Happy - until the last line
Quote: "A separate ID cards scheme for foreign nationals will go ahead"
And there's the thin end of the wedge for the whole thing to start again....
ID cards will be history within 100 days, the government said today as it published laws to destroy the scheme. The Home Office, for years tasked with promotion of the project under Labour, said it aims to pass the Identity Documents Bill before the Parliamentary recess starts in August. It is the first legislation introduced …
But then I thought about it, and if you have a visa system for foreign nationals, then it follows that you need to keep a list of who they are in order to enforce that system. Why not issue them with a bit of plastic that links the person to the entry on that register? It makes the job a lot easier for immigration officials if the person they are checking up on has a card that says that they are allowed to still be here. That then allows them to focus their activities on the people here without cards, who can't prove that they are EU nationals.
So, logically, if you are going to police immigration in any way, then the cards for that purpose aren't a bad idea. The alternative is to not police immigration at all. There may be arguments for and against this, but the choice has been made already.
This is not the same thing as a national ID card, the real problems with which were the intrusive register behind it, high cost, and the creeping compulsory nature
Non-EU resident foreigners previously had to have a residency permit applied to their passport, now they get it as a separate card instead, just like the US "Green Card". Personally I'd prefer the foreign resident ID Card be renamed something like a Residency Card, simply so all mention of "ID cards" can be removed from the political lexicon, but I suspect most resident foreigners will prefer a card to carting their passport around.
@Ed Blackshaw: "This is not the same thing as a national ID card"
Most of this ID card insanity was kicked off by 9/11 - it was a gift to people who dream of having that kind of control. We were spared simply because the technology wasn't ready to go, and resistance to the idea grew as time passed.
You think the government has killed the scheme now - but look at the funding behind it. Notice a more recent article on The Register pointing out the only a small part of the project has actually been axed. Most of the technology will be developed and tested on foreign nationals, and no one will complain because they are a small minority with no political voice (and a soft target for the nation's problems, so generally viewed with suspicion). It isn't "just a card" - it's the full deal for the ID the control freaks want us all to carry in future.
Then - when the next major atrocity occurs - the technology will be rolled out to the remainder of the population faster than you can say "civil liberties".
Because the foreign national already has a unique identifying document. It's called a "passport". You don't have to carry it with you at all times, but you probably do have to produce it when, e.g., applying for a job or opening a bank account.
How is giving them an <em>extra</em> piece of plastic to keep track of, going to make anyone's life any easier?
Unless, of course, the idea is to require them to carry it at all times and produce it on demand by police. In which case you're still introducing fascism, just being a bit more selective about it. Which is no problem, fascism is <em>all about</em> being selective, it'll expand later when we've learned to accept it.
It is already a requirement for any non-EU nationals to have a work/student permit in their passport. Without this you cannot enter the country unless your from a select group of countries and your here on a holiday which is less then 3 months (and you must in those cases have proof of your plane/train trip out).
So sorry, this card wont help immmigration people because:
a) a passport with a required permit is already required to enter the country.
b) those entering on holidays (from that small select group of nations not requiring a visa) wont require the ID card, and as these are the ones most likely to over stay there visa, or work illegally this wont help them.
c) this will not be able to be applied to EU nationals (it would be against the EU charter), so no tracking of those dirty foreigners.
So please tell me exactly how these ID cards will do anything which the current visa scheme doesnt already accomplish?
The thin end of the wedge is already a lot bigger than the politicians (in all parties) would like us to believe. Sadly there are many more ways they can slowly force some kind of ID cards on all of us. e.g.
1... "A separate ID cards scheme for foreign nationals"
2... And what about new driving licenses?
3... And what about new Passports?
4... And what about next generation oyster travel cards?
5... Also what about next generation credit cards?
Plus thats before we even get into a discussion on the so called future cashless society that some lobbyists want us all to have, which will need some kind of next generation credit card for that as well (because (A) companies can then spy on our entire income and expenditure details and then sell these details (so more profit for them from exploiting us) and (B) the government can then use this data to also spy on us as well, which is ideal for taxing all transactions (so no more cash in hand payments) and then (C) the government will also be able to spy on everyone (when, where and why for whatever reason you use the card) in their endless war on terrorists/political protesters/union members/home owners fighting airport expansion/environmental protesters etc...
Sadly the war against ID Cards isn't over. This is just the first round. There will be many more battles to come and they are determined to win some of them. So sadly we will end up with ID cards in some form sooner or later, unless we fight very hard against them all and I don't see how we can stop some ways it can be brought in. Ultimately they (our masters, the people with money and power) want to spy on us all so they can exploit us for their gain and so sadly they will find a way to do that one way or another.
The war against ID Cards isn't over.:(
"Shortly after the National Identity Register will be destroyed."
Terminator 2 style I hope. 'one more barrel, 2 more minutes [...] I don't know how much longer I can h-h-hold this'
"though Labour claimed this would be self-funding by charges to the public."
wtf? "Don't worry, it won't cost you anything in tax, because we're going to make you pay for it upfront" Hardly reassuring was it? Bunch of selfish twats, glad to see the back of them.
Gotta agree with 'Ralph 5' above.... "And there's the thin end of the wedge for the whole thing to start again...." quite.
"Quote: "A separate ID cards scheme for foreign nationals will go ahead"
And there's the thin end of the wedge for the whole thing to start again...."
Exactly, why not just inject a chip on entry, won't lose them and can send em home at some point too.
No, I'm not against imigration, just against exploitation of an already strained system.
For the sensitive souls, the chip injection comment was humour by the way. ;-)
Serving Home Secretary's husband caught charging Porn to the Tax payer. What a laugh our children will have in 100 years when they are doing Modern History.
And that's not to mention fiddling her expenses.
How will history judge the Labour Government of the 00'ies
Please feel free to add you own legacies. Maybe Jacqui will read them. Hope so
ID cards for Johnny Foreigner are worthless if the absence of an ID card demonstrates you are not a Johnny Foreigner. And that will be the justification for bringing the whole sorry mess back in a year's time, as the empire building apparatchnik at the Home Office responsible for the advice to keep them undoubtedly realises...
AC because I'm a commonwealth citizen resdient over here for 50 years, but without a current password with a residency permit.
Best bit is actually the "we're terminating it now and your cards are invalid". Wonderful to pay £30 for something that won't even work any more AND miss out on your refund. I thought they would be given quite a while by which time the ID card would need renewal anyway. I bet there's a handful of angry people about that and perhaps that will convince them to stay off the next ID scheme that is dreamt up, like the rest of us did this time around.
It has to be said, though - if you need to scrap a scheme, do it this way - terminate contracts, fulfil legal obligations, sack everyone, destroy all the system so it doesn't get resurrected and then get the hell out of there. Don't pussy-foot about "Well, we've already paid X amount so it might be cheaper to carry it on...", just destroy the damn idea.
I have a sledgehammer, a series of large magnets and (failing that) a barbecue , if any disks that stored ID data need obliterating.
The problem really isn't the ID card itself; there are many good reasons to have a way of verifying who you are and your legal ability to buy alcohol, drive, etc. The problem was the NIR behind it that contained EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF INFORMATION ABOUT YOU, WHAT YOU DID, WHERE YOU WENT, etc. and fined you if you didn't keep Nanny up to date.
If they revamped the Driver's License/Permit to be a valid passport substitute, not many would complain... as long as there wasn't a database behind it tracking you with information it didn't need to know. Fingerprints required? Fine - BUT KEEP THEM IN THE CARD and NOT IN YOUR DATABASE. Ensure that the encryption ON THE CARD is secure enough to dissuade "casual" forgeries (governmental forgeries are beyond our scope, here).
Having ANY CURRENCY based system TIED TO YOUR IDENTITY DOCUMENT is FAIL, FAIL, three times FAIL. Having any tie-in of governmental ID with your money is begging (Nay, truly GAGGING!) for automated monitoring and "control"; immediate violation of privacy and immediate proof that government doesn't trust it own electorate.
If it has gotten to the point where the government doesn't trust The People, then The People have no need to trust the government, either.
I doubt it. In fact, after getting a snotty letter from an airline demanding I log onto their wonky website to provide some Advance Passenger Information for an upcoming intra-EU flight, a little digging revealed that provision of this information isn't in fact mandatory as they had been claiming. Apparently the office in charge of e-Borders was forced to give assurances to the EU that no carrier will deny boarding if API isn't provided, nor make provision of such information conditional on a sale of a ticket. So cheers Europe, for nipping another stupid tracking database in the bud!
Bang goes a good idea and in typical UK fashion Britain is demostrating its dire need to be always 40 years behind the times and UK taxpayers will have to spend even more money in future when a ID card system is finally introduced (because it WILL happen).
Meanwhile for simple everyday tasks and trans-European travel I'm a third class citizen as I don't have an ID card (unlike everyone else I know who isn't a Brit). No wonder the UK is going down the pan.
What a waste of money to build the infrastructure to produce ID cards and then throw it all away because of some edwardian-minded NIMBY politicians and the sheep that follow them.
Personal freedom, bullshit, it's just a bloody ID card, keep it in perspective and begin to understand why Brits are considered insular, uninformed, binge-drinking football louts - living in a miserable pseudo-Dickensian la-la land.
Maybe I can get a French passport and register as a foreigner so I can finally have an ID card...
It's not the card people object to, it's the register behind it, the cost, the 'voluntary' compulsory nature, and the fact that we never needed it in the first place.
And what, exactly, is wrong with using your PASSPORT for trans-european travel? It has never caused an issue for me.
You forgot the troll icon because there is no way your rambing is internally consistent enough to be anything else.
If you want to travel get a passport. It is *more* useful for that purpose. I have never had any problems travelling across Europe (on a fairly regular basis) without an ID card. Never.
The ID card serves no purpose that isnt already covered by an identity document. If you wanted to pay money for some pointless plastic that is *your* choice and I can send you my paypal email if you want to buy some more.
It is not "just a bloody ID card" - if it was, why are you getting your knickers in a twist about it going?
If you want to prove who you are and that you are British get a bloody Passport. Get a British one rather than a French one.
The "biometric" bit is merely a digital version of your photo and they fulfil our obligations.
I don't have a problem with this as:
a) I don't consider the image of my face to be private.
b) The image isn't stored centrally.
The problems with the proposed NIR based passports were:
a) I consider my fingerprints to be private.
b) Data stored centrally in the NIR.
c) Data can be used by Police for the purposes of criminal investigation (all passport holders would be suspects in every crime).
d) the proposed "enhanced" biometric passports weren't required by international agreement and were merely a sneaky way of getting ID card refuseniks onto the NIR.
Actually, I consider you an ill-informed, supercilious, self-absorbed twat living in a pseudo-techno-utopian la-la-land, as well as someone who fell for the "it's only a card" bollocks that the government sold to the gullible. They HADN'T constructed the infrastructure and in many respects didn't know how to or indeed who was going to pay for it, and what they had constructed went far beyond anything necessary to assure someone's identity and into the realms of a mechanism for mass-surveillance. I had no objection to the piece of plastic, but every objection to the massively complex, massively insecure and massively intrusive data-gathering infrastructure that they were hanging off the back of it. Oh, and use your damn passport, it's what it's there for.
but the US, the UK since c.1920 (albeit previously in the form of a passport endorsement) and oh, just about every country in the world. In fact, if you know of a country that *doesn't* require foreign residents to hold some form of documentation of such status, please let me know. If it's warm and reasonably peaceful I might consider moving there.
 By which I mean one with a functioning government. Somalia doesn't count
The Netherlands. We can't do warm any more than Blighty can, but on the plus side it is considerably more peaceful (and if you're not feeling peaceful we have friendly little shops that can help with that).
They don't foist ID on citizens of any other EU countries as the ID you already have* is deemed adequate. Those from elsewhere in the EU may register as foreign residents, but it's optional and I've yet to find anything that requires this (and I do have a car, a house and other such trappings here).
I did once have an interesting conversation with the woman in the local Post Office who insisted I needed Dutch ID to register my change of address on the car. Pointing out that it was already registered to me and that the registration concerned had a stamp from that self same Post Office and her colleague's signature on it solved that one. Left her feeling a bit sheepish about the poor sod trying to do exactly the same thing she'd turned away the previous day though......
*Yes there is something of a loophole for Brits here and it looks like this may now get to quietly continue for the foreseeable future.
...so I'm confused. Why is this extra piece of paper required for foreigners?
In my understanding, the big difference is that foreigners will have to carry the piece of paper with them at all times or else, and need it to open bank accounts, etc. Does that really happen in every country, especially Europe?
" though Labour claimed this would be self-funding by charges to the public."
It's ok because we are not going to take the money from your right pocket... we are taking it from your left pocket...
Paying for something that only a few use with user fees instead of tax is fine. People who don't use it don't have to pay for it. But as soon as most/all have to pay it's just another tax.
"....though Labour claimed this would be self-funding by charges to the public..."
And in that one comment it shows that they still think that money in the Government coffers *** is 'their' money, but money that comes from the taxpayers is somehow 'free'. How is it that they still do not realise that the money in the Government coffers is not theirs but comes from the taxpayer and belongs to the taxpayer.
Hellloooo Labour. Now I have your attention, let me learn you with a cluebat. Not taxing your the pound in your pocket but forcing you to spend it anyway IS THE SAME AS TAXING IT. Got it ?
Sheesh. No wonder they got voted out.
***not that there is any left anyway.
... it was a Tory home secretary, Michael Howard, who first floated the National Identity Register, long before 9/11?
That the Tories have now turned dead against it says a lot about what a few terms in opposition will do for a party. To think that only five years ago, that same Michael Howard was actually the party leader.
This is an idea that's entrenched in the Home Office civil service. As such, it will keep coming back. My prediction: if the Tories win more than two consecutive terms in office, no matter what else has or hasn't happened in the meantime, they'll reintroduce the idea themselves at that stage.
Having a German ID card in my wallet lets me travel all over Europe rather than having a passport with me at all times. I cannot see why everyone is against this as most EU countries have ID cards and I can only see it as a benefit especially when you have to travel and commute between EU countries on a weekly basis. Paying 30 Euros for an ID card that is valid for years to come is a small price to pay for freedom.
Your obviously new around here, so let me explain the objection.
The objection was never the card, as seen in Europe it is quite useful. The objection was that in order to get the card you had to provide fingerprints, photos, and all of your identity details (Ni number, address, where you lost your virginity, etc.), and this information would be stored on a giant über-database which would be accessible by every government agency, the police, and the immigration service. This information woudl be required by law to be kept up to date, e.g. if you moved and didnt tell the database people you had moved you could face a very large fine.
That i can guarantee is not information you have on your ID card. Nor is the information from your ID card stored on a database in germany that is accessible to the polizei or other government departments.
That is what people objected to. These sorts of intrusive information databases allow the government to track and control and THAT is what people object to.
I hope that clarifies the situation. Welcome to The Reg...
The estimate running costs by Labour of 800milion over 10 years and that its self financing from the public are complete pie in the sky.
Here's my reasoning:
800million over 10 years = 80 million per year.
To raise 80 million quid from £30 cards = 2.6 million cards issued per year.
Now, let's make an assumption: that it takes 3 hours of effort to process the paperwork, do the biometric scans and print the card.
Total man effort required to process 2.6 million applications: = 7.6 million man hours.
Number of man hours per person in one year is: 1800. (48 week year , allowing 4 weeks for holidays)
In practise, it will be a lot lower than this because sick rates of civil servants are much higher than private industry, (the 1800 figure assumes 0 sick days). And, the actual effective utilisation rate of civil servants is very low, typically 50%, whereas for private industry, 75% is a typical figure. The 1800 figure assumes 100% utlisation.
Therefore, number of people required to process 26 million applications in one year is:
7.6million / 1800 = 4222
4222 people required. Assume a salary of 18,000 per year gross to the employee. The actual cost to the company of paying an employee could be twice the basic salary because of the overheads of employers national insurance, pensions etc.
So cost of employing one person: £36,000
4222 people at £36,000 cost is: £151.9 million
The figures just don't add up. There is no way the £800 million can be self financing. Yet more blatent lies from the Labour (ex)government.
They'd have to more than double the price of the cards and dramatically improve civil servant productivity but cutting out all the admin, training, meetings and buracratic nonsense they get involved with on a day to day basis. Not a cat's chance in hell of achieving that.
And this whole basis has been done on new applications, not the call centres that would need to be set up and hundreds, thousands of additional staff required to keep the scheme running.
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