Richard Murphy goes bananas about the City of London

Richard really does need to check his source materials a little more closely.

Note that little reference to the fact candidates must be Freemen of the City.

Ritchie thus leaps to the conclusion that you\’ve got to be part of the self-selecting oligarchy of the Livery Companies in order to stand for election in The City.

So this is the one local authority in the country where living in the area does not give you the right to stand for election. Far from it – that is secured by privilege. There’s not a hint of democracy about this process.

Hmm. So, what do you have to do in order to become a Freeman of the City?

by being on the City Parliamentary Register of Electors (possible after 1856 only).

Oh, so all registered voters are, by virtue of their being registered voters, (and to become a registered voter you need simply to be, as in any other parliamentary constituency, 18 or over, a UK citizen, willing to register and not mad) Freemen of the City and thus eligible to stand for office.

In fact, living in the area absolutely and completely, subject only to UK citizenship, qualifies you to stand for office.

So he\’s got the wrong end of the stick here.

11 comments on “Richard Murphy goes bananas about the City of London

  1. There’s an interesting conspiracy theory (if you go for these things, which of course we don’t) that in some technical way The City isn’t part of the UK.

    Nonsense, of course, but wouldn’t it be fun if it were true…

  2. Nope, he probably has checked his sources. He’s an accountant so he must be anal about checking all his facts and figures. Either that or it explains why he’s no longer an accountant! 🙂

    What he must have done (Occams razor and all) is purposefully ignored that bit as argues his case that anyone who is not on his side are evil people and must be removed from this earth. To do that he must get his troops whipped up into a frenzy and the only that can be done is by telling them lies that want to hear.

    However you missed a bit at the start of his article where he admits to making a mistake. Screen grab that as he doesn’t do it very much at all.

  3. This leaping-to-conclusions is very reminiscent of Polly “Final Solution” Toynbee. I do wonder if Polly isn’t Ritchie in drag.

  4. “I do wonder if Polly isn’t Ritchie in drag.”

    What a nightmarish concept. And vice-versa is too alarming to contemplate.

  5. “Oh, so all registered voters are, by virtue of their being registered voters, (and to become a registered voter you need simply to be, as in any other parliamentary constituency, 18 or over, a UK citizen, willing to register and not mad) Freemen of the City and thus eligible to stand for office.”
    Nearly, but not quite – you have to apply and get two or three Freeman (I’m not sure if they still have to be members of the Common Council) to sign a paper supporting your application.

  6. Apologies – I am out of date. They have changed the rules – pity, I think that requiring two sponsors was a way of avoiding notorious crooks without blocking mavericks who got up the noses of fogeys

  7. “There’s an interesting conspiracy theory (if you go for these things, which of course we don’t) that in some technical way The City isn’t part of the UK.”

    Unlike the Isle of Wight which doesn’t need the conspiracy theory. It was never part of William’s English Realm.

  8. “subject only to UK citizenship”

    *pendant* – or Irish citizenship, or Commonwealth citizenship combined with legal UK residence.

  9. Tim, have a look at Mr Murphy’s blog this morning – he is claiming that you can only become a Freeman by joining a livery company.

  10. Posted on the other thread, but I thought I’d copy it here:

    There is a special way of becoming a Freeman, specifically to qualify to stand for election:

    “In addition, there is another specialised category open to those people who wish to stand for election to the Court of Common Council … In such a case an applicant can be supported by any two electors registered in the City”

    See here, at the bottom:
    http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Leisure_and_culture/Local_history_and_heritage/Freedom_of_City/applying.htm
    2

    So you only need two electors, not two freemen. And if you can’t get two electors to support you, you aren’t going to get very far as a candidate anyway.

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