Dear David Cameron – Stop emailing me. Please.

12 May 2010

Dear David,

I have recently been bombarded received an awful lot of emails from you, George Osbourne and a few others at Conservative head office.

During the election campaign, while these were far too numerous and repetitive, I didn’t mind much.   Though I’m not sure where you got my email address from or what agreement you thought I had given you that I wanted this correspondence, it was at least more convenient than all paper propaganda I got through my letterbox (from all parties, though, again, more from The Conservatives than the other parties)

But since the ballots closed at 10pm last Thursday I’ve been getting really fed up of it.

The tone has changed.  Rather than slagging off the opposition and asking for my support and vote, you have now started to use arrogant language that just assumes that I did support and vote for your party (which, as it happens, I did not).

I wanted a hung parliament.  And I got one.  Thanks.

No matter which parties were to be involved in a coalition (the formal one you’ve agreed or another form, had it gone that way) I’m just glad that parties are having to work together and it’s not a single party forcing things through regardless.

Now, to be honest, I’m not really a big fan of you but I reckon you’ve been talking pretty sensibly over the last 24 hours or so and I’m hopeful that you and your party will keep up the apparent openness, positive consultations, and alleged desire for fairness.

But please: stop claiming my vote, stop implying greater Conservative support than there was, and please PLEASE stop emailing me bollocks.



PS – I have included below a couple of examples with comments to help you understand the problem.

Read the rest of this entry »


Digital Economy Bill – Open Letter to My MP

18 March 2010

The Government are currently trying to rush the Digital Economy Bill through Parliament before the expected general election in May. Not only are parts of the bill misguided and draconian, but this is clearly a subject on which opinion is divided.

Below is a letter I sent my MP, Sadiq Khan (@sadiqkhan) about the Digital Economy Bill. You may want to write something similar:

Dear Sadiq.

I am extremely concerned at the Government ‘s current attempt to rush the Digital Economy Bill through Parliament before the forthcoming election and without a full Parliamentary debate.

This law is controversial, ill thought through and contains many measures that concern me. Any controversial Bill deserves proper scrutiny and debate so please do not let the government rush it through.

Industry experts, ISPs (including Talk Talk & BT) and huge internet companies (including Google & Yahoo) are all opposing the bill – yet the Government seems intent on forcing it through without a real debate. On top of that many people think it will damage schools and businesses as well as innocent people who rely on the internet because it will allow the disconnecting of people suspected of copyright infringement.

I support the industry in their battle to prevent theft of copyright materials but this is not the solution. Many of the figures cited by the industry are dubious at best and often just plain wrong, as Ben Goldacre has exposed several times.

Some elements of the bill may well be desirable and sucessful, but as opinion is so wildly divided and many experts see serious problems with it, there MUST be a full and open debate on the matter.

As a constituent in Tooting I writing to ask that you do all you can to ensure that your honorable friends do not rush this bill through denying the popultion our democratic right to scrutiny and debate.

[My Name & Postcode]

You may also want to read these:

Twitter Hashtag: #debill

Who the hell are you?

28 December 2008

On Christmas eve I got an email wishing me a happy Christmas.  How nice and thoughtful.  Except it was sent to lots of other people too, from somebody I’ve never met, never spoken to and never expected to be sent Christmas greetings from.

Turns out I’d been put on a new mailing list that Rex Osborn (a local Labour councillor) has decided to set up.  He didn’t introduce himself, explain where he’d got my email address from or why I might want to receive his updates.  In short, I’m pretty sure he’s in breach of the data protection act.

My local Labour MP, Sadiq Khan, is no better.  Despite regularly requesting (in almost all contact with him) that he only contact me by email and may not use my postal address, all responses come though the post. On all sorts of irrelevant topics (I really don’t care which care home he’s visited this quarter).

Don’t they train these people?  It’s really pretty simple. It’s not even about following the Data Protection Act to the letter. It’s about the spirit of the act and a basic respect for people’s preferences and rights over their own personal information.

Anyway, I’ve written back pointing this out (below, including the original email I received).  I’ll update if I ever get a response.

from:    mydogminton
to:    Councillor Rex Osborn <>
date:    28 December 2008 18:21
subject    Re: An seasonal message from Councillor Rex Osborn
Dear Rex,
Given that this a new mailing list which I didn't ask to be put
onto, you might at least introduce yourself (who exactly are you)
and say something of relevance rather than just a Christmas
greeting from somebody I don't know.  You don't even include a
link to a relevant web page so I can find out for myself.
You could also explain where you got the recipient's email
addresses from and why you thought we/they would want to be on
this mailing list. I am not saying that I don't want to receive
your updates - I simply don't know as I have no idea who you are,
what party you represent and what information might be in these
mail outs.
Starting off with a clearly labelled "Remove" option does not
absolve you from responsibilities under the data protection act.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
from: Councillor Rex Osborn
to:   Councillor Rex Osborn
date: 24 December 2008 22:36
subject: An seasonal message from Councillor Rex Osborn
To be removed from Councillor Rex Osborn’s email distribution
please respond with REMOVE as subject.
Dear Friend
As a new initiative I have created an email distribution list and
for its launch I am sending everybody a seasonal message. So
before anything else let me wish you Season’s Greetings.
Over coming weeks and months I shall send out information and
occasional bulletins to this distribution list. In addition, if
you think I can help with anything then do let me know. (If you
are not interested or have moved away then I can easily remove
you from the list.)
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best Wishes
Cllr Rex Osborn

Political Compass

4 July 2008

I was sent a link to the Political Compass earlier today.  I don’t think it’s new and I don’t really know how much use it is but I spend 5 minutes going through anyway.

It asks a serious of multiple choice questions and you get a position on a few political scales, drawn out on a grid, presumably confirming roughly how you thought of yourself anyway.

Anyway, as I’ve bothered to answer the questions, here’s the graph:

Apparently this is there I fall in the political scale

Apparently this is there I fall in the political scale

According to a couple of other grids on the site, that’s pretty much the mirror image (along the top-left to bottom-right diagonal) of where Thatcher was.  Which I’m taking as a good thing.