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Jacqui Smith kick-starts yoof ID debate site, site kick stops

It's the way she tells them...

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Fresh from its success in selling ID cards to the aviation industry, the Home Office has moved straight on to young people with a 'have your say' online forum, mylifemyid.org. The site is fronted by a video of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith getting down with the yoof of Shooters Hill College.

Or at least it was - the site went down for "maintenance" before we got as far as the end of that paragraph. But from memory, we can tell you that the initial response from users has been positive, with comments ranging from (we paraphrase slightly) 'how can we stop this nightmare scheme', through 'you're going to spin the results of the survey anyway', to 'patronising guff.'

The site had only amassed around 30-40 posts in today's brief outing, but a pattern seemed to be emerging. Site administrator Pete Comley, who is also managing director of the contractor running the exercise, Virtual Surveys, seeds a topic with a post to jolly things along. Then a couple of commenters say it's all a load of bollocks anyway.

In her video, which can also (surely "only"? - ed) be found at Politics Home, Smith tells us that proving your identity is really important, and "that's why the government wants to help young people be amongst the first to benefit from an ID card." Lucky young people.

At the time of its demise mylifemyid-argh-its-me-heart.org had about 12 registered commenters (yes, you need to register to participate) and 15 guests online. According to Smith the site is intended to kick start the debate with young people. Perhaps she should try to kick more gently. ®

Update: The site revived shortly after we posted this story, having moved/disappeared several posts in the interval. In response to accusations of censorship, administrator Matt G (nice hair, Matt) protests that it was a technical glitch, and that they have no intention of silencing people. So you can let rip as much as you like, apparently...

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