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Are we still complaining about ID cards?

if so, might be time to ask your MP if they are happy about Blunkett bypassing parliamentary procedure, breaking Cabinet Office consultation guidelines (by consulting with the public about implementation rather than about whether people want the scheme at all and serving up quotes from the consultation document as responses - your MP can ask to see the documents and compare them) and cocking a snook at the Home Affairs Committee by claiming a critical report actually agrees with them.

www.faxyourmp.com is your friend. Remind your MP that the Home Office dismisses responses sent via the service as all saying the same thing and hence all being one person and ask for their assurance that they don't do the same.

Joy - in 2006 I'll get to pay an extra however much to get a 'voluntary' ID card without whcih I won't get a new passport.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
27th Oct, 2004 15:09 (UTC)
Unfortunately, my MP backs Blunkett, and has personally told me as such, even though he has not given me a coherent argument for the ID card.
Everything points to a co-ordinated, non-violent civil disobedience campaign as the way to chuck this ill-thought and sinister onslaught on civil liberties out, preferably without the "help" of the SWP cadres. People power worked to defeat the poll tax, and it can work here. Not even a hebephrenic control freak like Blunkett can throw six million people in prison (according to a survey for YouGov a few months back, this was the figure quoted as being "strongly opposed" to the card/register, up to the point where they would "take all necessary action" to oppose it).
27th Oct, 2004 15:22 (UTC)
hey - I learned a new word - thanks ;-)
27th Oct, 2004 15:48 (UTC)
My first thought on reading of this, on contemplating being forced to receive an ID card with my next passport renewal, was to mutilate the damned thing and send it to Blind Lemon Blunkett wrapped in a cat turd.

No. That was my second thought. My first thought wouldn't have in any way met your "non-violent" criterion.
27th Oct, 2004 16:25 (UTC)
not "receive". "pay for". grrrrrrr
15th Dec, 2004 17:30 (UTC)
"...cocking a snook at the Home Affairs Committee by claiming a critical report actually agrees with them."

But remember he can't read the report himself. Maybe the person reading it to him, or translating it into Braille, made a few changes?

Seriously though I find it hard to get incensed about the whole ID card scheme. I lived in Belgium for 20 years and was required to carry one. In all that time I was asked to produce it by the police exactly once and I have to admit that at the time I was acting suspiciously. (Of course I am a white, middle class male. Your mileage may vary)

That doesn't mean I didn't have any other use for it. I found the card invaluable when dealing with officialdom or indeed anyone who needed to know who I was: joining a video rental club, applying for a bank account, renting a dinner suit, starting a new job, applying for the dole, registering a car etc. No need to fill out forms, just hand over my card for someone to photocopy it. Of course the one thing I couldn't do with it, because strictly speaking it wasn't an ID card but a residence permit, but my Belgian friends could do with theirs, was travel without a passport within the EU.

That last point may be the one factor that decides the success or otherwise of the scheme. If an ID card is cheaper than a passport and f Ryanair/Easyjet accepts them and if you can travel to Ibiza or Spain or wherever in the EU with it, then people may decide the convenience offsets the disadvantages.
16th Dec, 2004 17:14 (UTC)
a voluntary ID card scheme would give you all those benefits without the issues that face the compulsory scheme. There's also the complete ballsup they're going to make of biomteric ID - do you think iris recognition is ready for mainstream use at airports and in supermarkets? I think it's going to be a costly debacle and it would be nice if costly debacles went through the proper channels rather than being done by fiat at the whim of just a few people.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


full steam ahead
Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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