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Blunkett: 'The dog howls when I whip out my ID card!'

Lifetime Privacy Menace in shock barking claim

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"Even the dog howls when I bring it home," claimed former Home Secretary and Big Brother Awards Lifetime Menace as he waved his ID card at Privacy International's 20th birthday party last night.

Speaking to a not wholly sympathetic crowd, the Menace himself claimed to have been "at least partially converted" to the cause of privacy by PI's Simon Davies. "Vigilance is critical, a free press is critical, and a vibrant democracy is essential," he said. The partialness of the conversion however became clear as members of the audience quizzed him.

The originator of the ID card scheme still believes in ID cards, although last year he suggested repackaging them as universal, compulsory passports instead, and he still believes in "having a clean database".

Building on his remarkable rapport with the audience he continued: "Whether anyone in this room wants it or not, we're going to have a biometric passport." So, biometric ID and a National ID Register, no change there then. Presumably the partial conversion relates to his willingness to speak at a PI function - despite invites, nobody from Blunkett's Home Office deigned to show up at PI's Mistaken Identity conference back in 2004. ®

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