At the Labour Party Reichsparteitag last week, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith closed the event by re-announcing "ID cards for foreigners".
In fact a system of biometric visas is being introduced for some foreign residents from November but it is not really part of the National Identity Scheme which hasn't been built yet. This hasn't stopped the government using the words "ID cards" together with a sly appeal to xenophobia to drum up support for its unpopular scheme.
It seems the BBC knows a thing or two - halfway down an item 'Foreign national ID card unveiled' on its website, there is a video box labelled "How an identity card will work". Surfers who clicked the little arrow were confronted with a black screen bearing the words "This content doesn't seem to be working. Try again later."
No surprise there, then.
Also at the Labour Reichsparteitag we were treated to another taste of things to come when Phil Booth, national coordinator of the NO2ID campaign, couldn't get in because he couldn't get an ID card.
He was due to debate the ID scheme with Home Office minister Meg Hillier but Labour's pass office in Manchester told him there had been a problem with his application and it would cost him £600 for a temporary pass to enter the conference for an hour! If this is how they organise ID for their own party conference it makes you wonder how the are they going to organise ID cards for 50 million people (well, actually, it doesn't make you wonder because we already know. They'll use it to (a) stifle dissent and (b) made shed-loads of money for themselves).
The same Meg Hillier announced that sees no reason why ID cards can't be given to children as young as 14. The Identity and Passport Service has since denied that plans are afoot to lower the age from 16 as the ID cards act says.
Hillier also hinted that the government may try to hinder attempts by a future Conservative or Lib-Dem government to scrap the scheme. She said "There isn't an easy way to unpick this scheme, quite rightly because it is invaluable".
The dangers of assigning a unique identifier (like the UK National Identity Register number) to every citizen have become all too clear in Norway. Each year the tax department there sends the media a list of all the country's taxpayers and the amount of tax they've paid.
This year the CD received by journalists also included every person's "birth number" that follows every Norwegian from the cradle to the grave. Large-scale identity theft is now not just a possibility, but a virtual certainty. "We've no idea how it happened," a spokesperson said.
The GOS is writing to the Norwegian government to tell them just how they came to make this mistake but is having difficulty framing the letter. There has to be a limit to the number of times you can use on one page the expressions "colossal arrogance", "vicious contempt for individual freedom" and "criminal stupidity".
(Information courtesy of the NO2ID Campaign)
The GOS says: Meg Hillier's claim that Labour may try to sabotage the decisions of a future government probably rang a bell with the Tory shadow-minister for business, Alan Duncan. He reckons Gordon Brown is not borrowing billions and billions of pounds just to buy himself out of trouble, but in order to leave the next government a ticking time-bomb of debt.
A few years ago such a claim would have been laughable. But that was before we learned just what lengths these people will go to. They truly believe that because they are right and everyone else is wrong, they are entitled to take any action they like to further their own laudable ends.
Hugh Walpole, writing in 1938, was in a good position to observe this sort of behaviour at close hand ...
"The only trouble with him was that he was, like many thousands of others, still a child. He wished everyone well so long as his greed, his animal desires, his sense of power were sufficiently fed. He was the type of whom all tyrants, and men who work gladly for and under tyrants, are made. He thought himself a very good man, as all tyrants think themselves good men."
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