They promised it would stop, they promised that they’d leave us be – the big society – “we’ll not meddle anymore…” – But no. Only today this was rammed through my door. “Just a postcard” you say, but you’d be wrong, this was just one item of five – which included a letter, a stapled, folded 8 page questionaire, a trifold leaflet and a prepaid envelope. It hit the doormat like a veritable lead weight.
What Tower Hamlets council wanted to know in their New Housing Development Survey 2010 was innocently, what I think of the new housing development I live in, oh and what my income is, and how many people live here, and where I work, and whether I’m employed, and what ethnic group I belong to, and whether i’m registered with a Doctor… the list went on and on and on. All of this on a form designed to be electronically collated, and all given a unique code number printed on the front page to track where it ended up.
This is on top of 3 demands this year to re-register to vote (despite being registered) all coming with threatening demands of £1000 fines if I refuse to send the detail back (again… and again…). Tower Hamlets council sure seem very keen to know every single persons details in triplicate.
For clarity, I am registered to vote, and I don’t live in property owned by the council. I live in a private new development run and maintained by a private company and built by a private company, and yet the council want to nose in – they want to know what I think of it, and everything else they can dig about me and anyone else that lives in the flat. It smacks of clumsy data-mining.
What’s worse is that nowhere in this huge pack were there any details of how the information would be used, or who the information commissioner for the research was, or your rights over the data if you chose to send it back. I can’t help but feel that the seemingly relentless march to make us all numbered citizens is carrying on regardless.