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Saturday, January 21, 2006

"This truly is the people's police state"

Below's piece is from Chicken Yoghurt.

Catalogue model: Saturday, January 21, 2006

So, Charles Falconer, the UK's foremost unelected flatmate sounds off on ID cards:

BBC News: ID cards 'should be compulsory'
Lord Falconer told BBC Radio Four's Any Questions: "The question is should you require - and I think ultimately, unless there is compulsion, you won't get the benefits of an ID card system - is it right to compel those that don't have a passport also to get an ID card?

"I think it is, I think it will become inevitable that you need reliable means of identification, both to stop people stealing your identity, and also making it much, much easier for you to deal with the state."

He neglects to mention it's also to make it much easier for the state to deal with you.

New Labour should ditch ID cards and divert their energies into ensuring their Thousand Year Reich - play the long game. The rate at which they're cataloguing our children means they'll probably have most of the population on file within a couple of generations.

The Prime Minister was 24 carat on the subject of ID cards at Prime Minister's Questions this week...

As for the calculations made by the LSE, I think that I am right that, although the report was put out under the LSE's name, it was actually written by the leading campaigner against ID cards on the ground of civil liberties. So I do not think that it is an entirely objective assessment.

...showing all the self awareness of a man who's main line of persuasion on war with Iraq reduced down to little more than "you're going to have to trust me on this" and "it's what I believe". Still, playing the man, what a bastard trick, eh?

The reasons for having ID cards are ever narrowing. They won't save anyone's life for a start. But the Prime Minister is adamant that they will stop a new breed of "early 21st century" crime. It's a disease and biometrics are the cure. Let's see if we can spot what it is from his answers in the House this week:

Because if we introduce an ID card scheme and reduce identity fraud, that makes a major difference to the costs of Government and the costs of doing business. In today's world, if we want to tackle illegal migration, crime and identity fraud, using the new biometric technology to have ID cards is an important part of doing so.


Why are ID cards so important now? Because we know, from all the available evidence, that identity fraud is on the increase—that is bound to happen in the modern world. Many people, including the former leader of the Conservative party, reached the conclusion that we need identity cards, and it is right to do that now because the biometric technology is coming in. Other countries are moving towards biometric passports and we will have to do that. The largest part of the cost of an identity card will be the biometric passport, which we must have. I assume that the right hon. Gentleman is in favour of the biometric passport; perhaps he could elucidate that—we know that his policy tends to shift a little quickly nowadays.

We need the identity card to fight crime, illegal migration and identity fraud in the early 21st century and the costs will be largely met by the biometric passport.

I love the "we need identity cards, and it is right to do that now because the biometric technology is coming in". We can so we should. He's like James Bond nemesis Blofeld and his plans for world domination. In the next Bond film, the villain will be a middle manager with a god complex promoted to his level of incompetence:

We need to blow up London, and it is right to do that now because the satellite made of diamonds is coming in.

And onwards...

With the greatest respect, he should think again about the matter. We will have to introduce biometric passports—I know that he agrees with that—and we will therefore have to make enormous changes in the years to come for the vast bulk of people who have passports. Identity fraud is also a major and growing problem. People throughout the world are moving towards identity card systems because they are necessary to tackle the problems of today's world. Of course there is a cost to identity cards but there is a cost to identity fraud in so many different ways.

He does go on about it, doesn't he? I hope it's all to do with him desperately trying to sell a pup and not something more deep-seated and festering. Imagine him before a public appearance splashing cold water on his face and chanting "You are Tony Blair, you are Tony Blair, you are Tony Blair" into the mirror. His ID card could be a little mirror he takes everywhere. Some positive reinforcement that he isn't just a uncomfortable grin and a thinning bouffant, a bucket into which business pours its interests.

Anyway. Identity fraud. It's a problem. It would, of course, be less of a problem if the Government's tax credit system wasn't the "low hanging fruit" of the identity fraud racket.

BBC News: Tax credit fraud hits Job Centres
Up to 13,000 Job Centre staff may have had personal details stolen by criminals making fraudulent claims for tax credits.


BBC News: Treasury denies tax fraud 'chaos'
The Treasury has denied a fraud carried out on thousands of Network Rail staff shows the tax system is in crisis.

The system gives nothing more than the impression of having been written for someone's GCSE Computer Studies project.

So the solution is to sit another massively complicated computer system (with all the overruns, bugs, recriminations and budget bloat that that entails) over the top of the old, massively complicated computer systems, like a filthy rag on a weeping sore.

When I worked in IT, bugs and system crashes caused by programs we had written were know as "factoring in the overtime". New programs and fixes had to be written and overnight callouts to fix system crashes were paid at double time. The ID Cards are merely this thinking factored up beyond the dreams of the avarice of an IT contractor.


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10:57 pm  

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