The Sunday Times has an opinion article by Matthew Parris about the Labour party's disastrous results in the Local Elections and in London last Thursday: "My advice to Labour MPs - give up"
One comment on this article chimed with our reaction to the "we must listen to the electorate" media spin uttered by Gordon Brown and the other NuLabour politicians, in a vain attempt to try to blame anybody and anything but themselves for their defeats:
My first thought on hearing that New Labour intended listening to the electorate was to wonder whether said goal might be achieved in their minds through increased snooping on emails and bugging of telephone calls.
rob smith, london,
One of Labour's favourite political manipulation tricks has been their fake public consultations - remember Tony Blair's "Big Conversation" back in 2003 ?
What is the point of pretending to "listen", when you have already decided to carry on with your stupid policy regardless ?
Gordon Brown has also used the same technique at the Treasury and as Prime Minister (he has launched over a hundred of "consultations" since last Summer), as has Ken Livingstone over the London Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone mass surveillance schemes, and the Home Office over the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, and ID Cards.
The Home Office's latest "Consultation on the Delivery of the National Identity Scheme" asks some astonishing questions of the general public, and of private sector companies.
Are we really meant to believe that they have spent 6 years, and £60 million on Consultants and Media Spin, without any idea at all about fundamentals like:
2.2 (i) what sort of advice and support should be provided to the public and other users of the Scheme (ii) how to involve non-government organisations in the provision of advice and support about the Scheme to the public and other users
2.3 (i) how to involve the public in independent scrutiny and oversight of the Scheme (ii) how potential and established users of the Scheme might be involved to bring independent scrutiny and oversight
3.4 Views are invited on how to deliver benefits from the Scheme to those who hold a separate identity card, passport or both when the Scheme is enrolling large volumes on the National Identity Register
3.5 Views are sought on:
(i) the ways to create an effective market to deliver fingerprint enrolment capability for the Scheme
(ii) what needs to be done to make participation by the private sector in delivering this capability an attractive proposition
All this without actually detailing any quantifiable "benefits" of the scheme to individuals or to companies at all. The public is apparently meant to make out the detailed business case for a rod for their own backs, and then submit it to the Government.