As you may know, I entered my rescued cat, Jude, into the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s first ever Purr Minister contest. It was meant to be a bit of fun, to raise the awareness of animal welfare issues, to hopefully get people onto the Battersea website and falling for a new pet, or at the very least to donate some cash.
Sadly, somebody took the fun out of it all. On Friday, I decided that the whole contest had become a farce, after 30,000 votes had been registered in the early hours of Thursday morning for a certain Tory MP’s cat. Indeed, at the height of this industrial vote rigging, votes for Bosun Murray were being entered at a rate of 50 a second!
To add insult to injury, once ‘found out’, the Tory MP’s ‘cat’ tried to claim the extra votes had been won from Australia! Hmmm… well let’s look at the facts:
1) Up to midnight last Wednesday, around 7,000 votes had been cast for all 10 cats in the contest.
2) from 1am-7am on Thursday, over 30,000 votes were added for Bosun Murray.
3) In the last 48 hours only 500 votes have been added for all cats left in the contest.
It was all supposed to be a bit of fun. Not about the winning, but about the BRILLIANT WORK of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. If the Tory MP in question had any honour left, she would remove her cat from the contest and allow one of the remaining moggies to win fairly and squarely… and perhaps she should focus on the battering her constituency is receiving from the elements, rather than the Battersea website receiving a battering with bogus votes.
The brilliant Lyn Brown MP guest writes a jokey press release here (to try and put a bit of fun back into #PurrMinister for the remaining cats!):
Breaking News – Just caught up with the Catrageous scandal engulfing the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Purr Minster election – Westminster Cat of the Year vote. Due to the vote rigging for another MP’s cat (automated algorithm?) the favourite Jude Gwynne has pulled out.
It was not possible to beat such tactics unless Jude employed them too. Jude however has purrinciples and refused offers of technical assistance.
Maisie Gwynne, aged 12 has supported Jude’s decision to withdraw. A disappointed Maisie proclaimed “Cheating is wrong”. Andrew Gwynne MP aged 39 said “Jude felt obliged to pull out due to 30,000 votes being cast in the early hours of Thursday morning for one cat. Up to that point only 7,000 votes had been cast in total in the competition.”
“It is farcical” said the debonair MP.
Mr Gwynne, owned by Jude the tiny (now neutered) cat, was so distressed that he got his international affairs confused as he claimed that “Mugabe would be proud of this move” “…in a North Korean vote”. A move to the Shadow Foreign Office Team is not expected in the near future. It is hoped that Mr Gwynne will recover his usual equilibrium soon. The Gwynne family are not planning any holidays to Cornwall in the near future.