back to article UK ID card project descends into muddle

Further confusion has broken out over the UK government's controversial ID scheme, after it emerged that the Home Office was announcing an extension to the scheme, days after Chancellor Alistair Darling questioned the future of the project. Home Secretary Alan Johnson is set to announce that young people of between 16 to 24- …


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  1. xyz

    I followed the black rabbit and... the bumff. What's the difference between a "National Identity Card" and an "Identification Card" apart from the fact that the former is "lilac and salmon" and the latter "turquoise and green"?

    And I don't mean the "Identity Card for Foreign Nationals" which is "blue and pink"

    Hope you're not colour blind!

    Is the first for domestic stock and the second for those on the DNA database (scroats)? Of course the last is for visiting malingerers? I'm baffled and I don't even need one.

    1. Ejit


      The lilac card is an Identity Card for British Citizens, the turquoise card is an Identification Card for an EU or EEC Citizen living in the UK (it doesn't contain the holders nationality, is only for ID purposes and is not a valid travel document.) Why they can't just use their national passport is beyond me.

    2. Starkadder

      All in the Mind

      There's the Home Office and the Identity and Passport Service and then there's the rest of us. An iD card is only an ID card if the IPS says it is. The cards for Foreign Nationals are actually visas. The IPS could not think of a way of storing biometrics in a foreign passport, so they came up with a plastic card and chip that repeats some of the passport info and adds on the biometric data acquired from the passport holder by IPS. Simple really, except the poor bloody foreigner now has two documents to juggle instead of one. As far as I know, every other country in the world puts visas where they belong: in passports. The US stores biometrics centrally, and uses the passport as a lookup key so that the immigration official can check the fingerprints/iris scan of the person in front of him against those on file. Every agent has a working terminal linked to a secure network. No need for biometric visas or ID cards!

      The lilac and salmon card is for British citizens only, the turqoise and green is for EU citizens living in the UK (plus a few other lucky souls), and the pink and blue job is for real (non-EU) foreigners. The IPS says, mysteriously, that the turquoise and green card is for identification purposes only, leaving one to wonder what uses they see for the lilac and salmon cards other than identification. Don't worry too much, the Tories say that if they get in they will scrap the whole system. Business schools with a strong interest in IT could use it as a great case study on how not to do things.

      Incidentally, I believe only the UK has a plastic card driving licence that is not really a valid driving licence without an accompanying official sheet of paper. Where do the people who design these systems come from?

  2. Nomen Publicus

    Doesn't even reach half-truth status

    "Identity cards cost £30 and, like a passport, they are valid for 10 years. " says the government propaganda, sorry, web site.

    What they don't say is, your data stays in the database even if you don't renew (assuming you still have the option in 10 years.) Also, if your data changes and you don't tell Big Brother, you get a fine.

    All in all, it's both cheaper not to get an ID card and there doesn't seem to be any disadvantage to not getting an ID card.

    So, don't.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I wrong? (I may be.)

    In order to actually get one of these little plastic creatures you have to prove you are who you say you are? So, I couldn't go to the Ministry of ID Cards (sson to be announced, I'm sure) and claim I was Tony Blair and have my DNA recorded as being his? I have to provide some form of identification that shows I am "Anonymous Coward"?

    Now, if that's the case then the issuing of this plastic card of eternal woe hinges upon me providing identification that the State already recognises as valid id? So, why do we need these?

    Or is the reason the government want everyone to have these is so we have fewer forms of id to carry around? I don't mind carrying a driving licence and passport with me, because I rarely need to prove I am who I say I am unless travelling abroad. I don't use social services (because, as a UK taxpayer I'm instantly denied from using these anyway...).

    Can we have a little sense in this government, please?

    1. JaitcH

      So easy to confuse the bureacracy

      I hold, legally, three passports. One of my passports expired a quite a few years ago and the government in question refused to talk to me as I had no I.D.

      After initiating a court action the government lawyer questioned me about certain 'mileposts' in my life to ascertain whether my knowledge concurred with their files.

      The court ordered that I was indeed me and that the government should issue the required identification. No fingerprints, and photographs mailed in to an office who issued me with all the technically latest cards!

      I then used these to get further services and identification. At no time, to my knowledge, was any attempt made to verify my claims visually for if they had they would have noticed my appearance has changed considerably.

      Anything to satisfy the bureaucrats.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    How can it descend into muddle

    as that suggest it wasn't to start with

  5. Psigram

    Gambling with our Money

    An election has to be held within the next six months and the opposition parties have pledged to kill the scheme if elected.

    The government must acknowledge - even privately - that there is a better than 50% chance that they will lose the next election. Also, there is just no way that they will get significant take-up of the cards in the remaining time before that election. So by spending money on the scheme at this time, they are just pouring money down the drain.

    Isn't there some law against misuse of public funds?

  6. peter 45

    Travel to Europe?

    "Identity cards are already proving themselves extremely useful in daily life, from opening a bank account to entering a nightclub, and for travel to Europe"


    1. Can anyone in the Home Office Press Office tell me why I was not allowed to get onto a Ferry over to europe by the Ferry Operator then? I had an MOD identity Card, and Nato Travel order and was traveling in an Military vehicle, but the Ferry Operator would not allow us onto the ferry until we produced our passports.

    2. Can anyone in the Home Office Press Office tell me why no form of identity card was sufficient for me to get foreign currency at the local bank and it had to be a Passport or Driving Licence. Presenting my GOVERNMENT ISSUED Ministry of Defence identity card just got a puzzled look from Tracy behind the security gril. Its not 'on the list' apparently. And guess what ? The national ID card was not on the list either.

    I think somone either does not know what is actually happening on the ground floor, or is just making it up.

    either way



    Job done

    1. Owain 1

      rat a tat tat

      I've tried knocking on the wall. It doesn't work.

  7. Luther Blissett

    Something incomputable, or merely a pointer to void?

    The most complete DNA population database in the world, yet Plod is giving babies away to passers-by?

    See how the concept of identification has turned hyperreal - it exists paradigmatically as a simulation, on a computer. All other concepts of identification are deemed contingent, more easily dissimulated, unreliable, dodgy, and ultimately equally untrustworthy.

    There is definitely a void - between postmodern PC Plod's big ears.

  8. kain preacher

    peter 45

    Wow , I think the ferry operator might of just had his head up his as. I was always been told that if you are an active member of the US armed force, and are traveling on official duty, you Military ID card IS YOUR PASSPORT . I can't imagine it would be to much different in the UK

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "...young people of between 16 to 24-year-old in London will be allowed to apply for voluntary ID cards, which will cost them £30..."

    HA!! Never gonna happen.

    30 quid will buy a nice big knife, 6 grams of Skunk or a hand full of bullets (apparently).

    Much more attractive to London's yoof of today.

  10. JaitcH

    Another Blair fiasco

    Remember: before attending for your mugshot/fingerprint/eye scan session:

    (1) Use instant tan to achieve an extreme discoloration of your face;

    (2) Either coat your hands with petroleum jelly and wear rubber gloves for a day OR rub your hands on bricks (or similar) until your prints are smooth;

    (3) Look cross-eyed when they scan your eyes.

    Voila! The most perfect, defective I.D. card! Up yours Blunkett.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    The old poison pill routine

    <slobbering rant mode>

    Al Johnson :You fools. It's gone too far. We've rolled out the ID card to every corner of the country.

    Nothing can stop it!

    </slobbering rant mode>

    Nothing that is except no one with half a brain taking it up and signing up for life time tracking of all of their details with a substantial (£1000+?) fine if they don't?

    Assisted by a few more councils saying they have better things to spend their money on than this white elephant.

    They might call this ia "trial" like Manchester or Liverpool but it looks a hell of a lot like a last ditch panic roll out.

    Civil servants of the UK. Now is your time to show that when it comes to passive resistance to change you have no equals!

    Work no over time on this. Triple check and query *everything* to do with it before lifting a finger. Hone your filling skills. Do nothing without training.

  12. Probe

    Bum fodder

    Bumf only has one f, it's short for bum fodder (toilet paper).

  13. Anonymous Coward

    What a complete waste of my taxes!

    16 year olds? ID cards?

    Could they manage to stand up straight and walk the half mile to the nearest ID centre after downing a litre of White Lightning ( the cheap'n'cheerful tipple of choice of da yoof round my way! )? Add to that, having paid out for weed, fag papers and top-ups for the mobby, are they likely to want to waste 30 sovs on a crap plastic card that will make them the laughing stock of their mates?

    Small print on back of card: "This here offical Gov card proves to that bloke at the Offy, you ain't old enough to buy 20 B&H, a bottle of JD and 4 Mars bars, and you're better off using that fake driving license you nicked off your brother's bedside cabinet!"

  14. mark l 2 Silver badge

    nightclub entry

    "Identity cards are already proving themselves extremely useful in daily life, from opening a bank account to entering a nightclub, and for travel to Europe"

    I bet most nightclubs wont accept the ID cards as valid forms of proof of age as i bet the door staff have never seen a real one so will just assume its one of the many fake ID cards that you can buy off the net for about a tenner and refuse you entry anyway.

  15. Mike Richards


    What if I'm allergic to lilac?

    After all, this is meant to be a government all about choice - why can't I choose the colour of my ID card? Why can't I have one with David Blunkett's eminently slappable face on it?

    But most of all, why can't I have one with clear instructions for Home Office employees who might be thinking this is a good opportunity to deprive us of our rights. Something classy like:

    'Why don't you just take this card, sharpen the edges, shove it up your capacious arse and have a good rummage?'

    Oh yeah. Merry Christmas.

  16. Scott 19


    They missed a trick here should of rolled 'em out to Photographs on the promise that they will not be harrassed why taking photos by plastic bobbies.

    Oh and Nu-Lie-Bore where the only developed (lol) country not out of recession, its offical of this morning, heres an idea take the money your wasting on this and give it to the baliffs, idiots

  17. lawman

    Coming to a post office near you

    Next year the DVLA will unveil its renew your photo licence here booth in Post Offices. This is phase one of the drive to get everyone to have an ID card despite what the gummint says. The Tories will continue with it as its just as much in their interests to know all about us as it is with Liebour. Phase two of the scheme will involve fingerprint collection.

    So now you can get your ID card while you wait in line to buy a stamp.

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