Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 25/03/06

It's Still On The Cards

Some of my friends pull my leg about my obsession with this, but I don't care because this is bloody important.

The Blair régime is still intent on getting its odious ID card scheme passed into law. So much so that it is willing to make itself look completely stupid by throwing it back to the House of Lords to toe the line every time the upper house amends it to remove the element of compulsion which the Government claims isn't there anyway.

As to the effect the Bill, if passed in its present state, will have on the lives of everyone in the UK, I can't improve on the latest front page from the campaigning group NO2ID:

New Labour's ID card scheme will change YOUR life!

The government claims that 73% of people asked were in favour of ID cards, but two thirds of those same people were not aware of what the introduction of the cards actually involved. Here is a glimpse...


ATTEND an appointment to be photographed, have your fingerprints taken and iris scanned, or be fined up to £2500. Additional fines of up to £2500 may be levied each time you fail to comply until you submit to these procedures.

PROMPTLY INFORM the police or Home Office if you lose your card or it becomes defective, or face a fine of up to £1000. If you find someone else's card and do not immediately hand it in, you may have committed a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for up to two years or a fine, or both.

PROMPTLY INFORM the National Identity Register of any change of address or face a fine of up to £1000 (you will supply evidence of your previous addresses, not just your current address).

PROMPTLY INFORM the National Identity Register of significant changes to your personal life or any errors they have made or face a fine of up to £1000. You may also be obliged to submit to being re-interviewed, re-photographed, re-fingerprinted and re-scanned, or face a fine.

PAY between £30 and £93 (or more) to be registered, with further charges possible to change your details and to replace a lost or stolen card.

When ID cards were introduced in this country during World War II, they had three functions. By the time they were abolished in 1952 they had 39 administrative uses. So what won't we be able to do without an ID card, according to Government plans? We'll be prevented from renting or selling a home or staying in a hotel. We won't be able to buy a car or a mobile phone; open or use a bank account; travel abroad; register with a doctor; get education; work or run a business; (officially) live or (officially) die...



I knew I had an appropriate quote somewhere. This comes from Richard Bos, a fellow-habitué of the newsgroup alt.fan.pratchett:

"In fact, if people really want to claim that honest people have nothing to hide, and nothing to fear, I would entreat these people to display, on a publicly accessible, permanent web page, the following:

- full name
- address, including postal code and city
- phone numbers, landline and mobile
- social security number
- one representative, clear, passport photograph
- one ditto full-length photograph
- place and date of birth
- employer, work address, and job title
- all bank account numbers
- blood type
- medical history

And ditto for their children. And ditto for their children's children.

And then publish the web address here, for all to see.

If one of them is not willing to do that, and yet would claim not to be a criminal, and maintain the above statement, I'm calling him a schoolbook example of a hypocrite."