Sunday, April 11, 2010

Despicable, but terribly New Labour

People who have and are undergoing treatment for cancer really don't want to end up as political pawns in the most boring general election campaign..... well since the last one really. Yet Labour have used one of their consultancy firms to target cancer sufferers with the warning that their treatment will suffer under the Tories.

LABOUR has become embroiled in a row about the use of personal data after sending cancer patients alarmist mailshots saying their lives could be at risk under a Conservative government.
Cards addressed to sufferers by name warn that a Labour guarantee to see a cancer specialist within two weeks would be scrapped by the Tories. Labour claims the Conservatives would also do away with the right to be treated within 18 weeks.
Cancer patients who received the personalised cards, sent with a message from a breast cancer survivor praising her treatment under Labour, said they were “disgusted and shocked”, and feared that the party may have had access to confidential health data.
Labour sources deny that the party has used any confidential information. However, the sources admit that, in line with other political parties, it uses socio-demographic research that is commercially and publicly available. 
The postal campaign started last month before the general election was called. This is the first election in which parties have been able to use internet databases and digital printing to personalise their mailshots.
Labour has sent out 250,000 “cancer” postcards, each addressed to an individual, asking: “Are the Tories a change you can afford?”
Many of those receiving the cards have undergone cancer scans or treatment within the past five years. 
- A card was sent to a woman who has died of breast cancer. Her 33-year-old husband was so upset that he sent a message to the Facebook page of Diane Dwelly, the woman whose case is featured in the mailshot, accusing her of being a pawn for the Labour party.
This weekend Dwelly, 48, from Rugby, admitted she had “probably been used by Labour”. She believed her photograph had been taken for use in a magazine for the National Health Service, not as part of Labour’s election campaign.
The cards are being distributed by Ravensworth, part of Tangent Communications, which has won accounts sending out mail for the Department of Health and Cancer Research UK.
Tangent claims that it specialises in “highly targeted marketing”.
The cancer cards are part of a wider postal campaign targeting various groups. Others are aimed at parents whose children attend Sure Start centres, pensioners and the owners of small businesses.
Labour has so far sent out 600,000 cards. It plans to distribute 4.5m during the election campaign.
Janet Arslan, 40, a graphic designer who also lives in the Sherwood constituency, said: “When I received the breast cancer card at first I thought it was from the hospital.
“I did not think Labour would be that crass to deliberately target a terminal cancer patient like me.”
I really do think that the Labour leadership and election campaign team have had a morality and decency bypass, yes certainly they could scream this belief in the MSM, but to deliberately target cancer sufferers and play on their fears with political one-upmanship goes well beyond what any political party can or should do. Yet this campaign is only the first results of political parties using the database state where our details have been collected, correlated and sorted into target groups for specific election threats/warnings/promises. They might just as well have sent a leaflet to the cancer sufferers saying "If the other lot get in, you're all going to die!" That is at core, the level to which they have sunk in an attempt to win votes.

Quite frankly Labour should be ashamed of themselves over this issue. Yet the most damning thing of all is they believe they are justified.
A Labour party spokesman said: “These leaflets highlight the Conservative party’s actual policies on cancer treatment. Cancer is a terrible condition and sadly all too prevalent in our society, which is why some of the 250,000 people we sent this message to are likely to have suffered from it.”
Every time I think politicians have gone as low as they can get, some berk proves me wrong. I wasn't planning on voting Labour (or Tory) anyway, though I have nothing against my local MP as he's helped me out in the past. But this would have turned me from a die hard supporter to a neutral at least, disgusting, simply disgusting.

4 annotations:

The Filthy Engineer said...

Look who is funding Tangent.

Tangent One creates revolutionary general election tool for Unite

Unite, the UK’s largest Union with more than two million members, is launching at the Labour Party conference this week its new online election campaigning tool ( It is a resource that will play a crucial role in helping their members to campaign for a fourth term Labour government.

Full service digital agency – Tangent One ( - has created this tool which provides the first ever union online telephone bank in the UK. It will enable Unite members to canvass fellow Unite members in their constituency over the phone on behalf of the Labour Party during the general election campaign.

Anonymous said...

When you think that they have sunk as low as they can, they slip down a bit farther.

I assume that they must have got hold of teh English health service files and highlighted cancer suffers.

What a scumbag thing to do.

James Higham said...

have had a morality and decency bypass

Beginning at the 1991 Bilderberger, the 1993, John Smith's death in 1994 and the greatest con-job in decades in 1997.

subrosa said...

Are we really shocked though? Didn't we realise the depths labour will go to brainwash their voters?