Saturday, 5 January 2008

Thanet NO2ID meets Roger Gale, Thanet North MP

Thanet NO2ID recently had the pleasure of meeting Roger Gale, long standing Conservative Member of Parliament representing the Thanet North constituency. Of course, NO2ID is an independent campaigning organisation and we do not endorse political parties or political candidates. It is a fact, however, that Mr Gale has a record of opposing grandiose identity-related schemes and voted against the unconscionable Identity Cards Act in 2006, and so Thanet NO2ID counts him as a friend an ally.

It was yet another scheme to collect private information from Kent residents that was very much on Mr Gale’s mind. A government plan to make every town hall send out surveys requesting resident’s private details and opinions, including questions about sexual orientation and ethnicity, was slammed by the MP as “ludicrous”, and invasive and costly to boot. Mr Gale told me he recently wrote to councils in his constituency asking them to opt out of this “voluntary” survey, but he noted that fear of losing central government funding might be behind the high level of participation thus far.

Regarding identity cards, Mr Gale said that when he was on the committee looking into the matter back in the early nineties the conclusion was that a voluntary identity card issued by a regional office, along European lines, might be useful to people. He felt that the current multi-billion pound high-tech centralised bonanza identity scheme was neither workable nor safe, and he opposes it.

Thanet NO2ID applauds Mr Gale’s position on identity cards and looks forward to cooperating with the Thanet North MP on this issue.

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