Spies ‘R’ Us
NO2ID NEWSLETTER – Supporter’s Newsletter No.23– 30th June 2005
The ID Bill has been read a second time, but it still has a long way to go. Over the past few weeks opposition to ID cards has grown and the dangers and costs of the scheme have begun to get some media attention. We must continue to keep the pressure up. The fight is a long way from over yet.
What can you do to help?
+ 1. SIGN OUR PLEDGE, OVERS 7000 NAMES SO FAR Over 7000 people have now signed our pledge which means that we now have raised a £70,000+ legal defence fund. Please, if you can, make your pledge at www.pledgebank.com/refuse or by texting ‘pledge refuse’ to 60022 [standard text rate].
Pass on or promote this message/link to as many sympathetic people and groups, mailing lists, bulletin boards and publications as you can *without spamming*.
+ 2. CONTINUE TO LOBBY/WRITE TO YOUR MP The Identity Cards Bill will return to the commons for a 3rd Reading, we call on all supporters to write to or lobby/speak to your MP (in constituency surgeries) and encourage them to (a) vote against the Bill, (b) if they won’t vote against to absent themselves from the vote, and (c) if they oppose the scheme to sign EDM 263 against Identity Cards now. Fax Westminster MPs – www.faxyourmp.com/ Early Day Motion(EDM) 263 edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=28464
+ 3. HELP US BY JOINING NO2ID / DONATING All of our campaigners are volunteers but the materials and equipment we use cost money. So please:
Join NO2ID, if you are not already a paid-up member. Hundreds already have. (There’s a membership form at www.no2id.net/downloads/membForm.pdf)
Paying anything over £15 p.a. means you qualify as a member – though most members give a monthly amount. Regular giving is the best way to help the campaign. For obvious reasons, we do need to know each member’s name, postal address (including postcode) and e-mail address, but we will not voluntarily give personal details to any outside organisation. OR Donate some money towards campaign expenses, we need your help.
Thank you (in advance) for your contribution. Together we can beat this. NO2ID, Box 412, 78 Marylebone High Street, LONDON W1U 5AP
+ 4. GET INVOLVED WITH LOCAL GROUPS We now have 70 local groups up and down the country. Please get in touch with your local group if you can help out locally. If you’d like to set up a new local group for your town, you should be a member and be prepared to be contacted by supporters and local journalists. For a list of local groups and contacts see www.no2id.net/localGroups
* We also maintain a list of things you can do on our website at www.no2id.net/getInvolved/other.php
++ What Just Happened?
+ IDENTITY CARDS BILL 2ND READING
The ID cards bill got it’s 2nd Reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday. MPs voted in favour of the bill proceeding by 314 votes to 283, a majority of 31. There were 20 Labour MPs that voted against, as well as 19 Labour and 16 Conservative abstentions.
The bill will next go to a standing committee, then return to the commons for a 3rd Reading before going on to the House of Lords. Our hope is that the bill will be stopped either at 3rd Reading or in the Lords.
Once again the government is using a guillotine to rush the bill through parliament. The committee stage must be completed by 19 July.
NO2ID and Liberty staged a protest in Parliament Square before the debate.
+ THE DEBATE
Most of the speeches(24 out of 33) were against the bill with many dubbing the cards a plastic poll tax and highlighting the shift of the relationship between the citizen and the state.
Following on from the Prime Minister’s press conference on Monday the government once again used the requirement to introduce biometric passports as justification for their proposed ID card scheme, claiming that ID cards only amount to a tiny additional cost. No international obligation exists to introduce a centralised database or an ID card (see newsletters 18 & 19 & LSE Identity Project Report).
David Davis, the Conservative Shadow Home Secretary said of the bill: “Such a vision was originally set out by a man called Blair who changed his name to Orwell and wrote a book called ‘1984'. It was supposed to be a warning, not a textbook.”
+ DIVINE INTERVENTION ?
A thunder crack filled the chamber as Labour MP Diane Abbot dubbed the legislation a “doomed bill”. She went on to predict that “there will come a time when not one Labour MP will want to be reminded that they voted for the Bill.”
Labour MP David Winnick observed: “if we had a free vote on the Bill tonight, it would certainly be thrown out”.
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said: “I am free. I want to be able to walk out of my front door as an innocent person if I am doing no one any harm. No one has the right to hold any information about me and I should not need a licence to walk out of my house.”
Conservative MP John Penrose reminded MPs that as well as worrying about IT failure and cost overruns of such a project they “should also be concerned about the dangers of what happens if the IT database is successful” as it would allow “Governments and other people in this country to see a unified picture of the information that is collected on each citizen”.
Conservative MP Edward Garnier reminded the commons that “we need to worry not about the card, but about the database that underlies it”
SNP Stewart Hosie said: “There is passionate opposition to the proposals in all parties. I say to the Government: withdraw them and think again. It is a bad Bill, which will be bad law.”
Read transcript of the debate: www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2005-06-28.1151.0 Watch Debate (online until 12/7/05) starts 01.01.43 into file www.parliamentlive.tv/Console.aspx?Encoding=3126 See how the MPs voted: www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=
+ LSE FULL REPORT PUBLISHED
On Monday the London School of Economics(LSE) published the full version of their Identity Project report.
The LSE’s costings for the scheme came under fire from both the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary who described the £300 card cost as “simply mad”. However Private Eye on the 24th June reported that word from within the UK Passport agency “is that their own projections show the cost of ID cards to be, er, £300 per card.”
LSE report goes on to look at areas such as identity fraud, policing and ID and International environment and obligations. The report is far more than just a series of costings and is a must read.
Download the report at:
+ EVEN BIGGER BROTHER EVENT
On Wednesday evening NO2ID’s ‘Even Bigger Brother’ event was staged in London. Attendees heard powerful speeches from a number of speakers followed by an informative question and answer session.
Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti said that “the risk free society is a politician’s lie” and warned that “any assurances put on the face of the statute book or not today, about today’s purposes and today’s ambit for this register will be gone with the wind the next time something happens that requires a knee jerk, sound-bite political response”.
George Galloway MP, commenting on the organisations that already have information about us, said that the Prime Minister has failed to grasp that “the people of this country trust Top Shop more than they trust the top men running the country”, because “nobody really believes that Top Shop is tracking our every move”.
Lynne Featherstone(Lib Dem) MP criticised the spurious arguments surrounding upgrading passports along the lines of “you might as well have an ID card because they’re going cheap” a sort of “buy one get one free” deal.
Dominic Grieve(Conservative) MP said: “We delude ourselves if we believe that if you give the state power to exercise control over the citizen it won’t start to use it.”
Tony Benn said: “You cannot hand these powers that belong to us to somebody else and use fear to justify it, because fear is a bad judge”. He summed up by saying that he was “very very confident that this thing is going to be beaten”.
++ What’s Next?
+ 13 July NO2ID Hammersmith Public Meeting
Wednesday, 13 July 2005, 7.00pm at the Irish Centre, Blacks Road. A Range of speakers will address the meeting. More details at: www.no2id-handf.org.uk/meeting.htm
+ 19 July Brighton & Hove NO2ID meeting – “Make Brunswick & Regency an ID card free Zone”
Tuesday, 19 July 2005, 7.00pm at Mad Hatter cafe, near Waitrose on the corner of Montpelier Road and Western Road, Brighton. The meeting will be addressed by speaker from the NO2ID campaign and then be opened up for local residents, councillors and trade unionists with the aim to organise a network of resistance to ID cards and the National Identity Register in the Brunswick and Regency areas of Brighton & Hove. More details: email@example.com
+ 2 July Edinburgh Benefit Gig
Saturday, 2nd July 2005, 7.00pm – 10.00pm at the Bongo Club, 37 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh. The NO2ID Edinburgh local group is holding a fundraising benefit gig. Admission is £5 (£4 concessions) on the door (cash only). One week before hitting the T-Break stage at T in the Park, Edinburgh newcomers Thee Comrades and electro merchants Staccato Set will join the Xvectors for what’s set to be a rocking night. Upstairs, you’ll find some experimental electronica with some comedy band names; namely Final Brass Rabbi, Pre, Wounded Knee.
Please come along and enjoy some of the best new Edinburgh sounds whilst supporting the fight against Identity Cards and the database state.
More details at www.no2id-scotland.net/local/edinburgh02072005.html
++ “ID” In the News
+ Forgers will crack e-passports within a decade
+ Ministers facing ID cards battle
+ ID: the £15bn charge –
+ No Rethink On ID Cards
+ Fears over microchips developed for remote scans
+ ID cards ‘will reveal details of daily life’
+ ID cards ‘may each cost £400 every 10 years’
+ Security fears over medical database
+ Biometric technology under fire
+ Evening Standard: Andrew Gilligan demolishes the £1.3 billion identity fraud hype
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor)
Publication details: (c) 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