'Lunatic' Smith doubles ID card costs for Mancunians
Voluntary rollout addresses vexed 'who am I?' question
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today confirmed that Manchester volunteers will be allowed to pay a total of £60 for an ID card from later this year. The price tag on the ID card will remain £30, but the Home Office is now estimating the cost of biometric enrollment, payable to the high street stores it hopes to recruit, as a further £30.
And in other news, Smith was described as a "lunatic" by banned US shock jock Michael Savage, now threatening to sue Smith for defamation, and as dead meat by the Sun, which reckons she'll be out of a job any minute now. Or possibly already - busy day, Jacqui.
Even the Home Office concedes that "only a small number of volunteers in Manchester" will be able to enrol for an ID card before the end of the year, and while this is scheduled to happen "from Autumn 2009", the National Identity Service Cost Report, published today, reports that contracts for passport design and production and card design and production are to be awarded "later in 2009".
Nor, despite interest from photographic stores, the National Pharmacy Association and the Post Office, have any High Street partners been signed up yet, far less started rolling out biometric enrollment equipment.
So, small publicity stunt, not many issued? Getting at least some ID cards into the hands of Mancunians will however have some effect in locking the ID card scheme into the system prior to next year's general election. The Home Office also seems to have been relatively successful in convincing sections of the press that much of the claimed cost of ID cards will have to be spent on upgrading to the next generation of biometric passports anyway (£3.95 billion claimed for this), leaving just £1.19 billion specifically being spent on ID cards available for cutting by any incoming Tory administration.
To some extent, this is true, as contracts for the enrollment system and biometric database covering both passports and ID cards have already been awarded, to CSC and IBM. Speaking on the Today programme this morning, however Dr Edgar Whitley of the LSE commented that the addition of fingerprints to passports was not, as the Home Office frequently claims, an international obligation but a political decision. The cost of this would however remain if a Tory government did not cancel fingerprints for passports. And if it didn't also move to dismantle the database or bring it under control, it might find itself cancelling little more than the plastic (and agreeing with David Blunkett, effectively).
Today's Cost Report also only covers cost to the Home Office, not ID-related costs to other government departments, businesses and to citizens (e.g that extra £30 and the spiralling cost of a passport). It also only covers forward costs, excluding an estimated £250 million already spent. ®
Met one of these developers on a train once. Said that in effect terrorism would be a thing of the past, once all till receipts could be cross referenced against people's NIR entry.
He had to be winding me up as only a moron who'd seen too much Spooks would believe it possible.
“Cayenne Turbo S, eh? Your choice of vehicle says everything about you.”
Quite. Hence the thumbs up.
Of course if all the developers are signed up for this it will make them much easier to identify in future. I wonder if the senior civil servants who are pushing for it are as well.
Hmmm. All those responsible on one single database. How convenient.
It's long, but worth a read.
So let's get this straight.
I have a passport. I have a birth certificate. I have a marriage certificate. I have a medical card with my social security number on it. I have a driving licence, an MOT certificate and a Certificate of Insurance. I have a television licence. I have several credit cards. I own a house and the local authority knows where I live because they keep telling me to cut my hedge (actually, they keep telling me to cut next door's hedge, but that's another story). I have a library card. I get regular utilities bills. I have an email address. When my picture is taken by one of these cute yellow cameras at the side of the road, the DVLA in Swansea knows exactly who I am and can have Mr.Plod waiting on my front door mat before I get home. I'm on the electoral roll, and actually have a vote for all the good it's ever done. I pay my taxes, and have had a job for most of my life so have also been paying my National Insurance contributions. I've been checked by the Criminal Records Bureau so I can work with children.
I went into a shop recently to buy a new computer. The young assistant asked my name, typed it into his computer and then told me where I live and what my telephone number is. He then spent the rest of the interview calling me by my Christian name, though I didn't know him from Adam. I had a telephone call the other day from a man in India who even knew my date of birth.
I am so deeply woven into the fabric of our society that I couldn't hide if I wanted to.
Yet now the government want me to have an Identity Card. Why? They already know who I am, where I live, when I was born, who I'm married to, who my children are, what my qualifications and employment history are, whether I have any convictions for speeding (I have) or for offences against children (I haven't), and probably the name of my cat and whether I pick my nose with the right forefinger or the left. So why do they need to issue me with an Identity Card?
To combat terrorism? Yes, I can quite see that any responsible citizen with an Identity Card would think twice about letting loose with a Kalashnikov in IKEA one Saturday morning. But your bona fide terrorist with a bomb strapped under his parka - what's he supposed to think? "Oi, wait a moment, I don't have an Identity Card. I'd better not do this"?
Perhaps it's to ensure that only people who legally live in this country can get the dole or go to hospital or draw their old age pension? But they already know all this stuff about me. They know, if they can be bothered to check their computer like the lad in PCWorld, that I've paid so much National Insurance and Income Tax over the years that I practically own the bloody National Health Service. Of course, if there's an asylum-seeking illegal immigrant terrorist who looks exactly like me, lives at the same address and happens to have laid his hands on my passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, medical card, social security number, driving licence, MOT certificate, Certificate of Insurance, television licence, credit cards, library card, utilities bills, email address, Voter's Card, wife, cat and hedge, I can see where an Identity Card might be quite useful.
No, the real reason is because they can make me pay for the damned thing. There's the crunch - it's just another tax. I've paid all my life so I can get the medical help and pension I need when I'm old, and now they won't give them to me unless I pay a little bit more.
Well, think about this, Mr.Brown, old cock. By the time this all becomes a law that applies to everyone, I'll be really old. All I'll want from life is three square meals a day, a bed, a bit of telly in the evening and somewhere to crap. How about I refuse to get an Identity Card, you prosecute me, I refuse to pay the fine, and you have to send me to gaol? I imagine I'll get three meals a day there, a bed and a pot to piss in. And if I'm ill, the prison hospital will bloody well have to treat me whether I've got an Identity Card or not.
Get out of that!
Cancellation Fees and 'I've registered my interest'
Unfortunately, the figures don't factor in the projected revenue they hope to create from selling your data to the highest bidder.
Cayenne Turbo S, eh? Your choice of vehicle says everything about you.