The Home Office ID card yoof discussion forum has banned users "David Blunkett" and "Jacqui Smith" along with other "inappropriate" comedy logins, while laying a trail of positive comments from shadowy, spookily robotic "students". Elsewhere in the forum the barracking has intensified since the site's wobbly launch earlier this week, but in the Shooters Hill discussion section, a grey army of Shooters (Shooter1 onwards) chants its relentless pro-ID card mantra.
Well, almost relentless - one or two of them seem less convinced. Unsurprisingly, other forum users have challenged the bona fides of this odd crowd that never answers a question and posts without following through the debate. They're obviously bots, right? Well, not exactly. Moderator Debbie G (who looks like somebody who knows a thing or two about ID chips) reveals that "users with the Shooters usernames are students from Shooters Hill College in Greenwich. To launch the site they were given a presentation by Jacqui Smith and then given the opportunity to log on and post."
As the Shooters posts are timed from 9.24-9.41am on Wednesday, when Jacqui Smith (one of them anyway) launched the site, this would seem to be the case. So Smith gives presentation to a group of captive students who are then given 20 minutes to say positive things about ID cards, and the marketing geniuses at Home Office spin central then refashion them into a convincing representation of a scary robot army, right down to erasing their identities and giving them numbers instead. Epic. Smart generic username too - for her next brainwashing gig, Jacqui Smith visits Stabbers Lane Academy, Barking.
At time of writing no moderator seemed to have responded to the follow up questions in the thread above from "David Blunkett"* (who's talking to a dog - maybe it's him after all). "David" wants to know if the submissions were edited, and if all the submissions were published, among other things.
It may however be the case that David, Jacqui and the other allegedly "comedy" users have been banished forever. Administrator Matt G says that those ejected will not be allowed back in, "since it is likely that the reasons for their account being removed still apply." Sounds like a challenge to us - you're likely to be pretty busy over the next few months, Matt. Does The Reg have a test login? We might have... What was it W C Fields said? "Never work with children, they're animals?" ®
* As we understand it, the Home Secretary formerly known as David is now back under another name. He has been in touch, and considering the fine work he's currently doing on ID cards we forgive him for all those years of ignoring us when he was Home Secretary.