Spies ‘R’ Us
NO2ID NEWSLETTER Supporter’s Newsletter No.35 – 22nd December 2005
+ NO2ID Newsletter – your views
Over the past few weeks we have been experimenting with the layout and format of the NO2ID newsletter. In the new year we are considering more changes and we’d like to know what you think. We are particularly interested in your views on the length of the newsletter and individual stories, whether you’d rather have shorter stories with links to expanded versions or whether you prefer to have it all in one newsletter. Even if you just want to tell us that its okay the way it is please spare a moment to send any comments to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org In the meantime Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers!
+ Review of the year
We have a number of successes in 2005 including the Conservative Party coming fully on side after having an ambiguous position. Some of the biggest unions are now backing us. Public opinion has slid towards us throughout the year despite subliminal attempts to link ID with anti-terrorism. We’ve distributed almost a third of a million leaflets (though we could do better) and over 12,000 people have now pledged their refusal to register for a card, before the bill has even made it through parliament.
On the downside, the bill passed through all of its stages in the Commons and most people still don’t understand what the fuss is about. But the media, increasingly, does. Journalists are starting to “get it” in a big way.
It is still not clear how the government, in its notionally weakened state, intends to progress with the ID card scheme but the likelihood is they will press on regardless. Report Stage in the Lords will be mid-January (expect fireworks), which means it could go back to the Commons by February, and MPs need to know discontent is steady. It is still possible the government will decide not to press the point, if backbench support is crumbling.
If it doesn’t and the Identity Cards Act does get on the statute book in something like its present form, NO2ID is not going away. The scheme is already behind the Home Office’s schedule, and the practicalities of the government’s plans look shaky. We intend to rally opposition to implementation – which will come in the form of many more reports, pilots, regulations and parliamentary resolutions – so that it cannot happen invisibly as the Home Office hope.
Looking ahead, there are other manifestations of the database surveillance state in e-Government plans, in the just announced Children’s Index and in Automatic Number Plate Recognition (see
++ What’s next?
+ NO2ID Office – Christmas Opening
The office will be operating in the week between Christmas and New Year, so people should continue to write in if they need materials or advice. If you want to organise meetings with others in your area then contact the office who can arrange an email to every local supporter but please do so at least two weeks in advance.
+ Newsblog & Forums
+ 16th January Identity Cards Bill Report Stage, Lords
On Monday 16th and 23rd January the House of Lords will vote on amendments to the ID cards bill. Webcasts of the proceedings can be viewed at
+ Alternative Roadshow
The NO2ID alternative roadshow, our response to the government’s summer biometrics roadshow, will be going ahead in the new year. We now have several locations confirmed and we will be doing considerably more dates than the Home Office, with less than a tenth of the budget but then we are genuinely trying to inform the people rather than con backbench MPs.
+ February – AGM 2006
The NO2ID 2006 AGM will take place in February. In the longer term it is felt that it would be a good idea to change the structure of the organisation to a non-profit company, but for the time being it is a members’ club so join, or rejoin, if you want to have a say.
+ Local Groups
We have local groups all over the country and have recently launched three new groups in Warrington, Canterbury and Dorchester (see
Members running, or thinking of running a local group, should be aware of the Campaigner’s Handbook, downloadable from the NO2ID website at
++ What just happened?
+ Perth and Kinross Council Passes ID card motion
Last night (21st December) Perth and Kinross Council passed a motion against the government’s ID card scheme. The motion called on the council to “only co-operate with the national identity scheme where specifically required to do so by law”. The Labour group of councillors abstained from the vote. Perth and Kinross are the fourteenth local council to take a stand against ID cards.
+ ID Cards Bill finishes Lords Committee Stage
On Monday (19th December) the Identity Cards Bill completed its Committee Stage in the House of Lords. The bill will next have its Report Stage in January (16th & 23rd) before getting its 3rd Reading in the Lords. The Lords are expected to vote on a large number of amendments at Report Stage (over 270 were discussed during committee). If the bill is amended by the Lords then it will be sent back to the House of Commons for MPs to vote on whether to accept the amendments. If the Lords were to vote against the bill at 3rd Reading then the government could use the Parliament Act to force it through.
It is more important than ever to write to a peer expressing grave concerns about the bill. On that front, well done to our Swindon local group for their communications with Lord Stoddart, who’s been consistently combative in the House: “The general public will rise up against it [the ID card scheme] when they see exactly what is involved. Whoever is in power then – if we have a government foolish enough to proceed with this idea – will feel the electoral backlash.”
+ ID Cards and Drivers’ Licenses
One of the things that emerged from the House of Lords Committee Stage of the ID cards bill is the government’s proposals under the Road Safety Bill to give the state powers to require the surrender of old driving licenses should a new format be introduced. This leaves the door open for Identity Cards to become a “designated document” requiring all drivers to register for an ID card when they are forced to renew their license. This may explain why back in September Charles Clarke was promoting biometrics in drivers’ licenses to the European parliament (see newsletter 28).
+ Welsh Assembly Member signs NO2ID Pledge
Welsh Assembly member Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru) has signed our ‘Refuse 2' pledge becoming the third elected representative to sign up and risk prison sooner than enrol for an ID card. You can make your pledge at
+ Home Office goes cute and cuddly
Check out the Home Office web site redesign (
Very Web 2.0 don‚t you think with all those smooth gradients. I‚ll bet there‚s some AJAX in there. They‚ll need it when this is the portal for registering your every move.
+ Identity Theft figures over estimated
The ever perceptive Bruce Schneier blogs on the over estimation of identity theft levels in the US. Some interesting discussion in the comments.
More news is available from the NO2Id newsblog at
++ “ID” In the News
+ Government moots ID card links for new UK voter database
+ Government database to ID every child
+ Thai Government adds wireless to its ID card “to encourage use” of RFID
+ Australia : ACCI Opposes an Australia Card
+ France : Urgency procedure for draft French anti-terrorism law
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor(
++ What you can do
+ 1. Write to your local paper
+ 2. Lobby a Lord
+ 3. Promote NO2ID’s flash animations
* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at
Publication details: © NO2ID 2005 – 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 No.412, 78 Marylebone High Street, LONDON W1U 5AP