back to article Entire UK will be on ID database sometime in next 3 millennia

Applications to join the ID card register are running at 50 a day, meaning the Labour government will achieve its aim of chipping the entire population of these islands in somewhere between 136 and 3,342 years. Or never, if the Tories live up to their promises and kill the scheme should they get into power. In a series of …


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  1. Greg J Preece


    I have little faith in Cameron, and I'm planning to emigrate anyway - my passport runs out in 2014, I believe. 4 years left...

  2. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    Unexpected Asteroids Wiping Out Humanity...

    are more likely than getting me to register on that thing.

    Bad Labour. Go to your room(s) and watch some taxpayer-subsidised porn.

  3. IdristheSweep


    "Hillier added that as of 2012 the government will require people applying for a passport or ID card to submit ten fingerprints for recording in the National ID database."

    They don't need ten fingers. Two will do.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Dave's got his head in the clouds

      As Cameron seems to like the idea of using clouds to store data, he must have some sort of plan for unified data that - well, there's a coincidence - can produce a whole bucket of stuff for any individual.

      This won't be called anythign like a national identity database as all the info can come form separate suorces. But to prove your entitlement to all these sources - your driving license, N I number etc, there will be the necessity to have, at all times, your record card - your Cameron's unified national token.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      ...fewer fingers ...

      = higher false positives .....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Two Digits - Rampant

      A two digit wave to NuLabour from me.

      Anon - coz they ARE watching

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        From me, just one,

        and not anon 'cos I want them to know who says they can go swivel.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          From me, one with both hands.

          And not Anon because I live in France and have no real desire or reason to return to the UK. What the ***k would I need a (not-really-compulsory-but-you-must-have-it-anyway) British ID card for? Is it thin? Can I fold up up real small and ram it up Gordie's backside?

          I'll get my coat... and my pitchfork...

    4. Number6

      Renew Early

      If you're really concerned you can renew early unless they've sneaked through a change in the rules. You forfeit what you paid for the last one, but it does put the evil day off for longer.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2014

      That's assuming they'll LET you leave ....


  4. Anonymous Coward

    Renewing a passport...

    ...has far less onerous obligations that an ID card.

  5. SuperTim

    Growth rate...

    The ONS says we grew by 408000 last year, so about 370,000 more per year than are applying for ID cards. At this rate the percentage take up will actually go down!

    Good work HM Gov.

    1. Anonymous John

      Comments don't need titles!

      Exactly. Far more than 50 babies are born every day. So even under Nu-Labour, the entire population will never be chapped.

      1. Anonymous John

        I meant chipped!

        If comments have to be moderated, can't they be proofread at the same time?

  6. lglethal Silver badge

    The 10 digit requirement...

    Its a real pity you added that last line, i was having a wonderful time imagining the different ways that amputees would have to come up with the missing digits to meet the requirements - suddenly a new dawn in the grave robber business arrives or perhaps you go out for a drink one night get your drink spiked and rather then (or maybe just in addtion to) your kidneys being removed, your also missing a couple of digits... the possibilites are endless!

  7. DavyBoy79

    We'll never fully register the UK

    According to the Mid-2008 figures of Population Growth ( the population grew by 408k people in a year, or over 1000 people a day. 50 people signing up a day are massively overwhelmed by the 950+ others!

  8. Red Bren
    Big Brother


    For a second I thought it said "Hitler"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if?

    You have fingers but no fingerprints. I've read that bricklayers often don't have recordable fingerprints because of abrasion from handling bricks all day.

  10. Tom Chiverton 1

    It's not a pilot

    if it were a 'pilot', the government would have set out some criteria that if the scheme didn't meet, it would be scrapped.

    They haven't, because they'd much rather charge you thirty quid for the unneeded replacement of a perfectly good ten quid 'proof of age' card...

  11. JetSetJim Silver badge


    Hmm - there are around 900K births every year. It'll take nearly 50 years to register all of those (assuming no new laws requiring an ID card from birth). Suspect your figures are subtly flawed in that you assume:

    a) no-one is born; and

    b) no-one dies

    A minor nit-pick, I admit

  12. NogginTheNog


    If - ok when - the Tory Boys get their turn on the merry go round in May, and then cancel the whole thing, will all the pillocks who got an ID card get a refund?

    1. 1of10

      Re: What if?

      Not being funny but existed a case of someone without fingerprints due to genetic disease... but even so it wasn't a problem and had an ID card.

      Because the fingerprint is only useful for authorities to confirm that is your identity and not from someone else... but that would only be used in criminal cases. Apart from that no one will be asking to see your fingerprint.

      In today's times DNA is more accurate but fingerprint or even ears could still be used as form of identification since tend to be unique between individuals even between twins.

      BTW even if you bring the finger from someone else it won't work unless the authority is drunk or blind. :)

      you could try a sandpaper and erase the fingerprints but unfortunatly you would have to do that every single day :)

    2. Richard IV

      Using Home Office pedantry

      Of course it's a pilot scheme.

      Why else were BALPA so riled up about Manchester airport? Involves pilots == pilot scheme. QED!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do hope


    4. seanj

      Re: Mugs

      No, and nor should they. They should also be forced to continue to update their details as promised on signup.

      Why, you ask?

      Well, the majority will be made up of Civil Servants arse-licking to keep their jobs and die-hard NuLabour faithfuls, the rest just idiots. Arse-licking Civil Servants ought to have a taste of the shit that they've been dishing out under this government, NuLabour faithfuls should be made to suffer for the shit they've eaten and spouted in defence of The Party, and well, it's always a good idea to keep track of idiots....

  13. Thomas Davie
    Paris Hilton

    Not fast enough to get there ever

    At that rate, the answer is never. Every day, 2000 people are born in the UK, so they'll never manage to keep up.

    Paris, because she must have been doing your sums today.

  14. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    We will need more and better terrorists to get ID cards for all

    According to: 708711 babies were born in England and Wales in 2008.

    If they triple Manchester's ID card rate and apply it to the whole country they still would not keep up with that birth rate. The obvious solution is to kill three out of every four babies. Policies with similar effects are already on the way. About once per year in winter the wind slows to a useless rate in Europe for about five days. If we switch to wind power, we should be able to freeze thousands of people to death every winter. Biofuel might be a better option as that should cause plenty of starvation. I am sure we can rely on our government to find imaginative ways to kill the required number of people. How about some UK based government funded terrorist training camps?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    amputees ...

    so how does that work then .. do the IPS staff have to verify the stump ? So much for dignity. Or maybe you need to get a letter from your doctor confirming you have no fingers ... luckily no one in the history of ever has ever been able to forge a doctors note ....

    1. Graham Wilson

      Oh, if only foresight was as good as hindsight...

      Oh, if only foresight was as good as hindsight then things might be very different now.

      If the UK had done the 'unthinkable' and had capitulated to the Germans in say '42 and Britons had had to live a few years under jackboot Nazism until it had self-exploded (which it would have soon done), then it's almost a certainty that UK citizens wouldn't be so accepting of the creeping totalitarianism which is overtaking their country today.

      There's a time when too many victories weaken the victor, the sense of living on the edge is lost and complacency takes hold, Democracy requires eternal vigilance and UK citizens let their guard down once too often. Then unexpectedly, in rolls the ID card and everyone is appalled, yet history points to numerous past examples of complacent citizens ignoring early warning signs.

      The Roman Empire is a good example of how victors eventually lost the plot, and both Germany and Japan illustrate the opposite--how defeat kills complacency and brings long-term strength, tenacity and development to a society.

      If the English speaking democracies are to get out of mess which complacency and insufficient vigilance has gotten them into over the last 50 or so years, then their citizens need to aggressively stamp out the misfeasance, ineptitude and arrogance which has beset their sleazy politicians.

      Moreover, citizens must decide fundamental policies such as what constitutes freedom and what it is to be free--not the politicians and not their backroom advisers and certainly not the Sir Humphrey's of this world. Citizens have the job of setting ground rules, and they ignore them at their peril. Being distracted is easy when politicians disrupt, subvert then divide and rule--all under the guise of being helpful.

      The amount of unethical 'shit'--the spin, propaganda and outright lies that continually pours out of Westminster and Washington and Canberra these days would have been inconceivable 40 or 50 years ago. Sure, sleaze and deception happened back then but there was much less of it, and the Tricky Dicky's of this world would eventually be found out before it was too late. Today, political deception is essentially a science and the Tony Blairs and John Howards of this world its high priests, so esteemed are they that the likes of Houdini and Mandrake come, watch and take notes.

      Remember, every single tiny bit of legislation or regulation that passes through the parliament reduces citizens' freedoms, even the seemingly trivial has its effect--for a law now exists whereas yesterday it did not.

      Furthermore, legislation is rarely if ever fully revoked--rather it's just changed or added to. Thus, year in and year out, every time the parliament passes legislation and new laws are created, ipso facto, citizens' freedoms are a little further eroded. In a modern democracy, there is no efficient way of purging old law and starting again; instead, a Byzantine labyrinth that passes for law and which is almost certainly unintelligible to the ordinary citizen, evolves and gets deposited on the statute books. Thus, it's possible to have multiple laws covering the same restrictions. Of course, lawyers love the overlays of double, triple and quadruple rewrites and just laugh all the way to the bank.

      It is hard to say where the system of law breaks down and citizen's tolerance gives out (as the French aristocracy found out to its peril in the1780s and 90s). However, it seems to me that modern society, with all its distractions and time-wasting devices, has an exceptionally high threshold. Politicians instinctively know this, and whilst we snooze or are otherwise distracted by playthings--plasma TVs, video games etc.--then they'll surreptitiously push the boundary in their favour for all it's worth.

      A familiar proof's of fact now stares us in the face. Is your ID photograph to your liking?

  16. John Robson Silver badge


    ""Where an individual is unable to record a full set of ten fingerprints (eg due to an amputation), they will be able to register as many fingerprints as it is possible for them to record". Excellent news."

    Maybe I should soak my fingers in vinegar for a few hours before registering ;)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    is it me

    or does 3 millennia seem like no time at all when we're talking about the introduction ID cards?

    make it 5 millennia at least then I'll be able to sleep easy.

    As a side note, in a couple of hundred years everyone will be on the database via ContactPoint anyway.

  18. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I meant chipped!

    Can they bollocks.

  19. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Re: I meant chipped!

    (I'm actually laughing at that suggestion. Not outwardly, of course. But on the inside I am roaring with mirth. Proofreading comments? I would be here for TWELVE millennia...)

    1. Elmer Phud


      Its' enough to make you loose youre mind.

    2. Anonymous John

      Re:Re: Re: I meant chipped!

      Well, an edit facility then.

    3. seanj
      Paris Hilton

      Re: chapped!

      At any rate, our Dear Moderatrix, whilst proof-reading, could assume you thought that NuLabour may actually want the entire population wearing chaps at some point... It's a vastly more sensible prospect than some of the other half-arsed (no pun intended!) stupidity they've already legislated for.

      Paris, chaps... need I say more?

    4. Jeremy 2

      Re: Re: I meant chipped!

      "I would be here for TWELVE millennia..."

      Lucky you - you'd get an ID card

    5. heyrick Silver badge

      I would be here for TWELVE millennia...

      And in another of your rare special posts, you called somebody twelve kinds of idiot (I *love* that insult!).

      Is 12 your lucky number?

  20. John Lilburne

    Mine is up for renewal in 2013

    Guess I'll just report it lost at the end of 2011and get another one before all this nonsense comes in.

  21. Dave Murray

    Whose fingers?

    "as of 2012 the government will require people applying for a passport or ID card to submit ten fingerprints for recording in the National ID database"

    Ok if I submit 10 fingerprints each taken from a different corpse in my local morgue? It doesn't say they have to be MY fingerprints. ;)

    1. Ted Treen
      Big Brother

      As far as I can tell...

      ...they can be from any 10 primates you can get near enough to. It doesn't say they have to be your prints - neither does it specify they have to be human - or any other particular species.

      Big Brother's getting dimmer!

  22. paulf Silver badge

    Ten finger prints?

    >>Hillier (Hitler?) added that as of 2012 the government will require people applying for a passport or ID card to submit ten fingerprints for recording in the National ID database.<<

    I just checked both my hands and I counted a total of eight fingers, and two thumbs. Perhaps she was thinking of people from an area of the UK renowned for its genetic mutations due to inbreeding. (I'd sling that mud at Norfolk but other inbred areas are available). Gimme Six!

    I'm the "Pedantic Grammar...", but Hillier is the "...Nazi alert" I fear!


  23. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    Would it be a crime to present myself for fingerprinting with a false set of prints on my fingertips?

    Later on, I could take them [edit:no, not the fingerprints] to court for not realising that I am me.

    Oh, but then I wouldn't be me would I? Who would I be at that point?

    I am.

    And THEY can take my fingerprints off my cold dead fingers.

  24. OldDogNewWalk
    Thumb Up

    @ Sarah

    Excellent! I do so love it when you are on duty and dishing it out.

    PS. Any chance of having that ghastly flashing TopStory box removed. I can stop the flashing ads but have no way of halting that bloody box.

  25. Sceptical Bastard

    If we're all going to die...

    If we must look forward to "humanity being wiped out by an unexpected asteroid" as the article states then there's fuck all point in shelling out £30 for a soon-to-be-obliterated ID card.

    However, faced with such an apocalypse, I *can* see the point of spending that thirty quid on booze or drugs. So that's what I'm going to do. In fact, I'll spend a couple of hundred and get really mashed. No, fuck it, I'll go the whole hog, sell the house, and get a smack habit.

  26. Tony S
    Black Helicopters


    " they will be able to register as many fingerprints as it is possible for them to record"

    So I'll get them to register Meg Hillier's and Alan Johnson's fingerprints then.

    Perhaps we should remind them (and ourselves) of the following:

    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."

    The Rt Hon. William Pitt, the Younger.

    (Prime Minister 1783-1801, 1804-1806)

  27. blackworx


    Mine's up in 2012.

    Think I'll wait and see what fresh horrors the braying, snot-nosed tory boys and girls foist on us before renewing.

    With a bit of luck they'll be true to their word and... oh, hang on...

    1. Graham Wilson
      Thumb Up

      Pitt is remembered because of straight ethics, straight logic and integrity

      Pitt is remembered because of his straight ethics, straightforward logic and his integrity. All characteristics sadly missing in a large percentage of current day politicians.

      Although succinct and powerful, Pitt is only reiterating what has been known for millennia.

      It is a sad fact of the human condition that each generation has to relearn the rules from scratch. However, when it comes to self-interest relearning the rules can take an unduly long time--and some politicians never learn.

  28. SimpleUser

    Can I

    Bring ten fingers randomly collected after a hot night out?

  29. SimpleUser

    @ Dave Murray

    Dave, you've beaten me on the foreign finger!

  30. cyberdemon
    Big Brother

    The back door

    While we are all laughing at the failure of the national ID cards scheme, few people have heard about the next front of attack: The NHS RiO database.

    This is a database that was on trial in London, putting all GP and hospital records on one central system, but it is now being rolled out across the country. It is due to go live in the Hampshire trust next week.

    Big Brother isn't daft when it comes to this sort of thing. There are centralised citizen databases coming in all sorts of different guises, and the winner will be extended to cover everything.

  31. David Ramsay

    All UK on database

    Doubt it All UK -1 (Me)

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Renewing a passport overseas

    As a UK permanent resident in Aus it seems I will now have to visit the "local" office that issues replacement passports. I have renewed my passport once by post here and it took a mere five working days including postal delivery time, a feat that is mightily impressive by any standards.

    If in the future I have to physically attend the office it would be a serious arse ache. I just checked the distance and a round trip to the High Commission is only 4794.43 kms and takes a mere 59.18 hours of continuous driving. This has more than a whiff of fail about it.

  33. Graham Wilson

    Good on ya Pommy Bastards!

    Good on ya Pommy Bastards! This Kangaroo even offers ya his cheers.

    Really didn't reckoned ya had the balls to do it!

    ... For that ya even deserves to win The Ashes (just once mind ya)!

    Down Under, we's intelligensha is intensely a watchin' Democracy's foot kinda poised un hoverin', very stressful like, next tuh a bright shiny new bucket. We's 'ad odds on 6 to 1 things would go a flyin' any minute, now ya buggers been a forcin' us tuh lengthen thems odds just a smidgin.

    For wunce, we's dont mind yuh Pommies for havin' f%$#@!~ up our bettin.

    BTW, keeps up the pressure on thems Westminster mongrels or our luv mightn't last.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeh, I don't see why...

    ...whatever gov is in place couldn't just make it essential for all new borns to have an ID card registered in their name, "You want tax credits/child benefits/your child to be recognised by our country/schools/doctors? They'll need an ID card for that"

    And no doubt these things will expire just like passports and driving licences, they'll almost certainly go up in price as the "pilot" scam reveals it to be economically unsound at that low, low price. Of course, realistically, we should all be jumping over each other to hand our cash to them, you've all read the headlines (admittedly not all ID card based), "...set to make the government £xxx million pounds a year" sheesh, I'm so happy for them and I can sleep well at night once again.

    Maybe I could poll my fellow Brits to "gift" me 1 British penny each a year, come on everyone, just imagine "....set to make me £610,000 a year" and I bet the government would be just as happy and willing about that as I am to be giving them my dosh.

    Oh balls!

  35. Sceptical Bastard

    @ Graham Wilson

    Respec' to that man! An excellent stream of invective. Rant on, man, rant on.

  36. Rod MacLean


    "Hillier added that as of 2012 the government will require people applying for a passport or ID card to submit ten fingerprints for recording in the National ID database."

    I perdict a massive amount of applications in 2011 then (and I'll be one of them!)

    Hopefully the Tories will scrap the scheme long before then (at last, a Tory policy I agree with!)

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