Feeds

Public workers say No2ID...

...And no to foreigners too

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Members of Unison, the UK's largest union, voted for a motion to oppose ID Cards yesterday at its annual conference in Bournemouth.

Conference delegates were also fed the usual dubious stories about the foreign countries taking on work for Britain's public sector under offshore outsourcing deals. The union managed to say foreigners working for the NHS were threatening lives, without directly calling up the jingoistic stereotype of lazy, incompetent chancers.

Unison members were even more bilious on the subject of ID cards than they were foreign firms, at least according to a statement they put out.

Delegates where concerned that ID cards would be used by the state to discriminate against black and Asian Britons.

ID cards are a "form of state racism", said Medhi Hassan, "a British muslim...from Tower Hamlets".

They might also embody the inequality of the system it said because poor people, whose circumstances are typically less stable than the middle class masses, would be forced to pay repeatedly to have their ID database records updated.

Yet in a different session, members were told that offshore outsourcing, which some people say helps reduce income disparities between rich and poor countries, was a "false economy".

"Life-threatening mistakes" had been made by bungling foreigners in India, the Philippines and South Africa, who where paid by NHS trusts to transcribe British patient records. British Unison administrators had been made redundant after the work was sent abroad.

The foreigners were making mistakes, it said, because they "do not have the benefit of supporting medical notes, letters and prescriptions against which to check the accuracy of their transcriptions".

Unison did not say why these supporting documents could not be given to the transcribers, nor did it say how many "anecdotal" examples it had collected of British lives being threatened by fumbling foreign typists. It did mention that there was a two per cent error rate among its own typists. Their mistakes were presumably of a better calibre than those made by the foreign workers.

Funny that, because many of those overseas workers doing the typing were doctors and medical students. Unison reckoned they were being exploited. Perhaps they should join the union? ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?