Posts Tagged ID cards

More on ID cards

Does anyone still support ID cards? Alan Johnson has managed to unite even more parties against the scheme. The Democratic Unionists are objecting to the pilot version because it doesn’t include the Union Jack.

Liberal Democrats have always opposed ID cards and in recent years the Conservatives have joined us. So have many Labour rebels.

Earlier this month opposition MPs united to table a parliamentary debate calling for the ID card scheme to be scrapped. The issue has divided Islington Labour party. Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn voted with the Liberal Democrats to oppose ID cards; but Labour loyalist Emily Thornberry lined up with the Government whips and voted in favour.

Last week’s Islington Tribune carried my latest letter on ID cards, and a shorter version appears in this week’s Islington Gazette.

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Sweet land of liberty

In many ways our social freedoms, the freedoms of particular groups, have made great leaps foward under Labour.

We now have comprehensive anti-discrimination laws, civil partnerships, paternity leave, among other initiatives – all supported by the Lib Dems. But at the same time our individual civil liberties have been undermined.

The Government monitors us to a greater extent than ever before, while refusing to tell us the information we most want to know about them. All sorts of longstanding British traditions – like the right to a jury trial or the right to protest at Parliament – are under threat. ID cards and the database state cost billions but make us no safer. The cold eyes of CCTV cameras have replaced real policemen on many of our streets.

So it’s timely that the Liberal Democrats are proposing a Freedom Bill which will tackle some of the worst threats to our freedom.

For example, the Bill aims to:
• Scrap ID cards for everyone.
• Restore the right to protest in Parliament Square.
• Scrap the ContactPoint database of all children in Britain.
• Remove innocent people from the DNA database.
• Reduce the maximum period of pre-charge detention to 14 days.

In an appropriate spirit of openness, the party is inviting comments on the Bill. What’s good, what’s bad, what’s missing: let’s have your views. And if you’re on Facebook and support the Bill, why not join the Facebook group here.

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NO2ID street stall today

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Today I hurried straight from church to join the local NO2ID team at our streetstall at the Angel. Despite the windy weather (never have ‘flyers’ been better named) and the lure of last minute Christmas shopping, we had a lot of interest from passers by. Perhaps unsurprising as the latest opinion polls show that opposition to ID cards is growing fast.

One of the arguments people give in favour of ID cards is that the innocent have nothing to fear. (Try telling that to Colin Stagg). The implication that big organisations, the government, the police or local councils never make mistakes strikes me as a little over-optimistic, to say the least.

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ID cards: the madness continues

Last week the first compulsory ID cards came in.

This week we find out that no-one can read them.

More on the NO2ID campaign here and here.

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ID cards: try something new today?

The Labour Government is becoming obsessed with supermarkets.

First they suggested we might like to vote there. We’ve seen Post Offices and pharmacists move into supermarkets. Then there was the GP clinic in Sainsbury’s. Whatever next?

Well, now Jacqui Smith thinks the local Tesco could be the perfect place for you to give your fingerprints and collect your ID card. In some ways it makes sense. Like supermarkets, the Government is keen to collect as much information on us as possible – if only to replace what they’ve already lost. Every little helps!

As the excellent Home Office Watch points out, if you buy an ID card with your lottery ticket, there’s probably more chance of the Government losing your data than there is of you winning the jackpot.

Meanwhile supermarkets have their own expertise on ID to share.

My advice? Sign the petition here, and tell them to BOGOF.

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Guardian blog 14 November

My latest Guardian blog – with thoughts on Remembrance Sunday and Government climbdowns – is now online.

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Guardian blog 11 Sept

My latest Guardian blog, covering cake, canals, and local heroines, is now online.

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