominic Cummings’ Voter Intention Database. Is that system illegal? No… Well, actually it depends on who paid for it and how it was accounted for in campaign finances… and we won’t know that until June 2020. Oh, and if using Social Media Data it probably broke GDPR rules governed by the Information Commissioner Office. (The ICO seems to be very quiet on this matter).
More information will be written up as it becomes available. This blog will be used to store information and links provided for use on social media…
Electoral Law is lagging behind in regulating Big Data and other technological advances that destroy real democracy…
High Court overturns Highworth election count error
An election result which saw the wrong person elected as a councillor has been overturned by the High Court.
Highworth, in Wiltshire, has fewer than 7,000 registered voters but more than 40,000 ballots were counted after the town council election in May.
The error led to Tory candidate Pauline Webster being declared a winner instead of independent candidate Kim Barber and sparked a legal challenge and recount.
Mr Justice Knowles said the “miscount was recognised and corrected”.
Highworth, near Swindon, had a voting population of 6,408 before the 2 May poll and only 2,477 ballot papers were issued.
But at the count, 41,939 votes were counted with each of the 10 Conservative candidates polling more than 3,000 votes.
A high court electoral petition was lodged by independent candidate Ken Smith, who argued block votes cast in favour of all the Conservative candidates had been counted for each of them, rather than split between them.
A recount was held resulting in thousands of votes being stripped from Tory candidates.
As a result Ms Webster, who received 727 votes, has had to make way for Ms Barber, who received 863 votes.
Swindon Borough Council admitted it made a mistake but said it was pleased the High Court had “ratified the recounted town council election results”.
“It brings to an end what has been an unsettling time for candidates and councillors in Highworth,” the council said.
“We have carried out a thorough lessons learned exercise in the wake of May’s local elections to ensure this does not happen again.”
Annoyingly there is no description of how this could have happened, whether anyone is going to be prosecuted or whether this was “just an accident”. Also the closing phrase is ambiguous “ensure this does not happen again”? You mean, like, next time we won’t get caught?!