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Conservatives pounce on PM’s emails

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Chris GraylingGrayling goes on the offensive

Conservative Home is reporting today that the Shadow Transport Secretary Chris Grayling (picured) has written to the Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell registering their concerns over the Prime Minister’s use of the e-petitions on the 10 Downing Street website, following Tony Blair’s second mass emailing today about the proposed vehicle tracking and road charging initiatives.

Grayling is seeking reassurances about the government’s potential to exploit the millions of email addresses harvested by the system; and having signed one or two of the petitions and started one myself, I have now come to the conclusion that it is much safer to stay away from the e-petition site altogether. I do not want to be the recipient of government sponsored spam and have set my email filter to reject and automatically delete all such email from the Prime Minister. I would urge all other users of the system to do the same.

Grayling writes in his letter:

“Clearly the use of this database in a way that promotes Government policy would give the Labour Party a substantial political advantage, particularly if further use is made of it by Ministers much closer to the potential date of a General Election. This has become particularly true given the level of response to the petition on road pricing.”

Echoing my thoughts yesterday, and which I posted on Webcameron, Grayling continues:

“It is clearly essential that taxpayers’ money is not used in a way that provides any political party with an electoral advantage, and that matters like this are handled in a way that is fair. If the Government is able to use the database to promote its policies on a future occasion, will other political parties be permitted similar access to the database?”

The e-petition on this one single issue harvested over emails 1.7 million email addresses for the Prime Minister, and the potential for an abuse of power is enormous, if 10 Downing Street were to receive 1.7 million handwritten letters on the issue do you suppose the Prime Minister would reply to each and every one of them?

I don’t think so!

Blair email

Hat Tip – Bloggerheads

Written by curly

February 21, 2007 at 3:09 pm

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