ID Cards Vote

Prime Minister’s Identity Crisis?

Ferdinand Mount in The Daily Telegraph has a point when he says that:

There is no need for the Government to make such a fool of itself. In all these cases, and plenty more, private individuals and institutions are working out their own solutions, at their own pace. Government intervention adds nothing much except confusion, intrusion and the making of martyrs.

The trouble is that the death of old-style socialism has left a huge gap in Labour’s agenda, and this vexatious legislation is all they can think of to fill it.

Thank you Olly (Researcher to Boris) for your great summary on the ID Cards Bill:

ID Cards Bill Scrapes Through

Labour’s plans for an identity card scheme scraped through the Commons last night with a massively reduced majority. 314 MPs voted for the Government and 283 voted against – a majority of just 31. Labour’s normal Parliamentary majority of 67 was cut by the defection of some 20 Labour rebels, among them Kate Hoey, Clare Short, Diane Abbot, Jeremy Corbyn, Glenda Jackson, Bob Marshall-Andrews, Mark Fisher, Linda Riordan and Katy Clark. Shadow Home Secretary, David Davies MP, condemned the Bill, suggesting that Labour’s enduring legacy would be the creation of “surveillance from cradle to the grave”. The Bill will now be passed to Committee, where it is expected a tough passage, before coming back in amended form to the Commons where it will once again be debated before being passed on once more, this time to the Lords. It is thought the Lords may well vote against the Bill, breaking a long held unwritten convention whereby manifesto pledged legislation is given free passage through the upper House.

Summary of the Bill

– The Identity Cards Bill will establish a national ID card scheme in the United Kingdom. There is, at present, no legislation providing for such a scheme, so the Bill attempts to provide the necessary statutory framework.

– As part of this framework, the Bill: creates a new National Identity Register, setting out its statutory purposes; sets out what information is to be held and the safeguards to try and protect an individual’s data; provides a power to issue identity cards and to designate certain existing documents as documents with which ID cards would be issued (such as passports) along with other documents to serve as ID cards themselves; and allows biographical checks to be made against other databases to confirm an applicant’s identity.

– The Bill also: creates new criminal offences relating to misuse of ID cards and other issues relating to ID fraud; establishes power allowing for the linking, in the future, of access to specified public services and production of an ID card; and, includes, crucially, a power to make it compulsory for people to register, including sanctions for failing to do so.

28 thoughts on “ID Cards Vote”

  1. One thing is a racing certainty: whatever this lot promise will not be delivered. Bliar is so wrapped up in trying to carve himself a niche in history, he would rather pose as a politician with international status , than do what he was elected for, that is to sort out our internal problems, then having done that, if there were time , to sort out, in a minor role , of course, the remainder of the world.
    If it’s expensive , it must be good, seems to be the cry . Example , about 8 years ago, your passport costed less than

  2. As someone named ironically as Imrich, I understand why most officials wonder whether I made up my name … I know all about identity dilemma and also the reasons why the exclusive number plates on prestige cars do not belong to my family 😉

    Speaking of numbers, Orwell got his book in 1948 right by switching 4 for 8 to predict a situation inside the Iron Curtain countries: now the new elite might introduce the cold war mentality into the streats of London in ‘2005’ AD …

    As Tory David Davis lamented – Labour’s legacy would be “surveillance from cradle to grave” … other dissidents and rebels also suggested that they could see no benefits, huge cost and serious risks to civil liberties and privacy!1pblmMr_hmyvbBjvNahNPCsg!1559.entry
    The Good the Bad and the Ugly
    MPs narrowly back ID cards plan

    The Blair government competes with the US for the prize of world’s most intellectually bankrupt Western ruling party: the costly, redundant new ID legislation
    Rebels halve Blair’s majority in vote on ID cards


  3. I just can’t see how the numbers work out. It won’t stop terrorism — most terrorists have no prior history of terrorism (all the 11 September attackers had legitimate ID), illegal immigrants are, well, illegal, so breaking another law won’t be that much different, so the only thing it’ll fight is fraud. And there far more efficient ways to fight fraud than by spending insane amounts of money on a national database.

  4. It is becomming more and more obvious that the only reason they want all the biometrics on cards and passports and in a big database is to please the USA administration. Not only is our own “Big Brother” trying to move in to watch us all, but they’re doing it at the behest of another power!

  5. I was rather amused to hear that Irish citizens – who do not need a passport to enter the UK, thanks to long-standing border agreements, will also not be required to carry a UK ID card. Government officials are currently “urgently looking into this”.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    *cough* IRA *cough* terrorism *cough*

    Irish citizenship beckons, then.

  6. I see that Ferdinand Mount makes the point that ID security systems should be developed by private companies. This is what I have been saying for the past 15 months! In the States there is least one system in operation to help you voluntarily _verify_ your identity, rather than have to _prove_ your identity to the government. The company keeps your data safe and is responsible for the financial running of the project.

    Eclectech have a splendid new Gilbert & Sullivan style animation on ID cards:

  7. Simon

    I must admit the Gilbert & Sullivan show is pretty good and entertaining:

    ~ID cards ~ without one you’ll become a practical nonentity ~

  8. The IRA are evil, evil people. Boris, if you’re reading this, I’m scared. Make them make the Irish have ID cards. You can do it, matey. You can do ANYTHING! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I’m stereotyping all the Irish, I may even have a little Irish blood in me myself, but as I’ve said, THE IRA ARE EEEEVVVIIILLL. The terror they’ve caused in Ireland and this country should already be enough for the government to put up with. Don’t let them get away with it any more.

  9. E Wenman:

    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Violence is rarely the answer, however, and for THAT reason i condemn the IRA.

    However, the IRA are funded by the Americans. Still. Despite the supposed “war on terrorism”. This is what needs to be stopped. ID cards WILL NOT help…just ask the Spanish!!!!

    And remember this too: Suicide bombers are VERY rarely repeat offenders. Once they’ve gone BANG! that’s it. Knowing who they WERE isn’t going to help!

  10. Thanks for sparing me Psimon … – on another front: your links reveal some quite stupefying facts

  11. Have you ever though about the data storage requirements?

    It is impossible to record history accurately. To record the position of an atom would require the recording device to note the position of the atoms nucleus and electrons. To record each position in space would require three measurements, one for each plane X, Y and Z.

    Hence an atom consisting of a nucleus and nine electrons would require thirty measurements. Those measurements would only tell us about the atom at one instant in time. For each and every other continuous moment we would require a continuous stream of thirty measurements. And then we haven’t recorded the energy of each particle.

    To record the position of every blade of grass in my garden for one instant of time would require millions of measurements.

    Hence we can only sample history, approximately recording the state of the world occasionally.

    Where can I store these measurements? The storage devices we have use hundreds or thousands of atoms to record a single bit of information. Magnetic storage requires many magnetic particles to be set in a particular direction to record one bit. Otherwise the technology we have could not read the data; it isn’t sensitive enough.

    But a single bit isn’t much use. It can store 1 or 0. To store a bigger number takes more bits. Computers work with a minimum of eight bits. Eight bits can only store the numbers 0 to 255. We call that a byte. I will need to use up to eight bytes in a floating point representation (a float) to store my measurements approximately.

    So to record my atom now takes 30 measurements x 8 bytes x (say) 1000 atoms = 240,000 atoms. That is probably an underestimate because I do not know how many magnetic particles I need to set.

    To record the state of my lawn I need a lot of storage atoms!

    The human DNA is approximately 16000 units long. Each chromosone is made up of 20 strands of DNA. That is 320,000 units of information. Using the assumption that this sequence can be stored in bytes, not floats, we need 320,000,000 atoms to store my DNA sequence. At least we can say it is 320Kb, to use terms we are familiar with.

    Now add facial recognition data, in which a number of measurements from the face are added. 30 measurements again will take 240,000 atoms.

    Then there are the photographs. Probably another 2,000,000 atoms each.

    And fingerprints, 10 fingers (average will be less), 10 images, another 20,000,000 atoms.

    Add all that up and multiply it by the population of 65,000,000. OK, I’ll do it for you: 22,245,000,000,000,000 atoms.

    Whether the media is magnetic or optical is no matter. The sums still apply.

    Does the Government have this supply of atoms somewhere? We also must not forget the atoms to make all the technology that will operate this, the computers, readers, the point-of-use terminals, the infrastructure. This is where technology’s inefficiencies lie. Billions of atoms largely idle housing machinery.

    We also have to power this lot. Where will those atoms come from? Who will pay for them?

    And it will need an army of people; well, bureaucrats, anyway.

    I predict that the day will come when there is a shortage of storage media. Re-usable media can only be used a certain number of times; technology moves on, making it redundant if it hasn’t worn out. How many drawers of cassette tapes do you have? What will you play them on in a few years time?

    Non-reusable media such as CD-ROM are beginning to fill our landfill sites. We are the throw-away-information society.

    When one day you are walking down the street and you notice the world going colder and freezing to a halt around you, you will know that the day has arrived when the last of the atoms not required for driving the mechanisms of the universe have been used to record the last wrinkle of the final person to be squeezed into an ID card.

    The Prophet Colin

  12. The goverment is now using the 500,000 estimate for illegal immigrnats in this country (“oops sorry we can estimate after all =- forget what we said during the election campaign”)to back their ID card scam.

    But this raises a serious issue.

    How many of those 500,000 voted at the recent election?

    It is a mistake to think that illegal immigrants don’t register to vote. They know it is much LESS hassle to register (and implicitly claim to be a UK citizen) than it is not to fill in the form.

    And it is well known that most recent immigrants tend to vote for Labour or Lib Dems rather than Tory.

    And it is well known that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are concentrated in London and the South East.

    And it is well known there are a number of key marginals there that the Tories jsut failed to win.

    If only say one in three illegal immigrants is registered on the electoral roll that means that
    the Tories probably had something like 50,000 illegal votes cast against them. Spread over say
    10 key marginals that could be 5,000 votes in each.

    The spread is probably in reality slightly thinner but you get the idea.

  13. If that should prove to be the case, and I don’t doubt it, surely there must be some way which bars anyone from voting until a minimum time has elapsed since their being in the community. I would have thought that only bona fide UK residents would really be eligible to vote, in either local or general elections. On the other hand , how naive can one get? It must be to the ruling party’s benefit to cast a blind eye, since the newcomer, legitimate or not , will not want to change the status quo, since even a mad dog wouldn’t want to bite the hand etc.Half a million illegals . A city underground, and not on any map.What a nirvana for the jetsam of the world. And people still talk of 5 loaves and 2 fishes.

  14. But I thought they’d already told us that a country of 65,000,000 people would have no problem absorbing this number of immigrants? So what is the issue if they are illegal? It is most probably that they escape paying tax. That is this Government’s chief concern. They are obsessed with collecting tax. Then they spend it on bombs.

  15. Macarnie –

    Think you are being slighlty naive. All you need to do to get registered is fill in the form that is sent round each year. There is no cross-checking of the forms against other data.

    You get a lot less hassle as an illegal immirgant if you simply fill in the form illegally (implicitly claiming to be a UK citizen) than you do if tried not to fill it in because then people would keep coming back and asking questions.

    Boris probably knows all this as an election campaigner. It would be good if he took up the issue and called into questino the legitimacy of this government which already benefits from the fact that each Labour vote is worth about 25% more than a Tory vote (because of smaller inner city constituencies).

  16. Point taken Field: however the naivety is inherent in the laxity of the system which allows two illegal acts to nullify each other.The very laxity of our ‘honour’ based system is well known in such circles, and makes us the target for illegal immigration. Once they are here, under the present system, it needs political dynamite to shift them.

    If there are no suspects of a crime, there can be no prosecutions. Today’s technology should make it easy to form a proper data base of all inhabitants of a dwelling; any dwelling.This list should have the ability to be updated as and when the occupancy changes, and should be electronically cross referenced and checked at every electoral roll update. Any unusual or unregistered differences should, before the election date, be investigated. Orwellian ? I think not: when one is experiencing such troubled times, such measures should be in force: goodness knows, according to Gordon, there are more than enough civil service personnel to do this at a trot.

  17. “I was rather amused to hear that Irish citizens – who do not need a passport to enter the UK, thanks to long-standing border agreements, will also not be required to carry a UK ID card. Government officials are currently “urgently looking into this”:-

    This makes no sense at all to me. If Scaryduck is talking about people in Northern Ireland (given his reference to the IRA) they are citizens of the UK, obviously. So they would presumably have to carry UK ID cards.

    Citizens of the Republic could not possibly be required to carry UK ID cards as they are Irish citizens. Period!

    So what exactly was your point, Scaryduck?

  18. I would like very much to know exactly how supporters of the id cards think they could possibly work when they legislation applies fully only to the residents of England?

    The Scottish Parliament has already said it will not participate fully with this Big Brother scheme. Everything devolved to Scotland will not be included, which is just about everything, including the NHS!

    The Welsh Assembly has recently announced that the top up fees will not apply to Wales and that ONLY English students will be required to pay them. No doubt they will follow the same line as Scotland, when it comes to id cards, as well.

    So exactly WHY is England the main target for these things? WHY would an English MP anywhere support this discrimination against their constituents? If you’re a red blooded English MP, get the ****’s told.

    And Boris, please, how on earth would the Tory line of “English votes for English matters” redress the balance for England on this one? You know that only an English Parliament can stop the Scottish Raj treating up this way!

    If that doesn’t bother anyone, ask yourself why only the English are having their dental fees doubled? In Scotland, dental check ups for everyone will be totally free, along with eye checks! And in the same year, all prescriptin for the Welsh will be free as well. The price hikes only applies to the English!

    England is in the quagmire. The stealth taxes will have to increase even further to fund the excesses of the celtic fringe. Its not right. Is fair play an English value only? Will no one stand up for us?

  19. Dee: your indignation about the unfairness of all those things you mentioned has been well and truly predated elsewhere on this site, and the points you highlight, indeed even more forcefully argued. look in topics previously argued.

    Not only are we , at some time , possibly soon, going to be the milchkuh to the Celtic fringes, but it looks as if the present incumbent of No 10 is going to yield our rebate to the ravenous , anti Anglo-saxon hordes of inefficient French agriculturists. Take into consideration that London now has the Games for 2012,with its resultat appetite for even more of our money, and I see my desire to return to the land of my much maligned forefathers really taking priority.

    And one more thing , how come that Scotland and Wales escape the worst ravages of Global warming? 😉

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