ID cards to beat terrorism, again..?

IDENTITY cards are to be brought into Northern Ireland, as they will be in the rest of the UK. Part of the reason given is that they will help fight terrorism. I don’t want to burst the Home Secretary’s bubble, but we’ve had photo ID in Northern Ireland for many years that didn’t exist in GB (eg photographic driving licenses). Can he tell us what difference it made before he repeats the exercise? What do readers feel about having to carry ID. Would you be happy with Big Blunkett watching you?

  • Davros

    I’m in favour. Isn’t it common in the rest of the EU ?

  • slackjaw

    Provided I can get a new identity as often as I like, I don’t care.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I know in Germany they have ID cards that are like laminated plastic versions of the page in your passport with the photo on it.

    These are very different from the biometric ones. I’d like to be shown how terrorism could be stopped by these cards, but no-one has said how they stopped terrorism in any other part of the world that I know of, yet this excuse continues to be peddled.

    I bet you can false IDs the day after the real ones are released, chip or no chip.

  • Davros

    I would also favour compulsory registration of DNA profiles.

  • Dec

    I suggest they stick their British ID cards up their arse!

  • Davros

    Dec- it’s something that should be addressed via the relevant Cross-border body. It’s coming.

  • Warm Storage

    I take it you don’t currently carry anything then that would constitute having British residency/identity, Dec?

  • slackjaw

    I agree Dec, and I am strongly opposed to the compulsory registration of DNA profiles as suggested above. Anyone who works in data mining will be able to tell you that the potential abuses of this type of information are endless. My DNA is mine alone.

  • Warm Storage

    Agree 100%, Slackjaw.

  • Davros

    SJ – DNA registration would have a huge impact on criminality. Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear in that respect.

  • slackjaw

    ‘DNA registration would have a huge impact on criminality.’

    The biggest crime of all would be the submission of that which makes every person unique to the ownership of the state.

  • Davros

    How on earth would having a register of citizen’s DNA transfer ownership to the state ?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    How do nationalists feel about being forced to carry a card that identifies them as British, possibly with a Union flag emblazoned on it?

  • Davros

    Gonzo , why would it have to have a Union Flag ? It could carry the EU flag.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    It doesn’t have to have any flag. But there’s a fair chance it could. I think I saw sthg with potential designs for the card ages ago, with the flag on it.

    S’pose if it ain’t necessary, it could be dropped for NI. It’s what’s in the card that’s more important, but there’s likely to be opposition to someone in NI with Irish nationality/passport being forced to carry ID that says they are British.

  • Tom Griffin

    The Home Office have said there won’t be a flag on the ID cards.
    I did a story on this for the Irish World which might be helpful:

    “>ID card chief addresses Irish community concerns

    When the Irish issue was first raised, I think the British Government was hoping to do it on a cross-border basis but Michael McDowell came out firmly against it.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Thanks Tom.

    Your link didn’t work, so if you can copy the URL in, that would be great.

  • Tom Griffin

    Sorry, the link for that story is here:

  • Keith M

    This is going to create an interesting position for citizens of the Republic. UK citzens will have an ID card, those coming from abroad will have passports, but theose coming from Ireland will not need either.

  • Tom Griffin

    I think Irish citizens will be expected to either get an ID card or a Foreign Residents Permit if they’re staying longer than three months.
    If they’re staying less than three months, I suppose Irish people don’t need passports under the common travel area, but the airlines are eroding that anyway.

  • JD


    I’m surprised that someone would advocate taking samples of every citizen’s DNA and registering their profiles with the state.

    The argument that the innocent would “have nothing to fear” is not a sufficient argument against possible abuses.

  • Davros

    The benefits outweigh the risks IMO JD.
    It’s day will come to paraphrase a well known saying 😉

  • JD

    That day should be fought against. Security should not triumph over civil liberties. It treats everybody as a potential criminal, regardless of what they have/ have not done.

    Are people really that insecure?

    I’m really surprised.

  • Davros

    Why should hiding one’s DNA profile be considered a civil liberty ?

  • Super Freak

    The cost of such a scheme could run into the billions and seeing as we can’t even make copy proof DVD’s I don’t see how ID cards can stop terrorists. The money could be better spent on other anti-terrorist measures that actully work and not just sound good before an election.

  • JD

    The fact that you see keeping the state out of one’s DNA as “hiding” it is telling.

    I should have the right to choose not divulging it to the state. It is simply none of the state’s business.

  • Davros

    How does the state having a record of one’s DNA profile equate to the state being ‘in’ it ?

    Do you refuse to participate in Census ? Do you object to having a National Insurance number ?

  • JD

    You’re just being silly now. If you cannot see the difference then I suppose we agree to disagree.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I would have no problem with an ID card. On Gonzos’ point of the Union Jack insignia I would imagine that some sort of compromise would be reached, as Davros stated possibly the EU flag.

    On Question Time last night i was surprised at the amount of hostility to the proposal. Costed at 3 billion and not ready for implementation for 10 years. Which really means double and add on 10 for good luck . So 16 billion in 30 years time.

  • IJP

    Strongly in favour, I have to say, Gonzo.

    Let’s face it, Hotpoint, O2 and Sky all have your personal details, so why not David Blunkett!

    The truth is they are perfectly common in other countries (even the libertarian US) and have a clear use when it is necessary to prove identity (it’d make election identification far easier for a start).

    Basically we nearly all have National Insurance numbercards, so why not put a photo on them?

  • Davros

    Now, This is more like it-

    Tough on Students, Tough on the causes of students!

    Universtity gum ban branded draconian

  • Belfast Gonzo


    But should it be compulsory?

    Hotpoin and O2 may have my details (though I doubt it), but that was:

    a) either my choice

    b) something I can check under the Data Protection Act.

    The chances of the Government being quite so ‘open’ (and that’s only a relative term) are somewhere between zero and nil.

  • aquifer

    How scrupulous are paramilitaries and fanatics in their handling of my personal bits, never mind my personal data. David Blunket can have my DNA and the heap.