When IT Meets Politics

Jul 2 2010   9:50AM GMT

The power of a good spoof: “Dear Minister, I am in the process of renewing my passport”

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo

Tags:
ID cards

In early 2008 I asked some-one with whom I have worked for many years, who was angry about the failure of Government to join up its data sources while pressing ahead with ID cards, to do a paper that would encapsulate his concerns.

He demurred. He had held a very senior position and did not wish to get embroiled in public controversy that might get in the way of his current activities. Eventually he agreed to do me a guest blog – provided I would not say who wrote it. I used what he sent me during the “silly season” (August) in the entry “Would you trust identity papers/card from this system“. I have just received a comment from some-one who has found the result, “A letter to the minister” from “Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells” repeated, with variants, from around the anglo-saxon world. The author of the comment is concerned that the original was inaccurate (e.g. you no longer need a birth certificate to renew a passport unless you let it lapse before the new system came into being). He felt I had been irresponsible in helping spread calumnies around the world.

I have just Googled and found around 50,000 copies and variations. Most date from after the blog entry, although there is one source in March 2008. I do not know if my friend wrote the original, or found it and forwarded it. I do not intend to ask. But it is his style and I can imagine him enjoying writing it. Either way, it is good to think that it may have been “When IT meets politics” that helped spread a good spoof (the kind that draws attention to an indefensible reality) round the world.      

 Comment on this Post

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Share this item with your network: