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Letters The government has announced plans to fingerprint kiddies and store their details on a database. Now don't get all upset about it, it's only once they turn 11, and it'll help keep out all those nasty illegal immigrants. All the really short ones, anyway.

So they are clearly running scared that the big ID cards proposal is going to collapse around them, so is this a plan to introduce it by the back door ? Get all the kids and eventually they will grow up into adults and already be on the database ?

Simon


"defenseless against illegal immigration" ? Is Great Britain being invaded by hordes of foreign children ? What kind of basis allows for such an argument ?

I am not an expert on illegal immigration, far from, but it does seem to me that adults, and more specifically adult males, are the principal element of illegal immigration. Women and children have a tendency of following once the man has found a favorable spot.

So how is it that fingerprinting a kid will stop illegal immigration ? If that is the case, then let's just stuff newborn babies and the general population with RFID chips, and put scanners in all streets and public areas. That will be another wonderful opportunity for boatloads of government pork to be wasted, and once the system is running, anybody who cannot authenticate himself at the nearest light pole can safely be considered a terrorist - or a tourist, but let's not get picky, hmm ?

What's that ? Is that the sound of Byrne salivating ?

Pascal.


'He said much the same in the Commons last month: "It would render us defenceless in the war against illegal immigration."'

Yes, because what better defense against inward immigration than to institute the creeping march towards totalitarianism.

Garrett


Speaking of creeping totalitarianism, the government scrapped plans for a youth ID card. Yes, the same government that wants to fingerprint kiddies. Joined up government, that. See above.

Re: UK gov scraps youth ID card "However, the DfES said in a statement that it realised last summer it might have trouble seeing its plans through because there was no off-the-shelf technology it could use to run the youth card."

Where I sit right now, I have all the off-the-shelf technology needed for a system like that within about 300 feet. The only difference is where the money comes from and how it's administered - which could be done with a creative VBScript or something equally crap.

It seems that the UK's IT folks doesn't have the MacGyver-like skills that it takes to survive a simple US helpdesk position, much less design and build systems on time and under budget.

Tony


And while we are still thinking about immigration, foreigners illegal and otherwise, we come to news that foreign workers are being underpaid, stealing our jobs, marrying our women and running off with our donkeys. Er, wait...we'll come back to that.

Concerning your article on foreign IT workers in the UK; I doubt they are being paid below the going rate.

I know of a number of French IT consultants who are buying huge family homes and second holiday- homes on the back of their lucrative NHS contracts. They are even being flown out and back each weekend from the sunny Cote D'Azur. Luxury accomodation and hire cars in the UK are also included.

Good work if you can get it ! ;-)

Nev


1) the "market rate" is some kind of average, rather than a mandated minimum rate. That means that, by definition, a significant percentage of people must be being paid less than this rate. This is similar to "50% of people earn less than the average salary!"

2) if the supply side of the UK "market" (and AMICUS represents one part of this market) doesn't allow rates to go down as well as up, then the purchasers will either: buy less; or buy abroad where prices are lower. Neither is desirable for people who are employed in this market in the UK nor for the UK economy as a whole.

David


See, donkeys, and the human love thereof.

"the Unlawful Accommodation of Donkeys Act 1837"

This implies that Great Britain was already rife with surprised donkeys BEFORE 1837. Good heavens ! One can only wonder how many more bestial acts have taken place since then. Looks like if the Internet had been invented back then, it would be full of (shudder) donkey pics. I very much prefer the modern version.

Pascal.


Thank you for this fascinating news. What it seems you've neglected is that all-important subject: what precisely is governed by the strictures of the Unlawful Accommodation of Donkeys Act 1837, why was it needed in 1837, and how did they set fines in Euros at that time? Please, rush us a follow-up article!

DV


And should you have a donkey you wish to surprise in a private place, you might find the web-shoted database of public toilets very useful. You just might. OK?

Of course the real story about the toilet database is how quickly it fills up with pranks. Newcastle, Anywhere in Gloucester and Buck Palace have already been added as toilets in their own right. Hopefully the owners will feature a 'flag as a poor joke' button soon.

Michael


Hmm - I checked out Ireland, and there in the little town of Falcarragh, County Donegal, there is a pub called Biddy Jacks. Interesting to note that they've got their priorities right. Green for condoms, mirrors and a blow dryer....nothing else apart from separate cubicles. No MacDonalds in Donegal, you see... Regards

Owen


Pranging your car always leave you with a sense of dread. We reckon this is because it always raises those awkward questions - how much is the wing mirror going to cost to replace? Why the hell didn't you look when you were reversing out of your drive? Will the squirrel be OK Daddy? Oh, and where am I going to find another million quid Bugatti?

"the world's costliest road crash"

Really?

Could be urban myth I suppose, but one has always believed that that description applied to an incident in France, where someone broke down (or otherwise stopped) on a level crossing. The train that hit them left the rails and breached a canal, which was carrying commercial traffic. I'm supposed to be at work just right now so I'm not going to see if I can find any reference to this incident!

Tim


I think the sun are pretty wrong on calling the bugatti bang (it'll come out with t-cut) the world's most costliest crash.

Our own selby rail crash, attributable to a bloke nodding off behind the wheel, is estimated to have cost around €46M, however the prize goes to the Mont Blanc rail crash, the cost of which is estimated at €100M+

I realise it's not your words, but you did quote 'em so I blame you entirely. I still feel envious that your job involves searching the net for humourous stories involving Bulgarian Airbags.

Cheers, Nick.


It'll T-Cut out, not a problem...

Fraser


Jonathan Ross as bond? Shurely shome mishtake. And yet:

So Jonathon Ross is James Bond?

I even found a suitable IT related pic to back it up...

From Wussia wiv lov.

Steve

Magnificent - well played!


And finally, topical, and silly at the same time. Alternative explanations for lost planets were sought, and received:

> How else to explain the pictures?

The Guinness brewing company today strenuously denied claims that silicon contamination was the reason behind reports of defective Guinness across South-East England. Bar staff provided independent accounts that "... it flows into the glass OK, but the head fails to separate fully in the usual way... it only happens to drinks purchased from the big, high-discount pubs...". One source confirmed that the contaminated Guinness affected alcohol sensors in drinkers' bodies so that, after a few gallons, they stopped working properly and came to a sudden, complete halt in the middle of the road. "It makes your pint look just like a PhotoShopped image of Saturn", observed one "Dark Matter" expert.

[End]

Note for editors: Silicon is an ingredient that is never added to dark stouts to enable it to flow smoothly and freely. However, Trading Standards officers confirmed that Guinness is never usually tested for the presence of silicon and so there was nothing to prevent a rogue batch from reaching consumers.

Robin

Marvellous. On that note, tarrah folks. Back with more on Friday. ®

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