November 21, 2007

Labour's Black Tuesday?

This is the question bring asked by The Spectator's blog. Fraser Nelson writes that "people are pledging to shut down bank accounts and vote Labour out. They seem utterly unmoved by assurances that all is well, and no one is really at risk."

Certainly an unpolitical friend of ours walked in this morning and immediately started talking about it. It had clearly been a topic of worried conversation at home.

Fraser goes on, "En route to PMQs, I bumped into a minister and we got talking about this. "Who on earth are these people?" he asked."
The answer: the British public. People who live miles away from the Westminster village, who switch off when politics comes on television, the type who queued outside Northern Rock to withdraw savings because they did not trust a syllable of the reassurances uttered by this government. They are the people who celebrated the Queen's golden jubilee to the bafflement of the media and political class; the people who Tony Blair understood instinctively and spoke for so eloquently on the death of Diana ten years ago.
The Telegraph reports in a piece I can't see on their website
A new government register of every schoolchild in England will leave young people vulnerable to paedophiles, according to a survey.

ContactPoint, which will go online next year, will contain the address, medical and school details of all 11 million under-18s in England and will be available to an estimated 330,000 vetted users, including doctors and social services officials.

But children questioned by Ofsted, the education watchdog, said they were "very concerned" that the data would fall into the wrong hands and thought paedophiles would try to break into Contactpoint. They said too much information was being stored on the network, and there should be tighter regulations on those able to access it.
This computer system is to cost £224m. Would any parents now want such detailed information about their children collected on a single government database, let alone one available to 330,000 people?

Money down the drainAnd what is it for, this £224m computer system?
The aim is that social workers, doctors and schools will share information on young people to stop children falling into gaps between different services.
That must surely be affect a tiny minority of children. But all children are to be included and it is to cost us £224m.

And it is for England only. So it need not concern McBroon's constituents. It seems only English families are to run this risk.

P.S. Terrible coverage for Labour on BBC1's 10pm news. The copying and despatching is laid at the door of a (so far anonymous) 23 year old - and the BBC highlighted Gordon Brown's smirk during Prime Minister's Questions.

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