Hi, I'm Nick Clegg. Well, it's not really me, I am an automated message...
This would be the leader of the same party which only two years ago reported the SNP to the Information Commissioner for, er, making the same type of automated phone calls. They claimed the Nationalists could be fined for contacting people without consent - exactly what they will be doing this evening. The Information Commissioner found against the SNP.
And according to this morning's Mail...
Stephen Williams MP, who represents Bristol West, complained to the Information Commissioner's Office after accusing then MP Valerie Davey of making automated calls to hundreds of households 'against their will'. He urged his rival to 'respected the rights of voters' and quit cold-calling.
Incredibly the LibDems also set up a website explaining how to register a complaint about this type of phone call at www.stopnuisancecalls.com. People can complain, and find out how to take their complaints further, through this site. It explains: "Commercial nuisance calls can also be an invasion of privacy if they are initiated for commercial or political benefit." Indeed so. They highlight people who are on TPS and are supposed to be excluded from phone lists. But I would bet quite a lot of money that the LibDem phone calls this evening will reach thousands of people who simply do not want them.
Perhaps the LibDems would like to explain what measures they have taken to ensure that anyone registered with TPS does not get any of their phone calls.
Personally, I have no problem with political parties making these kind of calls if they think it will do them any good. Whether they do, or not, is a moot point. If my memory serves me correctly, CCHQ used these phone calls all over the country on election day in 2005. I remember some discussions as to whether we should have them in North Norfolk and I think I agreed. So thousands of people received calls from Michael Howard reminding them to go out and vote... Ah, it's all becoming clearer now!
UPDATE: The SNP has issued a formal complaint to the Informatoon Commissioner. Click on the leter image to read it.