Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Today Mrs Rigby received an email purporting to come from Billy Bragg. If you don't know who he is, she suggests you look him up.

The email referred to Mrs R as "Dear Friend", and then asked her to support what appears to be a political campaign to reform the way this country is governed. Seriously and, Mrs R thinks, dangerously reform.

A couple of weeks ago an email arrived from Tony Robinson. Yes, that's right, the Blackadder and Time Team Tony Robinson who Mrs R has a fair bit of time for, but, you see, Tony Robinson also served on Labour's NEC, is currently Mayor of Bristol and continues to be an active member of the Labour Party. Mrs R didn't ever imagine she'd hear from him, let alone in that capacity.

That particular email also referred to Mrs Rigby as "Dear Friend". The email asked her to support a cunning plan to change British politics. She ignored, and deleted, the email and asked to be removed from the mailing list - this was because she was a tad uncomfortable about the way a 'popular household name' was being used in an apparently political way, in a way that seemed very remote from the original ethos of that campaigning site that had sold itself as a voice for ordinary folk from across the political spectrum.

Enough is enough - that's two things, which is one too many for Mrs Rigby, and which is why she's now more than a bit cross.

It would appear that the 'unsubscribe' option is being ignored by these people, otherwise Mrs R wouldn't have received the most recent message. So, now, anything from them will be treated as spam and will be deleted by Mrs R's mail server - she will never know if they try to email her ever again.

Mrs R utterly despises the way that a supposedly 'democratic' online campaigning group appears to have lied, by appearing to market itself as apolitical. This is surely deception, goodness only knows if it is also fraudulent - Mrs R wouldn't have a clue about things like that, but it leaves a very bitter taste in her mouth and there's absolutely no way Mrs R can, and will, offer support to anybody or to any group or organisation that seems to cheat in this way.

If it turns out that the either the Labour Party or the Unions are behind that site then they've probably shot themselves in the foot because Mrs R can't be the only person who will have received these latest emails, and she can't imagine she'll be the only person who feels cheated, and thinks they've been lied to.

And, you know, people who feel they've been cheated and lied to talk about it, they talk about it a lot. They talk about it in shops, in caf├ęs, in restaurants, in hairdressers and in work - and the word gets passed around. It gets passed around remarkably quickly even though we've no longer got pubs to go to and our movements are monitored by CCTV.

So, if neither Billy Bragg or Tony Robinson are involved with that group then they should take action to stop their names being used.

Also, if anybody from that campaigning group is willing to explain themselves they're more than welcome to do it here, in the comments of this blog.

They need to reassure Mrs Rigby that they are not, and never have been, linked to the Labour Party and they need to reassure her that they are not campaigning on behalf of any factions of the Labour Party or the Unions. And they need to convince her pretty damn quickly too.

But Mrs R won't hold her breath, because although those people found her site remarkably quickly when she advertised their activity she's pretty sure they won't bother any more.

Mrs Rigby also wishes to make apologies to those she tried to persuade to use that site. She apologises to everybody who copied her example and willingly gave their email details, and who may not have been able to remove them from a mailing list.

She's embarrassed too, to have made probably five or six posts extolling the virtues of that campaigning site - but she did it in good faith, because she thought it was honest and good but, sadly, she now thinks she was duped.

As she's already said - it leaves a bitter taste.

British politics eh - sleazy and dishonourable.


Chuckles said...

Never, ever, ever use unsubscribe links. It simply confirms to the undead that your email address is real, and 'live' - in use, and a worthwhile target. Delete is much safer.

Mrs Rigby said...

Yes I know, but it's one of those things you do when you're irritated.