“cardholders will still be registered on the British ID national database”

UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson has unveiled the design of the UK’s national, but not yet mandatory, identity card. According to the BBC report, we’re a special case.

That means Irish nationals living in NI will be issued with a “personal ID card” rather than a national ID card. The personal card will not record an individual’s nationality and so cannot be used as a travel document. Only the Irish Government can issue an official travel document to Irish citizens.

However, cardholders will still be registered on the British ID national database and so will be able to use the card to prove their identity. The Home Office is also going to assure those who hold Irish nationality or dual citizenship living in Britain that they will continue to have the right to apply for an Irish passport even though they are on the UK national identity register.

That’s not to be confused with the identity card for foreign nationals resident in the UK. More on the UK national identity card here. Hmm.. does that mean that the UK government will, in effect, be issuing travel documents for Irish nationals living in England? Or will they too get the “personal identity” card?

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  • blinding

    I am going to be as polite about this as I possibly can.

    Shove your ID cards up your asre.

  • kensei

    More importantly, have the Tories still promised to kill this?

  • joeCanuck

    does that mean that the UK government will, in effect, be issuing travel documents for Irish nationals living in England?

    In general, NO. But there maybe a possibility if you’re an oul codger (see bottom).

    From The Home Office Site:

    You can apply for a first adult passport if you are 16 or over and one of the following:

    * British citizen
    * British overseas territories citizen
    * British subject
    * British national (overseas)
    * British protected person

    How to tell if you are a British subject

    Generally, British subjects were born before 1 January 1949 and had a connection with British India or the Republic of Ireland (Southern Ireland).

  • Padraig

    There will be a line of folks from the Falls Road to Crossmaglen fighting to get one.

    I can’t wait.

  • joeCanuck

    I would have no problem with a voluntary card if it helped me speed by way through life but the way things have been going since the dawn of the Bush Era, you’d have to be awfully naive to believe it will remain voluntary.

  • Rory Carr

    I certainly have no need of an ID card. I have a perfectly good mirror in my bathroom which allows me to confirm that it is indeed my face that I shave each morning.

    My razor is entirely unconcerned with my national identity focused as it is upon removing my bristles.

  • daisy

    This is just the govt’s way of avoiding an embarrasing climbdown. When only 2 people in the whole of NW England apply for these cards (both from the Labour party and refunded through their expenses), it’ll all quietly be forgotten.

    Shame about the wasted billions on this arrogance, but sure it’s only [our] money.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, I suppose so. I was always inclined to support Labour but under Blair and Brown they started exhibiting totalitarian aspects which worried me, even though I no longer live under their aegis. Never would have believed that I would be thankful to the House of Lords for standing up for time honoured freedoms, to some extent.

  • joeCanuck

    Rory,
    Heard a similar comment on a recent tour of Tuscany. One of our group asked a couple if they would like him to take a joint photo of them with their camera and the guy says no thanks, we know what we look like.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    So it this recognition that Norn Iron has become an international zone post-GFA or do all Irish people living on the mainland have the same option?

  • joeCanuck

    Don’t know, Sammy. You’d have to look at the GFA fine print. Myself, I’d rather look out the window or, better still, go walk on our beach. One of the relatively beautiful summer days we’ve had this month.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sam,

    Don’t you ever read Pete’s post? I could have sworn he’d already asked that question.

  • mnob

    Sammy I know you want it to be true – but unfortunately it isn’t. Not having your nationality recorded applies to all non British citizens.

  • Glensman

    What would be the supposed advantage of these cards…

    I was recently stopped in Lifford and a Bán Garda told me that I was ‘obliged’ to carry my drivers licence and insisted I produced some form of ID. I didnt want to argue for other reasons, but why should I have to carry an ID???

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mick,

    Pete started his last para “That’s not to be confused with the identity card for foreign nationals resident in the UK. ” – so I presumed he was making a distinction between ‘England’ (as he seems to refer to Britian ) and Norn Iron in relation to this stroy – as Irish people living in Britain are ‘foreign nationlas.

  • David

    Sammy,

    For historical reasons, Irish people living in England are not regarded as foreign nationals under UK immigration law. UK law has various categories of British national, Irish citizens, Commonwealth citizens and Foreigners.

    The ID card scheme for “Foreign nationals” does not even apply to all those that the UK regards as foreign. It only applies to foreign nationals from outside EEA and Switzerland, in other words only to those who do not have the right to be in the UK due to European law.

    Most continental countries issue national ID cards and these can be used to travel within the EU (not just Schengen) without the additional need for a passport.

  • Mirko

    Sounds like it’s a different situation there to here. Ireland.

  • latcheeco

    If it becomes mandatory to carry the card, will the PSNI old guard be unduly upset by young shamrock card carriers?
    And if the taigs are going to get wee shamrocks on their cards to publicly identify them, wouldn’t it be be equally efficacious for the Leeds n’Bradfords to get cresents?
    And will the Adam and Steves eventually get pink cards? I mean that’s the real reason they would do this, isn’t it? 😛

  • Padraig

    What does it matter? The Fenians would sooner beat a Lambeg drum than have one anyway.

  • RepublicanStones

    I thought 1984 was 25 years ago.

  • Reader

    latcheeco: And if the taigs are going to get wee shamrocks on their cards to publicly identify them, wouldn’t it be be equally efficacious for the Leeds n’Bradfords to get cresents?
    It looks as though the shamorocks are meant to represent a national identity, not a religious faith. What nationality would your crescent represent?
    Most of the “Leeds n’Bradfords” would travel as Brits, if they wanted to travel the world. Most of the Shamrocks would travel as Irish Citizens.

  • Reader

    Padraid: The Fenians would sooner beat a Lambeg drum than have one anyway.
    Not if it acted as a discount/bonus card while dealing with the Government.

  • latcheeco

    Reader,
    No shit! Thanks for the elucidation but didn’t you see the tongue out at the end of my post? My point was to ask where would this eventually lead? Are these cards for internal use or just external travel? Can more info. be added later? Will the cops be asking to see your papers?
    Apologies for the misnomer. I now accept all kaflics are taigs, not just the pesky ones.

    As British as Finchley, my arse!

  • LURIG

    FFS what’s the big deal and I say that as an Irish Nationalist? Don’t we all have a National Insurance number and a National Insurance card which tells us that we pay our contributions to the British Exchequer AND we don’t have any choice on that. There will be a work around like the passport issue and the North/South football arguement. There are not too many Northern Catholics losing too much sleep over this.

  • Padraig

    [b]Not if it acted as a discount/bonus card while dealing with the Government.
    [/b]

    Yes it worked with Judas and many brave and dedicated papish members of the RUC.

  • Padraig

    I sometimes wonder about the thinking behind posting expletives.

    Does the poster suppose it makes him more masculine?

    {For it is invariably men who love to swear}. That is makes their cojones seem impressively large.

    Is it a kind of verbal war paint donned to overwhelm a cowering fellow poster?

    More likely it an overt symptom of a deep seated personal insecurity and immaturity.

    When I see expletives I think of adolescent and pimples, in that order.

  • mnob

    Lurig – its not the card thats the problem its the recording of biometrics and the possibility (probability ?) that those in power will use the data collected to their own ends.

    Just as anti terrorism laws became used to track dog owners allowing their dogs to foul the pavement.

    FFS if Nationalists aren’t up in arms about this who is ?

    I say this as a northern prod who looks to nationalists to fight the battles that i cant publicly. You’ve let me down badly in this one …

  • And why can’t a Northern prod fight battles like this? The more publicly the better, I’d have thought. This whole National Identity Database and compulsory voluntary ID cards for all seems like an unmitigated disaster (unless you’re an IT company touting for work, or a retiring minister looking for a cushy seat on somebody’s board of directors).

    It should be resisted by prod and taig alike!

    Todays CAPTCHA is “control”…

  • mnob

    It was a wee bit tongue in cheek – I was just highlighting the advantage of living in a region with those who see the state differently. Unfortunately *our* politicians seem more concerned about the picture on the card than the more substantive issue. Nothing changes – and we still haven’t forgotten about the 42 day rule either.

  • I think you’re right about “our” politicians. If anyone mentions “security” their brains run out their ears. It’s as if a million voices inside their heads were chanting “four legs good, two legs better” – or maybe “the terrorists are upon us” or “think of the children”. Critical thought is suspended.

    Shame there is no credible party here that espouses a sane approach to civil liberties, without having to ride some kind of “national question” hobbyhorse.

    By sane, I mean something between “more pork for the human-rights industry” and “the police are always right – all they need is more power” brigade.

  • Reader

    Padraig: Yes it worked with Judas and many brave and dedicated papish members of the RUC.
    You left out benefit claimants. Taking a card from a government doesn’t seem to be the apocalyptic moment of decision that you represent it to be. People deal with the de-facto and de-jure government in all sorts of ways all the time.
    Personally, I am against the id card, but my motives aren’t tainted by nationalism.

  • The verification facility only verifies that whether a certificate has been issued to the named person by this department. It cannot guarantee that the certificate in question is genuine or the person holding it is its lawful holder. In case of doubt further verification would be necessar

  • And why can’t a Northern prod fight battles like this?

    No reason whatsoever. The DUP has the best parliamentary voting record on this of any party at Westminster, having delivered 9 votes in every significant division against the scheme.

    Pretty much everyone who’s not a government-worshiping technocrat, a big IT contractor, or an idiot (or all three), hates the idea of Whitehall keeping a personal file on them and having the final say over what their name is.

  • Padraig

    [b]but my motives aren’t tainted by nationalism.[/b]

    Since when, I wonder did love for one’s country become a ‘taint’.

    Well I suppose it depends on what country we are talking of.

    I suspect Unionism is best defined more by hatred of one country than love for another.

    Just as Northern Protestantism from the 18th Century on could best be defined as hatred for one religion, rather than love for another. The word ‘Protestant’, deriving as it does from the word ‘Protest’ being itself a negative term, to be against the Catholic Church.

    Tainted, indeed.

  • Padraig,

    “Love for one’s country” is patriotism. Nationalism is something else.

  • Padraig

    Andrew,

    I typed ‘Nationalism definition’ into Google and the two top definitions describe it simply as, ‘Love for one’s country; other definitions were simply variants on these theme.

    The reason why you have difficulty with this is you associate the word, ‘Nationalism’ in with the word , ‘Irish’.

    Word associate the word , ‘Nationalism’ for a while with the word , ‘British’, ‘French’ or , ‘Italian’ and you’ll be more comfortable with the universal definition.
    Your difficulty with the definition stems from deep seated social and political bias and of course to speak of Unionist, ‘Nationalism’ is very difficulty as loving the North Eastern Six counties of Irelamd is very difficult , since it is in no real sense a country.

  • Padraig:

    If I type “nationalism definition” into Google, the second result is from answers.com (courtesy of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)


    1. Devotion to the interests or culture of one’s nation.
    2. The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.
    3. Aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination.

    Or, from wikipedia:

    As an ideology, nationalism holds that ‘the people’ in the doctrine of popular sovereignty is the nation, and that as a result only nation-states founded on the principle of national self-determination are legitimate. Since most states are multinational, or at least home to more than one group claiming national status,[7] in many cases nationalist pursuit of self-determination has caused conflict between people and states including war[8] (both external and domestic), secession; and in extreme cases, genocide.

    Those pretty much agree with my perception of “nationalism” in the general sense (not specifically Irish). It is quite possible to love one’s country and not be a nationalist, despite claims to the contrary (usually made by nationalists for their own ends).

    “Word associate the word , ‘Nationalism’ for a while with the word , ‘British’”

    In my experience, “British Nationalism” has very uncomfortable connotations.

  • Padraig

    Different definitions, different sources.

    You pays your money , you takes your choice

  • Padraig:

    “You pays your money , you takes your choice”

    It’s very difficult to have an intelligent conversation unless people agree on the meanings of the words they use.

  • Padraig

    [b]It’s very difficult to have an intelligent conversation unless people agree on the meanings of the words they use. [/b]

    For this please read:

    ‘It’s very difficult to have an intelligent conversation unless people agree on [b]my[/b] meanings of the words [b]I[/b] use.

    Of course our own perceptions of the meaning of particular phrases are coloured by our own particular cultural, political, social, religious, class, national etc baggage.Its just part of our human condition, we being people rather than computers Words are fluid not fixed. Put me up ten ‘good’ definitions of the word ‘Nationalism’ which you would agree with and I’ll put up ten you would rage at.

  • Padraig,

    Indeed. But it’s not my definition that’s at issue here. You said:

    “Since when, I wonder did love for one’s country become a ‘taint’.”

    In the above, you deliberately took one meaning of the word “nationalism” knowing fine well that Reader probably had another meaning in mind.

  • Padraig

    [b]’you deliberately took one meaning of the word “nationalism” knowing fine well that Reader probably had another meaning in mind. ‘[/b]

    I fear, Andrew , that are no better at reading my mind than I, apparently, was at reading Readers.

    If such indeed was his intent then perhaps the phrase, ‘the taint of chauvinism’ might have been clearer?

  • So what word should one use on this thread when one means “belief in the political independence of the nation-state”, that wouldn’t be open to misinterpretation?

  • Padraig

    When this belief leads people to die for that belief as, say, the Americans who died to assert their Independence , then ‘belief’ is too narrow a term. For it seeks to describe Nationalism merely as an intellectual abstraction and not an emotion that causes men to lay down their lives.

    Love, in fact.

  • Padraig

    One could describe a musical score by means of a series of mathematical formula, but only begin to enter the doorway of its meaning.

  • Padraig,

    You continue to conflate “love of one’s country” with “love of a particular vision of one’s country” despite my attempts to convince you that these are distinct concepts. I’m going to watch Top Gear instead.

  • Padraig

    The notion that you can amputate emotional and spiritual content from any definition of the word Nationalism’ and turn it into some purely intellectual political one is a little like saying a person should have his heart removed in order to lose weight to run faster.

    Yeats comment as a poet on the Easter Rising contains more of a true definition of Nationalism than any I have ever heard that, ‘A terrible beauty is born’

    Freeze drying ‘Nationalism’ into a purely intellectual political construct results in gross distortion. It needs the warmth of emotional, spiritual , artistic substance to breath life into it.

    I would rather ‘conflate’ than ‘deflate’ into a distortion.

  • You are arguing that you cannot be a nationalist without being a patriot, and that is a fair point.

    What I am trying to say is that it is quite possible to be a patriot without necessarily being a nationalist. This distinction seems to escape you.