Parliament Accidentally Wipes Active Casework

Parliamentary Digital Services (PDS) has today outdone itself by deactivating multiple active MPs’ staffers’ email accounts – and in the process deleting potentially years of correspondence and active constituents’ casework. PDS is often the bain of multiple staffers’ lives, and their move today has been true to form. Fibre-optic Fagins…

Following an election, there is an automatic grace period of a month, after which all former MPs and staffers’ emails are erased from the servers. This time around, however, PDS forgot to double-check whether any staffers – specifically those whose MP stepped down – have carried on with new MPs for their constituencies. Most absurdly, however, Guido has heard of a case where a staffer who received new email addresses following the election has even seen that one go down.

Guido understands there are a large number of staffers – predominantly Tories – who fit the bill; enjoying a less-than-productive day at work. This has led to multiple vulnerable constituents in need of help with housing or asylum having years of correspondence potentially permanently wiped.

Staffers are, as may be expected, up in arms, and desperately trying to find out whether the data is recoverable. Which it most likely won’t be if PDS used GDPR-compliant wiping methods…

UPDATE: A UK Parliament Spokesperson says they emphasised warnings to MPs and their staff before the election regarding the grace period, in line with GDPR and Data Protection legislation. They have been offering advice to any staffers affected, however notification was given multiple times and staff working for new members had to sort out renewed sponsorship. Sounds like the start of a protracted blame game…

mdi-timer January 21st 2020 @ 4:44 pm 21st Jan 2020 @ 4:44 pm mdi-comment Comments
BBC News Tech Cock Up Magnificently Handled

BBC Afternoon Live presenter Martine Croxall managed to smoothly work her way out of a tricky tech situation in the two o’clock headlines. Well worth a watch…

Hat-tip: Julian Druker
mdi-timer January 10th 2020 @ 2:13 pm 10th Jan 2020 @ 2:13 pm mdi-comment Comments
Brexit Party’s Head of Digital Strategy Left Two Weeks into the Election

To add to the Brexit Party’s woes today in light of four MEPs resigning the whip, Guido learns their Deputy Head of Digital, and Head of Digital Strategy, left two weeks into the election, after having resigned at the end of October. Given their lack of air time, digital ads were crucial to their success…

Ed Jankowski, who joined the party in April, left a fortnight into the election due to frustration at the party’s ideological – not data-driven – kamikaze campaign. The Brexit Party currently has no active Facebook ads just a week before the general election and claim their Facebook operation was Jankowski’s remit…

It is understood Ed was replaced by the former Chair of UKIP’s Youth Wing, Jamie Ross McKenzie (who was previously given a police caution for assault). There are few wheels left to fall off the Brexit Party’s campaign…

mdi-timer December 5th 2019 @ 12:42 pm 5th Dec 2019 @ 12:42 pm mdi-comment Comments
Tories Buy MargaretBeckett.com

Everyone knows it can be difficult teaching your grandparents how to use the internet, so very kindly Ed Barker, the Tory candidate for Derby south, took it upon themselves to buy and set up margaretbeckett.com on her behalf. A kinder, gentler politics in action…

Unfortunately for Margaret, the Tories didn’t quite stick to the Labour message, instead calling on unsuspecting voters not to vote Labour, with their Derby South candidate helpfully explaining in a video:

“She’s got no website, no social media and the only way of contacting her is by letter… Now as the candidate doesn’t have her own website I thought I’d do one for her just to show how disastrous it would be to have Jeremy Corbyn as our Prime Minister.”

Just another example of how clever the Tories’ online strategy is this time compared to the last…

mdi-timer December 3rd 2019 @ 2:00 pm 3rd Dec 2019 @ 2:00 pm mdi-comment Comments
Anti-Uber Unions Fund Sadiq’s Election Campaign

Sadiq Khan has dangled red meat to the unions over Uber since he became Mayor. The ban this morning was the second time the popular ride app service has been whacked by him. Why, you might ask, is Sadiq so keen to inconvenience the millions of Londoners – and potential voters – who use and enjoy the Uber app?

Electoral Commission records show that in 2015, Sadiq received almost £100,000 from three anti-Uber trade unions.

GMB: £20,000
TSSA: £15,000
Unite: £60,000

All three unions welcomed the decision today, they have been campaigning against new entrants into the taxi market for years. Limiting competition for taxis in London might hurt consumers, on the other hand it helps these powerful unions who are busily recruiting London cabbies to their ranks. Sadiq is paying them back ahead of passing the hat around next year for donations when he seeks re-election.

Sadiq has also burdened Uber with conditions attached to the Private-Hire Operators licence to which other operators are not being held. The last Uber London licence had 20 regulatory requirements, whereas other app based operators have no more than 9. Sadiq is singling out Uber for politcal reasons…

mdi-timer November 25th 2019 @ 3:43 pm 25th Nov 2019 @ 3:43 pm mdi-comment Comments
Uber Loses Licence to Operate in London

Uber’s licence to operate in London has ended today, but the company will continue to operate while it appeals TFL’s decision. Developing…

Readers may remember this has happened before. In 2017 Sadiq tried to ban Uber but the company won on appeal. This looks a lot like the Mayor flexing his muscles…

mdi-timer November 25th 2019 @ 10:02 am 25th Nov 2019 @ 10:02 am mdi-comment Comments
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