back to article Scots vote out ID cards

The Scottish Parliament has voted against the government's proposed ID cards, in a gesture of Pythonian futility. Members of the Scottish Parliament decided the cards would not deter crime, would not add to security and would do very little for civil liberties as well. MSP Fergus Ewing told the Parliament that the government …


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  1. Richard


    We all know Wacky Jacqui will just shrug it off. She's unstoppable.

  2. Wokstation

    Hey Jacqui...

    ...were any of those people who are "always coming up to" you Scots?

  3. Steve Davies Silver badge

    It will stil send a message to El gordo

    If they don't listen, and NuLab MP standing for re-election on an 'We must have ID Cards' manifesto stands the risk of getting the old have-ho no matter how safe the seat.

    And remember, El Gordo needs his Scottich chums to stand any hope of having an iota of a chance to still be PM after the votes are counted.

    Mines the one with the Polling card in the pocket. Just wishing that the General Election was next week.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Scots voting

    I still think we should devolve fully Scotland, as much as I love the Scotts it was Scottish MP's who voted for the ban on smoking in England and Wales, if it wasn't for them we'd still be able to smoke in a pub rather than have to go out in this bloody chilly weather and have a fag!

    Jobs because I've love to remove Mac users from the UK too!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You say it is futile. I am inclined to think all such gestures set a good example, and may have influence.

  6. Chris Cooke

    not completely futile

    The Scottish government can at least refuse to require ID cards when providing services under its jurisdiction though?

  7. Dave
    Thumb Up

    Public Record

    It may not count for much, but at least it is on record. Surely Westminster cannot discount the clear wishes of the Scottish People? (Again: surely the last two hundred times is enough?)

  8. Hollerith

    ... and a word from Our Jacquie?

    "MSP Fergus Ewing told the Parliament that the government could not be trusted to keep the data safe."

    She never does respond directly to this, does she? Except occasionally a reference to some future rock-solid security that presumably will come into being via pixie dust or a unicorn's horn ground in the wishes of a baby angel.

  9. Nic Brough

    I wanna emigrate

    >Members of the Scottish Parliament decided the cards would not deter crime, would not add to security and would do very little for civil liberties as well.

    What is it about Scottish MPs? When they're at home, they seem to actually understand reality, as clearly demonstrated by this story. But Scottish MPs in Government in Whitehall are failing miserably to do a damn thing to stop the IDiots pushing ID cards (let alone erosion of my civil rights and trying to tax me to death). Is there some sort of moron field at the border?

    It's a crying shame the Scottish Parliament can't block them. The day they become independent and then get the power to dump Whitehalls more moronic ideas, I'm there (assuming they want any middle-aged IT geeks)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The Scottish Parliament has the right to refuse to have the ID card used for anything within the purposes of the devolved administration. See

    Given the current make-up of the parliament no one is going to propose the use of the card for pretty much anything, so for Scots it will be a glorified passport and not much use at all.

  11. Thomas Silver badge

    "But they can never take our freedom"?

    Jacqui Smith says otherwise.

  12. Kevin Thomas

    @AC Scots voting

    Oh fer fuck sake. As a Scot, who doesn't mind the Scottish Parliament, hates the SNP and especially the smug bastard that is Alex Salmond, WE DID NOT CAUSE ENGLAND AND WALES TO GET A SMOKING BAN (yes I'm shouting!).

    Count the number of Scottish MPs in Westminster, now count the number of English/Welsh who also voted, I think you'll find that Scottish MPs were far from the majority seeking a ban.

  13. Roy Stilling

    So no Scots Labour voted in favour?

    *That's* the significant bit I'd say.

  14. Luke

    I never understood ...

    ... this UK fear and panic concerning ID cards. I've lived and worked in countries were ID cards are a natural part of life (France, Sweden, Finland), something very useful and practical. But I suppose since it's "on the continent" it cannot be good enough for the Good Ole Island.

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  16. Steve Evans

    I don't see the problem...

    It's an IT project involving the gov.

    It's going to run hugely late, hugely over budget and if ever finished it won't work.

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  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least this is anti people, not anti-men

    Well at least you can say one thing for this: most of Jacqui stupid ideas are anti-men (like the sex with prostitute = rape if the prostitute later uses the 'I was forced into prostitution' defence when arrested, the watch doggie porn go to jail thing, the legalisation of murder of men by woman if they claim long time provocation etc. etc.).

    She mostly targets 'men' and claims to represent the 'most vulnerable' even when she not.

    At least this is a big f*** you to woman aswell.

  20. Nick
    Black Helicopters

    Operational veto

    If will be an effective veto if no government body in Scotland takes part and requires them, or even refuses them as sole evidence of identity. Also the enforcement aspects of chasing people down, checking them etc can simply be underfunded to the point of being irrelevant.

    But remember folks, its not the card, its the database and legislation to force us to use it. Anyone who will let you off having a card but not the registration into a massive single authentication database is still a big brother proxy.

  21. mike


    there are many who are prepared to take a stand and refuse to get one of these stupid cards myself oncluded. The question is have you?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    The Scottish Parliament ...

    Has always suggested it would say no to ID cards and the SNP will certainly back that stance.

    There has always been a clear public feeling that they simply would not be tolerated up here and that is now being made clear in a polite way.

    If the government presses ahead then the polite bit will disappear and the gloves will be off.

    Poll tax riots? Nothing compared to what is in store with the ID issue.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can parents overrule their kids?

    If Jacqui says that children can have the ID cards voluntarily, and the parents don't want their kids to have the card, and the kids are legally underage to accept a contract... i.e. their parents have to accept for them.

    Does Jacqui Smith overrule the parent and side with the child, i.e. the child gets the id card, the parents wishes are ignored?

    Now suppose that the parent confiscates the childs card. Is the parent then committing a crime? Will she create a crime that can be used against the parent?

  24. Anonymous Coward

    I can't understand it

    I'd have thought the Scots would have loved to force us English to carry ID cards when in Scotland.

  25. MGJ

    @Greg Fleming

    It was the UK parliament that gave the Scots a get out, see the link above, in the actual ID card act of the UK parliament. So say for example, Westminster decides that in order to get a student loan you have to have an id card, well for Scotland student support is devolved, so it is up to the Scottish parliament whether to use it or not. But if something that isn't devolved, say immigration requires an id card, then all the Holyrood parliament has the power to do is say 'this is an overpriced pile of poo' as it did today but it makes no difference.

  26. David Pollard

    @ Luke - never understood?

    It's not so much that people are "prone to fear and panic" concerning ID cards, more that they have a thoroughgoing dislike of them.

    ID cards symbolise and are part of a growing totalitarianism that is an anathema to some and causes disquiet in many. Not everyone buys into the "nothing to hide ..." argument.

    If you really don't understand why so many are opposed, and want to know why rather than just to troll, you might want to check out the history of concepts such as habeus corpus and equality before the law; and to ask a few parents if they want their children to be on a national DNA database and for their school and medical records to be open to inspection by all manner of bureaucrats...

    It's fairly clear that the government can't be trusted and ID cards would give them more power.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    @ AA

    "I'd have thought the Scots would have loved to force us English to carry ID cards when in Scotland."


    I'm partnered to an English person. Before that -- I was also partnered to an English person. We live in Scotland. Better all round standard of living. Jealous much?

    I can quite see why you are being AA -- you're obviously a complete and utter knob. Try logic.

    I still maintain the English education system is substandard ...

  28. Anonymous Coward

    ID cards also...

    ...give you cancer

    ...make you fat

    ...make you follow Arsenal

  29. alan
    Thumb Up


    Thank f*ck for that.

    Im a Scot and as a Scot on behalf of all Scots, I laugh in Jaki's face. HAHAHA.

    Just out of curiosity, the 5bn needed to do this..... since we have said no, does that mean it now comes entirely from England / Wales taxes / public funds?

    If were not going to have them, were sure as hell not paying for them......

    On another note, whatever commentard blamed us for the English smoking ban.......

    actually I'm quite happy to take the blame for that, its a damn good move, I was tired of being slowly killed by other ignorant b*stards' second hand smoke at the pub, and now I dont have to worry about it while visiting the penninsula either :P

    If nobody wants ID cards...... move to scotland. If England ends up footing the bill for them, and everyone moves out, there wont be any moolah for Jacki to burn.

    Of course, that doesnt mean we can't demand to see ID when Jacki turns up at the border to find out where all those people who "keep coming up to her" asking for ID cards have gone.

  30. Kevin Thomas

    @AC - I can't understand it

    Warning....way off topic!

    Much as I appreciate the humour...(actually it would be visas you'd require :) It's a dangerous route, and I for one am not about to vote for any party that would see Scotland annexed from the rest of the UK...United we stand and all that...I certainly agree that Scotland should be able to make more of it's own rules to accomodate any cultural or demographic differences with the rest of the UK, and we should possibly see more of the cash from the North Sea coming here before it's too late, but let's face ain't going to happen any time soon. Scotland has one of the poorest health records in Europe, has slums in it's major cities and still the Scottish "Government" can't seem to direct any money that it does have into these areas. Alex Salmond has arsed it up for us in so many ways (don't get me started on how he's fucked up the education system for teachers...and no, I'm not a teacher), he's gone for the point scoring opportunities and is clutching on to a notion of Scottish Independance that probably the majority of Scotland isn't actually that bothered about getting.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Glorified passport

    "for Scots it will be a glorified passport and not much use at all."

    And that's different to what it'll be in the rest of the UK how, exactly?

    If/when ID cards are introduced, the only people carrying them will be people who already have a legit passport or driving licence. The crims/terrorists/soap-dodgers will be the ones who'll evade the system...

  32. Steven

    re: I can't understand it

    "I'd have thought the Scots would have loved to force us English to carry ID cards when in Scotland."

    Yes, but since most Scots (indeed most people around the world, in any nationality), aren't actually anything like their cultural stereotypes (which were formed many years ago), then you would be wrong.

    Of course, you probably think that everyone in Scotland talks the same and that we don't have different regions like England does.

    At least that's what the news seems to think ("and now for London, the south east, the north west, the north east, and now it's time for Scotland")

  33. Anonymous Coward

    @ Luke, RE: I never understood ...

    It's not the card that most people object to, it's the monstrous Database that is behind it.

    The amount of information that will be stored (for quite a long period of time) is frightening and nothing like it exists anywhere else, regardless of whether that country has ID cards or not.

  34. Les Matthew

    Re: I never understood ...

    Maybe you should check the governments record on keeping our data secured.

  35. dervheid

    38 abstentions...

    Those would be all the Scottish NuLabourians then. Well, nice to see they operate 'independently' of London HQ right enough.

    Wankers, the lot of them.

  36. Tom

    English to carry ID cards in Scotland

    ...Now that IS a good idea!

  37. Ash
    Thumb Up

    It may not mean much to English Parliament

    but it means a hell of a lot to the Scottish people.

    I seem to remember a Hollywood butchery of a famous time in the past where the English tried to encroach on the civil liberties of the Scottish... As far as I can recall, I don't think that ended well for us.

    Good on you, Scotts.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice to see

    Nice to see Labour north of the border standing up for what their party believes in.

    Oh, hang on...

    @Math Campbell - An SNP activist falling for the "Oil money will make it all ok" line, while not even mentioning the Barnet Formula, shome mishtake shurely? (There is sod all North Sea oil left, so be carefull what you wish for.)

  39. ElFatbob

    @ Luke

    >>... this UK fear and panic concerning ID cards. I've lived and worked in countries were ID cards are a natural part of life (France, Sweden, Finland), something very useful and practical. But I suppose since it's "on the continent" it cannot be good enough for the Good Ole Island.<<

    You've completely missed the point. It's nothing to do with the idea being 'on the continent'.

    It's not the card per se. It's the massive data collection engine behind it. The legislation compells you to give swathes of information to the government. The legislation also allows them to sell parts of this information to private companies.

    Add to that the fact that this government is completely incompetent when it comes to protecting this personal data.

    And then there are all the lies the government have told about them. 'they'll protect us from terrorism, they'll reduce identity theft, they'll stop the nasty immigrant freeloaders from using services they're not entitled to.' None of these have been proven.

    I could go on, but i would just get more angry.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Scots voting for banning smoking in England

    The real point, which annoys many of us in England, is that when it comes to things that affect only Scotland generally only Scottish MPs (MPs represent Scottish Constituencies) get to vote on it, whereas when it comes to things that affect only England Scottish MPs also get to vote on it.

    Often the Scottish MPs don't even have the decency to abstain.

  41. Steve


    Congratulations, you've invented a new word.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Anyone else starting to suspect

    ...that some "close friends" of NuLab might own a company specialising in creating ID cards?

  43. Hollerith

    @Luke -- free-born Englishmen

    One of the almost instinctive resistances UK and UK-origin (Canadians, Australians etc) people have to carrying ID and being expected to be accountable to any police officer or official to display it is because our laws are based ont he idea that we are free to carry out the activities of our life. We are not accountable to anyone and not beholden to anyone, save where we collectively, via our representatives in Parliament, have voluntarily agreed to restrict our actions via laws, for the benefit of all. As long as we act within the bounds of these laws, we can do what we like as we like and are answerable to nobody.

    ID cards are part of a different mentality. It's not necessarily a worse one, in the same way that European (Code Napoleon) law and justice is not at all inferior to UK-style law and justice. But it strikes me that there is a presumption of a State entity in Europe that is not here (yet) in the UK. Here, nobody has the right to demand that I identify myself. I can still say 'f*ck off' to those that seek to impede me, even police officers, even Government officials. I cherish that freedom.

  44. Callum


    If it is going to cost £5bn for ID cards; then the First minister will be asking for the barnett formula percentage of that figure (about 445m) to use on other things that actually matter to Scots. There is a massive backlash against New Labour here in Scotland and a vast move to scottish nationalism - even though the press here seem to be specialists in re-printing labour propaganda...


  45. William Old


    > The real point, which annoys many of us in England, is that when it comes to things that affect only Scotland generally only Scottish MPs (MPs represent Scottish Constituencies) get to vote on it, whereas when it comes to things that affect only England Scottish MPs also get to vote on it.

    That's because you have the UK Parliament in London, not the English Parliament, but the Scottish Government has already been established. I see no problem. Scotland is (well, for the time being) part of the UK, and its MPs participate and vote in the UK Parliament. If you don't have an English Parliament, and have to use the UK Parliament as a proxy to determine your home affairs, whose fault is that?

    Remember that the Scottish Act of Union (1707) was signed some distance from the Scottish Parliament of the day, because an angry mob was trying to burn it down to stop it being enacted. Daniel Defoe, at the time the Chancellor of the English Exchequer, made records of the payments made (in gold) to each Scottish landowner to buy their vote - you had to be a landowner to vote in those days. So now that Scotland has nearly righted that wrong, why not take the opportunity to regain control of your country's affairs in the same way...? :-)

  46. Matthew Brown

    This is how I like my governments...

    Sensible and not actually passing any binding laws.

    I wish I'd actually voted SNP.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Scotland seem to be the only country not to have lost their minds

    I would move there but I can't understand the language.

  48. Richard

    Nothing to do with security

    ID cards are not for security. Its so that you can be identified when you may have committed a crime of the new world order (e.g. sniffing in a public place).

    Toning it down a bit in more realistic language, this whole ID card business is not the government's idea - this is a fresh bullshit from the EU, that wonderful unelected organisation.

    But its still nothing to do with security. They just want to be able to identify anyone anywhere at any time.

    Pass the copy of 1984, please.

    -- Richard

  49. Francis Offord
    Thumb Up

    Well done the Haggis Brigade

    If only "his holiness" G. Brown Esq takes note. He wont of course because anything which he utters is "Holy Writ" although he bears no semblance to the Pope. This has been the case ever since the utterances of "His Holiness, Flash Harry" in the 1960/70s. Just a great pity he did not rule himself out complete with his Alzheimers earlier, and many of his little helpers with him. We might have been spared some of the excesses recently brought out into light by Der Fuhrer.

  50. David Hicks

    The sad thing is

    that the westminster lot don't listen to anything.They don't listen to the people, and they'll find an excuse and some weasel words to justify ignoring this as well.

  51. Sabine Miehlbradt

    ID cards in practice

    A word on ID cards in Germany. We have had them since Bismarck's times. We're used to them.

    They have their uses, for instance when opening a bank account. We don't need them often. We use them when we want to id ourselves but there are rather few cases where it's the law to use id or passport for the purpose.

    The law is you have to own a card, but not carry it with you. "Papieren, bitte" usually refers to driving licence and vehicle id when stopped while driving. Actually, the expression "papers, please" is never used, because the policemen ask specifically for the papers they need.

    Of course, with the ID card system being so old, there is none of this data collcection and mining nonsense. Our Home office (Innenministerium) is trying to change this and we don't like it, same as you.

    So what I am trying to say is that the old "continental" id cards are not what Wacky Jaqui is trying to implement in Blighty.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yep, we don't like ID cards. We don't like the concept of being subject to demands to prove who we are at the whim of an officious Plod. "Papers please," has the ring of totalitarianism to our British ears. Maybe a voluntary ID card that would have some sort of Government authority, say at a bit less than the level of a passport, to assert that the face on the card matches the name on the card, would be okay. It could be cheaper than a passport, and serve pretty much all the functions that the Government can realistically claim for the database-backed biometric card they want to charge inordinate sums for.

    But the Government has made noises about it "eventually" becoming a mandatory thing to carry. They plan to load it down with generally useless biometrics and charge a big fat pile of cash. They have lied (they can't be *that* ignorant) about the purposes for which it will be fit, and lied about how much cash it will actually cost. So what is the real purpose?

    Yes, the Continental countries often have ID card schemes. Sometimes they're useful, but *none* of them have the scope that our current frothing overlords plan for this scheme. And there remains the basic and eternal reluctance of the British to be tagged at someone else's will.

  53. Scott Mckenzie


    I've got a Scottish sounding name, my girlfriend lives there, i visit it a lot, i'm for the smoking ban and against ID cards.


  54. Anonymous John

    @ Can parents overrule their kids?

    How many kids have £60 to pay for an ID card? And how many who do would want to spend that amount on a card?

    And I really can't see any kids pestering their parents for an ID card for Christmas. It's just another of Wacquie Jacquie's fantasies.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "I still think we should devolve fully Scotland, as much as I love the Scotts it was Scottish MP's who voted for the ban on smoking in England and Wales, if it wasn't for them we'd still..."

    ...stink like fuck after every visit to the pub, and die a painful and horrible death of passively contracted lung cancer 40 years later. Cheers Jock!

  56. Adam Connelly

    RE: Can parents overrule their kids?

    AFAIK, in Scotland it's not quite like that. I believe that children actually have legal responsibility for themselves as long as they are thought able to understand the implications of their decisions. This is often thought of as around the age of 12, although I don't think any age is actually set.

    So, I'm not 100% on this, but I think a child could decide that they wanted a card even if their parents didn't want them to, because under Scots law they may be entitled to make their own legal decisions.

    Like I say, I'm not certain of this.

  57. Sillyfellow

    @ Luke - never understood?

    others have responded well to the rather naive Luke...

    simply put, there is a HUGE difference between the UK proposed ID card scheme and the ID cards currently used by other EU nations.

    1. the massive expense of the UK scheme (due to underlying database)

    2. the proposed contents of said database.

    think about it.. if your credit card is compromised you can cancel it.

    if ALL your particulars are compromised (and you can't easily change your biometrics), you will be up the creek with no paddle.. in a leaky boat..

    at least the scots politicians have a proper view of this, and have the nads to actually say NO.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sabine Miehlbradt

    We used to have a similar ID card scheme, which was introduced during ww2, basically it was a piece of paper that said "This person is John Smith, he is not an enemy spy." They were vaguely hard to forge as well. These were dropped a few years after the end of the war, when someone was picked up by the police not carrying his card and said "I'm a liberal, I don't believe in this sort of thing" (funny I can remember what he said and not his name) this resulted in a court case and the judge decreed that ID cards should be scrapped, because they weren't really worth it.

    The scheme that the government are proposing at the moment is far more sinister than the old one. They want biometrics, dispite there being proof that fingerprints are trivially forgeable and obtainable. They want to link up lots of government systems to the ID cards database and they want to mandate that we carry them at all times, or not, depending upon the day of the week. There have been various reasons for the new scheme, prevention of terrorism, catching benefit cheats, preventing illigal imigrants, all of which have been shown to be complete pish, but they still want to spunk £16B up the wall paying for it.

    As for the other uses, we have NHS cards, Driving licences, birth certificates and passports, they seem to do the job, we also end up with no central attack point for forgers.

  59. scott
    Thumb Down

    Aye, right

    Don't think the Scots Parliament is some last bastion of libertarian enlightenment.

    Last I heard, they were pushing ahead with a ban on under-21s buying bevvie in off-licenses and supermarkets.

    As much as I'd love otherwise, my mother country is run mostly by petty low talent chancers. Wee Eck is a smart cookie for sure, but he's leagues above the vast majority of retarded jam-hunters.

    BTW - on a personal note, I wrote to John Reid as my local MP when he was "the man". I objected to ID cards being tied to passport renewal. His reply shocked me. He said a passport was not a right, but a privilege - and as the Govt promised ID cards in their manifesto they could do what they wanted. Bit like the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty\EU Constitution manifesto promise...

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