back to article Home Office ditches compulsory ID card trial

The Home Office has abandoned attempts to force workers at Manchester and London City airports to carry ID cards, opting to make the trial voluntary. The trial was strongly opposed by pilots groups and unions. The Home Office had already scaled back its original plans and made the cards compulsory only for new workers. We …


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  1. The Dorset Rambler

    Hmmm...they might have a point there..

    "The government sees young people as less immediately opposed to carrying such a card."

    They may well have a point here - so much information is willingly given away on the so-called "social networking" sites that there might well be less reluctance to carry an id card.

    Add once they are here, they will never be withdrawn. Perhaps a shrewd tactical move by the gubmint here.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Here how it will work...

    ID cards for over 18's is not compulsory

    It is classed as an acceptable form of id at pubs and clubs.

    When pubs & clubs renew license, the Police for "security and public saftey" reasons will state that all people between 18 - 25 must show Goverment Photo ID card, e.g driving license, passport or ID card (the "Prove It" one will be silently dropped for economic reasons)

    Then you won't get Driving License or passport without ID card.

    The G'mnt says how popular ID cards are. look 99% of young people have them, so whats your problem? You must be a terrorist or peado.

    So now they decide that Bank account, Mortage, Credit card, loan etc etc must have g'mt phot id to open (then repeat above)

    Still not compulsory, but try doing anything without it.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    How much?

    One has to wonder if this is the beginning of the end for ID cards at least. Can you honestly imagine an 18 year old spending £60 on an ID card, just to prove their age, when there are other, recognised forms of ID for just that? The only way that would work is if you enacted new laws to force pubs and retailers to only recognise the ID card as legal proof of age. Can't see that happening.

    Methinks they are grasping at straws and the card is going to die. Let's hope the NIR goes the same way and as soon as possible

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Really? Are young people more gullible? Well maybe. As a group they do seem less able to see future potential consequences.

  5. Scott Mckenzie

    @AC 15.37

    Worryingly, i think you may have it spot on there....

  6. Ray0x6

    Usual lying rhetoric

    Johnson said: "These cards will benefit young people who, on average, have to prove their age more than twice as often as adults and I want to make that process simple and secure.”

    Am I right in understanding that Mr. Johnson is proposing that one benefit of introducing ID cards and the respective database is that young people's alcohol and tobacco purchasing experiences at the corner shop on Friday night will run a little more smoothly? Is that how low this issue has sunk? Presumably these will be the same corner shops at which the same government have refused to ban The Mosquito device. Does he not know of the pre-existant and fully legally accepted identification scheme for young people, called PASS? I bet he does. But I guess this is a less than optimal solution for as it does not require finger prints or a biometric scan for such a card to be issued.

    So, the government's castigation of young people continues apace. You are a liar, Mr. Johson, and grasping at straws. You are utterly pathetic.

  7. Jimbo 6
    Big Brother

    Typical yoof

    "young people...less immediately opposed to carrying such a card"

    Only too true, as yoof have little experience of the way anything used to be, against which they can judge the accelerating erosion of civil liberties that's happened over the last ten years.

    Also, they generally want to get pissed as fast as possible, and a 30-second delay whilst the barman checks their passport/driving licence/etc is obviously going to be too traumatic for them (it also risks their attention span running out, so they forget why they were in a pub on Friday night in the first place)

    I didn't fight in two World Wars you know.

  8. jsp

    The youth

    > young people as less immediately opposed to carrying such a card

    Oh really? They obviously never looked at the feedback on that "yoof" website they set up.

  9. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    The government sees young people as...

    ... less immediately opposed to carrying such a card.

    Translation: they don't realise what the risks to their basic liberties are.

    In other words: Get them young and by the time they've figured it out, it'll be too late.

  10. Bob Wheeler

    Two Points

    1) My local Tesco's now displays a sign stating "any one looking under the age of 25 will be asked for a photo id to prove they are over 18 to buy..."

    2) If only forgien nationals are 'required' to have (not the same as carry) the ID Card - what does this do for anyone? If stopped on the street or whatever, and asked to prove who they are, "I'm a EU/British citizen guv, honest guv" - how is plod/imiigration officer/etc susposed to know they arn't?

  11. Dave Gregory

    @AC 15:37

    Don't you just cut'n'paste this exact post into every comments thread on the subject, appalling spelling and all? You make a valid point, but you make it exceedingly annoyingly.

  12. Nomen Publicus

    Dead Policy Walking

    One might almost think that the Home Office is moving towards a point where they can claim that nobody has bought an ID card, so let's kill it off.

  13. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Bit worried about how readily people will comply

    On Saturday I helped at a big event where the public were each given a wristband containing an RFID chip. The organisers wanted to know how people moved around the various venues, how long they spent at each one and so on; so each building had an RFID reader at the entrance to which people could touch their wristbands.

    There was no element of compulsion, no prizes to be won by taking part, and you could simply walk past the reader without being scanned. The only thing was a 'it'd be nice if you could...' from the people doing the registrations.

    I'd say over 90% of the public happily swiped their wristbands and some actually got upset when the PoS software reading the tags didn't register their presence.

    I asked - almost none of them knew why the tags were being used, what the technology behind the tags could be, none of them had asked how long their data would be retained or what data would be recorded and for what purpose. When you told them that this sort of technology could build up a detailed profile of their movements and that it could be read covertly - THEN they started getting worried about the implications.

    So as long as the government can keep spinning the 'benefits' of this white elephant there's a good chance most people will sign up for their numbers.


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    keep flogging it guys..

    It's not quite dead yet and it only stinks a bit, plus if you keep the corpse around it'll stink up the offices for the Conservatives when you get your sorry arses kicked at the next election.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    benefit young people

    Yeah, that's right. If they're 12 years old and going into pubs for their liquid lunch. What a bunch of lying wankers.

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    So that's what a Johnson shuffle looks like

    Just seen this bozo on Ch 4 news. "We always wanted it to be voluntary."

    Like breathing.

    So he's not doing a review.

    I hope *all* airside workers at Manchester and London (note not Heathrow) say "Stuff you ID card. I got better things to do with my £30 (or whatever it will be)."

    Like his predecessor her Wackiness he seems to favour the Stalin doctrine of "Push the bayonet in. If it meets fat, press harder."

    or as the Home Office might put it "We are continuing to drive forward, although with the gear lever in Reverse."

    Thumbs down because I want this thing dead, ideally joined by some of the senior civil servants who thought it up.

    E-345 days

  17. Tharrick

    Young person here...

    100% opposed to a national identity scheme. Also 100% opposed to giving away all my personal details on sites like facebook.

  18. frank ly Silver badge

    Can you believe politicians?

    Wacky Jaqui said they would be compulsory. Alan Johnson says they wont. Can we believe anything that politicians tell us?

  19. Chris Haynes

    £4.9bn for this?!

    Johnson said: "These cards will benefit young people who, on average, have to prove their age more than twice as often as adults and I want to make that process simple and secure.”

    We're going to spend £4.9bn to make sure that adults who look young can buy their cigarettes and alcohol a little easier? Spend it on new hospitals, cancer research, free cookies for everyone, or wrenching Church from State...

    I vote for a party on the moon.

  20. McBread

    It's not dead, it's just....

    The ID scheme isn't so much dead as in Zombie mode; technically dead but yet it just keeps aimlessly stumbling slowly on, leaving a trail of mayhem and destruction in it's wake.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The calibre of ministers

    ...Evidently does not reflect the idea that by paying a fat salary get the best:

    "These cards will benefit young people who, on average, have to prove their age more than twice as often as adults..."

    A bit more than twice Al. The last time I was asked was to prove my age (the only time ever actually) was when I was 18. Since the oldest you're likely to have to prove as a young person is 25, that leaves a lot of years till the next "proof required" age at 65 for your bus pass. So either I've been missing out on a great deal of age restricted fun since I was 18, or Weird Al is talking shite and the survey on which the statement is based is dead New Labour - an answer in search of a question.

    That said, they have now definitely blinked.

    @AC 15:37 Spot on.

  22. Throatwobbler Mangrove


    "[Johnson] also breathed life into the idea of using the ID card as a drinking licence."

    Oh, dear. Did he really use that word? I hope not. A "licence" is a permission to do something which you don't already have a right to do and which can be suspended by the person giving licence. Drinking alcohol is something that is unlawful only for a certain group of people (kids). For everyone else, it's a right (sometimes interpreted as an obligation...) that the state has no ability to suspend.

  23. Armus Squelprom
    Thumb Up

    18 - 25's unable to enter pubs & clubs....?

    Sounds like heaven to me.....

  24. dek

    The young, the older, the idiot

    1. If young people are actually more easily suckered into accepting ID cards then than indicates a massive failure of their parents, teachers and older people in general to educate them on the risks.

    2. So, once younger folk get older would they then have the right to send back their ID card, get a refund and be removed from whatever database?

    3. "Weird Al" is a good moniker, "Scary Al" would be better but I'm proposing "Jack-Ass Johnson"... c'mon, he has clear already earned the title :-)

    No icon, coz I can't find one that says "GO F**K YOURSELF!"

  25. Anonymous Coward

    five billion

    Five billion to make it slightly easier for young people to get a drink?! There really isn't much you can say is there. It is astounding, my gast is well and truly flabbered!

  26. ElFatbob

    re: Dead Policy Walking

    Dead Government Walking more like!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Immigration Amnesty

    You cannot have compulsory ID cards while there are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of illegals in the country. For if you need your ID card to open a bank account / claim benefit / visit a doctor / enrol your child in school / have your bins collected / tax your car /get a driving license / visit a pub / use a credit card / etc, what will happen to those who can't? You can't repatriate them all, the only option is to issue them an ID card, in other words a general amnesty.

    The government has given itself the right to withdraw your driving license if you don't cooperate with the CSA, so the precedent is already set. How long before your ID card can be withdrawn or endorsed, for example, stop obese people going into pubs, restrict number of cars per household or deny hospital treatment to smokers? This is what having an ID card is really about, control of the populace, so don't expect any government to give it away lightly.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So business as usual then...

    pawn them off on foreigners and young people who either don't have a choice either way or are too naive to make the right choice then when your young people and foreigners grow up and all us rational people slowly die you end up with the entire population in the database after as little as 1 generation.


  29. Anonymous Coward

    How Old are Adults?

    "He also breathed life into the idea of using the ID card as a drinking licence. The government sees young people as less immediately opposed to carrying such a card.

    Johnson said: "These cards will benefit young people who, on average, have to prove their age more than twice as often as adults and I want to make that process simple and secure.”"

    Wait, what?

    "... more than twice as often as adults..."

    How old are "adults"?

    How old does Uncle Al think we have to be to count as "adults"?

    What does this tell us about his attitude towards the citizens he is supposed to serve?

    Not Paris, because Uncle Al might think she's not an adult yet, and I don't want him thinking I'm some kind of paedo.

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