The power of power

IT S amazing how a little bit of power can make some people behave. Last week, I arrived at the count of the Letchworth GC parish poll, headed straight for the returning officer, and asked permission to take a photo. Aware of the legal obligation not to i

IT'S amazing how a little bit of power can make some people behave.

Last week, I arrived at the count of the Letchworth GC parish poll, headed straight for the returning officer, and asked permission to take a photo.

Aware of the legal obligation not to identify any ballot papers or counters, I got permission and direction from both the returning officer and one of his colleagues.

As I prepared to take a photo of the back of the counters' heads from across the other side of the room (admittedly not a great shot), a man from North Hertfordshire District Council bounded across to me.

Despite assurances from his colleague that I was abiding by the book, had permission, and was clearly positioned away from and behind the counters and the precious ballot papers, he insisted on reciting the law and berated me for my actions. I failed to get the photo, but I hope I made him feel important.

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