Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Home Office nominally suspends ID cards programme

So, our prediction that the (Labour) government's looney ID scheme was destined to flop looks like becoming a reality. This from an announcement on the government's Identity and Passport Service website:

"Both Parties that now form the new Government stated in their manifestos that they will cancel Identity Cards and the National Identity Register. We will announce in due course how this will be achieved. Applications can continue to be made for ID cards but we would advise anyone thinking of applying to wait for further announcements."

Well, thank the Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition for that! And thanks to us at NO2ID, among others, for making this issue count. Campaigning off of the top of a rickety wallpapering table in Thanet's high streets, Thanet NO2ID was occasionally abused and sometimes ignored, but as often met a respectful curiosity and willingness to listen to what we had to say. I felt we made a difference, and thanks to all those who helped out.

NO2ID HQ Comments: We will seek to influence *how* the scheme will be cancelled. Since the programme has been for the past 3 years trimmed and modified to build the infrastructure of the scheme into passports and the visa system, it will take more than superficial cancellation to eradicate the danger. We need to ensure that the ID scheme is gone; and that it is permanently gone. That means giving back to everyone the capacity to control their own identities. NO2ID will not be satisfied till the National Identity Scheme is gone and those who planned and executed it are no longer able to drive public policy.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Nobody wants National Identity Register-linked ID cards except goofball Labour

We are pleased to report that so many candidates standing for election in the upcoming parliament are opposed to the introduction of National Identity Register-linked ID cards—the nexus of the government’s looney ID scheme. Even a few non-goofy Labour candidates have admitted that it was a mistake to support this disastrous and extremely expensive scheme.

If you don’t believe me, then just take a look at the information below helpfully provided by our well-informed national organisation. Before doing so, however, I’d like to draw your attention to the last bit of the LSE’s report, which is rather important:

...if you voluntarily choose to apply for a passport or identity card (from 2012 onwards) then you will automatically have your details enrolled on the National Identity Register. The fact that you are not compelled to be issued with a plastic identity card does not deflect from the obligations and duties associated with your National Identity Register record.

For most people, this is not what they understand when they hear that identity cards will not be compulsory for them

In other words, IF (such a big if now) all goes according to Labour’s grand plan, after 2012 you’ll be put on the NIR by stealth when applying for a passport. Id cards are not compulsory then, but being put on the NIR will be almost unavoidable, and that will be the start of your problems.

Still, it’s encouraging to see that our message has been getting through to so many, and that the ID scheme is by no means unstoppable. In fact, its life may only last a few more days.

From NO2ID:

As of 26th April, opposition parties' 2010 manifesto commitments on the National Identity Scheme stand as follows:

The Conservatives (standing 631 candidates) will "scrap ID cards, the National Identity Register and the ContactPoint database";

The Liberal Democrats (631 candidates) will "scrap intrusive Identity Cards and have more police instead". They also intend to "scrap plans for expensive, unnecessary new passports with additional biometric data";

The UK Independence Party (543 candidates) will "abolish ID cards" which involve "harvesting large amounts of highly sensitive personal data" and are "an ingredient in an increasingly intrusive surveillance society";

The Green Party (315 candidates) oppose ID cards and "also have grave concerns over the development of a national dataset, including detailed biometric data, which has potential for the infringement of civil liberties";

The British National Party (270 candidates) will "halt all moves to introduce ID cards as an undesirable manifestation of the surveillance society";

The Scottish National Party (59 candidates) would "cut the projects that the country doesn't need and can no longer afford such as Trident, ID cards and deep storage nuclear dumps";

Plaid Cymru (40 candidates) will "continue to oppose legislation to make possible secret inquests, Internet monitoring, wasteful ID cards, the national DNA identity register and longer pre-charge periods of detention for suspects";

The Scottish Green Party (20 candidates) will not have ID cards which "are an unnecessary invasion of our privacy and will do nothing to prevent crime and terrorism";

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (18 candidates) will "continue to point to the savings possible by scrapping spending catastrophes of the current government such as the £5bn ID cards";

The Democratic Unionist Party (16 candidates) says "plans to introduce ID cards should be scrapped";

The Pirate Party (10 candidates) "strongly oppose compulsory ID cards, and pledge that we will never introduce them";

The Respect Party (11 candidates) succinctly states: "No ID cards";

The Alliance for Green Socialism (6 candidates) will "scrap ID cards and databases of personal information";

The Communist Party of Great Britain (6 candidates) calls for "an end to prolonged detention without charge, house arrest and plans for ID cards and full restoration of the rights of assembly, protest and free speech";

The Liberal Party (5 candidates) "oppose the introduction of ID Cards and the 'Database' State";

The Libertarian Party (4 candidates) will "immediately scrap the compulsory National ID card scheme"

From 2012 under a Labour administration, everyone needing a passport will be forced to enrol on a centralised ID database and be fingerprinted - and have to pay for the privilege of having their identity 'managed' by the state for the rest of their life. Labour's manifesto pledge that "in the next Parliament ID cards and the ID scheme will be self-financing" is nonsense. The billions the scheme will cost have to come from somewhere, and it is the public who will pay.
Dr Edgar A. Whitley and Dr Gus Hosein from the LSE Identity Project have published a very helpful analysis, clarifying the main issues and where the main parties stand on them here.