Monday, August 03, 2009

Latest from NO2ID

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

In what appears to be the fourth launch of ID cards this year, Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, described ID Cards as a ‘no-brainer’ in the fight against fraud. I think Mr Johnson is the ‘no-brainer’ believing that a card which carries all of our vital statistics won’t also be open to fraud and will carry with it far, far greater consequences than that of a stolen or hacked bank card. And that’s before you consider the state's abilities to pore over every facet of our entire lives and track our every move. But, of course, Johnson won’t divulge that part of the story or the fact that you will have to provide 49 vital pieces of personal information and that if any one of those is incorrect you will face a stiff fine!

It seems that the ever increasing cost of implementing the ID Card scheme (215m to date) is impounding on the cost of a new passport. In October the cost of a British passport will rise to £72, the third price rise in less than two years. We are having to pay through the nose for the privilege of allowing the state and all its offshoots be aware of every aspect of our lives. It beggars belief!

The Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) is the next piece of totalitarian state obscenity to grace our lives. Yet another database will provide a list of those who are regarded as being a risk to vulnerable groups and thus barred from working with them. The scheme will be administered by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and those who work with children, prisoners etc will be encouraged to register (in reality have to, if they wish to keep their jobs fully intact). This not only includes full-time workers like teachers, but anyone who may routinely come in contact with them. Leading authors who often visit schools including Michael Morpurgo, Quentin Blake, Philip Pullman, former children’s laureate Anne Fine and Anthony Horowitz have all hit out at the scheme saying that they wouldn’t be attending school visits any more. "All of us are constantly invited to do tours of schools abroad. If we can no longer enthuse British children about reading then I'm happy to go to more sensible places like Australia, New Zealand, America, France and Italy," said Fine last month.

A good illustration of just how vulnerable our personal data could be once held on the National Identity Register (NIR) is portrayed in a short film released by Liberty. Liberty rightly points out that over the last few years the Government has mislaid an enormous amount of our personal data one way or another and the NIR will house even more of it. This adds even greater relevance to this film. See it at

The growing scepticism and opposition to ID Cards has manifested itself again in a YouGov/Sunday People poll of 1765 adults. 79% of respondents think that they are a waste of money. This comes as the truth about them is being made more evident through the likes of information awareness groups like NO2ID who paint the full picture of a life with them, not the rose-tinted dis-information put out by Government.

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