"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Double Standards on ID Cards

The British Government was yesterday displaying yet more of its brazen double standards. I hope that you're suitably shocked.

According to James Lyons of the Daily Mirror, if ID cards are forced through against the will of the public and Her Majesty's Opposition (and for once I'm not using that title ironically), the Government will levy a £1,000 fine if they are lost and this fact is not reported within a month.

A replacement will cost an extra £30, which is estimated to earn the Government £33 million in replacement fees (estimates based on the number of passports and driving licences lost each year). These very same calculations predict that over 1 million cards could be lost or stolen each year.

Interesting. But Mr Lyons also reveals that Whitehall staff lose, on average, 23 security passes and official accreditation per day. The Ministry of Defence alone lost 11,245 last year - but oddly, they're not fined - the documents are simply replaced at the expense of taxpayers.

I find this incredible; if someone issues you a security pass which allows you to work in the heart of government, should you not be expected to be quite careful with it?

If you can't even manage to hang on to your own security pass, are you fit to do your job?

Yes, everyone makes mistakes - but 23 separate incidents on the average day?

I feel this fact alone explains an awful lot about the state of our country and our government.

Registry on a central ID card database will be compulsory for all passport applicants from 2012, as will having your finger prints taken like a common criminal, as well as potentially an interview. However at this point you will not have to be issued with or carry the card.

They will only become compulsory for all over-16s if Labour win the next election (and I wish them good luck with that, naturally) and manage to get the legislation past MPs.

Foreign nationals living here already have them (as seen in the sample pictured above, being launched by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith).

I'm against the idea for several reasons; I see them as a sneaky way to introduce an internal EU passport (most other European countries already have them in some form, natch).

The immigration system has been too shambolic for decades for the scheme to have any chance of aiding border controls or national security.

It just seems a way for the government to increase its power and its army of bureaucrats whilst being seen to do something about immigration and the threat of terrorism - and being seen to do things whilst not actually doing them at all is what New Labour likes best.


Dr.D said...

And if you are caught without your ID card, does that make you (1) a spy, or (2) a nonentity?

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

I think it just makes you an easy target for the government to get cash from in one form or another, unfortunately.