back to article Cheeky IT rival parks 'we're hiring' van outside 'vote Tory' firm Storm Technologies

A rival of the reseller who threatened to sack Labour-voting employees hired a billboard van to drive past their HQ with the words “we’re hiring – where your vote is your choice” emblazoned on its side. The electoral gaffe by John Brooker, MD of Storm Technologies, was widely reported in the days after the general election on …

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  1. wolfetone Silver badge
    Trollface

    "VOTE CONSERVATIVE if you believe in free enterprise and progression without being taxed out of the game"

    In other words:

    "VOTE CONSERVATIVE so I can pay you under £10 an hour and so I can pay even less tax while you all use food banks".

    Well, I'm sold! When do we get to vote again?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Well, I'm sold! When do we get to vote again?

      As soon as the New Poor Laws have been enacted you won't need to worry yourself about voting ever again.

      Now, my path is all muddy so lie down so that I can get to my carriage without getting my shoes all dirty. And can you send round your youngest sharpish as the chimbleys need a good clean!

      1. Chris King Silver badge

        "As soon as the New Poor Laws have been enacted you won't need to worry yourself about voting ever again".

        Feudalism - it's your Count that Votes.

    2. Jedit
      Trollface

      "VOTE CONSERVATIVE if you believe in free enterprise and progression"

      "If you desire a LINUX USER for a neighbour, vote Labour.

      If you are already burdened with one, vote Conservative."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "VOTE CONSERVATIVE if you believe in free enterprise and progression"

        "If you desire a LINUX USER for a neighbour, vote Labour.

        If you are already burdened with one, vote Conservative."

        BS. Linux serves without any reference to political preference. If you're a leftie you can match sandals with Stallman in his ivory tower, if you're green you can save power by being computationally efficient, if you're a scientist you can scale it up so it can even handle what CERN throws at it and if you're an entrepreneur who knows what he's doing so can save a fortune by spending a LOT less on software and license costs and employ a group of people once to make it work (instead of having to fix it after every forced update). After all, that's what little companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and others are doing, and they may be evil but they're not stupid.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: "VOTE CONSERVATIVE if you believe in free enterprise and progression"

          "BS. Linux serves without any reference to political preference."

          It's a reference to a slogan then Conservative MP Peter Griffiths used in 1964 in Smethwick:

          "If you want a n****r for a neighbour, vote Liberal or Labour".

          In keeping with the IT feel, and the general community driven focus of Linux compared to the Corporate Monolith of Microsoft, I thought his bastardisation of the slogan written by some old bastard from the 60's was quite clever.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "VOTE CONSERVATIVE if you believe in free enterprise and progression"

            Wow, who would have thought that Linux could be so political? By the way, from where I stand, Apple is the evil empire, Microsoft is now one of the biggest supporters of Linux via the Linux Foundation, and the Right Wing is doing everything it can to end Net Neutrality. If they have their way, someday soon I'll have to pay for reading the Register.

            I hope you Conservatives are enjoying what Brexit is doing to your country. Nice election, by the way.

            - Linux user, member of the EFF and FSF, and Berniecrat.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "VOTE CONSERVATIVE if you believe in free enterprise and progression"

              up to 2015 I thought the coalition did a good job with what they had.

              2015 voted Conservative as I liked UK in Europe with a centre right open looking government.

              2017 voted LibDem as I liked UK in Europe with the most centrist party left. I just could not vote for an exit party.

              My seat is Con/Lab seat noone else has a chance. Choice of hard brexshit, or slightly less hard brexshit.

              I do not like Theresa May, think Jeremy Corbyn could make anything sound reasonable including nasty things, Tim Farron out of depth, Paul Nuttall a nutter, and Greens want to ban my car.

              If brexshit causes the UK to go down the pan I will go around telling the brexiteers I know (if still alive) "I TOLD YOU SO!"

            2. MJI Silver badge

              Re: "VOTE CONSERVATIVE if you believe in free enterprise and progression"

              Oh another Merkin confusing UK and US politics.

              Democrats occupy a similar place to the UK main three parties.

              Republicans make UKIP seem reasonable.

              Main difference between our parties is over economic policies and size of government.

        2. Naselus
          Joke

          Re: "VOTE CONSERVATIVE if you believe in free enterprise and progression"

          "BS. Linux serves without any reference to political preference."

          And they say Linux fans have no sense of humour. Apparently rightly.

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      HOSTED-IT - good effort, have a gold star from me.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you think increasing the minimum wage to over £10 will make you any better off then you are seriously mistaken, the net effect of that is ALL prices increase as the costs of labour have increased. Everyone will be worse off

      1. Naselus

        "the net effect of that is ALL prices increase as the costs of labour have increased"

        Economics turns out not to be as simple as this, though it's a good soundbite for convincing simple minds.

      2. kain preacher Silver badge

        That did not happen in the state of Washington when the raised the minimum wage to $15.

      3. strum Silver badge

        >Everyone will be worse off

        Except that, in the real world, everyone benefits (because those low-paid workers spend their new-found wealth, thereby boosting the economy). That's what happened in 1998, when the minimum wage was introduced (to choruses of doom-saying employers, predicting the opposite).

      4. Potemkine! Silver badge

        If you think increasing the minimum wage to over £10 will make you any better off then you are seriously mistaken

        Like these bloody socialists who succeeded to forbid slavery and child labor, the bastards!

        Joking aside, you are totally wrong.. There's no point to produce if nobody can't buy your goods.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > "VOTE CONSERVATIVE so I can pay you under £10 an hour and so I can pay even less tax while you all use food banks"

      It's Labour, bizzarely, and the Lib Dems -not the Conservatives- that want to continue unlimited immigration in order to depress the wages of their Rumanian nannies, maids and prostitutes.

      Oversupply of labour is exactly the reason employers can get away with paying less than a living wage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think that idea has been fairly well debunked. The evidence seems to show that EU immigrants contribute more than they take out in comparison to locals and that wages haven't been depressed bu their presence.

        On the other hand I can understand being upset if you live in an area where you feel overwhelmed by a sudden influx of foreigners.

  2. Anonymous IV

    Response

    Isn't this an instance where the MD/CEO announces to the press, "Deputy Heads must roll!"?

  3. ArrZarr Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    How would Storm know?

    We have a secret ballot for a damn good reason, and it's precisely to stop crap like this. Good on that competitor for giving them the ribbing they so richly deserved.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: How would Storm know?

      They wouldn't, it's just yet another example of the arrogance of some of the Tory voters, matched on the other side of the political spectrum by the fans of nationalisation, five-year plans and everything is free.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How would Storm know?

        "They wouldn't, it's just yet another example of the arrogance of most of the Tory voters"

        FTFY

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: How would Storm know?

          "They wouldn't, it's just yet another example of the arrogance of most of the Tory voters"

          I think you'll find that most of them are just people with a different opinion to you.

      2. IsJustabloke Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: How would Storm know?

        "...it's just yet another example of the arrogance of some of *some* voters,"

        Unlike the A/c above I have actually FTFY

        Neither the Tories or labour (or any other party for that matter) have a monopoly on dickheads in their ranks and the sooner the wider electorate grasp this simple fact, the sooner we'll be able to start doing something about it.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: How would Storm know?

          Neither the Tories or labour (or any other party for that matter) have a monopoly on dickheads in their ranks

          No quibble with that but it's basically what I said. But I'm not so sure about an appeal to the wider electorate because. sadly, it doesn't really seem to be interested. Which maybe why the dickheads seem to dominate. Much as I revelled in May's self-inflicted bloody nose, the hung parliament doesn't look like it's going to get much done any time soon. Unless there's a cunning plan to have government by private members bills…

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: How would Storm know?

            "the hung parliament doesn't look like it's going to get much done any time soon"

            Given the alternatives I find this the best I could have hoped for it it weren't for having the DUP along for the ride - and anything they can get out of it.

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: How would Storm know?

          Neither the Tories or labour (or any other party for that matter) have a monopoly on dickheads in their ranks and the sooner the wider electorate grasp this simple fact, the sooner we'll be able to start doing something about it.

          IsJustABloke is restoring my faith.

          Too many are not aware of their own cognitive bias and blindly accept their favoured party's BS whilst totally dismissing the other side. They become rabidly convinced that they are correct and there's no reasoning with them.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: How would Storm know?

          "Neither the Tories or labour (or any other party for that matter) have a monopoly on dickheads in their ranks"

          Unfortunately none of them seem to have an absence of dickheads either.

        4. Martin Summers Silver badge

          Re: How would Storm know?

          "Neither the Tories or labour (or any other party for that matter) have a monopoly on dickheads in their ranks and the sooner the wider electorate grasp this simple fact, the sooner we'll be able to start doing something about it."

          The voice of reason, thank you.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: How would Storm know?

      "We have a secret ballot"

      Exactly. From this distance it looks rather like an attempt at humour. Either that or the bloke has never voted so didn't know how it works.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: How would Storm know?

      "We have a secret ballot"

      Do we?

      In my polling office they always write the number of the ballot paper I've just been given against my name and address on the roll they have in front of them, a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

      They do this despite my patiently explaining to them the problem I have with them doing it.

      NB I do not consider myself important enough to sufficiently motivate someone to find out my vote besides they could always try asking me :D

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

        Yes- but given your used ballot paper, searching though the marked-up electoral rolls is an onerous task; likewise given the rolls (and hence you ballot paper number), searching though a giant pile of ballots for yours is also onerous. I think that if everything remains paper-based, your voting choice remains pretty safe, unless you are specifically targeted.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: How would Storm know?

          Ah, the wisdom of Solomon. Two men were accused of theft. Knowing that the punishment would be the cutting off of their hands, both men were terrified. Only one had committed the crime, but it was impossible to say which it was and neither would confess, both proclaimed innocence. Solomon was asked to intercede in the case, and he had his court wizard enchant two sticks of equal length such that they would grow a full inch overnight when in the presence of a thief.

          In the morning, the men were fetched from their cells and the sticks were compared. Solomon declared that he had knew who the thief was so the sentence was carried out. Solomon knew the guilty man was the one with a stick an inch SHORTER than the other. Only one person knew who was guilty, the thief themselves, and in fear of the punishment they had seen the stick growing and had broken an inch off to avoid their fate. The honest man knew he had nothing to fear so left the stick alone.

          So really Storm does not need to know who voted which way. The voter alone knows which way they voted, and that is enough. The mere threat of losing one's livelihood may be enough to influence a decision, subconsciously or consciously. Rationality doesn't come into it. Sticks do not grow an inch overnight, bosses do not know which way an individual staff member voted - this does not matter.

          1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: How would Storm know?

            @TRT - why change the actual story about the wisdom of Solomon? You know, the one with two women claiming one baby?

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: @Hollerithevo

              Did I get the attribution wrong? I know that there's a wisdom of Solomon tale about the woman with two babies. Maybe he was very, very wise and was brought in to judge many disputes. Just like Anna, the Skyr yoghurt woman.

              ---EDIT---

              I did get the attribution wrong. The story of the thief and the stick was the wisdom of Birbal. I'm sure someone told me it was Solomon. Ah well. The principle is the same.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Drem

          Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

          I wrote about this following the EU Referendum - http://blog.mrdrem.me.uk/2016/06/how-voting-works-from-other-side-of.html

          TL:DR? Yes, your vote can be tracked, but only within certain timescales, and only with a court order (or some electoral services employee doing a shed load of work on the quiet, with no-one else noticing, or a load of people being in on it, at which point see https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/26/secret-success-equations-give-calculations-for-keeping-conspiracies-quiet - Although I suspect that less than the critical 125 people would know enough of how the data was gained)

          I'm planning on writing something up about the counting process shortly...

        3. Arrgh. It wasn't me!

          Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

          Given that technology exists to reject items with tiny visible defects at enormous speed I think any state operator who wanted to find out how I (or anyone else) voted would be able to do so.

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

          Yes- but given your used ballot paper, searching though the marked-up electoral rolls is an onerous task; likewise given the rolls (and hence you ballot paper number), searching though a giant pile of ballots for yours is also onerous.

          It is about as onerous as running the electoral rolls and ballot papers through a scanner, followed by OCR and full-text search. Certainly something a single private individual of average means would be able to either do herself, or pay for.

          So, in fact not onerous at all - and I would be very surprised if this is not already done as a matter of course by some obscure government department. Because terrorists.

          1. The First Dave

            Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

            And how would "a single private individual of average means" get their hands on an entire set of ballot papers? (And also on the ballot records, which are probably stored entirely separately once the polls close.)They are rather well guarded at all times, and even for a national election, they are run by local councils, not by central gov.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

              Records are kept secret according to Electoral Commission

              "The following documentation is not available for public inspection, except by court order:

              • ballot papers

              • completed corresponding number lists

              • certificates of employment on duty on polling day

              These documents can only be accessed if the High Court or a county court in England and Wales, or the Court of Session or a sheriff in Scotland, is satisfied by evidence on oath that access is required for one of the following reasons:

              • for instituting or maintaining a prosecution for an offence in relation to ballot papers

              • for the purpose of an election petition

              Access can also be ordered by the House of Commons or by an election court."

              from "Access, supply and inspection of election documents after a UK Parliamentary election"

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

              And how would "a single private individual of average means" get their hands on an entire set of ballot papers?

              That's a separate issue. My comment was only intended to state the obvious: modern technology makes correlating ballot papers and electoral rolls, which used to be a formidable challenge when the system was designed, a fairly trivial and cheap exercise the moment you can access the records. So realistically, the only thing which stands between an inquisitive person or government department and the knowledge of how you (and everybody else in the same district) voted is a court order.

              There is a close analogy here with wiretaps and mail interception: when listening to your conversations and tracking your calls required a three-person crew in a white van parked on the street outside your house, it was an expensive tool which could only be used on a small number of targets and in relatively serious cases. If on the other hand getting the itemized list of the people you called requires couple keystrokes, and slurping all of your conversations verbatim is not that much harder, it will be used routinely, and for cases which are clearly frivolous. It may still technically require a court order, but this does not appear to be such a high bar anymore - especially if you invoke the right scare words, or shop for a friendly judge.

              Perhaps it is time to redesign the system a little, to put more emphasis on keeping voters' intentions private, and making the pervasive snooping by the government a little harder?

              I won't be holding my breath waiting for it to happen, though.

          2. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

            "Because terrorists", You have a terrorist party?.

            PS. keep the paper ballots. Where I live we have to prove identity with a drivers licence or passport or ID card and the name on the roll is marked. I don't really understand why that is such a problem in some countries. Nor do I have to do anything in advance and the ballot is not numbered just stamped. The USA is of course a totally different story for many reasons.

          3. strum Silver badge

            Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

            >It is about as onerous as running the electoral rolls and ballot papers through a scanner, followed by OCR and full-text search.

            That would be running ~50,000 folded sheets of paper through a scanner (and re-loading every 20 sheets, as the scanner clogged up).

          4. Tim J

            Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

            I trust the tinfoil hat fits well.

            Why the %$£! would it be useful information to an 'obscure government department'?

        6. Daniel Gray
          Big Brother

          Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

          It's easier to work from a set of ballots and then search the register - scopes of ballot numbers per polling station narrow the search space. But finding out who a particular person voted for requires a full search of all the ballots. AFAIK it's a facility that's only been used to determine who was voting Communist in the 50s/60s.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

            Exactly. If it was used to create a 'secret' list of communists in the 60s, then why wouldn't it be used now to track other affiliations that the state has deemed as unacceptable?

            1. strum Silver badge

              Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

              >If it was used to create a 'secret' list of communists in the 60s

              Hang on. It might be true. But, then again, it might be an urban myth.

              Don't go drawing conclusions on that basis.

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