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NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 128 – 30th July 2009

*Contacting us:* Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (office@no2id.net).

+ A NO-BRAINER +

The new Home Secretary found himself in Manchester for the second time in a month this week, pausing only to wave the final mock-up of the identity card at St Pancras Station. We wonder whether this counts as two towards the Home Office’s quota of summer policy announcements to make the government look active and decisive.

Once in Manchester, which is to be a “beacon area” (beachhead?) for the scheme, he conducted what is certainly the third, and (if you count St Pancras) possibly the fourth re-launch of ID cards this year. It is beginning to look a bit desperate.

Mr Johnson called ID cards a “No-brainer” in the fight against fraud. “I believe the ID card will be welcomed as an important addition to the many plastic cards that most people already carry,” he said. You’d have to *be* a no-brainer to believe that. Nobody with a brain is going to take up Mr Johnson’s important addition when they realise it means being tagged and tracked for the rest of their lives, and that that particular plastic card will own *them*.

Strangely the Home Office is quiet about that element of the bargain. It is up to NO2ID to tell the public, and we will be launching a series of campaigns in Manchester and the north west during the autumn. Look out for more information soon about how you can help.


What just happened?

*+ Passport price set to rise yet again +

*In October the cost of a British passport will rise to £72. This will be the third price hike in less than two years – a rise of 70% since December 2005 when it was just £42. It will cost £114 for a same-day premium service and the “fast track” (one week processing) will go up to £97. The passport cost increases have been used by the UK Identity and Passport Service (UKIPS) to mask the true costs of the ID scheme which is being implemented as part of “passport modernisation”. See
ips.gov.uk/cps/rde/xchg/ips_live/hs.xsl/1167.htm

*+ Government launches ID cards yet again +

*Launching the ID scheme is an almost weekly event – today (30th July) Home Secretary Alan Johnson trooped the proverbial Home Office colour and launched the scheme yet again, this time by showing the world what a piece of plastic looks like. The card was revealed by the Home Secretary at St Pancras International Station in London and it was announced (again) that the card can also be used as a travel document in Europe. He also announced (again) citizens in the North West will be able to apply for a card in the New Year. Of course what he didn’t announce (again) was that as well as having a plastic card you will have to supply 49 pieces of information that will be stored in centralised databases for life and that you will be locked into a system of fines if they deem this information to be incorrect. The Home Office has released pictures of the new ID card design so that forgers have plenty of time to make convincing copies. See
press.homeoffice.gov.uk/press-releases/uk-id-card-image-unveiled

*+ Government database to protect “vulnerable groups” +

*In October the government will launch its new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) designed, according to them, “to ensure that anyone who presents a known risk to vulnerable groups is quite simply prevented from working with them”. The scheme will be backed with yet another government database. The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) will administer the scheme. From July 2010 anyone working with vulnerable groups (such as children and prisoners) will be encouraged to register. According to the ISA website: “When a person becomes ISA-registered they will be continuously monitored and their status reassessed against any new information which may come to light”. The ISA scheme is in addition to Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks, but unlike CRB checks it will become a legal requirement for everyone who is working with specified vulnerable groups to be registered with (and tracked by) the ISA. The scheme has been introduced under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which came about after the Bichard Inquiry, which “recommended a new scheme under which everyone working with children or vulnerable adults should be checked and registered”. The Roadshow presentation that explains the new scheme states: “Information sharing framework is enshrined in law and is at the heart of the scheme”. A presentation and FAQ about the scheme are at
www.isa-gov.org.uk/Default.aspx?page=395

*+ Liberty film warns of National Identity Register +

*Liberty has produced a short film that looks at government data losses and the danger of creating yet another massive database, namely the National Identity Register. The film called “Where do they go?” is narrated by Simon Callow and features a paper man who leaves parts of himself in a variety of locations. Liberty’s accompanying blurb says: “Over the last few years the Government has mislaid a staggering amount of our personal information. In this clever short film, Liberty asks whether they can be trusted with even more data”. See
www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/issues/
3-privacy/film-where-do-they-go-.shtml

*+ ID cards a waste of money – says new poll +

*A YouGov / Sunday People poll of 1765 adults in the UK has found that 79% of respondents think ID cards are a waste of money. Support for the government’s ID scheme has steadily decreased as people find out more about it – something that has become increasingly difficult as government spin continues to create confusion amongst the wider public.


What’s next?

***+ 30th July – Magicians against ID Cards +* T
hursday 30th July, 8pm till 10pm at the Inn on the Green, just by Ladbroke Grove tube. Roll up for the Magical Liberty Tour and enjoy a night of stunning conjuring in support of NO2ID. London’s top magicians and mindreaders will take to the stage to offer you an evening of mystery and illusion. Hosted by the very funny Tim Fitzhigham, who sailed the Channel in his bathtub, the confirmed acts are: Ian Saville, James Freedman, Michael Pearse, Katharine Rhodes, Stephen Barry and Russell Levinson. NO2ID will have a stand at the gig. Tickets are only £5 on the door.

*+ DNA Database consultation +*
The government has launched a consultation ‘Keeping the right people on the DNA database’. The consultation closes on 7th August – responses can be emailed to (DNAconsultation@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk). For details of the consultation and links to the relevant consultation documents see
www.tellthemwhatyouthink.org/consultation/
con-2255-keeping-right-people-dna-database

*+ 8th August – London Activist Network’s London-wide activity +*
Saturday 8th August – the London activist network’s second London-wide activity. We will be meeting at 12.00pm at the upstairs function room of the Dartmouth Castle in Hammersmith (www.thedartmouthcastle.co.uk/). From 12.00pm to 13.30pm we shall brief volunteers on the plan for the day, which is to set up simultaneous stalls outside several London tube stations to engage the public while they are out and about shopping (and not in a rush because they’re going to work!). In addition, there will be coaching on how to engage the public, the arguments to use, regulations governing the setting up of stalls, etc.

If you haven’t yet signed up to the ID Action mailing list, which is our main communication channel for the London Activist Network, you can sign up by clicking on this link and following the instructions (
www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/id-action). You can also email Lawrence on (london.outreach@no2id.net). Sign up to the Twitter page at
twitter.com/LondonNO2ID


“ID” in the news

*+ HMG isn’t Tesco – Kable 30/7/09 +*
“Google or the Nectar card companies may know lots about you, but at least they can’t arrest you on the basis of what you have told them.”
www.kable.co.uk/comment-samathieson-damiangreen-it-30jul09

*+ Spending on UK identity scheme hits £215m – Computing 30/7/09 +*
The government has spent £215m so far on the National Identity Scheme, leading to accusations of waste from the Tories because they say they will scrap the ID cards section of the scheme should they win a general election next year.
www.computing.co.uk/computing/news/
2246971/200m-already-spent-national

*+ The government has unveiled the ID card for British citizens – IT Pro 30/7/09 +*
The government is continuing its push to create an ID card system in the UK, today unveiling the official card for British citizens. Identity cards have already been issued to so-called foreign nationals — students and spouses of Brits. Similar to that card, the British version features the usual photo, name, date of birth and signature. It also has a chip that will hold fingerprints and data found on passports.
www.itpro.co.uk/613357/photos-id-cards-for-brits

*+ I wouldn’t trust Google with my personal info – The Times 27/7/09 +*
When I read in the pages of this newspaper this month that the Conservative Party was planning to transfer people’s health data to Google, my heart sank. The policy described was so naive I could only hope that it was an unapproved kite-flying exercise by a young researcher in Conservative HQ.
www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists
/guest_contributors/article6728116.ece

*+ Don’t call me Shirley, says peer – BBC News online 24/7/09 +*
Home Office minister Lord West has written to a hereditary peer to reassure him he will be able to use his full title on his identity card. Conservative peer Earl Ferrers was concerned he might simply be named ‘Robert Shirley’ on the card, causing confusion.
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8168165.stm

*+ Eleven million names on school vetting database – The Independent 18/7/09 +*
Parents who help out on school trips or accept foreign exchange students into their homes will have to register on a government database in order to prove they are not a danger to children.
www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/
eleven-million-names-on-school-vetting-database-1750103.html

*+ Home Office research so feeble someone ought to be locked up – The Guardian 18/7/09 +*
We’d all like to help the police do their job well. They, in turn, would like to have a massive database with DNA profiles from everyone who has been arrested, but not convicted of a crime. The Home Office has assembled some evidence. It is not good quality. In fact, this study from the Jill Dando Institute, attached to their consultation paper as an appendix, is possibly the most unclear and poorly presented piece of research I have ever seen in a professional environment. Or am I having a bad day?
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/
2009/jul/18/bad-science-dna-database

*+ Technology should not be excuse to erode our precious freedoms – The Independent 17/7/09 +*
Permanent Secretaries and police chiefs can be much more dangerous to British democracy than demagogues and extremist politicians. By collecting and sharing masses of private information either to provide the public services for which they are responsible or to try to spot future criminals, they are creating the database state.
www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/damian-green-
technology-should-not-be-excuse-to-erode-our-precious-freed
oms-1750187.html

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor(newsletter@no2id.net) )


*+ LOCAL GROUPS NEWS + *

To see if there’s a group in your area check our list atwww.no2id.net/localGroups/ Or, if you’re interested in starting a group yourself, please contact Matty on local.groups@no2id.net to discuss what’s involved and what we have in place to support coordinators and their groups.

_*+ Alexandra Palace +*_

*+ 9th September – Alexandra Palace NO2ID monthly meeting (2nd Wednesday of month) +*
Wednesday 9th September, 8:15pm at The Gate pub on Station Road (N22 7SS). All welcome. For further details please contact alexandra.palace@no2id.net

_*+ Cambridge +*_

*+ 1st August – Cambridge NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 1st August in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall (
www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/T5LZATLS) from 11am. We will be joined by Cambridge MP David Howarth from 2pm. Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you’d like to help.

*+ 5th August – Cambridge NO2ID pub meeting (1st Wednesday of month) +*
Wednesday, 5th August 7:30pm at the Salisbury Arms, 76 Tenison Rd, Cambridge CB1 2DW (
www.aardvarkmap.net/mape/CYXNES29). Cambridge NO2ID’s informal pub meetings are on the first Wednesday of each month. For more details contact cambridge@no2id.net, or text/call Andrew on 07710 469624.

*+ 22nd August – Cambridge NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 22nd August, another NO2ID stall in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall.

_*+ Camden and Islington +*_ **

*+ 4th August – Camden & Islington NO2ID monthly meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Camden & Islington NO2ID meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 8pm at The The Kings Head, 59 Essex Road, Islington, N1 2SF. For more info email camden@no2id.net or join the mailing list at: (
www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.camden).

_**__*+ Daventry +*_

*+ 9th September – Daventry NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday 9th September, 8pm at the Dun Cow, Brook Street, Daventry. There is no meeting in August.

_*+ Dorking +*_

*+ 4th August – Dorking NO2ID Meeting (1st Tuesday of month) +*
Dorking NO2ID’s monthly get together is at The Lincoln Arms, by Dorking mainline station, every first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm.

*+ 9th September – Question Time on Civil Liberties, Ewell +*
Wednesday, 9th September 7.30pm, Bourne Hall, Ewell a Question Time / Public Meeting with Chris Grayling MP, Shadow Home Secretary and 3 or 4 other panellists. The Question Time on Civil Liberties promotional campaign is underway. Over the next 4 weeks, we plan to contact 25 high schools, 6 newspapers, 5 MPs, 5 constituency political parties and 5 lots of Borough Councillors. We will be doing 5 street stalls as well as leafleting train stations and some door to door drops leading up to the event. If you haven’t got involved yet, come along to our monthly meeting on the first Tuesday of each month at The Lincoln Arms, near Dorking mainline station at 7.30pm.

_*+ Dover +*_*

+ 15th August – Dover NO2ID street stall + *
Saturday 15th August, from about 10am, weather permitting. This time we’re actually in Dover, in front of the war memorial, near the Town Hall. All help welcome — please come and support. Contact Ian Taylor on dover@no2id.net

* * _*+ Edinburgh + *_*

**** + Saturdays 1pm – 3pm – NO2ID Edinburgh street stall +*
Every week, weather permitting, you will find our campaigning stall at the east end of Princes Street, opposite the Balmoral Hotel. Do drop by for a chat. New volunteers – please contact John (edinburgh@no2id.net), and for more group information see
www.no2id-scotland.net/edinburgh/

*+ Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe show ‘Freedom Come, Freedom Go! – Free’*
Starting Saturday 8th August, ‘Freedom Come, Freedom Go! – Free’ is performed by Tom Read, the Norwich NO2ID Coordinator and part-time stand up comedian. Go to the NO2ID Edinburgh announce list or the NO2ID Forum (
forum.no2id.net/viewtopic.php?t=28844) for more information on this and two other Fringe shows.

_*+ Epsom +*_

*+ 9th September – Question Time on Civil Liberties, Ewell +*
Wednesday, 9th September 7.30pm, Bourne Hall, Ewell – Question Time on Civil Liberties (see Dorking above for more information). If you can’t help, be there with five friends.

Come and meet up at the Dorking Group’s monthly get together at The Lincoln Arms, by Dorking mainline station, every first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm.

If anyone wants to get involved in the Epsom area, please email or phone NO2ID South East Regional Coordinator Geoff Cox on south.east@no2id.net or call 01306 631377.

_*+ Exeter +*_

There is now a shiny new Exeter NO2ID group! Anyone in the vicinity that would like to join a mailing list, meet up, talk action etc, just email exeter@no2id.net and say hello! Very importantly, Exeter council has just unanimously passed a reaffirmation of expression of distrust of the ID card scheme. We’re looking to draw together some members for stalls, letters, media coverage etc, so get in touch!

** _*+ Glasgow +*_

*+ 4th August – Glasgow NO2ID
Meeting +* ****Glasgow NO2ID meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 8pm in Mono. All welcome. Please contact Geraint for further details: glasgow@no2id.net

_*+ Hammersmith & Fulham + *_
As hardly anyone in our borough seems to support ID cards, we would also be interested in hearing from anyone who might like to help out with a stall in say Ealing or Acton shopping centres. Please contact as above, or via (hammersmith@no2id.net).

_*+ Ipswich +*_

*Calling Ipswich supporters*
Recently Cambridge and Norwich NO2ID groups joined forces to run a very successful street stall in Ipswich town centre, garnering over 130 new NO2ID supporters. We’d like to build on this success to re-establish an Ipswich local group. If you live near Ipswich and would be interested in participating in a local group there, please contact Andrew Watson (andrew.watson@no2id.net) or Matty Mitford (local.groups@no2id.net).

_*+ Lancaster +*_

Subscribe to the Lancaster NO2ID e-mail list at
www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.lancaster

_*+ Leeds +*_*

+ 1st August – Leeds NO2ID Street Stall + *
Saturday 1st August, from 1pm somewhere on Briggate, the pedestrianised street in the city centre with Harvey Nichols on it. If you fancy helping out, mail (leeds@no2id.net). Depending on uptake, we may go for a drink afterwards.

*+ Mark Thomas in Harrogate +*
Several members of Leeds NO2ID attended the Mark Thomas show in Harrogate recently and their manifesto suggestion “Anyone who supports ID cards should be banned from having curtains” was voted top idea! (
www.markthomasinfo.com/policies.asp). Not sure what effect it’ll have, but a heartening experience nonetheless.

_*+ Manchester +*_

ID cards are to be introduced in Manchester this autumn. Recent spin from the Home Office has convinced people that the National Identity Scheme has been cancelled, that it isn’t a threat and it’s voluntary. It’s more important than ever to get the word out about the Database State.

*+ 8th August – Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 8th August, 2-4pm in St. Ann’s Square in Manchester City Centre (down near the big Marks and Spencer) to raise awareness among the public and engage people in discussion about the National Identity Register. We’ll meet in the square itself at 2pm to set up shop; feel free to join us to lend a hand or just chat. You don’t need any experience or equipment, just a bit of time to spare and a friendly smile!
manchester.no2id.net/content/street-stall-august-2009

*+ 12th August – Manchester NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday 12th August, 7-9pm in the Town Hall Tavern, Tib Lane, Manchester. Sadly, this venue is not wheelchair-accessible; please contact us on manchester@no2id.net if you have accessibility needs. Everyone is welcome, newcomer or not, curious or committed. See minutes of our previous meetings at (manchester.no2id.net/taxonomy/term/5). We are always looking for volunteers to take and type up minutes from our meetings; it’s an easy way to help the campaign! Unfortunately, the Town Hall Tavern no longer do evening food.
manchester.no2id.net/content/monthly-meeting-august-2009

** _*+ Newport + *_
If you are interested in the work of the Newport group, please join their mailing list on:
lists.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.newport

* *_*+ Norwich +*_

*+ 1st-29th August – Photo-ID Exhibition +*
1st-29th August, 7am-midnight, Norwich City Centre. Identity is a fluid and complex set of overlapping and sometimes contradictory properties and assertions. The complexity of personal and social identity will be explored in Photo-ID, a major exhibition in Norwich City Centre centred around The Forum throughout August 2009. Free. For more info see: www.photo-id.org.uk

*+ Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe show ‘Freedom Come, Freedom Go! – Free’*
Starting Saturday 8th August, ‘Freedom Come, Freedom Go! – Free’ is performed by Tom Read, the Norwich NO2ID Coordinator and part-time stand up comedian. Go to the NO2ID Edinburgh announce list or the NO2ID Forum (
forum.no2id.net/viewtopic.php?t=28844) for more information on this and two other Fringe shows.

* + 15th August – Norwich NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 15th August, 1pm-3pm at The Haymarket, Gentleman’s Walk. Please come along for ID card and database-related antics. Fresher or seasoned protester, anyone welcome! Say no to Big Bro.

*+ 18th August – Norwich NO2ID Group Meeting +*
Tuesday, 18th August, 7.30pm-9pm at The Workshop (opposite The Black Horse), 53 Earlham Road, NR2 3AD. Discuss what ID cards and being on various government databases will entail and ways of fighting back.

If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on:
www.no2id.net/mailman/listinfo/no2id.norwich

_*+ Oxford +*_

*+ 1st August – Oxford NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday, 1st August in Cornmarket Street from 11am for a couple of hours. This will be our first opportunity to make sure the public knows that the Government is pressing ahead with the identity scheme, despite what they may have heard in the press. Come and lend a hand to spread the message!

*+ 6th August – NO2ID Oxford monthly pub meeting +*
Thursday, 6th August at the Mitre on the High Street from 8pm. All welcome.

See the website for more: no2id-oxford.org.uk/

_*+ Southampton +*_

*+ 5th August – NO2ID Southampton monthly meeting (1st Wednesday of month) +*
Wednesday, 5th August, 8:00pm, as usual at the Dolphin pub next to St Denys Station. July saw the group follow-up on the two stalls held at Portswood and Bitterne in June with another successful stall in Shirley. Thanks to these stalls we have signed-up well over 100 new supporters in the last month. Members of the group were also actively involved in a letter writing campaign lobbying our local members of parliament to vote against the introduction of the ID Regulations that were approved in July.

_*+ Watford +*_

*+ Call for Volunteers** +*
The NO2ID Watford group also covers the towns of St. Albans, Hemel Hempstead and Rickmansworth and the surrounding south west Hertfordshire region. We are currently seeking volunteers to help organise activities in the area. We usually meet on the first Tuesday of each month in a pub in Watford but we are prepared to consider rotating this with the other towns if it is more convenient to people. We also hold a street stall the following Saturday morning after the meeting in each of the towns. The street stall is great fun and allows us to interact with the public and to get signatures on the petition. We are also looking for people to lobby their local council to get a resolution passed of non cooperation with the identity card and database scheme. Watford and Three Rivers have passed such a motion and we need people from St. Albans, Dacorum and Hertsmere to write to their councillor. Please contact Colin Simmons on (watford@no2id.net).


Publication details: © NO2ID 2009 – This document may be freely redistributed in one-to-one communications or physical copies as long as it is reproduced in its entirety including this notice. It may not be mass-mailed without the prior permission of NO2ID.

NO2ID, Box 412, 19-21 Crawford Street, LONDON W1H 1PJ

  
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