back to article Border guards get first dozen ID card readers

The Home Office has introduced a dozen identity card readers as part of a pilot scheme, having had none earlier this year. In a written parliamentary answer, Home Office minister Phil Woolas said that as of 1 October, the Home Office had issued 12 card readers to its staff for use at major ports and enforcement operations. " …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another cast iron pledge from cameron?

    He has broken so many of his promises now, I doubt he'll keep this one either. Chances are the incoming tory government will like the idea of ID cards and will press ahead with the scheme anyway. Of course there's also the EU to consider. They like ID cards as well. There is no EU "id card directive", but they want EU member states to implement biometric identification documents in the form of passports. Now that Lisbon is coming in to force, making the EU our de jure government, it may well be that a future Cameron government will be told to implement an ID card scheme regardless of whether or not he wants to keep his promise. In that instance what can he do? Nothing.

    Whatever the case, don't rely on the promises made by the tories. They can't or won't keep them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    What the heck is wrong with them?

    The 2000 people who thought "gee better be the first to get myself on an ID card"?

    The only thing I can think of is they must be the semi-conscious, drooling, doubleplus-suggestible breed of human that will execute ANY idea planted in to their head by the media (or anyone else for that matter).

    The kind of dolt Derren Brown can walk up to, say a few words and have them handing over all their possessions to him and BEGGING for more.

    The kind of person who owns more deeley boppers than they do books.

    Sadly this country is full of those idiots, so this ID crap will get steamrollered through no problem.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Wait a second...

    There were registrations? People actually want these? Or were the registrations required?

    I'm curious to see the demographics on who actually applied for this thing.

  4. D Moss Esq

    Phil Woolas at a slight angle to the universe

    Did anyone see Phil Woolas on Newsnight last night? He has taken to sitting at about 15° to the vertical, as though he is permanently looking round the corner, expecting Joanna Lumley to turn up.

    Jeremy Paxman got very cross with him. Mr Woolas kept saying he "rejected" the first hand evidence of several current and former border control staff, to the effect that the controls today are entirely whimsical.

    But that was nothing. Wait till Ms Lumley hears about the biometrics not working! What a mistake to issue these ID card readers! That's spoilt everything – there'll be tears before teatime ...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    ID card readers..

    First Dozen ID Card readers!?!?! what are they going to be reading? No one has a fucking ID card?

    Also, almost 12,000 People registered their interest. Is that the total amount of people that actually want an ID card out of the 60 million living in the UK?

  6. Paul 4

    2000 cards...

    So that would be a 200 hardcore labourites, 400 people who think it realy is a good idea, 600 who thought they had to get one and 800 people getting one for there 18 year old kids as they fell for the idea that it is a good form of ID.

  7. Tom Chiverton 1

    Meg should know bettwr

    "Meg Hillier said that about 2,000 people from the Greater Manchester area have applied for an identity card" which is odd, because the webpage people we're told to sign up via just said it was 'for further information'. Move spin from the failing government on this discredited scheme I am afraid.

  8. Evil_Trev

    The thing is

    Quote "..... no police stations, border entry points or job centres were equipped to read identity cards."

    Well no bugger actually has a I.D. card for them to read, so not a problem really.

    Thing is IF they ever do manage to issue everyone with a F**king card then I for one will make sure I have a few, with different 'Identies' just in case..... While I'm at it I'll do my best to lose it or damage the chip, "Yes officer I did have one but it doesn't work.... to expensive to replace, never use it so havn't gotten around to it"

  9. Gerard Krupa

    Where are they now?

    How many are still in their intended locations and how many have already been relocated into the hands of criminals?

  10. Not Fred31

    6% of Labour party members have volunteered then?

    If the Labour party has 176,000 members and there are only 12,000 cards, that means that if every cardholder were a Labour member, the don't even have 10% of their own members supporthing them.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    And the network to link them?

    Only if the cards can be read like a passport to give the same information the Special Sauce (C Lewis Page) of this reader is its ability to supply all the other data held on the virtual database of the NIR (IIRC it is still using data stiched together from 3 more-or-less existing databases)

    BTW I think 167 is the major ports of entry to the Uk. The actual number of readers to cover *all* the arrival desks at 1 port would be a lot bigger.

    209 days maximum to go.

  12. Mike Richards

    Only 2000 in Greater Manchester?

    That can't even cover the number of Labour Party apparachiks running Manchester Council.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Presumably the Home Office

    Presumably the staff at the border get their ID cards first? To act as Ambassadors.

    And the MPs in Labour? If they support their leadership presumably they are first to give their details and biometrics and even DNA.

    After all, if statistically the MPs in parliament have a higher chance of being a match on the DNA crime database than the people who have previously been arrested, DNA checked and cleared.... it follows that they should voluntarily hand their DNA in to the police, FOR ELIMINATION PURPOSES of course.

    But also to show support for their leadership.... they do support their leadership don't they? They do support Alan Johnson don't they? So they should back him by getting their DNA on the database.

    I wouldn't worry about this stuff, someone will turn up in a high visibility jacket, confiscate the card readers and nobody will know if it was legal or not, because so many things are legal now that nobody can keep track. Even the police aren't sure anymore under what law they're charging in and seizing stuff.

    Is there a law against photography in the street? Hang on a second, I'll get a team of lawyers to sift through the millions of laws that Parliament hasn't passed, but some idiots in Labour have signed off on.

    Who knows what's legal now? I'll tell you what, I heard you can murder a Labour MP on even days in November, and claim justifiable homicide. Not sure where I heard it, but heck, that's good enough for a law isn't it?

  14. Nomen Publicus

    Simple Maths

    17% of 12,000 is... wait for it... 2,040.

    About 2,000 people in Gtr. Manchester applied. First we remove one or two for every newspaper, radio and TV station. Next remove a few for every national newspaper, radio and TV station that has staff in the area. Next remove a few for lawyers interested in human rights etc. There is a very large student population in the area (three universities in central Manchester and many more colleges.) At least a few staff and students will be interested in the reality of ID Cards - perhaps there are a few doctoral thesis being written.

    So perhaps 1,000 to 1,500 cards to the general public. Not bad given zero advertising and the difficulty of finding the relevant web page.

    Total f'ing failure for the government of course.

  15. Vincent Ballard


    Meg Hillier didn't actually say that 2000 Mancunians have applied for a card. John Leech asked how many Mancunians have applied, but being a politician she didn't answer the question: instead she answered the question she would have preferred he ask.

    To be precise, he asked " many and what proportion of people in Manchester have applied to participate in the scheme" and she replied "... Up to and including 2 November, almost 12,000 people have registered their interest in the National Identity Service. So far 17 per cent. of those registered are from the Greater Manchester area."

    (The ellipses because he asked three questions, of which this was the last, and she avoided answering all three of them).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I really want one....

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understood the 2000 people that 'applied' for ID cards didn't actually apply. I thought they filled in a form/ticked a box to express an interest in the cards, with a subsequent application to be submitted at some point after that.

    2000 people for a city the size of Manchester isn't that large.

    I overheard someone the other week talking about requesting an ID card and they seemed positively excited by it. But then I do live in Bracknell, where people here are not particularly known for their intelligence.

    I can't fathom why someone would want or become excited about something which *they* have to pay for which doesn't benefit them in anyway.

    I personally wouldn't even get excited by someone giving me a card which doesn't benefit me in anyway.

    Reminds me of when I was 16 and received my nice fancy red, white, blue National Insurance number card, then as the years go buy, you realise, that a:) It isn't necessary - no-one asks you for it, and the number could have been given to you on a piece of paper, and

    b)The true nature of the NI number is so you can pay taxes!

    Ah, the naivety of being 16.

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    And let's not forget what happens if you don't update it

    What's the fine noq. About £1000.

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