Friday, June 05, 2009

Latest from NO2ID

Comments made in connection with each news item are personal observations and not necessarily those of NO2ID.

Some may regard the departure of Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, with an air of relief, taking some of the pressure off the ID scheme. No way. This has been government dictat for many a year, each year seeing a stepping up of the process which will culminate in every UK citizen having to possess an ID card - or so they hope. Home Office sectretaries come and go but the aim remains. As far back as the Thatcher years, Peter Lilley MP recalls it as being regarded “as the remedy for all our ills from crime to shortage of kidney donors”. Under the direction of executives of the Identity and Passport Service and the Transformational Government team in the Cabinet Office, Home Secretaries receive their cues in no uncertain terms. Real policy change from the top of government is required but that, I’m afraid, is already being steered from even higher up. It’s those above - the real movers and shakers - that need to be exposed to make transparent the whole modus operandi of our perceived enslavement.

“There are more than 82 million terrorist hiding in Germany. You are one of them!” To graphically illustrate the potential truth of that statement, German film maker Alexander Lehmann has released a video on YouTube on the whole topic of data retention and how it affects all of us. It can be seen at and succinctly sums up in one-and-a-half minutes how the state perceives us as 'potential terrorists'.

Southampton University Students’ Union Council have passed an anti-ID card motion with 87% in favour. Like several similar local government council resolutions which also oppose the principle of the National Identity Scheme, they pledge not co-operate in such a scheme unless required to do so by law. Unfortunately, they need to go the whole hog and defy the law or certainly challenge it in my opinion, otherwise the government can sneak through binding legislation willy-nilly and have us all acquiescing to their wishes as they please. Stronger non-compliance and challenge is essential.

The government has included an enabling power in the Policing and Crime Bill which will allow it to regulate the retention or destruction of DNA on the database. This effectively circumvents any parliamentary debate on this highly crucial issue, which, in the words of Baroness Harris of Richmond were “..matters (that) should not be dealt with by secondary legislation, especially as the DNA profiles of people not convicted of any offence could be held up to 12 years. It is imperative that Parliament scrutinises this scheme and ensures that, if amendments need to be made, they will be. That is impossible under this proposal, which should be removed from the Bill”.

Since my last NO2ID update, the introduction of ID cards for airport airside workers has been slowed down. Now only new staff will be required to carry them. As far as the Home Office is concerned, this was always the case. Really? Do you trust a word they say?

And can you trust the custodians of our data? Two Glasgow council workers were apprehended while snooping into the core government database of the Identity Card scheme to see if they could dredge up any interesting celebrity secrets. The database contains the personal details of 85 million UK citizens and will be the foundation of the national ID scheme.

In a few month’s time a national network of cameras and computers will become operational and be automatically logging onto car number plates . All part of the ever-watchful eye of the state peering into our every move, every day.

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