Tuesday, April 14, 2009

PIN Numbers: Add to SpAd Secret Squirrel Tufty Club Code

Now that Sam Coates of the Times' red Box blog has stealth edited his mistaken story re McBride still a ghost in the machine my eyes fall onto his Blackberry PIN story.

This asks - reading between the lines - why ne'er-do-well politicians in the Labour ranks don't do as the Tories do and stop using accountable means of communication?! Sam says that by using Blackberry PIN messages MPs, SpAds and heaven forfend civil servants and parliamentary employees can send him stories with no fear of being detected. He provides a number to use. And he says that at least two groups of unaccountable Tories have been at this subtefuge already. Now that's something that might be added to the SpAd Secret Squirrel Tufty Club Code of Honour. Original membership form can be found HERE.

Sadly a reader says otherwise and points out that PIN messages have already been used to nail naughty bankers in court. As Sam's source "Unseen" says someone should tell the Tories. But not before someone else has FoI-requested every word that has passed between taxpayer funded Tory shadow officials.

Presumably the publicly funded elements of the Tory leader's staff are subject to FoI disclosure? If they're not wouldn't it be a good idea if Dave now opened up all their secret banter, including but not limited to email, text, PIN banter, to public scrutiny? And why not? Extend this to all the industrially funded pseudo-SpAds in Tory employ?

FOOTNOTE, WHAT IS RED BOX BOO BOO POLICY? Interesting example of double standards possibly? While there is now no trace whatsoever of the erroneous McBride Ghost in the Machine story of this morning the first part of PIN post includes some scored through stuff related to Tom Watson MP. This was it seems not the story it had first seemed. Not entirely through Red Box error. Nor was the Ghost Story. What is the Red Box policy on stealth editing, and on correcting and acknowledging errors?

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