British and free

The No2ID campaign is encouraging those opposed to the ID Card Scheme and National Identity Register (NIR) to renew their British passport before the end of September 2006. The Identity Cards Act 2006 grants the Home Office the power to make a passport a “designated document” and thus require passport applicants to attend an interview, provide fingerprints and a range of personal information for the NIR as well as pay for an ID card they didn’t ask for. If you wish to avoid this early enforced registration and/or want to show your opposition to this Act, apply to renew your passport now (it does not need to be near its expiration). The No2ID campaign will be monitoring the growth in applications as a measure and demonstration of public opposition to ID cards and the NIR.

  • heck

    would it be trolling to say that a better alternative is to get an Irish passport.

  • willis

    How polite are we getting?

  • aquifer

    “public opposition to ID cards and the NIR”

    How widespread is this? Funnily enough around here I feel most threatened by people who are resolved to conceal their identity to avoid having their criminal conduct scrutinised.

    A gang of hoodlums invade and terrorise a teenage house party, and then seriously assault a parent. Police arrive and take names and addresses which turn out to be bogus. Similar pantomime performances are playing in a street near you.

    In an age where mass mobility is routine, and where legal authorities usually refrain from torture, maiming and kidnapping of their own citizens at least, how better to curtail criminality?

  • *sings* “oh Lord it’s hard to be humble…”

  • Rubicon

    Thanks for posting this FD – I hadn’t picked up on it. This scheme is worse than an ID card since your details may then become available to other governments. Whatever assurances the gov. provide I’ll not believe it – you can be absolutely sure the US will be provided them. Any other state wishing to woe the US may also supply those details to them.

    Some may think – “why worry – sure if you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve nothing to worry about”.

    Loose your credit card and the bank will issue a new one – with a new number. Try changing your finger-prints! A photocopy of your passport may have the same impact. Do you trust every foreign hotel you stay in?

    The above is just one example of how this wish to make us subjects of the state (rather than the state subject to us) is turning the purpose of government 180 degrees.

    Aquifier – your tale is one of police incompetence. The self ame thugs wouldn’t have been able to rent a video on the evidence the police seemed to think acceptable!

  • foreign correspondent

    I´m sticking to the passport with the harp on it, FD. The UK can go stick its ID Card you know where. Still I suppose the Irish govt. will follow suit and bring in an ID card as well. Sigh… Didn´t some British minister for something or other admit ID Cards wouldn´t have stopped the July 7th outrage anyway?

  • Rubicon

    Foreign Co – I’ll be renewing my Irish passport too (it’s out of date) as well as renewing my UK passport that’s just 2 years old. I don’t think having 2 passports is going to help much though – the Irish Gov. will follow since it’s the US behind this. Indeed, having 2 “genetic passports” increases your chances of loosing one or having one stolen.

    The EU is economically more powerful than the US – but this business couldn’t describe better the EU’s political weakness.

  • Not a number

    Tattoed barcodes at birth- the only way to stop, y’know, civil liberties and all that horrible stuff. Saves on plastic as well, which can then be used for our leashes.

  • Ciaran Irvine

    the Irish Gov. will follow since it’s the US behind this

    Don’t think so. McDowell tried flying a kite on it a few months back, trying out the excuse that we would have to introduce them “because we have a land border with the UK”. By the next day after a storm of incredulous outrage from just about everybody the whole notion had been quietly dropped.

    The mad US demands for fingerprints etc. on flights have recently been shot down by European courts, and Georgie Boy only has 2 years left. Any Irish government tried this would be forcibly ejected from Leinster House by the archtypal pitchfork-waving Angry Mob.

  • Declan Walsh

    Looks like people from N.Ireland will be the only legal part of the UK to have an opt out.
    As a part of the GFA, we can choose to be Irish, British or both. But surely you can’t be made to have one passport or the other regardless of what nationality you consider yourself.

    I’d be interested to hear if any libertarian Unionists would consider getting an Irish passport to avoid big brother’s gaze?

    I consider myself both, but have always had a British passport out of convenience (my family have a mix of the two). I think I’ll be getting myself an Irish one at last now that Tony wants to scan my eyeballs.

    So if its Iris or Irish, what will you pick?

  • Shay Begorrah

    Identifying yourself as British should not lead to a major reduction in your civil liberties.

    We are fortunate in the Republic that though herr McDowell(and no doubt other occupants of the MOJetc) would gladly support similar increases in government powers the south’s electoral system and historical suspicion of the state makes this kind of rights grab more difficult.

    Still, I hope republicans are fully behind the efforts of our British cousins to thwart this idiotic, totalitarian and repellent initiative to change the balance of power between the state and the citizen.

  • Rubicon

    DW – the GFA has nothing to do with holding 2 passports. I’ve held 2 for near 30 years.

    CI – I hope you’re right but the latest flight landing in Ireland suggests a frigtening level of compliance.

    I stopped going to the US after they decided they wanted to treat me like a criminal. I don’t think they’ll be backing off this craze evan after GWB has departed. Pity – I used to enjoy New Orleans – but that is another place not too pleased with Bush. I doubt many in NO think much will change in regard to their 2nd class status after he’s gone either.

    I’d like to think what the US does is its business – but it’s not. Their blind support for Israel has made all the West a target. That pre-dated both Bushes and it will be some time yet before UN resolutions regarding Israel are followed up with sanctions.

    If the West was truly interested in fighting terrorism it would look to its causes. Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and they’re open flouting of the UN has put the West in the firing line.

    It raises an interesting question – we’ve ignored right and wrong in the rules we set down – because we didn’t want to upset the US. Since the Russians aren’t massed at our borders anymore – what’s the reason for us being US croppies now?

  • Harry Flashman

    I renewed my UK passport earlier this year even though it had a few years to run for precisely this reason. I also ordered a forty page version so hopefully by the time it comes to renew it again this whole ID card nonsense will have been chucked in the bin where it belongs.

    I also have an Irish passport, and it will also be renewed soon with a forty page version just in case they also try on this stupid anti-libertarian abomination too.

    Who the hell the government are that they think they can demand papers from us to show their officials at any time and criminalise walking down the street I don’t know but if freedom means anything then it means the ability to tell a cop to mind his own damn business if you aren’t doing anything wrong.

  • kensei

    Isn’t this meant to coming in even with the passport eventually? I still haven’t decided if I’ll go down South or to jail over it. Surprised republicans have been quiet on this one.

  • foreign correspondent

    This is the first time I have ever agreed with anything Harry Flashman has said here. I´m worried now 🙂
    I hope Ciaran Irvine is right to say the Irish government won´t follow suit. I´m not so sure.

    (The code I had to enter for this post is against99, appropiately. 99% of people are against ID cards, I reckon. But will that influence the British government? Will it heck)

  • Paul


    Yes, Libertarian Unionist here, getting an Irish passport when the time comes. Hopefully the Irish government won’t follow suit in the future.

  • gg

    The Irish government is introducing a biometric passport later this year. When ID cards become compulsory in the UK, it is likely that a special Irish citizen card will be introduced by the UK government to allow Irish citizens to continue using British services. Aditionally, all long-term resident foreign citizens (Irish citizens are not foreign under UK law) will require an ID card in the UK!

  • George

    Would northern nationalists have a problem if the Republic ended the common travel area agreement with the UK?
    Then we wouldn’t need I.D. cards but would need passports to travel to the UK. Naturally our northern brethren would need their passports to travel south.

    We could then join Schengen too like the rest of the eurozone nations.

    The days of riding the British and Irish pony can’t and shouldn’t go on forever in my view.

  • Crataegus

    This is an utter disgrace, complete waste of money. Is Britain a Fascist state run by a second rate war mongering little Hitler?

    In Britain the bombers including the IRA were home grown so the only way the ID card helps is enabling us to more easily identify the suicide bombers corpse. I am sure the cost is well worth the benefit.

    We are all supposed to run around with this stupid card, but anything produced by man can be forged, so what benefit? How do you make this work? Friendly Bobby comes up to you and asks for proof of your identity. How does he verify, does he drag you down to the station to scan it in?

    There is something fundamentally wrong here. I have every right to go where I please and no security type should have any right to hinder me unless they can prove I am about to do something criminal or that I am wanted for a crime. Being stopped and asked every hundred yards fast becomes harassment and don’t for one minute think that sections of the community are not harassed.

    This will go down like a lead balloon in England and we know Tony doesn’t care as he is leaving office some day soon but his successor risks a backlash.

    Not a number

    Tattooed barcodes at birth-

    The sick thing is they probably have thought of it or better still implanting chips so they can monitor where we all go. Now that would be real handy.

    In my opinion this has more to do with tax and social security than security. It is also being driven by the USA. It always amazes me how Americans, who are decent people end up with such governments. The unbridled hypocrisy of Bush and Co really takes the biscuit. It takes a real brass neck to complain about terrorists on one hand and on the other fund them or yourself be up to your neck in terror and human rights violations.

    Stop bombing and killing people and perhaps in future you will have less enemies, but of course that doesn’t work for really the object is not co-operation but domination and exploitation of resources.

    I personally avoid goods produced by American companies where possible, I won’t visit there, I won’t do business there, and I won’t use dollars. If everyone else who criticise the US foreign policy did likewise perhaps we would see change.

  • foreign correspondent

    I for one would be very sad if I had to produce a passport on the Derry Donegal border every time I crossed over… This seems a lose-lose situation.
    Why can´t the UK forget ID cards, join Schengen and join the Euro? Wishful thinking, I know.

  • Crataegus


    We could then join Schengen too like the rest of the eurozone nations.

    Totally agree and sensible thing to do. If Blairs Britain has gone barking mad why follow?

    By the way I don’t see this going down well in Britain.

  • mnob

    Guys, I’m not sure of the source of this story – but the BBC reports that biometrics will be taken from 2008 when applying for passports (not Septemer this year) *and* that everyone will be able to opt out of having an ID card until 2010 (*after* the next general election which I suspect will have at least one major party standing on a ticket opposing the scheme).

    Also I took part in the trial and have worked in companies at the sharp end of biometrics – and will share a secret with all of you – IT DOESNT WORK – its all bluff !

    I also take comfort from the fact that for example the NHS cant put together a system which stores all our medical records despite oodles of money and time, so how successfull will this IT project be ?

    I personally think that the best time to get a passport will be in 2008 when the system is in its infancy and will be no use to man nor beast.

    Failing all of that, I think this liberal Unionist may just get an Irish passport …

  • Gum

    I really can’t believe how totalitarian New Labour has become. I remember the optimism of May ’97 and can’t believe that this is the same govt. ID cards will not work. It was Charles Clarke, the schemes main cheerleader who admitted that they would not have stopped the 7th of July bombings in London. Terrorists will get round them the same way they have got around passports and every other security check introduced in the past.

    As for the argument that someone who has nothing to hide has nothing to worry about – they have the most to worry about. Its about being free! I have nothing to hide, but I dont want the govt or anyone following me, listening in on my phone calls etc. We will no longer live in a free country if this is introduced. I’ll be following the plan of civil disobedience (refusing to get ID card – refusing to pay fine etc) should they become mandatory.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “sings* “oh Lord it’s hard to be humble…”

    Second Lt Carson would have appreciated that pakman

  • Steve

    I’ve renewed mine. I think it’s a disgrace that the government are trying to introduce ID cards and the database state on us. I’m totally behind this campaign.

  • Declan Walsh

    Fantastic!, didn’t realise it was that easy to persuade unionists. If Gerry had known that, him and his cohorts would be in Westminister pushing as much draconian new labour legislation as they can!

    So a step further my broad-minded unionist friends:
    If that passport allowed you to vote in ROI elections (which it doesn’t – although the constitution does- although theres no constituency so you can’t)
    Would you be tempted to vote?
    Who would you vote for?
    Or would you support a unionist standing for election on an all-Ireland in UK platform??

  • mnob

    Would I vote in an ROI election, with my new ‘ID less’ Irish passport ?

    No, I dont want to interfere in the business of another state 🙂

    Besides as previous posters point out its only a matter of time before the ROI follows suit. (Just look at the rendition issue as an example)

  • cthulhu


    Debate Central has disappeared as if it never existed. Do you have any info from your side ? It’s like some weird episode of Twilight Zone; people one has been conversing with for the past five years, gone in an instant.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Seriously right enough, does anyone know why DC has closed down? I was away for a week and came back to find it totally gone.

  • cthulhu

    Slarti ! Padraig here. Lost in the wilderness, we is. Those of us from Deb Cen are a bit too pedestrian for this site. My biggest fear is that something happened to our Webmistress; she was sent to Iraq some three years ago. If you find a site where some of our refugees have gone, please let me know.

  • Brian Boru

    An EU identity-card could help combat:

    A: Illegal immigration (“produce your ID card to prove your entitled to be here”).

    B: Voting-fraud (swipe your card here…oh you’ve already swiped….:) )

    C: Social-welfare fraud via multiple-ID scams which asylum-seekers in the Republic e.g. Nigerians were reportedly involved in.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Alright Padraig, hows it going? Aye, I don’t think most of the DCers are civilised enough to be let loose on any forum other than DC itself. I certainly do miss the sectarian abuse and the ravings of the crackheads. It’ll just fade into myth and legend now but if I find a site full of the old faces I’ll tell you.

  • cthulhu

    Ta Slarti. I’m doin’ okay. It’s the 4th of July and everybody hates us. The ravings and abuse were a lesson to me; a street-level education of Ulcer. That was the whole idea of DC; so that us thick yanks might actually learn sommat.
    Keep writing, Slarti, you’ve a talent for it.

  • Slartibuckfast

    I don’t have much inspiration anymore without my daily readings of Cobblers and Blair. I haven’t done a Moaner since DC closed all those weeks ago but I have started attempting a new one this morning. ’12th to be cancelled because all the fenians have went to Bundoran – no Catholics left in NI to annoy so parades pointless say Order’.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Cthulhu, after a bit of searching:

  • cthulhu

    Ta, Slarti. I’ll shout-out to ya once I cross over.