back to article Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

One of the first things Britain's home secretary Theresa May did on taking office was to abolish the previous government’s identity cards scheme. But while she made ID cards history, she is in the process of extending Britain’s range of identity document checks. The "sample" UK ID card from the previous government's 2008 effort …

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Anonymous Coward

Just tattoo a QR Barcode on you bum ...

... so that you can show it to officials when required.

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This sort of law is the pits.

Basically the government is saying "we're too incompetent to control our borders, so now YOU have to weed out the over-stayers, or land up with a fine."

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That's Theresa May for you.

She can't get her own house in order (remember that fiasco with her border staff just letting everyone through because they were "under staffed"), so she's very neatly trying to sweep the problem under someone elses rug.

Most landlords have a hard enough time maintaining their properties. They have neither the time, nor the qualifications to verify the identity and eligibility of someone to stay in the UK. Hell, if the Home Office itself can't figure out who's legally entitled to live in the UK, how is a landlord?

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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

Classic Tory thinking -

Landlords, "good people, probably have titles"

Tennants - "ghastly, could be anyone."

I wouldn't be so annoyed about laws checking tennants if there were also laws forcing the 'landlord' to prove who they are and that they own the property or room they are renting out. I've been burnt by that particular fraud myself.

It seems that the old fashioned, out of touch Tory thinking is still very much the way. It reminds me of a Tory MP quote during the fuel panic "just get some extra fuel and store it in your garage" - because anyone who matters has a garage.

Disclaimer - I'm not a Labour supporter or feircely left wing, I don't even disapprove of all Cameron/current Tory policy. However the current Tory party do seem to be enforcing the out of touch, posh git stereotypes.

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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

Hah, I think the best one I heard was over the plans to introduce a carrier bag tax. The plonker being interviewed said "Well, you don't have to buy anything."

Really? Does one get one's butler to shop for one? Or is this simply stating that you're right, you don't have to buy anything, including food, as survival is not legally mandatory?

Idiot in either case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's Theresa May for you.

It won't be the landlords that will suffer here, it'll be the tenants. Expect an extra £50 charge for use of a third party identity checking service when renting a new property, on top of the standard reference checking charges, 2 months deposit, 'professional clean', admin fee etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's Theresa May for you.

"the current Tory party do seem to be enforcing the out of touch, posh git stereotypes."

Out of a Coalition Cabinet of 30 or so (not all Tories, obviously), there were initially 23 millionaires [1].

I don't suppose any of them have recent experienced a routine PAYE job where your wages are carp and your job security is nil.

When an MP loses the their job (when the electorate gets wise) they have a very nice financial cushion. When the rest of us lose our job, generally we're out of luck and we're "scroungers not strivers" from day 1.

We are told to believe that this is a "representative democracy".

Representative of Eton and Oxbridge, perhaps.

Remember, we're all in this together.

I see November 5th went by again and they're all still here.

Scum.

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/election/article-1280554/The-coalition-millionaires-23-29-member-new-cabinet-worth-1m--Lib-Dems-just-wealthy-Tories.html

Of the 29 Ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings, 23 have assets and investments estimated to be worth more than £1million.

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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

I seem to recall that a previous Home Office Minister (Baroness Scotland) got caught out employing an illegal...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8260088.stm

that article is highly relevant to the current article here... :)

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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

I'm no fan of the government, but I don't like contrived "facts" and impotent rage:

"Of the 29 Ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings, 23 have assets and investments estimated to be worth more than £1million."

Thats not the same as being rich. Many middle aged people on modest incomes have "assets and investments" worth over £1million. Between a average middle class house and 2 modest pension pots a couple in there 50's could easily have that. They still would not be rich, or living a life of luxury, or able to not worry about loosing there jobs.

The causes behind high house prices and large pension funds of the baby boomers is a different question, but not something unique, or even unusual, in MPs have over £1million in assets and investments. If anything given the pay of an MP (£65k) and age it is surprising that some who have been around long enough to get in tot he cabinet DON'T have that kind of wealth, whatever party is in power.

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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

"I wouldn't be so annoyed about laws checking tennants if there were also laws forcing the 'landlord' to prove who they are and that they own the property or room they are renting out. I've been burnt by that particular fraud myself."

There are surely? I know at least where I live now that for a couple of euro I can get the details of who owns a property. I did find in the UK that as soon as anyone realised I might know anything about rental law, the place would become unavailable. Even asking which deposit insurance scheme they use ("that's not any of your business") has caused me to be asked to leave.

The whole "fake rental" scam seems to work because normal renting is so scammy. Hand me you rent, your rent in advance, and your contribution to my pension fund, I mean deposit. Then I'll only see you again if someones being turfed out or the rents not shown up. It's one of the reasons to pay by credit card or cheque, if they insist on cash walk away.

Just signed the paperwork on my first house. Cannot wait to be done with landlords.

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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

Or you bring a bag that you re-use. If you're walking your food any distance a pack is nice.

Works just fine in the Netherlands. 25c gets you a decent quality plastic bag at the supermarket, or there are boxes for free, or they sell re-usable shopping bags. Retail stores just pass it on in general prices, much like gift wrap. It's not like you buy a laptop, and they stick 25c on the bill for the bag.

It is of course a very Tory tax policy. Lots of small bits from the many, rather than collecting from the wealthy few. It's why even the mere suggestion of a wealth tax caused them to both deride it, and then flip the same policies back onto the Labour/Lib voters. Doing too well of the public teat? That's fine if you live in a Mayfair mansion, but you're out of luck if you live in Brumly and your kid is serving in the 'stan. That spare bedroom is paid for by the taxpayer don'cha knowit. We're a bit short of cash after spending unimaginable fortunes bailing out the gamblers when they lost. When they won they bought mansions in Mayfair. Or careers in politics.

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PJI

Re: That's Theresa May for you.

"We are told to believe that this is a "representative democracy".

Representative of Eton and Oxbridge, perhaps.

Remember, we're all in this together."

Remind me: who votes for them? Not that I do not agree in a sense, particularly in that they have forgotten who votes for them and that wealth is no longer a prerequisite to get the vote.

A country gets the politicians it deserves (votes or abstains for).

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Re: That's Theresa May for you. @AC

"Of the 29 Ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings, 23 have assets and investments estimated to be worth more than £1million."

That is no shock really, as most people who want to be an MP would be people who do not NEED a job anymore, the big problem is that these MP's are out of touch with reality not that they have plenty of assets..

I have to agree though that Theresa May is totally out of touch, she is probably no 1 on my short list for the B-Ark. Theresa May is an enemy of freedom and an enemy of Human Rights.

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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

Yeah, that's right mate....you can vote for anyone you like... Eton OR Oxbridge!

A country gets the politicians its allowed to vote for.

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Vic
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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

> Remind me: who votes for them?

Hardly anyone.

That doesn't stop them claiming a "majority", though...

> wealth is no longer a prerequisite to get the vote.

It is, however, a prerequisite for determining which options are available to voters. And if you control the question, you control the answer...

Vic.

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More than this it probably means anyone who is illegal will live in slums run by gangs because no reputable landlord will wish to risk having a tenant who is illegal.

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Stop

Yawn.

So your desperate shoveling amounts to a requirement for landlords to verify FOREIGNERS, not UK citizens; UK air companies - yeah, we all take flights every day; an hotel law which is openly ignored - I often stay in hotels across the UK every year for work and I have NEVER been asked for any ID other than a credit card for the bill; and very select and special circumstances such as a Palace party. Would you like to borrow a bulldozer to help you make a mountain out of that molehill?

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Re: Yawn.

How is a landlord supposed to verify a foreigner's right to stay without asking ID of everyone, foreign or not? 'You don't sound foreign, I won't bother checking' doesn't cut it under law. All renters, British or not, will have to show ID to prove they aren't foreign or are foreign and entitled to stay.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yawn.

and very select and special circumstances such as a Palace party

I've actually been to a Palace reception (Quee's Award for Technology event, Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Kent and in entrance line we shook all their hands, also Prime Minster and various other ministers in attendance) and recall being surprised by the almost complete lack of security .... was a mirror check of underside of the car we came in but apart from I think showing the official invite there was no check that we actually were that person and I don't seem to recall anything like a metal detector check either! Note, this was during the first Gulf War and while PIRA were still active!

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Facepalm

Re: Yawn.

Unfortunately Matt under the Immigration Act 2006 you actually have to verify everyone, particularly with regards to employment so as not to discriminate.

The only way that Landlords can comply without risking a charge of discrimination is to check everyone, and then repeat the checks every 12 months to ensure the person still has the right to stay in the UK.

And that's before you consider secure document storage as colour copies of passports and leave to remain paperwork are valuable in themselves for identity theft.

I would suggest that until you have personally had to deal with the system and the amount of crap involved with remaining compliant your opinion based on your singular personal experience has little value.

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Re: Yawn.

My guess would be the requirements would be similar to the KYC financial regulations. As long as a landlord has a copy of [insert document] on file (s)he has done her/his best to verify the status of the applicant. If it looks okay (as in not a letter from the tenant's mum for example) then you'd be in the clear.

As the article says the number of landlords (or indeed anyone) able to spot a fake ID from the myriad on offer will be insanely low.

Don't forget how many MPs are also landlords - them getting it wrong would be newsworthy (witness illegal immigrant cleaners in the past for example) so you can't make the barrier too high for their sake.

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Re: Yawn.

What. You mean you have NEVER been asked to fill in th bit on the registration form stating your nationality?

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Re: Yawn.

What. You mean you have NEVER been asked to fill in th bit on the registration form stating your nationality? Hmmmmmm.

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Headmaster

Re: Yawn.

@Matt: "an hotel law which is openly ignored"

Cue the grammar nazis...

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PJI
WTF?

Re: Yawn.

How would a passport verify someone's right to live in UK? Or do they mean see the residence visa? Who will train the landlords to recognise one? Will UK subjects be refused because they have not got a residence visa? Or a passport?

Why not just bite the bullet and issued voluntary identity cards conforming to the European standard (as plastic driving licences do) and authorised by the government in the same way as passports? Living in Switzerland and having been accepted as a Swiss citizen, I immediately applied for my Swiss identity card (voluntary). It is invaluable: whenever I have to prove who I am (never yet been asked by the police!), I have it in my wallet. If I cross a border into EU land, including Great Britain and to several other countries, such as Turkey and non-EU East European countries, I just show my card - no creased, water-damaged, dog-eared, too-big-for-my-pocket passport. It's easier, quicker to check, machine friendly, cheaper to get or replace and I no longer have to get copies of the gas bill, a recent bank statement or other, more personal document.

Of course, I could refuse one, then pay for a passport or find some other, clumsy way of showing the bank or some English internal airline or the pub or off-licence who I am and so on. But why bother? The identity card is recognised by every country, accepted by all and actually gives away less about me than a copy of my bank statement, my driving licence or even my gas bill. The same people who objected so strongly to a card probably used a network login to an American server to use email or twitter or some such to register their disquiet. That, of course, is totally private, anonymous and safe.

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Anonymous Coward

@matt Bryant

I do hope your other writings are better informed.

1. I used to be an "official". You would be surprised how often identity is verified, or at least tried to be identified.

2. I now live abroad: whenever I visit Great Britain, I am constantly having to prove who I am: internal flights, some types of railway ticket, banks. That is after getting through immigration. I am white, blue-grey eyes, fair, native English speaker, born and bred in GB. My children, living there, between the ages of 25 and 36, all carry their passports all the time as they are asked for "ID" in the off-licence, in the pub, in the supermarket, the bank, festivals, music events, clubs …, as do many of their friends - expensive as the documents get worn out long before they expire. I have stayed in bed and breakfast and in hotels across Britain: I always have to sign a register and even if paying cash in advance, have to show a credit card or similar as "ID".

Perhaps you are so used to it, you do not notice; or perhaps you do not get out as much as you imagine. When I ask friends and family about it, they all just accept it as part and parcel of normal life, barely noticing anymore.

So, "they" are winning: complacency rules.

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Re: Yawn.

Those of us who objected to the last government's ID card scheme mostly had no trouble with the idea of an ID card per se (it contained the same info as a passport, after all). It was the monstrous register that was going to record every online use of the cards that stuck in our gullets. There were intended to be plenty of those, and the system would keep the records for all time. "We know where you've been buster, pay up or we'll tell your wife". Cardholders could look at the records, although the procedures for error correction and dispute resolution were vague? But the Security Service, UKBA, HMRC and (probably) anyone wearing a helmet could also look at your records without your knowledge. No thanks.

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Colour copies of passports

are illegal, IIRC.

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Anonymous Coward

It's people like you

Who let things like this happen with comments like "While Newquay’s strict rules can be understood as a reaction to the tragic results" What? About 5 years ago 2 people died, so it's fine to inconvenience everybody and waste millions on ID and extra policing in case we can stop someone else dying. People die every day, it's a natural part of life.

Next you'll be telling us that spending millions following someone about because they might go to Somalia and add one extra potential terrorist to the countries hundreds if not thousands already in place is a great idea, rather than arresting and imprisoning him. Oh, I forgot, he hasn't done anything that the police can convict him for!

This is all about Control over the UK population, just in case we see through their shite and decide there's a better way of being governed and you're part of this problem. Part of this Control is the "war" on terror, it hasn't saved any lives, it's just exported even the death to somewhere else and extered another form of Control in the UK.

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Re: It's people like you

In the Newquay case it's more likely to be fear of another drunk teenager falling off a cliff, after which the ambulance-chasing no-win-no-fee lawtards will be advising the parents, and everyone else who saw it, to sue the council for compensation on the grounds that "it happened before and they've not done anything."

If the judges had the spine to tell these parasitic legal scum where to put their legal qualifications the whole country would be better off.

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I fly between Heathrow and Belfast City often. At City they always call flights with "have your boarding pass and photo id ready". BMI (now, BA) never actually ask for id at the gate but Aer Lingus insist. When I asked why, I was told it was a "legal requirement".

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Interesting, BMI from the Isle of Man to and from the UK insist upon photo ID. I have no idea why there would be a difference.

Consistency - we've heard of it.

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On flights back from Belfast people would often be asked for their ID on the jetway by a couple of men in suits with no obvious uniform or ID. Asking them why was met with a "just hand it over sonny"

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Many moons ago there was a spell where, at least once a month, I used to fly BMI Baby from a southern UK airport to Glasgow (and back) for work. Invariably on the way out the check-in person would leaf through my well stamped and stickered double-booklet non-EU passport to the extent that I once told one of them "Scotland doesn't require visas yet". Funnily enough on the way back the check-in person rarely bothered with more than a cursory glance.

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Anonymous Coward

Should also be noted if you go to those shitty night clubs / pubs in London (and I expect other cities) you'll be required to show ID to get in regardless of how old you look. I'd say about 30% require ID no matter what and some of those will take a copy of it. I generally use it as a good gauge of clubs/bars not to go to.

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Pirate

ID for night clubs

"Should also be noted if you go to those shitty night clubs / pubs in London (and I expect other cities) you'll be required to show ID to get in regardless of how old you look."

Last time I went clubbing in the capital, I was well over the legal drinking age, but not only did I have to show my ID, they also wanted me to hand over some ID of the Queen before they could determine if the venue was full or not.

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Some rules do need to be tightened

I fly within the UK fairly often, mostly between London and Edinburgh, and I was actually pretty shocked that no identification of any kind was required to board a flight. No Passport, Driving License......nothing. While some people may say why do you need ID to go from one part of the UK to another especially when you can go on a train without ID. I think flying is fundamentally different, you are basically flying on board something that can be used as a massive bomb. If you want to hijack a plane, hijacking a domestic flight is probably what you would go and do (its what the 9/11 hijackers did in the US). A plane flying into a building doesn't care whether its a domestic flight or not, the result is the same. So I think for domestic flights you should have to present some ID even if its a driving license rather than a passport.

I do however disagree with these new immigration checks for landlords, its onerous and pointless. Ultimately why is it the landlords problem if someone is there illegally?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

"...could be used as a massive bomb..."

Oh god, save us from ourselves.

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Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

What? Seriously?

How exactly does a photo ID have any bearing on how likely or not somebody is to hijack an aircraft?

You are a prime example of how Governments oppress and subjugate their population - by convincing them that "pink is a fruit", to give a harmless example.

"We need photo ID before flying to stop terrorism"

"We need to strip-search everyone flying to stop terrorism"

"We need to sedate everyone and fly them unconscious to stop terrorism"

"We need to lock everyone up if they look a bit foreign"

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Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

The bit about sedating I would not be against, given how much I hate flying, especially the turbulence. Maybe they could set up a voluntary sedation service. They could have announcements in the airport along the lines of "Anyone wanting sedation please step over here" or "Please join the 'sedation' queue if you require sedation during your flight. They might sedate people BEFORE the 'security' checks, so that this way, with a special "I am sedated, let me through' card, and a fee of £10 (call it a tax or a bribe, call it whatever you want!) you could avoid having to go through the bogus security checks and just proceed at a stately pace on a mattress conveyed by a conveyor belt up to the aircraft, only to wake up at the destination at a 'de-sedation' station, completely relaxed.

Disclaimer: THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY VIEWS ABOUT THE MAIN TOPIC OF ID, LET THERE BE NO MISUNDERSTANDINGS

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MJI
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Re: My flights

No idea on my first flight as that was on a RAF Comet

But a few years ago I went to Belfast from Birmingham.

Driving licence was taken but I don't think it was even checked.

Ferry to Ireland Fishguard Rosslaire - just drove on and off, get excited by 100 limit then told km/h not mph

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Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

And the tactic works all too well.

I had a conversation with my mother not that long ago that I started by moaning about having to take my belt off when going through an airport checkpoint.

I said that next they will be wanting us to strip naked and then fly in airline provided surgical gowns.

My mum replied that so long as it keeps us safe from terrorism that's ok.

I'm still not sure whether to be angry or depressed at her attitude.

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Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

if you require sedation during your flight

I self-sedate, at least on those airlines that still hand out free drinks...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

"The bit about sedating I would not be against, given how much I hate flying, especially the turbulence. Maybe they could set up a voluntary sedation service.."

Argh, I am fine with the flying bit, but the airport bit stresses me immensely. I don't like the crowds, and I don't like being dependant on the whims of so many layers of ill-informed cretins.

Hell, you just need the printer in the machine that prints boarding cards to be a bit crap, and make stripey output, and you cause a massive jobsworth wave that means you need bloody sedation. Every single barrier involves fifteen minutes of explaining the same things VERY SLOWLY before you can then get through and onto your arsing flight. (...aaand breathe, true story)

At least by the time you get on the plane, you have a seat that's yours and other people can fuck off out of the way, and you can jam earplugs in your ears to block out the screaming babies. The plane plunging into doom from a great height stressses me a lot less than the concept of having to deal with malfunctioning airport cretins.

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WTF?

Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

> My mum replied that so long as it keeps us safe from terrorism that's ok.

Are you sure she wasn't being sarcastic?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

Aeroplanes different from trains? Say that in Madrid, I think it was, where a bomb did more damage to more people and property for longer than most bombs. The American ones are extreme cases and I am sure the pirates who seized control had perfect "ID".

Perhaps all car drivers should show "ID" before entering the car: car bombs seem to be two a penny in some places and have been popular in UK in the recent past. Hmm. Perhaps showing ID would have stopped the bombs that destroyed a large part of Manchester city centre or the Birmingham Bullring or that pub in Guildford. How about ID for the London Underground or buses". Those bombs were not exactly harmless. Then, pedestrians and cyclists. A couple of bombs under the right motorway junctions, placed by a casual walker could paralyse half the country; the perpetrators would not have to buy a ticket even.

What stupid reasoning.

As for controlling immigration: is this the same government telling us we must accept more immigration to make up for lack of "skilled" workers and young tax payers? Telling China our doors are open? Recruiting nurses in the Philippines? Computer staff from India? Financial types from USA? Even senior policemen from USA as Cameron seems to believe that being British disqualifies one from being capable and being from a country notorious for its crime rate is a mark of ability? Rather than restore our education system to educate children properly and provide free university places (as before Blair) to enable them to be educated without fear of life long debt and added bureaucracy. No, silly idea: keep them unemployed and import the educated people we need - cheaper all round.

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Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

"So I think for domestic flights you should have to present some ID"

Why? To make easier to identify the bodies?

Anyone intent on "doing a 9/11" isn't going to be too worried about using fake ID

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Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

Plane you are sedated on has undercarriage deployment problems and has to hard land. Sparks are created and the plane begins to burn. Awake passengers disembark down the slides. You and your fellow sedated people die from smoke inhalation in your sleep. That is if the g forces in the hard landing don't injure you of course.

The authorities want you to be awake and alert on takeoff and landing for good reasons.

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