Friday, July 03, 2009
Latest from NO2ID
Comments made in connection with each news item are personal observations and not necessarily those of NO2ID.
News reports have recently implied that the new home secretary, Alan Johnson, has watered down the compliancy stakes over the ID Card scheme. Not true, unless you want to become a self-sufficient hermit and live in a cave. Wednesday’s edition of the Times carried an article stating that “Alan Johnson signalled a significant reversal over the Government’s identity card policy yesterday when he ruled out making them compulsory for British citizens”. But further on it does admit that “However, the Government is to press ahead with creating a national identity register that, from 2011-12, will include the details of everyone who applies for a passport”. Passports happen to be vital things to the vast majority of people and sometimes are asked for domestically as ID if you don’t - like me - possess a driving licence. In fact the Home Office line has not changed one iota. As the latest NO2ID bulletin states "The Home Office line remains the same. No compulsion (as the Home Office defines it) was going to be applied until almost everyone had 'volunteered' and then it was only a matter of rounding up a minority of resisters and marginalised people.
The Home Office's idea of "voluntary" is not the same as yours and mine. Since 2004 the scheme was (and it still is) to proceed by "designating" one-by-one under the Identity Cards Act 2006 other documents issued by official bodies -- in the first place passports. Once a document has been designated, you won't be able to apply for one without also applying to be entered, for life, on the national identity register. If you don't agree to be registered it won't be that you are refused (say) a passport; you'd have voluntarily decided not to apply. There's no compulsion to have a passport. It is useful for travelling. But you aren't compelled to travel. Or (say) to drive. Or to work as a security guard. Or with children. Or in healthcare. To get parole from prison. To practice as a lawyer. ... Any official licence, registration certificate or permit can be designated, and -- in the home office's skewed logic -- handing control of your identity to the Home Office's Identity and Passport Service will still be entirely voluntary".
Until recently, airside workers at Britain’s airports were to ‘voluntarily’ enrol for ID passes, without which they wouldn’t get very far in their careers, that is until the unions made a stink about it and that is what we all must do, all the way down the line on this crucial issue.
The BBC (the British Bullshit Corporation as I prefer to call it), has engaged in yet more dis-information with the announcement that “Some 3,500 UK citizens have already applied for the cards”, implying that it must be OK, with eager participants lining up. Not true. The regulations that specify the content and manner of application have not yet even been approved by parliament! This spins the probable reality of the story that the UK Identity and Passport Service’s website has invited visitors to “register your interest in identity cards and the National Identity Service” - simply that - and that’s not ‘applying’ as the BBC would have you believe. This is all psy-ops by stealth. Even if 3,500 genuine invitations were received and there weren’t any facetious ones, (and there probably were) this completely dwarfs the number of people that have signed up to NO2ID registering their opposition to the scheme.
Following the government’s partial stand down on airside workers’ requirement to register on the ID scheme as a condition of work it has now turned its attention to youngsters saying that possession of an ID card will act as proof of age, an increasingly necessary requirement for those wanting to buy alcohol etc. Manchester’s pilot scheme is to be expanded with residents able to apply for an ID card before the end of this year. This will then be rolled out across the north west with applications available early next year.
The government faces more embarassment as it has been revealed by one of the unsuccessful bidders for the new hi-tech passports that a director of the winning company is one of Gordon Brown’s senior mandarins!
A London-wide NO2ID activist network has been established that will heighten awareness of the ID card scheme across the capital. The network hopes to raise the profile of ID cards in people’s minds and will make a presence at public events, street fairs, pop concerts etc. The first event is to take place on Saturday 11th July, where members will hold a training session on how to engage the public’s awareness. Later this month on Thursday 30th, Ladbroke Grove will host a Magicians against ID cards event in support of NO2ID.