Gaia Guido has come up with an idea for a Green Party campaign poster which he is happy to share for free. Following Tony Blair’s generous recycling of £106,000 he got from various dictators to various Labour candidates in marginal constituencies, here is a poster idea for their Green Party opponents. If you like the idea and want a higher-resolution Photoshop version, do email in…
The government have been kind enough to launch a consultation on the revisions and updates to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. Essentially they want to know what you think about their plans to spy on you. Specifically, they want to hear from the public on the newly-proposed Equipment Interference Code and an updated Interception of Communications Code of Practice. In a forward to the consultation, James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Immigration and Security, assures the public that:
“In order to continue to keep us safe, the Security and Intelligence Agencies need the full range of investigatory tools at their disposal. But the public needs to know that these powers are used appropriately and are subject to stringent oversight…
There are limits on what can be said in public about this work. But it is imperative that the Government is as open as it can be about these capabilities and how they are used. The public and Parliament needs to have confidence that there is a robust statutory framework for the use of such intrusive investigative powers and that there is a strong system of safeguards in place…
The abilities to read or listen to a suspect’s communications or to interfere with his or her computer equipment are among the most important, sensitive, and closely scrutinised powers available to the state..”
You can let Mr Brokenshire know what you think by taking part in the consultation here. Or just discuss it on Whatsapp or Snapchat with someone with a foreign sounding name…
Jim Murphy has pulled out of a public appearance today, after the McAshcroft poll pointed to a total rout for the party north of the border. Guido is told that Scottish Labour hope to ‘reschedule’ a stunt that would have their leader selling copies of the Big Issue for the day. Jim will have the opportunity to do so full time at this rate…
Meanwhile, here is the party’s mature response to utter Caledonian clusterf*ck. You would never have thought they’re a bunch of former NUS chumps:
Yeah, retreat to that comfort zone. That will solve everything.
Last week Techno Guido reported that former defence secretary Tom King believed the reason for ISIS’s advance across Iraq and Syria was entirely down to either Snapchat or WhatsApp. After much speculation as to which teenage sexting app Lord King was referring to, he has gone on the record to confirm that he believes the speed of ISIS’s advance “was achieved on WhatsApp”. Despite King’s revelation, the House of Lords rejected his rehashed Snoopers Charter amendment. Again.
“our legislation has failed to keep pace with the rapid growth of the new technologies around the internet and the complications in the whole field of social media communication. One should recognise—it is common ground—that the extraordinary speed of ISIL’s southwards advance across Syria and into Iraq was achieved on WhatsApp, which is able to communicate with thousands of people at the same time”
Thousands of terrorists communicating together in one group chat? You’d think the security services would be pleased…
Guido assumes that Douglas Carswell’s kids have got hold of his iPad or iPhone:
Though Douglas is an advocate of digital democracy so perhaps this is a virtual simulation of utopia…
UPDATE: Carswell tweets:
A leaked email has revealed the Tory field data operation is in dire straights just 98 days from polling day. With half of their associations dumping the dire Merlin voter data software for a new voter contact system, CCHQ have now been forced to admit that the upgrade is busted too. In the busiest donation period of the entire election cycle, party bosses have admitted that all donations of over £500 have to be declared manually to CCHQ with a spreadsheet rather than simply entered in the software – as promised. Which defeats the point of the expensive change over…
To: ALL CONSTITUENCY OFFICES, CHAIRMAN, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCE
Cc: FIELD STAFF
As you know, the Party is replacing the MERLIN software with a new membership and campaigning system called VoteSource. Over 350 associations have already decided to move to VoteSource, and their MERLIN has not been updated with the new registers of electors that were published on 1 December in England and Wales*. For these users VoteSource must now be used for all election campaigning. Donors giving over £500 to the Association, or over £50 directly to a candidate, must be checked on VoteSource, but see below for how to report.
A number of associations have decided to remain on MERLIN. For these seats, donors giving over £500 to the Association, or over £50 directly to a candidate, must be checked on MERLIN, but only after you have explicitly been told by the Helpdesk that your MERLIN is being rolled over to the new register. If in doubt about your MERLIN’s status, please email XXXXXX@conservatives.com, or to check donors email their name and address to XXXXXX@conservatives.com
Donation reporting functionality will be added to VoteSource soon. Until then, donations over £500 must be recorded on the attached spreadsheet. We will, as usual, send a spreadsheet at the end of the quarter** showing any donations that reach us through MERLIN, but otherwise this sheet should be your main reporting form. For the password, please call us on 020 7x XXX XXX
Remember that donations for January to March will need to be reported by 10 April, ie in the middle of the peak of campaigning, and so we strongly recommend that you update this sheet as and when you receive donations in order to avoid extra stress in April. Donations that are being made directly to a candidate or the election agent account are subject to the £50 threshold for checks, and are listed on the return of election expenses INSTEAD of reporting to us.
The Helpdesk will announce when donation functionality is available in VoteSource, but until then if you have any donation or reporting queries please do not hesitate to contact us: XXXXXXX@conservatives.com, 020 7XXX XXXX
* In Scotland, registers are not due to be updated until 10 March.
** Donations checked between 1 January and 30 March will be emailed to the association office on 11 April.
There are a lot of rather irate agents out there, facing a load more hassle.
In a moment of admirable honesty while scrutinising the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, former defence secretary Tom King admitted that while he’s not a tweeter and he does not know about WhatsApp and Snapchat, he is certain that “the terrorists and jihadists do”:
So certain is Lord King of the terrorists’ prowess with WhatsApp and Snapchat, that he believes the reason for ISIL’s advance across Iraq and Syria was entirely down to the teenage sexting apps:
“It includes the use of things that not all your Lordships—that certainly includes me—are masters of. I am not a tweeter. We have Facebook and Twitter. Somebody tried to explain WhatsApp to me; somebody else tried to explain Snapchat. I do not know about them, but it is absolutely clear that the terrorists and jihadists do. The understanding is that part of the reason for ISIL’s amazing advance across Syria and into Iraq was that their communications were so good and the way they kept together was entirely due to one or other of the last two systems that I mentioned, which they handled with great intelligence.”
This message will self destruct in 10, 9, 8….
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