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June 28, 2005

ID Cards...Waste of Space, Time and Money.

The LSE has issued its final report on the ID Card scheme. Things are, incredibly, even worse than they were at the time of their interim report and Charlie the Safety Elephant has a lot of explaining to do.

Minimum cost? 10.6 billion quid. Likely? Over 19 billion.

It won’t even solve any of the problems we are told it will (not that the reasons given are the real justification. That, unfortunately, is that the Home Office doesn’t like the idea that we might be free people in a free country who can get on with our lives without their permission.)

Most damning for the Government is the fact that the study does not believe the ID system as proposed will fulfil any of its intended functions such as curbing identity fraud or countering terrorism. If anything, the existence of such a large database and the assumption that the system is foolproof, when it is likely to give false readings, will make it vulnerable to hacking and fraud.

Professor Ian Angell, of the LSE's IT department, said the scheme was a "one-stop shop for fraudsters". "It is a dog's dinner. I do not believe it is going to work."

We also get Tony Blair in the lie direct. Yes, correct, not the lie indirect, not by obfuscation, gloss or elision, but the lie direct. Commenting on the necessity of having biometric passports as a justification for the ID Cards we have:

"The next few years are going to see effectively a visa and passport revolution across the EU and the developed world. We are going to be in a position where we have to make our passports here in the UK biometric if UK citizens are to continue to enjoy the right to travel freely around the world."

What is it that is actually required? Nothing to do with ID Cards, of course, nor databases, iris imprints, fingerprints or anything else. Chris Lightfoot has the details:

The ICAO biometric passport programme requires only that passports be equipped with a `smart-card' style chip containing information about the bearer (the same stuff that's printed in the machine-readable zone on the bottom of the back page of your passport in and angular OCR font), plus a digitised photograph and a cryptographic signature.

How much should this cost?

in Australia, the cost will go up by A$19, or about £8;

So everything between that 8 pounds and the 400 that the LSE thinks it might cost is wasted, worthless, purely for the ID Card scheme which we don’t need, don’t want and which is a gross and blatant attempt to turn the UK into a police state.

No, sorry, the time for politeness has gone. Fuck ’em.

Make the Pledge.

(Anyone wondering why I haven’t myself done so needs to realise that I am not resident in the UK. I won’t even be issued a card let alone be able to refuse one. Money will be sent though.)

June 28, 2005 in Politics | Permalink


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Well said. I find it staggering that the usual Nulabour disciples have wheeled out the same lies in support of ID cards. Like war in Iraq they believe if they repeat the same falsities continually they will finally become true - not to them of course, but to the *spit* 'public'.

The belief that reducing our identity to one card will help reduce identity fraud or theft is crazy. It won't be long before criminals have the scheme cracked and fake ID cards will be available to legitimise anybody who has the money to buy one.

I wrote about ID cards back in May if anyone is interested: http://www.uponnothing.co.uk/Comment/2005/May/idornotid250505.html

Posted by: Upon Nothing | Jun 28, 2005 12:30:41 PM

I'm not resident in the UK either, but I signed on to show support. If you are a British citizen you will indeed be offered a card and if you aren't, when you apply for a visa to visit the UK you will have to provide all the same information, which will go on the national database. Indeed, the scheme is due to be introduced for visa applicants first, before the UK population. The only way to avoid this wretched scheme is to renounce your British citizenship and avoid travelling to England ever again. I don't know whether I could go that far though.

Posted by: Peter Spence | Jun 28, 2005 2:06:29 PM

"I don't know whether I could go that far though." : Peter Spence

You could worry about having to visit that other great stalinist organisation in the UK the NHS. That should put anyone (who wants to live) off.

Posted by: Rob Read | Jun 28, 2005 5:57:59 PM

Since the card will get faked, and probably rather soon after it's introduction, I wonder what the cost will be. Probably less than £300 total that we will have to pay.

Posted by: chris | Jun 28, 2005 7:17:09 PM

I presume the card, like a passport, will still belong to the state. I'll have plenty down the back of the sofa. This will be a tax on forgetful people like me.

Posted by: Rub-a-Dub | Jun 28, 2005 9:25:04 PM

Minimum cost? 10.6 billion quid. Likely? Over 19 billion.

Told ya. I assume that's implementation costs. With the new data on the likely frequency with which the cards will need to be replaced (twice per decade at a ton per or 20 squids a year) we can do a better PV calculation of the lifetime costs of the whole schmeer. 30 million adults × £20 a year × 20 (PV @ 5% discount rate) = £12 billion, not including the no doubt burdensome salary costs of all the bureaucratic cockroaches needed to support it.

If Tony was really serious about fighting terrorism he could use that 12 billion quid to buy a couple of extra aircraft carriers and bomb the merry crap out of some 'rogue nations'. Or maybe just eliminate capital gains tax, stamp duty and inheritance tax.

Posted by: David Gillies | Jun 28, 2005 10:07:07 PM

All the chatter about costs and anthing to do with the money side of things is, in my view, a smokescreen put up by this authoritarian bunch of Stalinist bandits! The whole process of British freedom is being slowly diluted by all these regulations, European laws and fiats, because what this bunch wants is power, and unless enough people say "piss off!" loudly, we are going the same way as Charles Clarke's hero Stalin wanted, which was 'everybody do exactly what is right, and I determine what is right!'

Men died for the right to say "No" from 1939 to 1945, and because a pack of Labour-loving wasters voted back in this bunch of scrubbers, their sacrifice will have been for nothing!

Posted by: Mike Cunningham | Jun 29, 2005 9:36:03 PM