New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. The Staggers
22 February 2023

People without valid ID probably wouldn’t vote anyway, declares Tory minister

What does it matter if two million people are prevented from voting?

By The Chatterer

The Conservative minister Lee Rowley unsuccessfully alleviated fears about mass electoral disenfranchisement yesterday (21 February). He kindly reassured MPs that it didn’t matter that up to two million people couldn’t vote in the May local elections because they lack photo identification, which is now necessary to vote. Why? Because lots of them weren’t going to vote anyway.

The local government minister told the House of Commons to stop repeating the figure, because “of those two million people, which is an estimate, a large number of those will not have elections in their area this year”. Besides, “of that group a number will choose not to vote – much as we would like them to do so”. Unfortunately for Rowley, that number comes straight from the Cabinet Office’s own research from 2021. It shows that 96 per cent of the population have the ID required to vote – leaving 4 per cent, or almost two million who do not.

After groans echoed around the floor of the House, the minister justified the position by telling MPs that many people “have chosen never to have voted, and we would encourage them to do so, but ultimately that is what the purpose of a democracy is – people have a right to vote and not to vote”.

Rowley seems to have missed the irony that, in defending a policy designed to prevent voter fraud, he was inadvertently preventing people from voting. Nonetheless, the Chatterer would like to thank the Tory minister for protecting at least one vital pillar of democracy – our right not to vote.

[See also: Police on standby for polling station abuse over voter ID]

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
We need an urgent review of UK pensions
The future of private credit
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors

Topics in this article : ,