back to article Ferry giant refuses ID card

An early adopter of the UK's controversial ID card was refused passage when he tried to board a ferry to Rotterdam. Norman Eastwood, from Salford, and his wife Jeanette had booked a passage from Hull with P&O Ferries on Saturday. The ID card, which has been offered on a voluntary basis to the public in Greater Manchester as …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Coffee/keyboard

    Ha Ha!

    I laughed out loud when I saw this story on the news this morning! Excessive government borrowing? I can think of an obvious place to save £6Bn !!

  2. irish donkey
    Thumb Up

    Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas

    I think some believed even what the Home Office themselves didn't believe.

    ID Card the magic bullet - NOT

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    So what kind of nitwit....?

    So what kind of a nitwit goes on holiday with only a brand new ID card which the notoriously stupid port authorities are not going to have seen before at all, and are likely to assume is a fake?

    Yes, that's right, the very same sort of nitwit who will volunteer to be put on all the Big Brother databases the State has invented for the sake of a bit of plastic that does no more than a passport already does.

    What a complete idiot this man is.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. OG 1
    Alert

    Incredible

    "We had no idea the ID card was being trialled," a P&O spokesman

    explained.

    Well I'm guessing up north they obviously don't have TV, radio, the

    Internet or newspapers, so the situation was quite understandable.

  5. Number6

    Rent-a-Quote

    "People have made numerous journeys around Europe using their identity cards and this seems to be an isolated incident."

    I assume they're talking about UK citizens here. If so, how many have ID cards, and have they actually had them long enough to make numerous journeys around Europe? Sounds like someone's pulled out one of next year's excuses a bit early.

  6. Jonathan 17

    Two things...

    First, why did the blithering idiot leave his passport at home? You know its a trial, its unproven and people havent heard of it. Just take your passport along and you can save a lot of trouble.

    Second, why would P&O themselves be in charge of border control? Wouldnt HMRC want to be represented? if not, why didnt they let them know about it?

    Not that, you know, there hasnt been a lot of press about these cards. I mean, obviously nobody at P&O reads either the newspapers or Internet news sites.

  7. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Up

    Hurrah

    Serves the New World Order worshippers right.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    come on...

    its a government run things - they are always a cock-up - i cannot wait until the next election, Gordon brown is going to be out of no 10 so fast there will be a small pop as the air rushes in

    1. Keith Oldham

      Re :Two things ..

      Well the Border Agency don't check outward bound passengers at Dover - I presume P&O just wanted proof of identity a la airlines

    2. codemonkey
      Happy

      Yeah right..

      Like the puppet in charge will make an ounce of difference. Dream on. We're the next folks in charge :) Get it sorted :)

    3. Vincent Ballard

      Repatriation

      P&O would check identity documents before you board because if you don't have a valid document when you reach the other end and are denied entry they get to take you back again.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or....

      They didn't believe anyone could be so stupid as to sign up for one but decided to be polite rather than call one of their customers a moron.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      HMRC...

      ...don't check passports.

    6. Dale Richards
      Stop

      Title

      Tracking the movements of UK citizens throughout the EU? There's a database for that!

  9. LuMan
    Stop

    Finger Pointing

    "A Home Office spokeswoman said P&O should have known about the ID card because it distributed information in the run-up to public trials. If P&O had paid a refund, then it must have been ferry firm's fault for not knowing, she argued."

    In other words, "It's not our fault! We're the Home Office. It must be them. Must be. No, not us, so DON'T dare blame us!!"

    Interestingly the report does allude to the fact that P&O actually offered tickets as opposed to a refund, so, by the pre-defined rationale, it can't be P&O's fault.

    Sigh....

  10. Craig Wallace

    no surprise

    If I had an ID card, I would feel like a second-class citizen too, as it would have been forced upon me on pain of death.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Daft

    How daft do you have to be to only take along to the ferry terminal a form of ID that virtually nobody has ever seen before? SURELY you would think to take your passport too, just in case?

    Even if you expect the people at the UK terminal to let you pass, you should expect maybe some issues getting back home again from France or Belgium or wherever you were going?

    Then again, if you are daft enough to voluntarily get an ID card in the first place, that probably answers the rest...

  12. JohnG Silver badge

    ID card? Never heard of it

    It is worrying that people in the travel business and engaged in the checking of documents don't know what does or does not constitute valid identification. One would have thought that they might actually express an interest in things like the ID card fiasco, given its relevance to their work. if they cannot identify a UK ID card, do they really know what the cards from other EU states look like - can they spot a fake?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Its a shame

    P&O didnt follow the link on their website to the government web site where they would have found the following regarding ID cards...

    You can use it like a passport for travel anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Feeling like a second-class citizen...

      ...was re-enforced by the ear-bashing he got from his wife, in the car, on the 100+ mile journey back to Manchester. The man's a muppet to be drawn into the supposed usefulness of the card (well, at least we know he's not a terrorist, since these cards stop terrorists, don't they?) but he should have taken his passport as a back-up. It just needs a couple of minutes thought.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. John G Imrie Silver badge
    FAIL

    People have made numerous journeys around Europe using their identity cards ...

    Err, and how many of those where British with a British ID card?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    numerous

    "People have made numerous journeys around Europe using their identity cards"

    Really? I find that rather hard to believe given the lack of adoption of these cards. Do we know the actual number of journeys or should this statement read "We have no idea if anybody has successfully used their nothing_to_hide_nothing_to_fear card to make a journey to Europe".

  16. Aaron Harris
    FAIL

    Really

    So you plan to go abroad, and the only thing you take is the bit of plastic that fell out of the government cracker?

    Surly it would have been prudent to have taken a passport as back up, just in case, god forbid, the muppets in charge of this country messed up?

  17. Gulfie
    Grenade

    Oh really?

    "People have made numerous journeys around Europe using their identity cards and this seems to be an isolated incident."

    Photos please, Home Office, or it didn't happen. Or at least some damn lies, sorry, statistics. The evidence for this is what exactly? This sounds like a significant percentage of the 2,000 Mancunians are also Europhiles for 'numerous' journeys to have been made. I don't believe it.

  18. Znort666

    The new ID card Scheme...

    will keep you in this country...forever. Great start for the whizz-wonderful ID card scheme.

    Gordon brown was seen on TV today in an interview commenting:

    "All your travel plans are belong to us..."

  19. David Adams
    FAIL

    Epic

    Fail

  20. Tim90

    Idiot

    This man had a perfectly good passport and chose to be a smartarse and travel with an experimental piece of plastic. What did he hope to prove, exactly?

    He said he was made to feel "like a second-class citizen" - well I'm not surprised; he was carrying second class travel documents.

    And what of tw@ *volunteers* for an ID card anyway? No sympathy.

  21. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Flame

    Sir

    A pox on Mr Eastwood for even getting an ID card - he got everything he deserved.

  22. Whatithink

    There is no limit to the incompetence behind this system

    Would you take a job working for the identity and passport "service"? Nor would I. They only employ people who are very stupid and nasty, because that's all they can get. And this sort of thing is the result. Why doesn't the government admit it's dead and kill it off, instead of wasting our money keeping these useless people in useless jobs?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    "Made to feel like a second class citizen"

    History has shown that it's the people govenments consider to be "second class" are the ones who get issued with ID cards first.

    On a side note, I noticed that Alan Johnson's ID card has "Specimin" stamped across it, so even HE'S not prepared to get one, and instead leaves it to junior nuMPty Meg Hiller to carry the flag! Obviously he doesn't consider himself "Second class" (or he's got something to hide - this isn't libellous, I'm drawing assumptions from his own propaganda)

    Overall through, great article, keep making the Home Office squirm El Reg, you're doing us all a great service

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Numerous

      Well 0 is a number.

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        article typo

        ... and O is a letter. So why did the article mention "P & 0" at the start of para. 9?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    ID Cards

    We don't want the cards - but why are people getting them and using them (especially if they are voluntary)?

    Fail on the couple for getting the cards (and potentially adding support/kudos to the ID card scheme) and for not bringing passports for backup.

    Lets hope the whole scheme can be scrapped.

  25. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Mr.

    I'm totally against the ID card, but at least it's helping to disprove the myth that EU citizens need a passport to travel within the EU

  26. frog
    Pirate

    funny

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!

    ha ha!!!

    ha ha ha !

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good old Gov' does it again.

    The words 'Pissup' and 'Brewery' spring to mind. Again.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    ...and ensure that there can be no repeat of it

    So rubber truncheon time in the back room then.

  29. DrunkenMessiah
    FAIL

    Meh

    It was his own fault for buying into the hype of Big Brother that this card would be the best thing ever.

    So who's betting that Mancs will be taking their ID card AND passport with them whenever they head to a port? Just another useless card to carry around, with the added plus that it'll cost you about 80 quid. YAY!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ID Cards work!

    "He told the BBC that the incident left him feeling humiliated and "like a second-class citizen"

    Isn't that exactly the purpose of them?

    (To be fair I'd feel quite humiliated if it came out that I had voluntarily opted to have an ID card, too)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    So....

    "P&O has informed staff at all its UK ports about the ID card in order to prevent a repetition of the incident."

    If someone can create a fake looking one, as P&O have no equipment to verify anything on the card, then anyone can travel. What a wonderful state of affairs! Open borders :) Anyone got a card printer?

  32. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    FAIL

    He told the BBC that the incident left him feeling humiliated and "like a second-class citizen".

    Right. Can we have an icon with that infuriating french knight from Monty Python's Holy Grail, please?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Serves him right

    For applying for one in the first place!!

    I mean this purely in jest - sorry about the family's wasted journey :(

  34. REMF

    prize idiot

    "Eastwood told the BBC that the incident left him feeling humiliated and "like a second-class citizen".

    He should feel like a first class pillock for being stupid enough to sign-up for an ID card.

    I am glad he feels humiliated, he should. When the cattle rolls up for him he will no doubt climb onto it himself sporting a gay little smile on his face, with nary a concern for where destiny may take him!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if they offered a refund then they must be in the wrong

    This is perfect government thinking, there is no such thing as good will anymore, there is no such thing as discretion and if there is any suspicion then it must be guilt and all the silly databases in UK are there solely to prove this!

    Muppets.

    If just once a politician, any politician said "you know what, we screwed up", then faith in politics might just go up a little, but as long as they always stick to the "I'm right it must be someone else" then we just treat them like the liars they are!!!

  36. Tom Kelsall
    FAIL

    Passport?

    EU Citizens don't NEED a passport to travel in the EU. They need a "Recognised form of photo ID" which includes the EU-designed UK Driving Licence. If they didn't accept his ID card they SHOULD have accepted his driving licence. The man's NOT an idiot for believing what the government told him - that his ID card is a valid form of travel ID. It is. The people who screwed up and P&O who failed to adequately disseminate publicly available information about travle ID changes to their gate control staff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      non-eu citizens?

      If that was true then non EU Citizens who need a visa to travel to EU from Britain but have a UK driving license would then be able to disappear in the EU without having to use their passport.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Has any EU Spouse ever got in on an ID card?

        Has any non EU spouse of an EU Citizen EVER got into the UK on their EU ID card?

        In theory they need a passport + visa, and the ID card is a visa equivalent. In practice they get turned away at the Ferry checkin, the operator rings border control, border control says "nah they need a visa, it's called an EEA family permit... here's a web page they can visit to make an appointment..." end of story.

        I know they're supposed to stamp it Code 1A, but I've yet to hear of anyone actually making it close enough to a UK border to be given the entry permission which is why there's always a queue at the UK embassy in Brussels each morning.

        So has anyone ever actually got past that UK border 'VISA' game they play?

    2. JohnG Silver badge

      Passport or national identity card

      "EU Citizens don't NEED a passport to travel in the EU. They need a "Recognised form of photo ID" which includes the EU-designed UK Driving Licence."

      The europa.eu website says you need a passport or a national identity card, although I know some countries do allow travel on a photocard driving license (I once travelled from Frankfurt to London and back using my UK photocard driving license and German residency permit, having forgotten my passport). Probably not wise to test this in the age of the war on terror.

    3. Vincent Ballard
      WTF?

      Nonsense

      An EU driving licence doesn't include citizenship information, so that clearly can't work.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. lglethal Silver badge
    FAIL

    Maybe ive been flying too much but...

    since when are individual operators the ones deciding your able to travel overseas? To the best of my knowledge HMRC are the ones who are supposed to be checking your passport, not the bloody travel company, or have i missed something?

    If this idiot was passed through the HMRC check ok, and then denied by P&O - why are P&O checking? If there was no HMRC check - please can you tell us where this was again so we can organise for every criminal activity to pass through this port...

    What next will Ryanair be checking our passports? Special GBP15 no passport check extra fee perhaps?

  38. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Which begs the question ...

    "Dutch passengers who used a national identity card from The Netherlands were allowed passage on the same ferry Eastwood had hoped to travel on"

    Assuming one can travel out on a UK ID Card, what's the chance of being able to travel back from the foreign country on one ? If our own staff don't recognise it why would those in foreign ports ?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Now

    If it was only as secure for people getting IN to the country....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      HMRC ?

      Errr, I think you'll find HMRC don't give two hoots about your travel documents - they only care that you aren't trying to import or export excisable goods.

      UK Border Agency would be concerned about your travel documents, but can't remember ever going through "Passport Control" to leave the country.

      Normally you only get checked by "Passport Control" on entry to a country (although the carrier as in this case will often check before departure so that they don't have the expense of bringing you back when you get to the other end and find you've left you passport at home).

      And I'm fairly sure Ryanair would charge a document checking fee if they thought there was a remote chance they could get away with it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Travel like it's 1999

      The Ferry operators were made liable for a fine of *££££* for anyone who travels without proper documentation in 1999. They did this, to prevent the Ferry operators bringing people to the UK who then claim asylum. It was a way of getting around the asylum laws in a sort of dodgy lawyer way.

      The Ferry operators can be fined, so they in turn will not let anyone travel unless they're certain they have the correct paperwork and they have a clause in their travel conditions to let them do it.

      In practice this means that if they think Holland or France won't accept the paperwork, they refuse to let you travel. And since the Ferry operator is simply using their get-out clause in their travel contract, your right to free movement is worthless for UK to EU journeys.

      Well suck on it bitch. My wife once had a flight connection HOME that got routed through the UK and was prevented from boarding the flight to the UK and so prevented from traveling home! If I had my way, every Labour MP, especially Jacqui Smith and her family, would be refused entry to Europe.

      As Jacqui put it, entry to the UK is a privilege not a right, despite it being a right written into law not a privilege, it seems entry to Europe is the same, courtesy of the same tricks used to deny the right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Entry into the UK is not a right.

        And if the law (please quote the relevant statute or it doesn't exist) says otherwise then the law needs changing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Entry to the UK is a right.

          Directive 2004/38/EC, and the case law it inherits from is the right.

          Feel free to campaign to leave the EU. Most of Europe will even help you campaign. Bye. And take your biometric loving, anti freedom, cctv watching, oppressive MPs with you.

    3. Vincent Ballard

      Already do

      Ryanair have checked my passport on every one of the thirty-odd flights I've taken with them in the past couple of years. Except on one or two occasions when I was travelling light they checked it twice: once at luggage check-in and once at the gate.

  40. James Boag

    Customs and excise had enough problems in aberdeen

    Customs and Excise or what ever they are called these days had enough trouble recognizing a British seaman card in Aberdeen airport ,years ago, never mind a new fangled nu labour enslavement card on trial. (i had to use a seaman card as my passport was off having visa added to it at the time) up the revolution brother and sisters Imagine theres no countries .....

  41. kevin biswas
    Thumb Up

    Well yes, if you have an IQ lower lower than

    the total number of cards issued to date then you ARE a second class citizen in some way.

  42. JWS
    FAIL

    What did they expect?

    Agree with the comments about idiots who sign up for these things trusting people to be able to do their jobs. As the saying goes "People are Idiots".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think you are confused.

      The UK Borders Agency (Home Office) is completely different from HM Revenue and Customs (Treasury).

      The former check your passport, the latter make you pay to bring stuff into the country.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      What a complete idiot...

      ...you are

      I'm not sure of my own IQ but I suspect it's lower than approximately 1700 even if only slightly.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe missing the point?

    Maybe the bloke in question set out in the full expectation that the border control numpties wouldn't know a UK ID card from their own behinds? If I was living in Manchester I'd be tempted to get one just for the entertainment value in demonstrating just how incompetent the government has been in rolling out their pet project whenever I attempted to use it. Or I suppose I could get a life, but where would be the fun in that?

  44. John H Woods Silver badge
    Joke

    Be fair ....

    ... familiarity with travel authorisation documents is hardly a major part of the job of border control staff.

  45. BristolBachelor Gold badge
    Grenade

    He aoviously has something to hide

    Otherwise he'd have nothing to fear about using his ID card to travel in Europe?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    @ Jim Booth

    I'd be happy to smuggle you into France without your pasport, ID card etc and leave you in Calais any time you wish to test UK immigration security.

    1. asiaseen

      I'll second that

      Some years ago I was travelling from France to UK through a well-known airport in the East Midlands with my HK Chinese wife who has a 3rd class British National Overseas passport. She dutifully offered her passport and landing card to the immigration officer who said, "you don't need a landing card". I shudder to think of the hassle we would have had when leaving again had we not disabused him of his wrong thinking.

  47. Paul Smith

    Carriers responsibility

    Carriers are responsibile for ensuring their travellers have adequate identification to get INTO their destination country because they are liable for the costs of repatriation. If P&O weren't sure that French or Dutch officials would accept the UK ID card, then they were absolutly right to refuse travel.

    1. peter 45
      Stop

      adequate identification

      Problem is that the ferry operators do not seem to have the slightest idea what is acceptable.....at least that is the only rational reason for their "Passport or nothing" stance.

  48. Ejit

    @whatithink

    I suspect that the people who work for the Identity and Passport Service are neither "very stupid" or "nasty"

    They may be carrying out the instructions of the lawfully elected Government , who are very stupid and nasty" but IPS did not dream up this half baked idea. I fear you are shooting the messenger.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another perspective

    I'm not aware of all the details and I suspect neither are many others but maybe all those calling this chap a blithering idiot should consider that this was a deliberate action in order to highlight the issue and take a poke at the government, if so then has acheived what he set out to do. Just as I, if I were resident in the UK I would report to the police any cinema showing the latest St. Trinians film and all the people who had gone to watch it to highlight the absurdity of the new extreme porn laws. I wish someone would do this.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Biometric Readers?

    Surely most of the expense from the ID card fiasco has been down to the need to capture numerous pieces of biometric information so it can be encoded onto the card. WTF is the point of that is the only check that is being done is whether it "looks official".

    On a side note, the reason why P&O were checking is that we no longer have any exit border controls and the carriers only check to make sure that tickets have not been transferred illegally.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      @Ejit

      Let me reassure you that there are several people working for IPS who qualify as very stupid, and a few nasties as well. They are the rabid enthusiasts for the whole NIR fiasco who take their evangelism well beyond the level required of a civil servant implementing any government policy.

      Which includes being thoroughly dishonest to their fellow members of staff about the full implications of signing your life away for this useless piece of plastic. IPS staff have been bribed with free travel and time off work to sign up for a card.....and yet most have enough common sense to ignore the 'offer'.

    2. Jim Morrow
      FAIL

      IPS: stupid and very nasty

      whatithink said I suspect that the people who work for the Identity and Passport Service are neither "very stupid" or "nasty" WTF????

      These people ARE very stupid and nasty. Of course it was that bastard Bliar and the rest of Satan's little helpers who wanted ID cards. But it was the IPS people who turned that vision into the very stupid, nasty, unworkable and ridiculously expensive non-solution that's supposed to be deployed. And of course it was the IPS people who invented the stupid and nasty ID scheme in the first place.

  51. Whatithink

    @ Jim Booth

    You haven't actually tried to get into this country recently have you? It's like a high security problem. Please don't insult us with racist lies about how its easy to get in.

  52. Graham Marsden
    FAIL

    FLICK IT!

    Didn't anyone teach P&O Staff how to give an ID card the "magic flick" which will identify it as genuine...?

  53. P. Pod

    Isolated incident

    Of course it's an "isolated incident". There's only about half a dozen people with a card and only one of those has been stupid enough to try and use it...

  54. peter 45
    Grenade

    Surprised?....not us who use Government Issued ID Cards

    It used to be the case that an Ministry Of Defence ID card and a NATO travel order was all you needed to travel around Europe. It still is, except you cannot actually get to Europe. Show the numpty controlling access to the ferry an Army ID card whilst in uniform whilst driving an army vehicle and his only response is "Errr. Whats that? Its not a passport. Show me a passport or you are not getting on the ferry".

    It has now got so bad that we are now having to pay for new recruits to get a passport because we cannot take the risk they will be left on the quayside. Anyone without a passport is now left behind.

    If an organization the size of the British Army cannot get it through the thick skulls of the ferry operators that an MOD ID card is acceptable throughout europe and has been for 50 plus years, a press release announcing limited distribution trial issue is not even going to fire a synapse of the single collective brain cell owned by the ferry operators.

  55. Andrew Taylor 1
    Grenade

    @ OG1

    As a regular NSF user & a Northerner, I thought that you might like to know that NSF never had any problems like this until all the support services were transferred Dover, guess they don't have TV and newspapers or even the magical message through a screen system down their you ignorant and prejudiced muppet.

  56. Lee 13
    Thumb Up

    Schengen - it's great

    Why doesn't Ape Island sign up?

    Frankly, I travel around Europe and usually don't show anything as I travel by car. Until I travel to the UK.

    I actually travelled Rotterdam to Hull this year and was asked about the nature of my visit.

    Hello? British passport. I'm visiting home.

    Needless to say I have no regrets about leaving.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The guy's done nothing wrong at all

    There's a lot of hostility towards Mr Eastwood in these comments for some bizarre reason. As I've said before, this is The Reg, not the bloody Daily Mail so engage your brains before hitting reply. Mr Easwtood has an ID card and the ID card is an official document which permits travel within the European Economic Area. Rotterdam is part of it. He should have been allowed to travel with his card - it's as simple as that. He's not a "muppet" or an "idiot" or "naive" and has done absolutely nothing wrong.

    The merits of the ID card is an entirely separate debate which will run for years. It has no bearing on this incident and Mr Eastwood has clearly made his own decision.

    As for Jim Booth's comment, you ARE exactly the kind of useful idiot the junk tabloids love, spouting racist tinged bollocks about immigration based on something you read next to an X Factor story. Critical thinking, what's that eh, Jim? Do some proper research of your own rather than repeating the rubbish that passes for tabloid 'news'.

    1. Andus McCoatover

      "Britain - in the heart of Europe"

      Didn't one of our Major grey politicians declare that as a hope, once?

      So, how the hell can I travel anywhere else in Europe with just my Finnish Driving Licence (which doubles as an ID card that I'm happy to have*) but not back to my native Blighty?

      No, I don't need a 'counterpart' for my European D/L. The police, if I'm stopped will simply scan the barcode into one of those new-fangled things called a 'Babbage Difference Engine' - aka 'Computer', and with a bit of Marconi's Magic Wire-free Invention, determine all, and I mean all about me. Like how much I earn so said magic machine can calculate the day-fine depending on my speeding , number of dependants and earnings. Ticket printed without the use of punched cards in a matter of seconds. Wondrous!

      (Oh, just for light relief - I received a cheque from the taxman a week ago. For about €30. As Finns haven't really used cheques for more than a quarter of a century, and HMRC cheques are classed as a 'private cheque', Nordea Bank told me it'd cost around €100 to cash it...)

      Primitive Britain? You bet. Do you folks still take a bath every Friday, whether you need it or not?

      *Happy to have, 'cos if I make a large-ish purchase in a shop (say, over €50) they'll need to see it to verify the Social Secrity number. I'm comfy with that.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'We make reality'

    Wasn't that the rather boastful claim the New Labour tendency made around the time of the Iraq war? Evidently the Reality Synthesiser technology beta has taken an bit of a turn for the worse and now no longer works beyond The Bunker, and certainly not as far as the real world or even the private sector. They'll just have to go back to manual mode and start talking bollocks, although they'll have to brush up t0 make it a bit more convincing

    Perhaps ministers thought that, because they don't personally have to show any ID to get anywhere, the - rather expensive - Joo Janta Political Peril sensitive Anal Cavity Biometric Profile Analysers they paid for 'just worked', like the sweaty man in the suit told them over that thrillingly Stalinist powerpoint presentation.

    "We are speaking to P&O to understand why this happened and ensure that there can be no repeat of it."

    Translation: "We are speaking to P&O to understand why they are not fully signed up to Labour's exciting vision for a modern Police State, and to ensure they fully understand the consequences of making us look bad at any time in the future. We assume the cheque toward the election fund and the offer of a couple of directorships for soon-to-be-ex ministers are in the post."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      re: 'We make reality'

      Excellent!

      That is all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We make reality

      I think it was actually Lenin who coined the meaning behind this when he was told that what he was saying wasn't backed up by reality. He simply replied that reality was wrong and it would have to be rewritten.

      But than Lenin, New Labour, hard to tell the difference.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Lenin/Blair

        I'm pretty sure the original sentiment was Lenin's. But the Iraq war one was, I think, a quip by either Blair or Alaistair Campbell to a journo just before the UN Iraq war vote. The hack had quoted something said by the French or Russian Foreign minister, along the lines of "The reality is they're not going to get the votes to go to war".

  59. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    Wot, travel company staff needing to ID all forms of valid ID

    And the IPS training them to do so.

    That's just silly.

  60. Neil Hoskins
    FAIL

    Doesn't really surprise me

    I was once given a hard time at check-in in Japan because they'd never heard of an electronic visa. They wanted to see something actually stamped in the passport.

  61. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    What a numpty

    If he'd taken his passport along too, none of this would have happened.

    It's a TRIAL, shit happens.

  62. Stu_The_Jock

    Passports on LEAVING a country, yep it's checked !

    When leaving the UK via an airport, passports are checked, first by checkin staff if checking in luggage, and then often at security for bag checking. Then again at the gate.

    OK, 2 of these points it airline staff checking.

    However, when I travel HOME to the UK from Norway, in order to get into the international departure gate (non Schengen) a proper border control policeman from Norway checks ALL passports on EXIT.

    Sure, if we take a flight to Greece, that's in Schengen any passport check is simply an ID check and a valid photo ID is accepted, in Norway that's most bank cards, as they have your person number that IDs you and a photo.

    Hey, wait, there's an idea, why have a seperate ID card, when you could simply issue an ID "NUMBER" to people (NI number) and insist that to have a bank card in the UK it must show a confirmed number and photo.

    Proves who I am, is linked to a central database with address, any registered vehicles in my name, tax records, etc etc.

    Effectively my bank card is the only ID I need until I come home to the UK, where I need my passport.

    OK I know having ALL your "government account" details like tax linked in 1 big database is a problem, but then, they surely couldn't fit the entire database on a single CD to lose in the post could they ?

    Or could they ?

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