ID cards – No, No, No

We do not want them
We cannot afford them
They will not make us safer.

Providing cards for foreigners arriving in the UK is absurd. They need to have passports to come. We can record what details we need on their arrival. Why do we need to trailblaze ID cards through our visitors?

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24 Comments

  1. Blank Xavier
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Amen to that.

    My view, for what it's worth, is that where the State has so much involvement in peoples lives and there are so many disparate databases, what's happening is that there is a (quite rational) desire to integrate those different databases into a much more efficient single database. It will basically make it easier for people who are working for the State to get on with their jobs. ID cards are a natural extension of the notion of a centralised database.

    The problem is that I simply don't want the State to be that involved with my life. I want to choose and buy my own health care, choose and buy my childrens education, etc, etc. The State does not need to provide these services and in doing so generates its need for all this information and the problems and costs associated therewith.

  2. alan
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood.

    The truth of this whole debate is that it has been demanded by the EU!

    The card held up by our magnificent Home Secretary did not have anything (apart from the letters UK) to show what country the holder was from.

    The worst and most insulting aspect was the fact that it did not bear the head of our sovereign queen.

    I do hope that, whilst I agree with your three bullet points, much is made of the attempt to remove our CONSTITUTIONAL HEAD from a would be official card.

    Does it not show that hidden behind all their verbage is that long sought, often denied, policy to remove our Royal Family.

    • Sarah
      Posted October 8, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      I am a final year student doing my dissertation on the ID card.
      I am trying to understand WHY people do not want the ID card. But mostly, I want to understand why it is acceptable in this society to have Nectar cards, Oyster cards, Library cards etc… which give those companies much more information and power on us than an ID card.
      Would you be willing to answer some questions via email for me? Thank you

      Reply: they will be useless, mandatory and entail large payments by taxpayers to buy them. The other cards you mention are useful voluntary and you only have to pay when you do something with them.

      • Glen
        Posted October 9, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        You've had a reply on the various customer cards.
        My reply is about an id card.
        You cannot compare the two.
        If, as I have done, you've lived in a country that had Id cards, you would know that they can be cloned, duplicated etc. Thy do not do what the government says it wants them to do even if there was no ulterior motive. And they represent a line beyond which I do not want a generally (there are rare exceptions), immoral, untrustworthy bunch of self-interested people (politicians) to cross in my life.
        You seem to be quite young and nieve, have you studied too the tactics of dictatorships? Do you believe that once someone has introduced something that increases their control over another that their appetite for more will be satisfied.
        No, history proves the danger of allowing any state to take over too much control.
        Small is beautiful, large and impersonal has never worked. If you don't know me by my face then I want the option to keep my identity to myself.
        If you are doing your disertation, it concerns me more than somewhat that you haven't even explored the opposite side of the coin and have appeared to prejudge the result? Sorry but I don't believe you have done your homework properly.

        • mikestallard
          Posted October 9, 2008 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          What is so terribly scary is that a University should allow such a biassed dissertation in the first place. Is that impartial education, I wonder?
          The subliminal message is clear: "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, so don't be ridiculous".
          I wonder how much of this thread will, for instance, be impartially reproduced in the final draft?

  3. Freeborn John
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    What could be worse than an authoritarian measure phased in essentially with an appeal to xenophobia? It’s utterly despicable and simply not British.

    ——
    “The English … are not only jealous of their own liberty, but even of that of other nations.” – Voltaire (‘Lettres sur les Anglais’)

  4. Cllr Tony Sharp
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    That is the thing John, we do not need to trailblaze these cards with our visitors. The government's intent is to create a vast reservoir of information about every individual in this country for purposes that are less than clear and completely unnecessary.

    This is a mere stepping stone on that path as the salami tactics of imposing ID cards upon us bit by bit are rolled out. The repository of information will be a constant lure for 'crackers' and criminals who can profit from stealing the information that is collected.

    We already have the means of identifying and catching immigration cheats, fraudsters, terror suspects and those entitled to state benefits. This scheme is a ridiculously expensive government toy that furthers government control at a time when the state needs to be trimmed down. It is a giant white elephant that will provide no additional benefit to the population but which we are expected to fund.

  5. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I will never pay for an ID card. If the government sends me one I will destroy it.. We should have a mass protest and all do the same. If we all do it there is nothing they can do about it. This is the Labour and EU dictatorship.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted September 28, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Ditto for me. My dad risked his life fighting fascist domination from Europe in WW2. I could never meekly surrender to it, to do so would be a betrayal of all the heroes of 1939-45 who faced far worse than Jackie Smith looking stern. Let them do their damndest. I shall not carry one. Let them take my money, let them imprison me, (whoops, the prisons are full) I still won't carry one.

      • Andrew Forbes
        Posted September 30, 2008 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        The only clever bit about the ID card bill (I mean clever, as in devious), is that there is no prison sentence attached to it. This means there shall be no parade of ID card matyrs, respectable middle-class tax payers 1 and all, parading off to prison. All ID card offences are punishable by ever increasing fines, so that ultimately the bailiffs will cart off your furniture. But you will never be allowed to make your stand and march proudly into prison, together with the other posters here, and me. It won't be the govt that forces you to carry an ID card, but your bank who won't give you money, or the airline that makes it so much more difficult to buy a ticket. We are completely reliant on the Tory promise to scrap the scheme.

        • Stuart Fairney
          Posted October 1, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          Their remit only extends so far, and all one need do is divest oneself of assets (really quite easy) and what can the bewildered baliff take? Set aside the fact that nowhere near 100% of fines are ever collected.

          If an airline on seeing my passport still demands my ID card, then I'll find another airline. If the bank, after knowing me for twenty plus years demands to see my ID card, I am happy to bank offshore.

          In a global world government powers are more limited than they like to think. And if all else fails, I will simply leave the UK, because I am not a criminal and will not be treated like one.

  6. Tony Makara
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Most ridiculous of all is the belief that terrorist or criminal groups wouldn't have the capacity to create fake ID cards. In fact a good fake card would make breaching security all the easier. Even if an ID system were introduced it could only work most of the time if everyone was expected to carry a card all of the time. Otherwise what is the point? The entire ID card approach is typical of the ill-thought out, quick-fix, politics of the Labour government. The reality is that the only way to guarantee security is through intelligence, that is where money should be spent, ID cards will protect no-one and provide easy entry for groups with the ability to produce counterfeit copies.

  7. DBC Reed
    Posted September 27, 2008 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I live in one of the 10% most deprived areas in the UK.(This designation is rather difficult for me to believe,having lived in early 60's Moss Side .) However,if the collection of data on different government computers could be integrated to provide an indication of which types of people need help locally, (it certainly is n't everybody) and if the process of introducing ID cards makes this collection easier,I would be more favorable to them .(After all, one of the problems helpers in disaster areas report is the lack of a bureaucracy to furnish information about how many people live in the areas affected; how old most of them are; how many kids etc.)
    In that sense bureaucracy can be liberating.( When the local [private] water company realised it was poisoning everybody,bureaucracy saw to it that vulnerable groups were identified for supplies of bottled water).
    I will be more convinced of the security of ID cards when they are accepted as identification when you are voting.The present British, and therefore truly wonderful system, is that your ballot slip is issued and your identication copied onto a counterfoil so each slip can be matched with its counterfoil later. If the Polling staff could, in future, identify people from just looking at the ID card and not sticking it into a machine, my residual Leftie suspicions of the ruling-class and its conduct of elections might be assuaged.

  8. Bazman
    Posted September 28, 2008 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    As a Daily Mail reader for many years. I very much welcome this scheme. During WW II everyone had one. If you have nothing to hide. etc etc.
    Have fluorescent light bulbs really improved that much since people where saying they would never use them and house price inflation was great for everyone?
    What's changed? Is everyone mad? Or am I just getting old and more conservative. Dear Daily Mail….

    • mikestallard
      Posted September 28, 2008 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Comrade, your tale that you have nothing to hide is very far from the truth.
      We have pictures of you smoking outside Woolworths this morning where, we understand, you bought some weed killer. I wonder what we would find on your mobile phone? We already have records of you speeding through a 20 mph zone at 34 mph. You say that recently you have visited Dewsbury where, we know, there are terrorists. Your tale that it was on business is plainly a lie. You sound to us like a thoroughly unpleasant sort of terrorist. It would be an awful shame, comrade, if that skunk were found in your pocket after we have strip searched you…….

    • Glen
      Posted October 13, 2008 at 2:34 am | Permalink

      Nothing to hide? Well it appears you have anticommunity tendancies as well. Trying to rubbish the culture's great leap forward to Flouresceht light bulbs which as we all know is part of the oath you have sworn to your electricty supplier! Expect a knock on your door at 3am sometime!

  9. mikestallard
    Posted September 28, 2008 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I always hate it when people recommend other sites to look at, so I won't do it. But, having Googled in the words EU+ID cards, I found out that although there really has been a discussion about it in the EU, nevertheless, it seems to have been agreed by most governments – biometrics, cards, finger printing and so on – and that the idea has been certainly discussed a lot over the past four years or even more.
    It is so easy to blame the EU for everything.
    But in this case, we are correct to do so.
    I am going to have to be a bit of a rebel like Johnny Norfolk above.

  10. Keith
    Posted September 28, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I don't want one and will refuse one.
    The government wants me to have one and then compounds the felony by expecting me to pay for it.

    To quote….'On yer bike'

  11. Confused & Angry
    Posted September 29, 2008 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    This makes me livid.
    Irrespective of whether or not ID cards 'work', whatever that means, the whole exercise is an affront to those of us who still like to think of ourselves as freeborn Englishmen.
    Why should I have to carry my 'papers' with me, to prove who I am at the behest of every Tom McNulty, Cressida Dick or Harriet Harman?
    I was born in this country and I have every right to live here and to be about my lawful business without undue interference from the snooping functionaires of a bloated, incompetent & corrupt State.
    It is a measure which symbolises so succintly all that is wrong with this Labour government. I cannot recall a government which treated the populace with such contempt and, indeed, utter malice.
    It changes the relationship between the individual and the State to the disadvantage of the individual.
    I do not see why the Conservatives are not making more of this. To pledge the abolition of the ID card programme and the repeal of the legislation would be a sure fire vote winner.
    Should ID cards be forced upon us all, then I would suggest a mass bonfire of them in Trafalgar Square.

  12. Frank Davis
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    I've heard that the Conservatives are planning a 'Freedom Charter' that would scrap ID cards, remove non-criminals from the national DNA database, and allow exemptions to the smoking ban in pubs and clubs. I'd agree to all that. But is it just a rumour?

  13. Conservative Freedom
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    In my humble opinion, the entire concept of introducing ID cards has been flawed from the start. Firstly, it will be very expensive to implement. Secondly, it won't help in the detection or capture of criminals (despite the claims of some). Furthermore, is there any hard evidence that such an initiative would help to reduce fraud?

    I have heard the argument that we should accept ID cards, simply because other Europeans do. However, the NIR (National Identity Register) proposed by Labour would have the potential to expose our lives to the scrutiny of numerous faceless bureaucrats.

  14. 10 No6
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see a mass protest against ID cards – I too will rebel and refuse it as my right is there not a politician who will pick up this human right.

  15. Glen
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I for one will be following the example of the black and Indian People in South Africa in the 1930s who when required by the South African Government to carry passes, decided to hold mass rallies in which they burnt their passes and rejected the whole system by civil disobedience.
    Nothing new under the sun except I never expected to see this behaviour from a so called democratic government.
    Democracy! These people dirty the word.

  16. Paul Gudgeon
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Thanks for your firm stance against this insidious card. I truly hope that the conservatives can battle it out and defeat this rotten policy of a rotten labour government.

    So the labour government wants to monitor the population? The feeling is reciprocated. I want to check out the labour government and catch them out in their multitude of lies and plethora of smokescreens.

    Labour's boast when it was elected was that "things can only get better", but my experience of life under labour is that things have become significantly worse.

    Young people knifing and shooting in the streets. Babies being battered while councils look on making sure they fulfil labour whims? With all that happening this labour government is blowing our hard earned tax money on encumbering us with this pointless ID card. Making up stories as they go along about the benefits of this half-witted idea. They are MAKING IT UP AS THEY GO. Is that government? Aweful. I'd like to write a 10 page diatribe against this pathetic lot.

    Why don't they focus on the issues that *actually matter*. Protecting 17 month old infants, and dealing with knife crime? For example.

    I want to live with a sense of *freedom*, *peace*, safety, knowing that I can go out to a good job, and pay taxes for good, sensible services; not pipe-dreams.

One Trackback

  • By ID bcards/b - No, No, No on September 27, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    […] John Redwood wrote an interesting post today onID bcards/b – No, No, NoHere’s a quick excerptProviding bcards/b for foreigners arriving in the UK is absurd. They need to have passports to come. We can record what details we need on their arrival. Why do we need to trailblaze ID bcards/b through our visitors? […]

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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