Sunday, April 13, 2008

1984: Apologies for the Delay, ETA Shortly

Tony Blairs ID card, from when he was PM Under the National Identity Register, it seems that 49 pieces of information will still be required by the state and that every important transaction in the citizen's life recorded. And there is a new proposal to collect 19 pieces of information, including mobile phone and credit-card numbers from people travelling abroad, which the government plans to use for 'general public policy purposes' - that is, the mass surveillance of a free people.

Anyhow the Cheltenham interrogation centre is now open - one of 50 open by the beginning of this year. From now onwards when people as young as 16 apply for their first adult passport, they will have to attend their nearest interrogation centre. There they will be subject to background checks, questioning to test their story against official records, photographs, and, before long, fingerprinting. Registration on the national ID database(s) - the 'National Identity Register' or NIR - will follow.

From and more at Ruscombe Green.

See also: "Sex quiz survey has OAPs hot under collar"
and "Arts funding row over sex orientation demands"

Whatever does Vanessa Redgrave mean?


  1. "The State should be our servant, not our master".


  2. We are constantly told, "if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about".

    The most atrocious attacks against the members of the public, transport systems, and government all occured in countries where I'D cards are already issued.

    Did I'D cards prevent such crimes?.

    That piece of information will not stop the present admin from pushing it through.

    "You get the government you desrve" has never rung more true.

  3. "The State should be our servant, not our master".

    A very attractive proposition that would I think be equally welcomed by the left and right. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Traditional Conservatism is about maintaining order, which requires a degree of intervention and control. The C party has moved significantly towards Liberalism in recent years and that I think is a shame. Labour/socialism is about helping those in need but has gone OTT and made them “dependent” upon the state. I’m not just talking here about those on benefits but the huge number dependent upon “non-jobs” provided by the state.

    The state should provide a framework in which we the people can flourish. It should be an enabler, a facilitator and be small, agile and fleet of foot. It should also have a control function underpinned by consensus to provide social and environmental justice. Tricky!

    It is the politics of “those who know best” and the inevitable compromises made with vested interests and needed to gain office that gets in the way. In a way, the Egos that rule us are just as dependent upon the state as those on benefit. It is in their own self-interest that they govern, not ours.

  4. I'm not at all into the idea of ID cards.

    One interesting place to look at for national stuff relating to privacy is the Office of the Information Commissioner, the body is responsible for Data Protection, and e-privacy, which is at

    They're the ones who stopped fingerprinting at Heathrow Terminal 5 and are making sure that Phorm profiling (of our online behaviour by Internet Service Providers in order to serve us with targetted adverts) does not involve storage of personal data. They also doggedly pursue prosecution for breaches of the Data Protection act.

    Don't bother searching, the search engine's broke, but if you google "identity cards" site: you'll find what they're up to in that respect (not much since last year - I wonder why...)

  5. I'm fed up of illegal immigrants and the ease in which many can claim treatment on the NHS. If anyone has been to King Georges A and E recently they will know what I'm talking about! Particularly 'health tourists' who come over from Pakistan or India. I am in favour of the ID card scheme, if it has some affect on illegal immigration, Islamic terrorism etc then more power to it.

  6. I have been to King George’s recently for a blood test. There were a considerable number of “brown” faces there but since I did not ask to see their passports I have no idea whether they were “illegal immigrants” or tax-paying British citizens.

    Perhaps anon can clarify with some evidence to back up what she/he claims?

  7. ID cards would do nothing to assuage the alleged problem at A&E that anon claims to be happening. As a recent court case has proved, any illegal immigrant who has been resident in the UK for a year is entitled to health treatment.

    Weggis, you mention 'intervention and control'. The issue is surely to maintain a delicate balance. 'Intervention and control' is needed when things get out of control - to take random examples, murder, theft or invasion.

    What we have had during my lifetime is the State taking more control and intervening over normal issues:

    first, infantilise the population;
    second, declare they are now unable to cope, so take over the whole of their lives and


    the politico/bureaucrat class are in power for ever and anon, or until the revolution.

  8. The only thing identity cards will do is provide employment for 10,000
    forgers, and how long will we wait before the whole lot is left on a train or posted to the forgers?
    I dont think there is much to worry about anyway, the government (any government) has such a poor record on handling large databases, that it wont be working until 2108,
    and it will cost 20 time s as much as they say.


  9. Judith

    As I understand traditional Conservatism the emphasis on “order” is to prevent things going pear-shaped in the first place. It is not meant to be “reactive” although there will be an element of reaction to unexpected conditions.

    I agree there is a delicate balance to be maintained, but modern government's clumsy and heavy hand has not been suited to this most sensitive area. It requires skill and a fine, soft touch coupled with judgement and wisdom. Oh, and above all “Leaders” who are brave enough to “let go” and free the people, rather than Control Freaks.