Good ol’ Grauniad

Re-posted from archive of infinite ideas machine 2004: [LINKS UNCHECKED]

Now here’s a thing.

Last Thursday I wrote a letter to the Guardian, hoping to refute Blunkett & the Home Office’s continued assertion that 80% of us support their proposals. We don’t, and they know it – either that, or they’re too bloody lazy or deluded to read anything but their own polls…

Anyway, it didn’t get published and – to be honest – I didn’t think it would. I put in too many figures and started to lose it a little at the end. If you’ve read much of this blog, that may not be too unfamiliar 😉

I thought it might just be worth putting the text of my letter up here, so here it is [scroll down for the happy ending]:

“Sir / Madam,

Your article on the home affairs select committee’s criticism of David Blunkett’s plans to introduce ID cards reveals the deep scepticism felt towards the scheme by MPs of all parties. What I find particularly disgraceful, though, is the fact that Mr Blunkett continues to assert that “over 80% in all focus group and opinion polls” support his proposals – as if this provided adequate justification for passing legislation, in any case!

He must be ignoring the recent Privacy International (YouGov) and Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust ‘State of the Nation’ polls that indicate levels of support as low as 61% nationally and just 56% regionally, in Scotland. Even the Detica (MORI) poll, hyped by the Home Office in May – in which the 80% figure was headlined – revealed that almost half (48%) of people would not want to pay for an ID card, and that 60% “have little or no confidence in the Government’s ability to introduce ID cards without hitches”.

Opposition to the proposals is deep, entrenched and growing rapidly as details of the scheme emerge. The Home Office, meanwhile, refuse to engage in proper and open debate, and roll on regardless with their increasingly unbelievable plans. If Labour truly think that ID cards have the support of the nation, they should put them in their manifesto and let the country decide before taking a step further.

And if Mr Blunkett wants to play cards, he really shouldn’t let himself be caught stacking the deck.

Yours faithfully, etc.”

Imagine my surprise when I was texted this morning to go buy a Guardian and, lo and behold, in the Letters section under ID cards are no panacea… it got published!

Edited to fit (thank God) and sandwiched between David Winnick MP and Dr. John Welford. I’m under no illusions – it was the NO2ID role that swung it, but gratifying nonetheless.

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