Was the French election stolen?


Richard Moore

Original source URL:


Original Content at 

May 8, 2007
Democracy- here and across the Atlantic
By Mothersson

Here is what I have been sending out from aftermath of our Scottish election: 
also it is on talkdemocracy 

Feel free to use or ignore

What follows - critiicism, comments welcome - are
A) a short (unused) letter to the Herald and

B) a lengthy background briefing explaining the perspective of the letter.

I write as riots happen in France where the Exit polls have suddenly become 
unreliable after the introduction of ES and S software and machnery to count the
votes ... plus ca change?

Please feel free to use either in any way that you see fit, if only as a 
background briefing paper.

Right now I feel that most people can't cope with more than a little questioning
of their taken for granted reality, so probably debate about the Scottish 
elections will stay within safe channels. But with your help we could deepen and
widen it??

best wishes, Keith Mothersson

Thomas McLaughlin assures us thst 'no one actually tried to steal last 
Thursday's ballot' (Letters, May 7) But how do any of us know? If a team of 
e-fraudsters had succeeded in shifting one vote in ten from Party X to Party Y 
would they have left a calling card out of sheer bravado?

An influential neo-con handbook, Coup d'Etat, by Edward Luttwak, recommends 
coups so stealthy that nobody gets upset and has to be shot protesting.

DRS is doubtless honest, but has recently bought Peladon Software, a San Diego 
company which had recently bought in imaging software from Diebold, the firm 
distrusted beyond all others by the large Voting Integrity movement in the US.

Many of these e-voting and e-counting companies have boardrooms graced by former
insiders at the CIA or Pentagon, institutions whose commitment to democracy is 
hardly beyond question and ones known to have worked on stealth technologies for
'full spectrum dominance', including in cyber-space.

Mystery breakdowns in the Ohio count are now known to have provided a cover for 
the results to have been routed via a secret GOP server to Karl Rove.

Like Jim Sillars I want to live in a country which relies on good old Scottish 
scepticism, not faith-based voting. I will readily accept that I may be being 
too suspicious if Mr McLaughlin will accept that he may be being too naive. 
Neither of us really know yet both of us have a right to be certain.

The paradox of the traditional system is that trust results from accepting the 
starting point of resolute mutual distrust. By contrast having to accept 
'expert' assurances about technology that no one is really in a position to 
extend, not even the experts, is a recipe for increased distrust in the 
political process and ever-lower turn-outs.

Far from e-technology taking us forward, its introduction has been a huge 
set-back for Scottish democracy, whether or not anything untoward has been tried
on on this occasion.

Readers who would like to join me in a Campaign for Hand-counted Paper Ballots 
are invited to write or phone me on 01738 783677.

Keith Mothersson,
2b Darnhall Cres,
Perth, PH2 0HH

01738 783677
07815 653389

Are we seeing a para-political coup against Scottish democracy?

Some notes on the present moment in Scottish politics , with a special focus on 
the introduction of electronic election technology.

'The hostility shown towards Alex Salmond by the Scottish LibDems is almost 
pathological. These are parties which agree on almost everything - local income 
tax, fiscal powers, nuclear power - and yet the LibDem leadership seems 
determined to relinquish any prospect of having these policies implemented by 
refusing the Scottish people a say on the constitution.'

Iain MacWhirter in the Sunday Herald, 18 th February 2007.

Many people are talking of a Scottish 'Prague Spring'. They are assuming that 
the LibDems will eventually strike a deal with the SNP. I am not so sure. [Since
the first draft of this I hear that the LibDems propose to allow the SNP to lead
a minority administration, but I also hear of the possibility of Labour 
challenging its loss of Cunninghame North by only 48 votes.]

In what follows I place the present tense situation or impasse in the light of 
broader consideration of para-political phenomena, many of them little noticed 
or tabooed to mention or even notice. Although I hope to see a SNP-led 
adminstration, I think that the British State is engaged in pulling out the 
stops to block this, even to the point where we can almost talk of an on-going 
coup against Scottish democracy. (Alternatively the SNP leadership may be 
allowed a share in office, not power, only once they have dropped opposition to 
Trident, unorthodox plans to raise money by selling bonds, and anything else 
which doesn't fit with the neo-liberal consensus.)

At the risk of being howled down by waves of insider-metropolitan derision for 
being conspiracy theorists, let us sceptical Scottish natives begin by recalling
the sheer power of secret elites to infiltrate, 'manage' (or else block) a range
of civil society organisations, not least political parties and lobbying 

At one level we observe that those who wish to lead 'Western democracies' (plus 
Nato and many EU bodies) seem to have to attend Bliderberg group meetings for 
group approval - or otherwise ( http://www.bilderberg.org/bilder.htm#wand). More
directly we recall with researchers like Robin Ramsay and Stephen Dorril the 
secret services' plotting against the Wilson government, their work with the CIA
to promote the Atlantacist and pro-Zionist SDLP which let Thatcher - supported 
by Airey Neave and MI5 take over, then break the power of the unions with the 
aid of big business and the 'media-intel complex', and finally raise up New 
Labour - with Blair himself an MI5 informer/agent of influence, according to 
David Shayler www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/westcountry/2005/10/325840.html . 
[This is consistent among much else with the coincidence that on first arrival 
in the Commons he 'happened' to be allocated a room with Militant MP and fellow 
'new boy', Dave Nellist]. (See Ramsay's brilliant little The Rise of New Labour,
2002, and Dorril and Ramsa's Smear: Wilson and the Secret State, 1991] Now that 
New Labour has served its purpose for a while, one can see the hand of history 
(Bilderberg, etc) moving back to support David Cameron, at least so long as he 
drops his 'traditional tory' objections to neo-con revolutionism abroad.

As for the LibDems I believe that here too a degree of MI5 influence at the top 
is the rule rather than the exception. One thinks of the eminently blackmailable
Jeremy Thorpe, whose long-known-about interest in boys and young men, was 
eventually exposed by a section of MI5 as a way to destroy the Lab-Lib pact. 
[The role of MI5 sponsored boys homes/abuse circles in Northern Ireland 
(Kincora), Scotland (Dunblane) and probably Cardiff mirrors on a smaller scale 
the systematic role that State- sponsored child abuse has played in the certain 
centres of power in the US (and Brussels) . see the work of Glen Yeadon: 
http://www.spiritone.com/~gdy52150/littleboys.html .]

After David Steel we saw military intelligence officer Paddy Ashdown's meteoric 
rise to leadership, plus the tendency of 'unreliable' contenders for the 
leadership to implode, now leaving the field clear for St Andrews based safe 
pair of hands Menzies Cambell, a confirmed Atlantacist who has developed 
pretending to be critical of the US and Israel (while pulling all his punches) 
into an art form. As for the antiwar Left I take it for granted that MI5 manages
to play a role in guiding certain key groupings, promoting those perspectives 
with which it can live, and shutting out as beyond the pale other perspectives, 
e.g. on false-flag terrorism or on the 'War on Drugs', where we have seen the 
price of heroin fell after the West took over Afghanistan.

Of course there are many other difficulties and shortcomings which confront all 
of us who want serious social change, many of which many better be understood in
'structural' terms, or in terms of institutional, gender, economic, cultural, 
social-psychological, psychological and even spiritual perspectives, rather than
- or rather than mainly - the products of fiendish para-political manipulations 
by ruling and other secret fraternities .... . But unless we are alert to the 
possibility or actuality of the latter, then we can easily over-explain in other
terms ('Scottish cringe') or misunderstand what is really going on.

This said, although the then male-dominated SSP will surely have had its fair 
share of people who tend to see things in dualistic terms, which has predisposed
the left to splits over many years, who can seriously imagine that MI5 hasn't 
played some role in possibly entrapping and then exposing Sheridan, and then 
stirring things further towards a destructive party split - which has surely 
contributed to the 'success' that the Scottish parliament has now been 
'cleansed' of any serious ideological opposition to neo-liberalism.

However the 'threat' from the left isn't the only threat the British State has 
to worry about. The 70's saw a rise of a strong Scottish Nationalist tide, whose
ebbing is surely connected with the association of nationalism with extremism in
the public mind. Again, one doesn't wish to paint out of the picture the 
Braveheart syndrome of masculinist nationalism, which deterred amnd deters many 
throughtful people, especially women, from embracing and fashioning the SNP as a
internationalist and national, not a nationalist party. Yet granted this 
vulnerability was there, we also need to be aware of the role played by the 
likes of Major Busby and other agents of the British State, and the numerous 
'liberation armies' they spawned, ever ready to claim credit for bomb blasts, 
hoaxes, letter bombs, etc. Of course they also drew in some naive 'genuine' 
extremists they were manipulating, inciting, etc (See Tartan Terrorism and the 
Anglo-American State by Andrew Murray Scott and Iain MacLeay, 1990) For a recent
parallel we need to realise that secret services now manipulate and largely 
create the phenomenon of 'Islamic' terrorism: see Nafeez Ahmed's brilliant 
online article Subverting 'Terrorism': Muslim Problem or Covert Operations 
Nighmare? ) .

Both these texts are aware of the determination of the British and 'Western' 
(US/Zionist) Powers that Be not to give up power lightly. Thus we get the 
phenomenon of false-flag terrorism, e.g. the use of Brigadier Kitson's 
pseudo-gangs moving back from Kenya to Northern Ireland (Force Reconnaissance 
Unit) and then out again to Basra and Baghdad (Joint Services Group), all the 
time being given ideological cover by 'counter-insugency' 'terrorism' experts in
the RAND-Corporation-linked Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political 
Violence at St Andrews, as chronicled by Campaign Against Criminalising 
Communities http://www.campacc.org.uk/embedded.htm .

Although the SNP leadership is prepared to trim to the needs of business to get 
into office (witness, many believe, the convenient dropping of the popular 
demand for re-regulation of the buses just prior to receiving half a million 
pounds from Brian Souter), Salmond remains too unpredictable, anti-war and 
anti-Trident for comfort. In any case nationalism has a tendency not just to 
derail class politics but sometimes to stimulate class and anti-imperialist 
awareness. Greater Scottish confidence and mental independence could manifest in
dangerous ways, e.g. it might question other aspects of the British 
(Anglo-American) State, e.g. the right of central banks to make (debt-freighted)
money 'out of nothing'; or the British Broadcasting Corporation's slavish 
endorsement of the absurd 911 nonsense - even down to actively reporting the 
'collapse' of the Salomon Brothers Building Seven 26 minutes before it was 
internally blown up and fell at the speed of air resistance at 5.20! 
(http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2007/260207building7.htm ; on the 
demolitions at the World Trade Centre, see www.911review.com and 
www.911scholars.org )

Hence, as Scottish Nationalism appears to be on the rise again, we could well 
see the Anglo-American State revive the use of a panoply of tactics - including 
false-flag terrorism ascribed to 'extreme nationalists'; attempts to entrap, 
blackmail and discredit SNP leaders; concerted economic threats and 
announcements by Unionist business leaders, bankers or even (as in the 1980's) 
the US ambassador, etc. The emergence of well-funded groups like Scottish Voice 
on a policy-free pro-Unionist agenda may or may not be laying down a marker for 
future interventions - its founder is the son of Col David Stirling whose GB75 
citizen army was recruiting people to help maintain 'order' in a coup in the 
seventies. Awareness of the record of the British State abroad suggests that it 
often seeks to cling to power in (and over) a country be means of stirring one 
ethnic or religious group up against another. The same applies to ruling parties
desperately trying to hold onto power, e.g. Milosovic in former Yugoslavia. Here
we all need to be aware of the amount of sectarian tinder which still lies 
around in many parts of Scotland, with Rangers-supporters increasingly being 
drawn to define themselves against the Scottish nationalism of 
Celtic-supporters. At times the BNP - which sees itself as being adopted/coming 
to power via crises - may also play a role in stirring up opposition to 
'separation' and 'republicanism' as well as immigration and 'Islamic terrorism'.

On May 3rd the BNP 'appears to have polled' 25,000 votes, advisedly, for this 
brings me to yet another technique which may be deployed to frustrate Scottish 
Nationalism, indeed may already have been used, namely electoral fraud.

Analysis of the US scene shows massive evidence of electoral theft from 1996 
(Nebraska) onwards,

not just 2000 but

2002 (Georgia http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/news/0091.html , Texas),

2004 Ohio, Florida and many other States, when Kerry won by sevenmillion votes:





and 2006 

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/november2006/071106votefraud.htm .

One key archive is at http://www.crisispapers.org/topics/election-fraud.htm. Of 
course election theft goes back a long way before 2000, e.g. JFK's dad getting 
the mafia to fix the voting machines in a key precinct in Chicago). By electoral
theft I do not mean voter fraud, which the Republicans make a big thing of, but 
for which there is hardly any evidence. I mean insider theft by those 
controlling the elections. Three broad categories of activity can achieve this, 
aways camouflaged as accidental phenomena, or claimed to be random - though when
the statisticians of the National Elections Data Archive get to work on these 
'random phenomena' a very clear pro-Republican bias emerges! 

1) Low tech traditional tricks:

As Greg Palast has consistently argued, the Republicans have perfected a panoply
of dirty tricks aimed at 'suppressing' the Democrat vote: e.g. purging the 
electoral roll of likely Democrat voters, losing their registration forms, 
intimidating poor whites and blacks from turning up, frustrating them with long 
queues when they do, or challenging their right to vote face to face, etc. 

'Muddles' in sending out postal votes, such as happened in Scotland, may or may 
not be innocent and neutral in their effects, but they have previously happened 
in US states with rabidly partisan election administrations. It is worth 
remembering that New Labour has forced through huge relaxations in the rules for
obtaining postal votes, despite the widespread electoral fraud which Labour 
supporters (predominjantly but not exclusively) have practiced in Birminghan and
many other places, and this despite being warned by the Electoral Commission and
the relevant Westminster committees of just such an outcome. Over-ready 
availability of postal votes also breaches our human right to a guaranteed 
secret ballot, nor is there any guarantee that one's vote will make it to the 
polling station through the postal system, where unscrupulous elements could 
intercept votes from certain postboxes or towns. Steaming envelopes open to 
inspect their contents is possible, especially when, as happened in Scotland, 
the huge numbers of people who applied for postal votes found that the ballot 
forms wouldn't easily fit into the envelopes supplied.

Designed to fail? Hard to say, and this also applies to the polling station in 
Edinburgh where because of strangely defective ballot boxes the officials were 
taking people's votes and stashing them in plastic bags behind their tables! One
further example on the theme of low-tech ambiguity: When I went to vote in 
Craigie school in Perth my eye happened to light on a copy of the front page of 
the Sun with a graphic about how voting for indpendence is like putting one's 
head in a noose. When I complained that such material should be lying around 
quite visible, the man in charge apologised, leaving me to feel it was probably 
an accident. However Tricia Marwick, the winning SNP candidate in traditionally 
Labour Fife Central, has alleged this was happening at several polling stations 
in her constituency, and there is at least one report of the Noose graphic being
pasted to a wall inside the polling station.

2) Confusing Voters:

Another category of election theft happens through confusing voters so that 
their vote doesn't count, or is even given to the wrong candidates, e.g. the 
confusing butterfly ballot which saw Jews voting for Buchanan not Gore in one 
district of Florida. In this case the Secretary of State for Scotland was 
repeatedly warned that combining two different elections (Scottish Parliamentary
and Council) on the one day would be likely to cause confusion, the more so as 
it would involve three different electoral systems (FPTP, Addditional Member top
ups on a regional list - both using X's, and Single Transferrable Vote for 
Councillors - using numbers). Although in the past the two sides of the Holyrood
ballot had each had their own voting slip, on this occasion both sides were 
included on the one larger paper with the instruction: 'You have two votes' ast 
the top of the page and only smaller at the top of each column the words 'Mark 
one X in this column'. Faced by a long shopping list of possible parties to vote
for in the first column (regional list), many voters used up both X's before 
coming to the Constituency FPTP column. Others used numbers where they should 
have placed crosses and vice versa. Altogether between 4 and 5 percent of 
ballots were rejected, effectively disenfranchising 80-100,000 Scots and causing
widespread anger, including at the suspicion that different local standards may 
sometimes have obtained for accepting or rejecting doubtful papers. However it 
is unclear whether any party advantage will have accrued from this massive 

This does not mean that this problem is of no significiance, nor indeed the 
problems with postal votes, nor the problem with the failure/'failure' of 
counting machinery in seven major counting centres, which had the immediate 
effect of leaving exhausted activists feeling disempowered and cheated of their 
late night hour of triumph. The possibility exists that the significance of 
these hassles may lie precisely as distractions from realising where the 
fundamental threat could be coming from.

3) High-tech Electronic swindling:

Outside some black communities, the largest strand of the dynamic Voter 
Integrity movement in the US is the one which has focussed on the massive 
evidence of electronic vote-theft, whether by compromised voting machines, 
compromised counting machines or the transfer of count data via hackable 
protocols on the Internet. A vast amount of work has been done on each of these 
sub-categories, and increasingly the movement calls for hand-counted paper 

because it realises that electronic technology is inherently hard to audit, when
much of the software is 'tested' using other 'software' and nobody knows which 
'expert institutes' are honest and/or competent nor which further advances in 
E-swindling may be being dreamed up.

See also 

, which gives synopses of 15 expert reports.

As computer professionals well know, most financial theft isn't wee people 
pinching banknotes, it mostly happens by big insiders in big institutions, and 
uses high-tech means. Why should things be otherwise with E-election technology,
which has been likened to a licence to print political money. In her book of the
same name, http://www.blackboxvoting.org/book.html, Bev Harris of Black Box 
Voting has shown that the multi-billion $$ high-tech election industry in the 
States is full of interlinked companies with many close links to the ruling 
party, the CIA, the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the mafia and/or 
fraudsters recruited out of prison.


Take, for example, VoteHere, which led the lobbying post 'hanging chads' for 
computerisation of the US election machinery, which sacked its test engineer for
identifying 250 security problems 
http://www.whoscounting.net/TheCompanies.htm#VOTE%20HERE , and which was brought
in to help run an e-pilot in Islington in 2001 
http://society.guardian.co.uk/internet/story/0,,498781,00.html as the 'technical
partner' of Electoral Reform Services, Ltd (which gives around a million a year 
to Electoral Reform Society). Harris reveals that Robert Gates, ex-head of the 
CIA and now Secretary of Sate for 'Defense' , was on the board of directors of 

The Pentagon is known to pursue stealth technologies and full-spectrum 
technological dominance, including in space and cyberspace 

A huge amount of Pentagon and other reasearch is done on a classified basis, 
with the fruits of this research often being passed out for loyal 
military-industrial crony companies and CIA-fronts to use first, thus giving 
them a huge edge on foreign competition and lagging-behind regulatory regimes. 
As for the CIA it has overthrown or destabilised scores of democratically 
elected governments www.whatreallyhappened.com/ARTICLE3/ . Sometimes these moves
have happened in dramatic memorable fashion, e.g. Allende under fire in the 
presidential palace. Other times US or Nato intervention has happened in a way 
which only a few noticed at the time, e.g. forcing the Socialists out of 
government in Italy in June 1964, see D. Ganser, Nato's Secret Armies, pp 70 ff.

But just as the best economic fraudsters are the ones we never hear about, so 
the best coups and interventions are those which happen so stealthily that no 
one realises they/we have lost our freedom. (This indeed is the key theme of an 
early Neo-con handbook, Coup d'Etat by Strauss pupil at Chicago and leading 
neo-con Edward Luttwak.) The big lie and the noble lie and the secret move - all
these avoid the embarrassment which occurs when the people get riled up and 
indignant and have to be fired on. Keep things cool. Confuse potentially 
suspicious outsiders with lesser sub-plots, just as a good stage magician uses 
his magic wand to divert attention from the main move being made. Not only do 
the corporate media stroke the little person's desire for a quiet life of denial
with a steady diet of bread and circuses, when embarrassing controversies arise 
the media can be relied upon to prevent rational debate based on the 
presentation of evidence on and by either side (or from many perspectives), but 
rather to close ranks by publicly humiliating 'conspiracy theorists' as 
'fruitloops' suffering from a 'conspiracist mindset'.

Yet when abuses of trust really are - or may be - occurring, it is blanket 
denial not measured suspicion which merits psychological diagnosis. (Wihelm 
Reich's The Mass Psychology of Fascism comes to mind; more recently feminist 
work on widespread denial when it is precisely the one in authority who is 
conducting the abuse; Daniele Ganser's Vital Lies - Simple Truths gives a 
compassionate Buddhist-influenced account of the tendency we all share to steer 
away from noticing things which could cause our anxiety levels to rise - we even
pre-notice what we know we mustn't see! It is this tendency which has been 
relied upon by the people who stole the elections in Comal County Texas in 2002.
Not only did the conspirators type in the same five figure number as the number 
of votes supposedly received by three Republicans, a statistical absurdity, but 
they felt so confident that they even chose neo-nazi numbers, 18181 (Adolf 
Hitler=AH= first and eight letter of the alphabet).

Nothing so brazen has occurred in Scotland in 2007. Yet 'even' (?) Scottish Stop
the War (as also in England) finds it impossible to take on board the real 
implications of an equally brazen impossible phenomenon such as 911 (e.g. three 
buildings falling evenly through themselves at a speed either slightly faster 
than the speed of bodies falling from an equivalent height through mere air, or 
only slightly slower; and when steel framed buildings never fall due to fire but
will burn red hot until burn out.)

Even those who skillfully parried Labour attacks on SNP spending promises by 
saying that 'after Iraq none of us can believe a word New Labour tells us', seem
implicitly to concede that such US-style electoral corruption couldn't happen 
here. But how can we be sure?

Although there are only a handful of 'attack vectors' in traditional elections 
(e.g. pre-stuffing ballot boxes if no one is there to check they are empty when 
sealed), the number of ways of stealing e-counting and e-voting are literally 
unknown. Basically none of us know for certain that there was or wasn't dirty 
business going on at the electronic cross roads. Nor can we be completely sure 
about all the companies running the pre-election polls - recall the recent spate
of TV phone-in scandals.

In the US concern has been expressed about the independence of polling 
companies, some of which may have been used to put out misleading opinion polls,
thus rendering people less suspicious when 'late swings' see incumbents get back
in, or almost get returned (2006, with Lieberman effectively a Republican, a 
tied Senate would have Cheney with the casting vote).

In Ohio in 2004 we now know that when the computers appeared to freeze, the 
results continued to be fed to Karl Rove by an electronic back door! 

Probably there was nothing fishy going on when seven Scottish counts experienced
similar holdups, resulting in the public being sent home for the 'technicians' 
and 'computer experts' being left to 'fix the glitches' overnight. But is 
'probably' now good enough? Can we really be as sure as we used to be able to be
sure when we all hung around and watched the paper ballots being hand-counted in

Far from being a 'modern advanced' way of doing elections, E-counting was not 
just expensive (at around £9 million, of which more than £4m was spent onthe 
machinery). Caetnralised E-counting often went slower than decentralised 
citizen-involving counts could have been conducted, even of multi-stage STV 
counts. And by its inherently non-transparent nature will do nothing to restore 
trust in the political process.

As a candidate I was assured that the software to be used had been 
'independently verified'. Eventually I was told that software experts at Radboud
University had verified it. When I checked them out I discovered that they 'had 
been invited to tender' for the contract of testing the software for applying 
the rules in an STV count.

All fine and dandy, I dare say, but this gives no guarantee that additional 
software may not have controlled the registering of votes as the ballot papers 
passed through the DRS counting machines, software which, as in the US, may only
be triggered when the real count starts (and may even be able to rub itself out 

I was also assured that the ballot images taken and stored in computers 
contained no voter ID. All very well, so long as those giving me these 
assurances are a) honest (which I do not doubt) and b) at an extremely high 
level of professional competence so that they would be able to detect 
nano-technological ID barcodes within the Area barcode or the Contest barcodes, 
should such stealth technology for citizen profiling have been invented. (The 
police declined to take some sample papers for analysis.)

On researching the E-count company I not only discover that Lord Kinnock (who as
EU Commissioner once fired a whistleblower) has been taken on as a non-executive
director on £19,000 a year, but I also learn that DRS has taken over a private 
San Diego based firm called Peladon Software, which had recently bought in some 
imaging software from Diebold, the company most closely associated with 
pro-Republican skullduggery in the public mind.


I will readily concede that I may be being 'paranoid' so long as readers who 
find themselves scorning my 'conspiracy theories' admit that they too could not 
be sure that they would be able to tell whether the various software companies 
and researchers involved are all sufficiently independent, honest and expert to 
be able to offer cast-iron guarantees in this crucial aspect of hard-fought 
social life, the control of elections, which has been likened to conferring a 
license to print political money.

The paradox of voting in the traditional way is that through resolute mutual 
suspicion, we have evolved a system in which all can have confidence. By 
contrast, with electronic election machinery we are being asked to have trust 
where none can exist.


('Oh, but the paper ballots are securely stored, so they would never dare to try
it on' it is said. Which in the minds of those conducting many of the counts, 
who have sole discretion on ordering a recount and may often have been impressed
by DRS presentations and rehearsals, translates as 'we don't ever need to check'
... ?)

Far from technology taking us forward, its introduction has been a huge set-back
for Scottish democracy, whether or not anything dodgy has been tried on on this 
occasion. Readers who would like to join me in a Campaign for Hand-counted Paper
Ballots are invited to get in touch on 01738 783677, or at 2b Darnhall Cres, 
Perth, PH2 0HH (not by e-mail).

Although there are no shortage of bright young suits swarming around the New 
Labour regime seeking to be given juicy contracts to run various e-pilots, the 
verdict of the computer professionals is that this technology is inherently 

This is the ironic verdict of one self-employed computer expert at the height of
his profession:

The programs that the voting vendors actually distribute - as opposed to the 
software they may say they distribute - will continue to determine who takes 
power after the votes are tallied.

To be fair, of course, although bug reports show voting software testing is 
mind-bogglingly lax, all any software testing process can do is find problems 
that testers know to look for and report honestly. There are countless billions 
of internal states within all but the simplest of programs. Both practically and
theoretically, it is impossible through

testing to determine that any computer system has no flaws - much less, to rule 
out the existence of secret backdoor functions to be triggered on a future date.
(This is no science fiction; see 
htttp://www.bbvdocs.org/reports/BBVreportIIunredacted.pdf ).

Voting software is software distributed through use of software, vouched for by 
other software, that itself vouches for other software. Surely nothing can 
possibly go wrong with such a system.


In one classic paper Ken Thompson, the recipient of an award from the 
Association of Computing Machinery, Reflections on Trusting Trust, concluded:

The moral is obvious. You can't trust code that you did not totally create 
yourself. (Especially code from companies that employ people like me.) No amount
of source-level verification or scrutiny will protect you from using untrusted 
code. In demonstrating the possibility of this kind of attack, I picked on the C
compiler. I could have picked on any program-handling program such as an 
assembler, a loader, or even hardware microcode. As the level of program gets 
lower, these bugs will be harder and harder to detect. A well installed 
microcode bug will be almost impossible to detect.

And Howard Strauss, Director of Advanced Computer Applications at Princeton 
University says:

"When it comes to computerized elections, there are no safeguards. It's not a 
door without locks; it's a house without doors."

Apart from the possibility of e-fraud, Bev Harris and others are known to be 
concerned about the possibility of vote-counting machinery being linked into 
national databases. In this connection it is interesting that, after the 
(entirely predictable) faisco of postal voting in Birmingham and elsewhere, Tony
Blair is known to have promoted ID cards as a solution to problems of his own 

For this and many other reasons the introduction of electronic machinery in 
Scotland should be seen as part of an overall Statist coup against the people 
being carried out also in England and Wales, where more and more e-pilots are 
being introduced, and across the world (e.g. massive evidence of pro-corporate 
computer fraud in Mexico http://www.narconews.com/Issue42/article2010.html ). 
Activist pressure has recently led to some belated tightening of the line 
against e-technology in elections on behalf of the Electoral Reform Society, 
whose favoured option of STV is complex to count and hence the Society may well 
be thought to have a special responsibility to see that the introduction of its 
favoured system is not used as an excuse to foist corporate e-technology on us 
all. See 
where the ERS concludes that 'the use of internet, text message and telephone 
voting seriously compromises the security of an election', but fails to come out
against e-counting, nor does it apply its critique to use of internet, etc in 
'private' elections, such as its cash-cow, ERServices Ltd, makes millions a year
from running.


The coming weeks provides a unique window of opportunity for people in Scotland 
to declare our independence from the blue pill matrix 'reality' where if 
something (like global frame-ups, or computer-aided coups) isn't talked about in
the posh papers and on the TV news reviews then it can't be happening. A time to
recover our cultural traditions of wary scepticism. Its time - as they say - to 
take the red pill and to declare not that we know that one party definitely was 
cheated from a more comprehensive victory on May 3rd, but that we can't know 
that that didn't happen and that moreover we are entitled to a country in which 
we can be sure that any such electoral swindling doesn not and cannot ever 

Alex Salmond must be supported and held to his pledge of a full Independent 
Inquiry into the election, not just one conducted internally by the Electoral 
Commission, a government appointed 'independent' quango which in Scotland has 
prominent ex-Cosla ex-Scottish Labour figures on board, and which in the UK has 
consistently worked to implement the broad e-tech friendly thrust of the New 
Labour project. All of us who are awakening to a world outside the 
Anglo-American bubble must unite to insist that the terms of reference of the 
Inquiry must include looking into not just postal votes and the designs of the 
ballot papers, but the whole question of electronic counting machines (not just 
their 'glitches' and 'delays' , or cost, etc).

Keith Mothersson

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