A Russian observer says that the vote for Scottish independence
was conducted in an irregular fashion.
"Nobody was interested in who was bringing in the voting slips. There were no stamps or signatures as the bulletins were handed over," he said.
Perhaps predictably, the Russians aren't the only ones making this charge. George Galloway
Allegations of electoral fraud in Glasgow. Ballot papers being taken away by police after reports of double voting on at least 10 occasions
In Glasgow, “Police are investigating ten cases of electoral fraud.”
Voters turned up at polling stations to find that people had already voted using their names.
In Dundee -- a strong "yes" region -- a mysterious fire alarm (sans fire) caused the evacuation of a building in which the votes were being counted. After the count resumed, the final tally showed that Dundee had a turnout of 78.8%, significantly lower than the 85% turnout in all of Scotland.
The Daily Dot
has attempted to debunk claims of an election fraud conspiracy, although this story does little to counter the concerns voiced above.
And yet no American newspapers will take note of these concerns -- except, perhaps, in the context of deriding the Russians
. The mainstream media is reporting only that Scotland rejected independence by a margin somewhat wider than predicted.
Paradoxically, the American media wants you to believe that that the election held last March in Crimea -- in which the Crimeans resoundingly said that they wanted no part of the madness that has overtaken Ukraine -- was hopelessly corrupt.
Indeed, many American and British pseudojournalists write as if no election took place
. They speak of Putin's "annexation" of Crimea, as though his troops had simply marched into the place the way Hitler's troops marched into Paris.
For example, here's the BBC
speaking last May of the "annexation." You will see no mention of the fact that an election took place until the very end of a very long story. The same story repeatedly quotes Ukrainian officials who denounce the "annexation" as illegal. The BBC does not mention that these officials are either part of or allied with the rather terrifying Svobada movement, which has done more than enough to justify the label "fascist." The BBC does not mention that these people came to power in an illegal coup instigated by the Obama administration.
Nevertheless, that BBC story is an exemplar of fairness compared to the job done by the Washington Post in March, just two days after the referendum. The Post pretended that no vote at all took place. Instead, one of our leading newspapers published the kind of propagandistic guff one might have expected from a Stalin-era edition of Pravda:
Invoking the suffering of the Russian people and a narrative of constant betrayals by the West, President Vladimir Putin declared Tuesday that Russia was within its rights to reclaim Crimea, then signed a treaty that did just that.
Putin, defiant in the face of U.S. and European pressure, dispensed with legal deliberation and announced a swift annexation of Crimea, as if to put Europe’s most serious crisis in decades beyond the point where the results could be turned back.
In a speech to a joint session of the Russian parliament, he compared the move to the independence declaration of Kosovo in 2008 and the reunification of Germany in 1990 — but, in reality, this is the first time that one European nation has seized territory from another since the end of World War II.
Let me repeat: The Post makes no mention of the Crimean referendum -- not even to denounce its validity! -- even though said referendum had taken place a mere two days before this story was published.
To be fair, there have been many complaints that the Crimean referendum was conducted in an irregular fashion. I myself tend to think that there was hugger-mugger designed to insure that the results reflected a turnout of more than fifty percent. Also, there was no independence option on the ballot: Voters could go for either Ukraine or Russia, with no provision for "none of the above."
Stories like this one
got a lot of play in those sectors of the U.S. media which bothered to acknowledge that a referendum took place. The afore-linked story speaks of a phantom "real results" page which appeared very briefly on an official Russian website. I suspect that this phantom page was created by an outside hacker. (If memory serves, this same trick has been played more than once.)
That said, I've encountered no serious writer who thinks that the referendum does not ultimately reflect Crimean opinion. This writer crushes the arguments
against the validity of the referendum.
The results of that election make perfect sense to me. Why would the Crimeans want
to be part of Ukraine, a country that has gone mad with bloodthirsty nationalism? A country which had threatened to impose the Ukrainian language on Russian-speaking regions? A country ruled by thugs who (in a story which our media refused to report) had burnt alive a group of protestors? A country which now seems likely to spend the next winter freezing and uncomfortable? A country that, historically, has not had sovereignty over Crimea?
seen any photos or video of massive anti-Putin protests in Crimea? How many people living there have complained about the referendum results?
Our media pretends that the Crimean vote either never occurred or was hopelessly corrupt.
Yet the results of the rather dubious Scottish vote will be accepted without question.
A double standard? I think so.