A letter from Tony

Aaaargh! So now we know, what's in store for us if we sign up to a 10 Downing street petition.

Yesterday, horror of horrors, I got an email from Tony Blair, making the case for ID cards. I have so far resisted the temptation to clamp my hands over my ears and sing 'I'm not listening, I can't hear you, la, la, la...' and despite the rather scary proposition of the police 'fishing' for fingerprints at whim, as highlighted on The Today Programme this morning, I'm not going to go into here what's wrong with ID cards.

But, what does interest me is this whole online political engagement 'thing' that has arisen with these petitions. Even though it means I have to receive emails from Tony Blair, I do find it all rather exciting because some of these petitions are involving more than us 'usual suspects'; and if you're reading my blog, then unless you're my Mum or my friend Ali in Holland, you know I mean you!!!

The 'Scrap the ID cards petition' got 28,000 signatures, the road pricing one 1,500,000 and each one of those 1,500,000 is going to get an email dropping into their inbox arguing for the Government Policy. Now, I wouldn't normally wish this on my worst enemy, but actually, I think it is more important that people start to be politically engaged first and then politically engaged with me and the Lib Dems, on the basis that that first bit is harder to achieve than the second.

I got the viral email asking me to sign the road pricing petition via a non political friend, who had sent it on to a number of others. They all probably vote but that's as far as they go; the only regular political discussion they seem to take part in is 'Jo-baiting', an unsurprisingly easy thing to do, perhaps they save the interesting stuff for when I'm not there!

It's also likely that those who are going to get their letter from Tony, were on average younger than the voting population; just that group who seem so disillusioned and disengaged with the political process - this has got to be a good thing for politics and the taxpayers and voters, surely?

I'm not the only one that is really excited about the potential that viral campaigning has, even if it is the Downing St that's got all the email addresses, am I?


Will said...
20 Feb 2007, 14:54:00

Fingerprint fishing really stood out in that email, which I received too, as a worrying new development. Glad Today picked up on it.

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