Feeds

back to article Labour manifesto: More ID cards, less NHS IT

The most remarkable thing about the Labour Party manifesto - A future fair for all (pdf) - is how unconcerned it appears to be with civil liberties or the unintended consequences of its actions when it comes to individual liberty. All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds - trust in the state to provide, and it will …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

FAIL

A war they'd like us to forget

A quick search in the Labour Manifesto 2010 PDF reveals 17 mentions of Afghanistan, two on page 0:2 in the forward by Gordon Brown, and the rest over three pages in section 10.

Iraq is mentioned just ONCE, on page 10:3 in a paragraph about defence spending.

3
0

Crime

"Labour’s view is that crime is down".

Yes. That's because crime is down. According to every credible study.

Anyone who tells you crime in general is increasing is lying. Some types of crime may have gone up, but the overall crime rate has dropped considerably.

7
6

Really?

From the main page of the Home Office website.

"Police records are one data source we use to measure crime rates. However, these statistics alone don’t paint an accurate picture because many crimes are not reported to police."

The Home Office base their figures on a survey that is conducted once a year http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/bcs1.html - in other words, they take a statistical sample and extrapolate from it.

Not exactly hard evidence, is it?

2
2
Stop

Data-Slicing

"Yes. That's because crime is down. According to every credible study.

Anyone who tells you crime in general is increasing is lying. Some types of crime may have gone up, but the overall crime rate has dropped considerably."

Depends, like everything else, on how you slice the data.

I can say, using the crime numbers supplied by my Local Authority, that violent crime has more than tripled within the area since 2001-2 (violence against the person, wounding endangering life, other wounding, common assault) - 1,826 in 2k1-2, and 6,253 in 2k8-9. Including all crime types, it has increased by more than 10% over the same period (17,328 to 19,229).

I'm surely not "lying" when I cite this, as I'm using exactly the same data that the LA use to prove how good they are at reducing crime, I'm just slicing it a different (and, I would argue, more realistic, way). I would also include the caveat that crime in 2008-9 is significantly lower than it was in 2006-7 and 2007-8, so it has reduced in the short-term from a peak high in 2k6-7.

3
1

Sometimes I despair...

Yes. When i want to spin something (and the moderatrix allows), i will spin. However, on this occasion i had no issue at all with Labour's claims over crime. The full sentence read: "Labour’s view is that crime is down - the reason that more people are in prison is because they are being tougher on serious offenders".

That is a pretty accurate paraphrase of a point that Labour make in various policy documents and is meant to be an answer to the question: if crime is down, why are there more people in prison?

You may disagree with their prison policy - but its a reasonably logical answer: because we're locking up more people who wouldn't have been locked up in the past.

Maybe if i'd punctuated that sentence differently the pedantic tendency would not have had an issue.

Like: "Labour’s view is that crime is down: the reason that more people are in prison is because they are being tougher on serious offenders".

3
0
Megaphone

We could always just make up numbers Tony

The combination of the BCS and the Police figures is really the only way to get the numbers.

As long as it is the same method used previously it is legitimate to say rising or falling based on those figures - what else could you base it on?

Should we say "last year the HO said there were X number of crimes but this year I think there are more"? Is that harder evidence for you m'lud? Or do you just want a number crunching system that fits what ever your belief is no matter what?

Personally I think its madness that any unreported crimes get counted.

2
0
Stop

Slice away

So then, given that it can be cut to look like it is up or down shall we assume that it has remained static since the dawn of numbers?

Any block of figures you chose to draw from is down to personal interpretation, so why bother debating it as a point?

1
0

Re: Really?

"The Home Office base their figures on a survey that is conducted once a year http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/bcs1.html - in other words, they take a statistical sample and extrapolate from it.

Not exactly hard evidence, is it?"

Extrapolation is kinda inherent when doing sample surveys. What would you consider 'hard evidence'?

Also, the BCS isn't carried out once a year - it's a continuous survey

0
0

RE: 'Slice Away' AC 1550

"Any block of figures you chose to draw from is down to personal interpretation, so why bother debating it as a point?"

To illustrate the point that just because one person says 'crime is down, all the numbers support this' is an assertion that can be countered by looking at the numbers in a different way.

The OP to which I was replying stated that anyone who said crime was increasing was 'lying' - and that the numbers proved this.

I was simply demonstrating that this is not necessarily the case. Maybe you should have read both the OP and the reply before jumping?

0
0

@AC 15:50

"The combination of the BCS and the Police figures is really the only way to get the numbers."

"Should we say "last year the HO said there were X number of crimes but this year I think there are more"? Is that harder evidence for you m'lud?"

Call me mental, but you could of course just record all the crimes and then use those numbers. But hey, if that's too difficult....

"We could always just make up numbers Tony"

If the numbers are an estimate (even if based upon a survey) then they are not the real numbers.

In terms of a survey, it is possible to select the respondants which would sway the results. If they chose the same areas and the same numbers of people in each, that would make any assumptions more likely to be representative, but it is still an estimate, not the actual results.

0
0

@ Nick

"Extrapolation is kinda inherent when doing sample surveys. What would you consider 'hard evidence'?"

Do you think an actual record of all crimes committed might do the job? Not difficult I would have thought.

"Also, the BCS isn't carried out once a year - it's a continuous survey"

OK... the survey process takes place over a year and they survey each person in the sample once a year. So it is both an annual survey and a continuous survey.

0
0
Boffin

@ Tony S

"If the numbers are an estimate (even if based upon a survey) then they are not the real numbers."

So the only numbers you will accept are the results based on asking every single person in the UK, every day?

Seems fair to me.

Now, for a normal use of statistics on general population experience of crime (which seeks to identify "unreported" crime, albeit arguably), we have the BCS. The BCS has been running for years and uses all the statistical jiggery pokery to balance out its conclusions. You can even check out their methodology to find flaws (and there are flaws). The important thing is that their methodology is fairly consistent so results from one year can be compared to the last (admitedly this is not always the case).

The only other option is the police figures which count each reported crime. They are not an estimate. They are a count of each crime reported to a Home Office Police Force.

The biggest problem in comparing figure is changes to the law and changes to how things are treated. Murder is always murder, but at the low end of the scale lines are blurred.

1
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Crime is down because....

If you live in a crime area, you've learnt that reporting it doesnt do anything or help.

So you dont bother wasting your time phoning it in.

Call 999 and the police now take a very long time to get round to investigating. Usually about 40 minutes after the criminals have gone.

They dont like to put themselves at risk, let the public do that.

1
0

@AC

"So the only numbers you will accept are the results based on asking every single person in the UK, every day?"

Actually I didn't say that - nor did I even hint that.

"The only other option is the police figures which count each reported crime. They are not an estimate. They are a count of each crime reported to a Home Office Police Force."

Which Is what I suggested should be used. I'm disappointed that you or anyone else didn't bite at that (I was in a provocative mood when I wrote the comment) - due to the requirements to meet targets, it is then easy to see that there is every reason to NOT record a reported crime which will then make the results look better. So of course those figures cannot be relied upon.

As "Ihre papier bitte" said, it "Depends, like everything else, on how you slice the data".

The question is, who do you trust? Politicians that are spinning like tops, public bodies that are massaging the figures to meet targets, surveys that are skewed by people's perceptions.

As the old saying goes, "There are two sides to every story. Then there is the truth".

0
0
Anonymous Coward

So Labour promise to carry on...

...doing all the stuff that's made them detested so far. Outstanding electoral strategy !

12
0
FAIL

What use is an ID Card?

Well, apparently, they "will help fight the growing threat of identity theft and fraud, as well as crime, illegal immigration and terrorism."

Let's take them in reverse order:

* Terrorism: Nope. Not even if made compulsory. The July 7th bombers, for example, were all British citizens. The September 11th hijackers were all traveling on valid passports.

* Illegal Immigration: Nope. It will do no more than existing documentation. If illegal immigrants can manage without a NI number, they can managed without an ID card.

* Crime: Nope. I can't even think of a way that an ID card could help tackle crime.

* Fraud: Nope. They're not compulsory, Lack of an ID card will raise no suspicion.

* Identity Theft: Nope. See Fraud. And if someone manages to counterfeit an ID Card they will only help in Identity Theft.

So - the five main reasons for spending all this money are rubbish. Either they're idiots, or they're introducing them for other reasons. Or both, of course!

24
0
Boffin

Re: What use is an ID card

Silly you Paul, if you look closely at the wording you'll see they make no promises about the absolute efficacy of ID cards, through clever use of the ad-man's favourite verb "to help", as in:

Oxy 10 helps combat spots

Activia helps promote a healthy gut

Shell is helping to protect the planet

ID cards will help fight the growing threat of blah blah blah blah blah blah blah fuckity blah

14
0

reward effort

I dont earn 100 k or more, but i would like to think that maybe an app or a website i make will somehow make me a little money one day.

So when i do cross that border to 100k or even 150k then i can look forward to my efforts being rewarded by taking more tax to nullify any increase. That encouraging then!!!

Surely 'fair' tax is a flat percentage, we all pay 20% or whatever, maybe then people might be more encouraged to try harder at school.

10
8
Boffin

"nullify any increase"?

I've heard that before. It's wrong.

There are diminishing returns, but there is no point where if you make a tiny bit more then you end up with less.

If you make more money, then you end up with more money.

If you make more and more and more money, then you end up with not quite so much more money, but still more money.

"Wah, I made an extra million last year but only got to take hundreds of thousands home, why don't those poor people pitch in so I can properly enjoy my yacht! I can barely keep the bar stocked! Their kids are still wearing shoes, there must be blood in that stone somewhere!" etc.

2
1
Big Brother

Tax

Thats not quite how tax works. You only get taxed on the bit over the bracket not the lump sum, so if you go 1k into a 50% bracked, your tax burden is £500 not 50% of your total salary.

If you are well into the bracket it becomes cost effective to employ the legions of accountants who will ensure your income works its magic and you avoid huge swathes of taxes - in some (many?) cases meaning you end up paying less tax than the average person.

Its painful, I agree, however you are making an interesting calculation here: You are hoping that one day you will be in the top 1% of UK tax payers (not a little money by any stretch of the imagination) and you assume that when you do, the extra money you can save on your tax bill will be crucially important to you.

This is a strange mindset which, IMHO, is what allows the rich to keep the rest of the population under control. We want to be like them, we want to have their priveledge and power, so we resist any attempts to control them. The fact that statistically most people will never even come close to their incomes doesnt matter to us. We are happier losing public services or increasing the tax on average wages than we are taxing the wealthy a little bit more.

Still, so many people think it, it must be right.

3
0

Future Fair for all?

Will it have dodgems?

13
0
Happy

Dodgems aka Dodgy Ministers...

...already got them...

0
0
FAIL

Bits and bytes... they're all the same

The manifesto also claims (bottom right on page 1:6) they'll give "virtually every household in the country a broadband service of at least 2 megaBYTES per second by 2012".

Oh, yeh? You might want to double check that.

6
0
Thumb Down

Oooh, compelling

7 new quangos/schemes (Life Sciences Super Cluster, Patent Box, Green Investment Bank...) all of which will be funded at vast expense to the taxpayer; lots of new laws to make more things illegal; compulsory ID cards; heavy taxation on the segment of the population that a) makes the money and employs people and b) is best-placed to emigrate to lower-tax locations; oh, and "we'll make all your existing radios redundant purely so we can flog off another public resource and pi** the proceeds away on our pensions". Mmm. Tempting. Gets my vote.

8
0
Paris Hilton

Reduce Illegal File Sharing

Make it legal, then illegal firesharing drops to 0.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Enough election stuff ?

While I enjoy reading John's stuff - and pretty myuch share his views on personal morality, liberty for example - I can't imagine why anybody would think his views are remotely objective.

Weak. (ready for the downvotes - heaven forbid)

1
2
Anonymous Coward

Illegal drugs are bad because?

Labour "will not tolerate illegal drug use". Not a word on how they'll decide which drugs are illegal.

Perhaps tobacco will be next on the list? It does kill 80,000 people in the UK every year. That's more than have died from all illegal drug use in the UK for the past 20 years....

11
0
Gold badge
FAIL

ID Cards

ID cards – "Apparently they will become self-financing, with the price of the card and reduced public service fraud covering the cost of the scheme."

Self-financing ? I read that as financed by an additional tax called the "ID Card" tax.

As for financed by the reduced public service fraud? That means that the ID scheme will be financed from the treasury, and the treasury will pay less for public services?

Taxes have existed for more than 2000 years. Even now with computers, people can defraud the tax system. I'm not entirely convinced that a plastic card will stop much of this. Maybe it will just be done a different way. If the magic reduction in public service fraud does not appear, do the companies providing the ID scheme not get paid?

As for the need for them: We need them to prove who we are, because people can't be trusted. But don't worry about all your details being held by the people at the passport office, and available to all, because people can be trusted.

7
0
Flame

Giant Douche vs Turd Sandwich

Interesting how the tories with their supposed "pledge" to get rid of ID cards/the NIR haven't included them (along with IMP) in their identified cost-savings. Seems to me they'd be a good place to start if you wanted to knock an easy few billion off the country's bills.

4
0

Too late

'...and the government will also be saving money on the NHS IT scheme, which will be scaled back, "saving hundreds of millions of pounds"...'

After tossing £13 billion down the pan and making a lot of undeserving shareholders very rich with tax-payers money, this is but a fraction.

5
0
Stop

A future fair for all?

I presume he means by that a "fair" (as in "funfair") that will arrive "any day now".

A place where:

- You spend a lot of your money apparently enjoying yourself, but wake up in the morning totally broke and feeling slightly sick from the food.

- Most of the stallholders have rigged the games and glued the coconuts to the shy.

- Even if you do manage to win a goldfish, it will drop dead as soon as you buy it a bowl and some ant eggs.

I see that the launch took place in an empty and unfinished hospital. That just seems so appropriate somehow.

5
0

Thanks New Labour!

Take your ID cards and shove them up your arses!

And then fuck off.

12
0
Alert

ID Cards Self-Financing?

"Apparently they will become self-financing, with the price of the card and reduced public service fraud covering the cost of the scheme."

That all depends on them successfully extending the National Fraud Initiative to the private sector.

At the moment, all central/local government workers along with NHS staff in England, Wales and Scotland have certain personal information gathered biannually and cross-matched with benefits and tax databases. Data used for matching includes name, address, date of birth, employment data (including NI number) and bank account details. Simply put: if you work for the government or the NHS, your data has already been harvested in the name of fraud prevention.

NFI data gathering is not something to which private sector workers are currently subjected. Even the planned inclusion in NFI of certain, arguably less resistant, parts of the private sector (i.e. banks, recruitment agencies and retail) has been on permanent hold since NFI's inception in 1996. Public sector employment data is gathered because the information can be retrieved easily from compliant organisations and can take place largely unnoticed by the workforce, presented to them in a way that projects a routine, banal, "nothing to see here" image of the process. When an attempt is made to collect the same data from the private sector there will be an outcry, and rightly so.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Scary

If the Conservatives were in power and introduced half this stuff, Labour would have been the first ones screaming about civil liberties. It seems like politics is just a theatre. The party in power has an idea, and the opposition opposes it solely because they're the opposition. Tired of the nanny state. Who are they talking to who like these ideas?

4
0
Stop

RE: Scary @ AC

"If the Conservatives were in power and introduced half this stuff, Labour would have been the first ones screaming about civil liberties."

The Conservatives are all about small state, big society. They wouldn't even come up with this dross let alone introduce any of it.

1
5
Welcome

Small State, Big Society?

"There is no such thing as society" Margaret Thatcher, October 31 1987

2
2
FAIL

for more of the same old shit, vote tory

>>> The Conservatives are all about small state, big society.

Are they fuck. They're about giving tax breaks and juicy government contracts to the bastards who paid for the party's election expenses. Not to mention new laws to make it easier for their paymasters to shaft the rest of us. Just like ZanuLab.

3
1

er- get with the times

"There is such a thing as society, it's just not the same thing as the state." David Cameron, May 12 2008

2
0
Joke

Re: er- get with the times

"So Gordon Brown says we need a national debate about whether Margaret Thatcher gets a state funeral. The debate most people are having is whether she needs to be dead before we stick her in the box." (Frankie Boyle)

Until that day comes there's no such thing as getting with the times.

0
0
Silver badge
Grenade

Two faced lying scumbags, the lot of them.

"instead of wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on compulsory ID cards as the Tory Right demand, let that money provide thousands more police officers on the beat in our local communities."

--Tony Blair, 1995

"The petition calling for the Government to abandon plans for a National ID Scheme attracted almost 28,000 signatures - one of the largest responses since this e-petition service was set up. So I thought I would reply personally to those who signed up, to explain why the Government believes National ID cards, and the National Identity Register needed to make them effective, will help make Britain a safer place."

--Tony Blair, 2007

Boot these fuckers out. Less than a month to go, fellow Britards. Just put your X anywhere except Labour.

5
0

Inspired by Chinese firing squads

Interesting how they boast that Big Brother cards are to be "self-financing" - I mean, it isn't as if the fee they'll charge is a stealth tax, even when they use some future terrorist atrocity as an excuse to make them compulsory.

In a similar vein, I once read that the Chinese government routinely charges relatives for the cost of bullets used to execute their loved ones.

3
0

It'll all be lies anyway

In 1997 they promised in their manifesto to legislate against pubs serving short-measure pints. Thirteen years later, drinkers are still being ripped off to the tune of millions of pounds a year.

So why should we trust them to do what they're promising? Especially when Gordon Brown launched it by claiming they'd never increased the rate of VAT - which is exactly what they did on January 1st this year.

1
2
Flame

ID cards help fight crime?????????????????

Yes they do, provided the burglar drops his own card at the scene.....

1
0
Gold badge
Thumb Down

quic precis. Please, plesase, *please*

Vote for us.

They will seek your vote with the vigour of a convicted paedophile seeking access to their children.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

The outline of things to come

The difference between nulabour and the conservatives is apparently that the former look down on you because they're convinced they know better than anyone what's best for you and the latter look down on you because they're convinced they're better than you. Now you know why they taste the same: They both look down on you.

If that's the choice, however, I'll take vanilla looking down, because it can much easier be ignored and does much less well in paving the road to hell. Less good intentions, you see.

Very clearly too. The only measure for the opposition's plans is how much it is anti-nulabour, and a self-imagined balancing act as to how far they dare go. Answer qv dna database: Not so very much. I don't think they actualy need a program as such, given this ``strategy''.

What I'd really want is some party that cut government back down to its core business, like only taxing for what it needs to spend not out of some sense of fairness to tax everyone and maybe some a bit more, and to provide services for the public instead of forcing the public to cooperate with schemes to track and control... the public. Oh and maybe some honesty and integrity too. But you'll find neither in those habitutally looking down on other people. Carry on government.

0
0
Grenade

Thatcher society quote in context..

Instead of 14th hand snippet by lazy muppets....

"I have a problem, it is the Government's job to cope with it!" or "I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!" "I am homeless, the Government must house me!" and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation"

http://www.margaretthatcher.org/speeches/displaydocument.asp?docid=106689

2
1
Gold badge
Thumb Up

@Cucumber C Face

Most instructive. Taken out of context her comments sounded remarkably like the views of Marquis De Sade.

This government seems to feel that indeed "Government" *is* a person. It has rights, to listen to everything you say, know where you are and what your communicating with fellow subjects.

For the greater good, of course. The rights of government are specific (except where they are suitably wooly) but the benefits are more nebulous.

Thumbs up for the quote.

0
0
Flame

Media cartel is thief, downloader is copying from the thief.

"A hint of censorship to come is wrapped up in the need to protect our creative artists "

I can believe the censorship part but it's for protecting the media cartel and nobody gives a s*it about artist, definetely not the media cartel.

They are stealing artists work for nothing and then they whine when somebody copies their stealings. You see, it's stealing when you take (some call it buying but at £1/h it's taking) everything artist had away from him: His works and his rights to his work.

If you just copy it, then artist still has the work and rights to it.

Media cartel is thief, downloaders are just copiers and not even from the artist, but media cartel. That's a _good_ thing. Even if media cartel uses hundred of millions to bribe the lawmakers to make it a crime.

1
0
Gold badge
Happy

AC@21:33

Funny how most of these "Artists" don't actually file copyright infringement cases.

It's *always* the media producer.

How many record company execs could actually *play* an instrument? Read music? Sing in key?

My gut feeling for media companies is the only "Creativity" they're interested in is the accounting field. "Sorry Mr Artist, yes your last album did shift a 100 000, but that *just* doesn't cover our advance. You can check the accounts if you like."

Electronic media copying and distribution costs are down to almost nothing and the customer s *know* this. The companies that made their money this way *need* to think about what ways they add value to an artist. They have brands and investments which individuals don't have. They need to learn to justify why having a record deal in the 21st century is worthwhile.

A long time ago I suggested that it would be possible to build a machine (placed in record shops) which would produce a CD album on demand. All the content (including the album artwork) is held locally and encrypted. On payment the system calls an authorizing authority (record company or someone like the PRS) who issue a 1 time token to print/burn the album *once*.

The MoD has such a system to store OS maps for emergency use. They pay the OS *only* when 1 or more of them needed reading or printing.

The idea was it would allow small labels to have a presence without the huge distribution network needed to service the high street shops.

The world has changed but media corps have not. I'd call them dodos but I think King Caunte is more accurate.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Self-financing?

"Apparently they will become self-financing, with the price of the card..."

Which is a mealy-mouthed way of saying, "we are increasing taxes in order to pay for our ID scheme". ID cards are going to cost the entire country a small fortune, both for the cards and the facilities to do anything with them. How can we believe anything this government says, when on the one hand they say we are in a desperately bad economic state and need to save money but on the other hand forge ahead with this pointless, expensive ID exercise? What else will be cut in order to pay for this?

2
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.