Feeds

Blunkett to intro UK ID cards, via £25 passport tax

Consultation? What consultation?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

UK Home secretary and award-winning serial threat to freedom David Blunkett is set to foist identity cards on the UK public under the cloak of dealing with ilegal immigration. The UK public prints (here's one) report that the legislation will be brought in this autumn, "as part of a package to tackle illegal working by migrants" (spot the cloak, people) and Blunkett intends to put a policy paper recommending cards to the Cabinet during the next six weeks.

Radio 4's Today programme incidentally revealed that the alleged "entitlement" cards are referred to as ID cards internally at the Home Office anyway, so we can safely dispense with that piece of smoke, which in any event is a difficult tag to maintain if the system is being operated as a stop and search programme largely aimed at people of darker complexion.

Blunkett, who is absolutely convinced that he has a direct line to the Great British Public and that his critics are all namby-pamby liberals living in Hampstead, no doubt calculates (wrong word - 'believes with messianic fervour') that a crackdown on asylum-seekers, a term that is rapidly becoming synonymous with 'illegal immigrants' will popularise the ID cards. He may however find the scheme less popular when said Public learns that it will cost £1.6 billion (in uk.gov pre-contractor money, so you can guess £4 billion on non-delivery five years late), and that they will be shouldering the bill at £25 extra on top of their next passport or driving licence fee.

The results of the Home Office's consultation on ID cards are likely to be released shortly. Responses to this were initially pro in a negligible sort of way, and subsequently overwhelmed by online negatives. Worryingly, however, a Home Office minister recently claimed the response had been in favour, suggesting either that she wasn't awake or that the online response had been discounted.

To celebrate ignoring a consultation it had effectively tried to keep secret anyway, the Home Office seems to have removed the consultation document from its site. If it's there, it's no longer obvious, even if you try to get it in Welsh. Update: It can now be found at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/comrace/entitlements/fraud.html Try not to read too much into 'entitlement' turning into 'fraud.'

As we recall the £25 tab is on the high side of the options it contained, and means passport and driving licence revenue will be used to cover the cost of cards for poor people. The "entitlement" origins of the card mean that it is at least ostensibly to be used for transactions with government, benefits and the like, so although Blunkett is now shamelessly punting it for entirely different reasons, this will surely still have to happen. Plus having legal but suspicious-looking poor people, quite possibly of colour, knocking around with no ID cards kind of undermines your ability to nail illegal versions of same.

So everybody's going to have to have one, and passport and driving licence applicants are going to have to pay for them all. Course, it's still "voluntary"... ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.