David Blunkett has written to around half a million British voters, canvassing their opinions on the introduction of a national identity card .
Well, sort of. He's certainly written to the voters, but we're not sure he's actually trying to find out what people think. It looks more like another attempt to get some nice stats to back up his claims that the majority of the population supports the introduction of an identity document.
The covering letter explains: "I know ID cards are not a magic wand but they will help in the battle against the terrorists, drug runners and organised criminals who use false identities to get into and threaten Britain."
He goes on: "I want to reassure you that the ID cards will not be used to build a profile on innocent people, or allow your private, personal information to be used without tight safeguards. The ID card will hold only very basic details, such as your name and address..."
All familiar ground for readers of El Reg.
But this is new: along with the letter is a questionnaire asking how Labour is doing, how the recipient is likely to vote next time round and so on. It even has a handy Freepost return envelope. The first question is the bit that we like:
Do you welcome plans to tackle organised crime, illegal immigration, benefit fraud and national security through the introduction of ID cards?
Respondents are given the option to say Yes, No, or Don't Know. There is no option to tick that says: Can we have that as two separate questions, please, Mr. Blunkett?
If that isn't stacking the decks, we don't know what is. ®