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NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 126 – 2nd July 2009: The ID scheme has NOT been shelved, cancelled, or even significantly changed

*Contacting us:* Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (


** The ID scheme has NOT been shelved, cancelled, or even significantly changed **

Once more government spin has triumphed and much of the media has got it wrong. The new Home Secretary Alan Johnson has not made any significant changes to the scheme. Compulsion by stealth is still the order of the day, just as it always was. Someone joining the ID scheme ‘voluntarily’ will still be placing control of their identity in the hands of the IPS for life.

The Home Office line remains the same. No compulsion (as the Home Office defines it) was going to be applied until almost everyone had ‘volunteered’ and then it was only a matter of rounding up a minority of resisters and marginalised people.

The Home Office’s idea of “voluntary” is not the same as yours and mine. Since 2004 the scheme was (and it still is) to proceed by “designating” one-by-one under the Identity Cards Act 2006 other documents issued by official bodies — in the first place passports.

Once a document has been designated, you won’t be able to apply for one without also applying to be entered, for life, on the national identity register. If you don’t agree to be registered it won’t be that you are refused (say) a passport; you’d have voluntarily decided not to apply. There’s no compulsion to have a passport. It is useful for travelling. But you aren’t compelled to travel.

Or (say) to drive. Or to work as a security guard. Or with children. Or in healthcare. To get parole from prison. To practice as a lawyer. … Any official licence, registration certificate or permit can be designated, and — in the home office’s skewed logic — handing control of your identity to the Home Office’s Identity and Passport Service will still be entirely voluntary.

That they were due for a confrontation with the airside worker’s unions over designating new passes at Manchester and City Airports is an illustration of just how voluntary “voluntary” really is. But the fact they have now ducked that fight for political convenience suggests saying no does work – if you say it loudly enough.

--- It is still not too late for MPs to derail the scheme by repudiating the regulations due to be debated next week and detailed in the last newsletter. Only one of those statutory instruments has been dropped. If you have not done so already, please contact your MP:

(NO2ID’s lobbying guide, written for us by the former assistant of a very distinguished retired minister, is brusque but absolutely to the point: )

Peers will also have a vote on this; so if you happen to know one (or be one), then it would be a good idea to alert friends in the Lords now that the matter is soon to come up.

What just happened?

+ A brief history of the government’s definition of voluntary +

Back in March 2006 as the then ID cards bill ping-ponged between the House of Commons and the House of Lords the issue of the voluntary nature of the ID scheme was a major bone of contention. Labour’s manifesto said they would introduce a voluntary scheme but when it emerged that passport applicants would also be forced to go on to the ID database the Lords objected to this “creeping compulsion” and introduced an amendment to remove the connection to the passport. However MPs (by a majority of just 33) re-introduced de facto compulsion. During the Commons debate Nick Clegg MP pointed out that: “The Oxford English Dictionary gives the following definition of voluntary – ‘done, given, or acting of one’s own free will’”, adding that the debate was not just about “one of the most expensive, illiberal follies in recent times, it is also about our specific disagreement on the meaning of that one word”. When the bill finally received Royal Assent and became the ID Cards Act it was reported that the Lords had accepted an offer from the Home Office that anyone applying for a new biometric passport before January 2010 could opt out of having an ID card. The government’s skewed logic is that nobody is required by the state to apply for a passport, therefore forcing people who apply for a voluntary document to go onto the ID database is not compulsion, it’s just complying with regulations required to obtain the voluntary document. Such semantic gymnastics can be found in George Orwell’s fictional language Newspeak. Perhaps “compulantary” sums it up nicely.

+ BBC makes outlandish claim of ID card applications +

In a week of media dis-information the BBC reported on their website that “Some 3,500 UK citizens have already applied for the cards”. This statement simply cannot be true as the regulations that specify the content and manner of application have not yet been approved by parliament. The BBC may be referring to a web page on the UK Identity and Passport service (UKIPS) that allows visitors to “register your interest in identity cards and the National Identity Service”. They don’t mention how many forms were filled out by Mickey Mouse or Mr NO2IDcards and filling out a web form for more information is clearly not the same as “applying”. The Home Office clearly agrees, as the registration page warns: “Registering for information on the National Identity Service does not provide evidence that the Identity and Passport Service has verified or confirmed the identity details provided by the registrant as being accurate or reliable. This information should not be taken as proof of identity in any way”. Even if the figure of 3,500 were anywhere near to the number of people who “want” to be locked into the ID scheme for life, the figure is dwarfed by the number of people who have completed NO2ID’s newsletter signup and registered their opposition to the scheme.

+ Government names next ID scheme victims +

This week the Home Office announced that airside workers at Manchester and London City airports will not be required to register on the ID scheme as a condition of work, though they will “be encouraged to obtain an identity card”. In response the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) said: “we have never seen the national ID card as an improvement to security and we are glad that the new Home Secretary has listened to BALPA”. But as the Home Office backed off airside workers (supported by angry unions) they announced their next ID scheme targets – stating that “the Government also intends to focus attention on young people, for whom they [ID cards] will act as a proof of age, helping prove an individual’s right to enter premises or buy goods” and also they will “be looking at options which could allow pensioners aged 75 and over to receive an identity card free of charge”. They also announced an expansion of the trial in Greater Manchester where residents “will be able to apply for an Identity card before the end of this year” to “residents in locations across the North West will be entitled to apply from early next year”. Read the Identity and Passport service press release at

+ LSE releases Interception Modernisation briefing +

The London School of Economics (LSE) has released a ‘Briefing on the Interception Modernisation Programme’. The briefing aims to provide “some depth of understanding of the nature of the Home Office’s latest proposals on communications surveillance”. The briefing is related to the Communications Data consultation that closes on 20th July (see What’s Next section). The document warns: “The range of tools available to law enforcement to track and link activity and database content is now vast and growing all the time” and points out that: “What is being proposed under this [sic] modernisation powers is that every communication transaction, and all forms of future transactions, is now ‘suspicious’, worthy of later consideration by the police”. Download the report at

+ NHS IT Gateway reviews published +

The Department of Health have released 31 Gateway Reviews of the NHS IT project (aka Connection for Health (CfH) or National Programme for IT (NPfIT)). Gateway Reviews are independent financial reviews carried out by a team of experts at certain fixed key decision points over the lifetime of a programme. Many of the reviews are critical of the project including ‘OGC Gateway review 0 — Strategic Assessment, NHS National Programme for IT’ from November 2004 that states: “the current lack of engagement with the hearts and minds of the staff within the NHS at all levels, the lack of a coherent benefits realisation strategy and the absence of clarity regarding the organisational structure that will address these problems means that the overall status of the National Programme is Red — to achieve success the programme should take action immediately”. Download the reviews from

What’s next?

** *+ 11th July – London ID-Action Training Session +*
NO2ID now has a London-wide activist network to join together the patchwork of local groups with the many supporters living in areas without one. London ID Action will coordinate activities across London, informing members of events and places to target with stalls such as street festivals, musical outdoor events etc, as well as organising simultaneous stalls and outreach activities to the general public. The overall goal is to raise the profile of NO2ID in London, to increase visibility, to make Londoners accustomed to see our logo around and know what it stands for, and obviously, to recruit new members in the process.

The first day of coordinated London-wide action will take place on Saturday 11th July, starting with a training session on how to engage the public, how to argue our case and the details of setting up and holding a stall. Depending on numbers, volunteers will then go and set up stalls near key Tube stations on a day when Londoners will be out and about shopping. After that, we will reconvene for a few drinks and to gather feedback on this new type of London event.

If you’re interested, please join our ID Action mailing list here: Or email Lawrence on

* + 30th July – Magicians against ID Cards +*
Thursday 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.

*+ Communications Data consultation +*
The Home Office has launched a consultation on proposals for the so-called Intercept Modernisation Programme whereby the government wants internet service providers and telecommunications companies data to store details of all UK emails, phone calls and web activity so that public authorities can get hold of that information when they want it. The consultation ends on 20 July 2009. Full details and how to respond at

*+ 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 ( For details of the consultation and links to the relevant consultation documents see


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

_*+ Alexandra Palace +*_

If you are interested in the work of the Alexandra Palace group or are planning on attending the meeting please join the mailing list on:

_*+ Birmingham +*_

*+ 28th July – Birmingham NO2ID Meeting (last Tuesday of month) +*
Tuesday 28th July, 7.30pm in the boardroom in Bennett’s Bar, Bennett’s Hill, B2 5RS. NO2ID Birmingham holds regular monthly meetings on the last Tuesday of the month.

_*+ Cambridge +*_

*+ 11th July – Cambridge NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 11th July in the usual spot outside Cambridge Guildhall ( from 10 am. Please contact Andrew on 07710 469624 if you’d like to help.

_*+ Camden and Islington +*_ *

* 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 or join the mailing list at: (

_*+ Canterbury +*_ ** *+ 16th July – Canterbury NO2ID Meeting*

Thursday 16th July, 7:30pm at the Bell and Crown, Palace Street, Canterbury. Very low turn out at last meeting so would be great to see some more faces this time. For further details contact Jen Leighton on ( To stay up to date join the Canterbury NO2ID mailing list on: (

_*+ Daventry +*_

*+ 4th July – Daventry NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 4th July in Bowen Square, Daventry. For more details contact

*+ 8th July – Daventry NO2ID Meeting (2nd Weds of month) +*
Wednesday 8th July, 8pm at the Dun Cow, Brook St, Daventry _**_

_*+ Derby +*_

*+ Derby NO2ID Street Stall +*
Derby NO2ID held its first street stall on Saturday 27th June. Weather wasn’t brilliant but plenty of interest and people expressing their dislike of the whole ID cards scheme. Contact Nick Wray at (

_*+ Dorking +*_

*+ 7th July – Dorking NO2ID Meeting +*
Tuesday 7th July, 7:30pm at The Lincoln Arms, by Dorking mainline station. Dorking NO2ID has mapped out a promotional programme to market the Question Time on Civil Liberties on 9th September in Ewell. Already we have written to the relevant teachers of 25 local high schools who have 6th form courses on Government and Politics to invite them and their students to come along. We will also contact the press, do more street stalls than ever and picket Ewell’s 2 railway stations. All we need is your help to volunteer for an hour or two, here and there. Come and meet up at our monthly get together.

_*+ Dover +*_

*+ 4th July – Dover NO2ID Street Stall, Deal +*
Saturday 4th July from 10am (weather permitting) continuing for up to 4 hours. Location: This time we’ll be in Deal — near Boots in the pedestrianised part of the High Street. All help appreciated. Contact Ian Taylor on (

_*+ Edinburgh + *_

*+ NO2ID Edinburgh “Members’ Evening” +*
The Edinburgh NO2ID group held a “members’ evening” on 30th June, the first anniversary of the day nine members were arrested for demonstrating outside a so-called Home Office Consultation meeting. There were short talks on the history of ID cards in the UK from 1915 and on an IT professional’s view of the NIR, a showing of part of the BBC programme “Who’s watching you?” and, as a diversion, a member’s demonstration of his robotic street theatre act. * 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 (, and for more group information see

_*+ Epsom +*_

I have mapped out a promotional programme to market the Question Time on Civil Liberties on 9th September in Ewell. Already we have written to the relevant teachers of 25 local high schools who have 6th form courses on Government and Politics to invite them and their students to come along. We will also contact the press, do more street stalls than ever and picket Ewell’s 2 railway stations. All we need is your help to volunteer for an hour or two, here and there. 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 or call 01306 631377. **

_*+ Glasgow +*_

*+ 7th July – 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:

_*+ Hammersmith & Fulham + *_

*+ 22nd July – ‘The Surveillance Society’ evening +*
Wednesday 22nd July, “The Surveillance Society – what’s in store?” A personal view from Tony Bunyan of Statewatch. More details on or from Brian, 07976-414913.

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 (

_**__*+ 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 ( or Matty Mitford (

_*+ Kingston-Upon-Thames +*_

*+ 4th July – Kingston NO2ID Meeting +*
Saturday 4th July, 4pm at The Druids head pub, Market Place, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 1JT. All welcome! For more details contact Charlotte Turner at ( If you are interested in the work of the Kingston group or planning on attending the meeting, please join the Kingston-Upon-Thames mailing list here:

_*+ Lancaster +*_

Subscribe to the Lancaster NO2ID e-mail list at

_*+ Manchester +*_

*+ 11th July – Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 11th July, 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!

*+ 15th July – Manchester NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday 15th July, 7-9pm in the Town Hall Tavern, Tib Lane, Manchester. Sadly, this venue is not wheelchair-accessible; please contact us on if you have accessibility needs. Everyone is welcome, newcomer or not, curious or committed. See minutes of our previous meetings at ( We are always looking for volunteers to take and type up minutes from our meetings; it’s an easy way to help the campaign!

_*+ Newcastle Upon Tyne + *_

*+ 14th July – Newcastle Upon Tyne NO2ID Meeting +*
Tuesday 14th July, 7:30pm at the Jazz Cafe in Pink Lane. Given the recent news re the “voluntary” nature of ID cards we need to get the message that hidden compulsion still exists. Agenda will include fingerprinting of Newcastle students, the possibility of a film show and lecture, increasing membership of group. The best two adopted strategies for increasing membership will produce alcoholic prizes for the originators. Look forward to a crowded meeting.

If you are interested in the work of the Newport group, please join their mailing list on: **

_*+ Newport + *_

If you are interested in the work of the Newport group, please join their mailing list on:

* *_*+ Norwich +*_

*+ 11th July – Street Stall and Lord Mayor’s Procession Fancy Dress Identity Parade +*
Saturday 11th July – it’s The Lord Mayor’s Procession, so we are having our own Identity Parade. Please note – parking will be difficult due to the procession. The street stall will be from 1pm-3pm at The Haymarket, Gentleman’s Walk, so please come along in ID-related regalia. Later on we will attend the procession and parade down to Chapelfield Gardens to raise awareness about the bullying database state. If anyone knows any stilt-walkers, fire-eaters, jugglers or any other street performers, please let us know! There will be balloons and ballyhoo!

*+ 14th July – Norwich NO2ID Group Meeting With Special Guest Speaker +*
Tuesday 14th July, 7.30pm-9pm at The Workshop (opposite The Black Horse), 53 Earlham Road, NR2 3AD. We will be joined by NO2ID Local Groups Coordinator Matty Mitford to discuss the national campaign and spread the word further about this bullying government’s database state.

*+ 17th July TBC – Norwich North By-Election ‘What A Flipping Liberty’ Debate +*
Following Ian Gibson’s recent resignation, Norwich NO2ID, in conjunction with local civil liberties groups, will be holding a hustings debate to put the spotlight on the prospective MPs standing, so do come along with any questions you want to put to them. Please see press and NO2ID info for further details.

If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on:

_*+ Oxford +*_

*+ 2nd July – Oxford NO2ID Meeting +*
Thursday, 2nd July at the Mitre on the High Street from 8pm. We’ll be looking at how last week’s Pubic Meeting went and planning what do next. For those that missed it, there are some pictures here: (

*+ 4th July – Oxford NO2ID Stall at the Faringdon Peace Fete +*
Saturday 4th July, the Faringdon Peace Fete in Coleshill. See for more details of this.

See the website for more:

_**__**__*+ Shrewsbury +*_

*+ 11th July – Shrewsbury NO2ID lunch club and street stall +*
Saturday 11th July, 12:30 – Come for lunch at Rococo in Butcher Row and then join us on the street stall in Pride Hill. If you let Rob Findlay know that you’re coming ( or 07973 848910) then we can grab enough table space for everybody.

_*+ Southampton +*_

Southampton NO2ID holds a regular monthly meeting and plotting session on the first Wednesday of the month at 8:00pm in the Dolphin Pub next to St Denys railway station

*Southampton NO2ID Street Stalls* We are keen to move the stall to different locations in and around Southampton. If you would like to have a stall near you, then please get in touch with the group via

_*+ 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 (

_*+ Worcester +*_

*+ 14th July – Worcester NO2ID Meeting – TBC +*
Wednesday, 14th July 8pm at The Portobello Inn, St Johns, Worcester (map available from our website @ If you cannot make it stay tuned for the details of the meeting’s outcome on our website blog @

Our numbers in the last few months of meetings have dwindled to the extent that we are considering switching to email based contact only for the running of the group. Increasing the local population’s awareness of the issues is as important as ever. With this said and the numbers attending the monthly meetings low, we would like to take a register of interest (via email at or call Mark Walker on 07926354866) of those who would be interested in attending the next meeting and those who wish to be *active* members.

“ID” in the news

*+ No U-turn on ID cards, insists Mandelson – Yahoo News 2/7/09 +*
Home secretary Alan Johnson’s pledge that the government will not make ID cards compulsory is not a U-turn on policy, according to first secretary Lord Mandelson. The business minister said the government had “always made clear we want to move to a full take-up of ID cards and what Alan Johnson has said is fully consistent with that.”

*+ ID cards: mistaken identity – The Guardian 2/7/09 +*
Less a climbdown, more of a stumble. A glance at some of the papers yesterday might have led you to believe that something truly momentous had happened: Alan Johnson, the shiny new home secretary and sometime last-resort leadership hope of desperate Labour MPs, had finally rid the government of its self-imposed policy millstone and binned the ID card scheme.

*+ Q&A: Identity cards – BBC News Online 2/7/09 +*
Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said identity cards will not be compulsory for UK citizens. Here’s a guide to what it means for the multi-billion pound identity scheme.

*+ ID cards: ‘A project nobody wants and the nation can’t afford’ – 1/7/09 +*
The government has been slammed over its decision to press ahead with the national ID card scheme following Home Secretary Alan Johnson’s announcement that carrying an ID card will never be compulsory for British citizens.,3800010403,39447404,00.htm

*+ Country cannot afford this ID shambles – Telegraph 1/7/09 +*
Has Alan Johnson scrapped the ID scheme or not? The answer is no, though the claims made on its behalf are being significantly downgraded. The fact is that it was never going to be compulsory to possess or carry an ID card without a further vote of parliament. That is what it says in the ID Card Act.

*+ Government faces court battle over £400m contract for hi-tech passports – Daily Mail 30/6/09 +*
A legal battle was looming last night over the £400million contract to produce new hi-tech passports. A losing bidder is threatening action over the fact that one of Gordon Brown’s senior mandarins is a director of the firm which won the contract.

*+ Home Office ditches compulsory ID card trial – The Register 30/6/09 +*
The Home Office has abandoned attempts to force workers at Manchester and London City airports to carry ID cards, opting to make the trial voluntary. The trial was strongly opposed by pilots groups and unions. The Home Office had already scaled back its original plans and made the cards compulsory only for new workers.

*+ Conservatives question OGC oversight of NPfIT – Smart 24/6/09 +*
The 31 reviews of the NHS National Programme for IT, published by the OGC after a Freedom of Information request, included nine with red ratings, indicating the relevant projects required immediate action to achieve success.

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter – Editor( )

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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