ID cards: “we’re not collecting data..” – UK MInister

The UK Government – ignoring almost universal objections – is taking its first step in launching national ID cards by making a voluntary system operational – in Manchester. The BBC, in a report — Manchester ‘launch’ for ID cards got an amazing quote from them:

“I think it is important to recognise that we’re not collecting some massive accumulation of information about citizens,” said James Hall, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service.

Of course, that is exactly what they are doing. The ID cards are, effectively, a universal indexing system for all other related data held by Government

Pilots say they are effectively being forced into signing up for the cards, the report adds, with a transcript from the Radio “Today” programme:

“Our members believed the government promise that the ID card would be voluntary,” said Jim McAuslan, general secretary of the pilots’ union Balpa.

“But they now know it is anything but. Our members must have an airside pass to operate aircraft and now discover that to get that pass they must have a national ID card.

“This is coercion and a case of Big Brother knows best.”

Everybody wants the idea dropped. The Government itself is split.

But the Home Office just does what it finds convenient, right? According to
even in the Cabinet,

Objections have been raised within the cabinet about cost, particularly in light of the need to slash public spending made clear by last month’s Budget.

The Home Office calculates that to introduce the scheme over the next 10 years would cost about £5bn ($8bn) for UK citizens and £379m for foreign nationals. But it argues 70 per cent of these costs would be needed anyway to introduce the next generation of biometric passports. By the plan, people would be given a choice of having an ID card and a passport or only a passport carrying biometric data.

This is a democracy. Presumably, the idea is to find out which way users will vote, rather than pressure groups. So rather than a referendum, we roll it out in a small niche market (airline pilots, foreigners) with hidden compulsion, or in a local area where propaganda will be cheaper?


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