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Thursday, January 19, 2006 7:07 PM
NO2ID Supporter’s Newsletter No.37– 19th January 2006

 ++ Time to Lobby MPs again as Lords Amend Identity Cards Bill

 On Monday peers voted through a significant amendment to the ID cards bill, requiring detailed costings before the legislation proceeds. The key amendment was passed by 237 votes to 156 and would mean that the ID card scheme would not proceed until the Home Secretary has laid a report before parliament, for approval by MPs, containing a detailed account of revenue and capital costs. However, the amendment must first be approved by MPs in the Commons and the government are determined to remove the amendment and press ahead with the legislation.

 As a result of the vote in the Lords there was a lot of media coverage and Tony Blair came under attack over the bill at Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday. Briefings were sent out to the media and NO2ID local groups around the country also got some excellent coverage. Well done to all involved.

 The Lords will continue to vote on amendments to the bill next Monday (23rd January) including amendments to remove the compulsion to register when renewing designated documents such as passports. The bill will then get its 3rd Reading in the Lords (probably in early February), before returning to the House of Commons where MPs will accept or reject peers’ amendments. The last time MPs voted on the bill the government’s majority was cut to just 31.

 Many supporters and members have helped with the lobbying effort in the Lords, which looks like it has really paid off. The next battle will be in the House of Commons.

 Supporters should write to their MPs encouraging them to vote for the Lords’ amendments – particularly those on cost, removing compulsion and limiting the Register – when the bill returns to the Commons. We have a lobbying tool at mps.no2id.net, which allows you to lobby your MP from the comfort of your computer armed only with a postcode.

 Speaking in the debate (and worthy of mention – ed), Lord Stoddart pointed out: “the Leader of the Opposition, who might one day be in government, said that he would scrap the ID scheme. The Liberal Democrats are against the scheme and would co-operate in scrapping it. We may spend billions of pounds in starting a scheme that has been agreed to by only one political party, which may not be in government for much longer than a few years”.

 The MPs lobbying tool is at :


 ++ What’s next?

 + Call for volunteers – Admin & Bookkeeping skills

 We need help running our office in London. If you live in London and have a few hours to spare during the week please volunteer to join the staff rota helping with the vital clerical work to support the campaign. We are also looking for some bookkeeping/accounting help.
If you can help please contact the office if you can help

 + 19th January Oxford NO2ID meeting

 NO2ID Oxford’s next meeting will be held tonight at 8.00 pm in the Jury Room, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates. All welcome – they are also looking for additional volunteers to join the committee. For more details contact

 + 23rd January Identity Cards Bill Report Stage, Lords

 On Monday 23rd January the House of Lords will once again vote on amendments to the ID cards bill. Webcasts of the proceedings can be viewed at
www.parliamentlive.tv and transcripts are available from

 + 25th January NO2ID Edinburgh Meeting

 The next meeting of the NO2ID Edinburgh Group will be at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 25 January in the Teviot Dining Room, Teviot Row House, Bristo Square, EH8 9AJ. The speaker will be Mark Ballard MSP, Scottish Green Party. All are welcome. Edinburgh members and supporters can sign up to various local lists at

 + 4th February Leafleting Salisbury

 On Saturday 4th February NO2ID Salisbury & Swindon will be teaming up in Salisbury for “an opportunity to leaflet, gather petitioners and generally spread the word”. All welcome. NO2ID Swindon’s next meeting is tonight (January 19th) from 7.30pm at the Clifton Inn, Clifton street (off Kingshill). For more information contact mailto:swindon@no2id.net

 + Forthcoming local council votes

 Two more local councils have motions opposing ID cards, North Wilts Council and Swindon Council, both in January.


 ++ What just happened?

 + Stop Press: Warwick District Council vote against ID cards

 Last night Warwick District Council joined the long list of local councils who have passed motions against ID cards (two more are listed below). Several more councils are upcoming.

 + Durham City Council rejects ID cards

 Last Tuesday (10th January) Durham City Council voted against ID cards and in favour of affiliation with NO2ID. Councillor Carol Woods, a member of the Liberal Democrat-controlled council’s cabinet, said: “It wouldn’t solve the problems of terrorism. It is mainly an infringement of our civil liberties.”

 + Newcastle City Council pass anti-ID card motion

 Last Wednesday (11th January) Newcastle City council voted in favour of a motion outlining their objection to the government’s proposed ID card scheme and affiliating to the NO2ID campaign. The motion was passed by 31 votes to 26, with all 26 votes against coming from Labour councillors. Councillor Gareth Cooper who proposed the motion said: “The Government’s ID cards scheme is deeply flawed in principle and in practice, and would cost taxpayers a fortune for little or no benefit.” Following the vote Robin Ashby, coordinator of NO2ID Newcastle, was interviewed on Metro and Durham FM radio stations.
The full text of the motion is outlined here : tinyurl.com/cfeo2

 + LSE publishes report on research status

 This week the London School of Economics released an update to their excellent June 2005 ‘The Identity Project’ report. The report was overseen by an advisory committee of 16 LSE professors who guided the report. Numerous LSE staff members and an international team of 60 researchers contributed to, and reviewed, the reports. Accompanying the report is a letter from the Director of the LSE, Howard Davies, in which he says: “The LSE team stands by the cost estimates outlined in its first report”. Davies also criticises government ministers for their emotive responses to the first report. At Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday Tony Blair said: “This report they’ve put out under the LSE’s name is actually written by someone who’s the leading campaigner on civil liberty grounds against ID cards, so I don’t think it’s an entirely objective assessment.” Nothing to do with the LSE then…
The status and full report can be downloaded from is.lse.ac.uk/idcard/

 + Corporate Watch release new report

 Corporate Watch, the Oxford based research group, have produced a new report entitled ‘Corporate Identity’. The report describes itself as: “A critical analysis of private companies’ engagement with the identity cards scheme.” Companies such as Atos Origin, NEC, EDS and BT Global and their involvement in past IT failures are documented, and there is a useful reference table. The report also recommends that the ID cards bill should be amended to remove de facto compulsion and prohibit public services from requiring an ID card in any situation.
The report can be downloaded at www.corporatewatch.org/download.php?id=40

 + From our forums: Discussion of the government’s plans to link ID cards to Electoral Registration

 + iPods not ID cards, says DTI geek
DTI head of applications and data services Patrick Cooper suggested it would be more cost efficient to issue everyone in the UK with an iPod than an ID card.

 + Loser: Britain's Identity Crisis
IEEE Spectrum magazine's annual “Best and Worst Technology Projects" rates the Home Office Identity Cards proposals as one of the five worst technology projects for 2006.

 More news is available from the NO2ID newsblog at

 ++ “ID” in the news

 + ID Cards: A titanic project waiting for its iceberg
Professor Ian Angell, head of LSE’s department of information systems, claims that not only is the scheme likely to blow up in the government’s face, it may also be illegal.

 + Cost of ID cards set to spiral : UNISON comment on LSE status report
UNISON policy officer David McCulloch said the union has long warned that the introduction of identity cards would be an expensive mistake. “The report backs up everything that UNISON has been saying all along,” he said. “We want the government to cease all further development of the cards.”

 + ID cards ‘still on way’
The government is to press on with plans for identity cards despite another setback in the Lords. The policy was in tatters after peers voted by a large majority to block it, but Home Office minister and Leigh MP Andy Burnham vowed that they would reverse the decision in the Commons.

 + Worse than the dome
The identity cards bill may have fallen off the news agenda, but that should change now the House of Lords is starting the bill’s report stage with today’s vote to force the government to tell us what this grandiose scheme is likely to cost.

 + Cameron calls ID cards ‘unBritish’
The Tory leader vowed to step up opposition to the scheme amid signs of growing Labour unease at the way it is being managed. He seized on a hint from Gordon Brown that he is among those inside the Cabinet who are unhappy about the plan.

 + Idiotic! Blow to Blair as experts say identity card plan won’t work
The world-famous London School Of Economics – which is paid millions to examine Government plans – called for the scheme to be scrapped.

 + A tax on being alive
Labour’s determination to introduce compulsory identity cards for all British citizens sends a shiver down the spine of anyone concerned about individual liberty or protecting their privacy from the intrusive meddling of the state. One of the most treasured and ancient freedoms enjoyed by Britons has been not having to present “identity papers” to the police.

 + Australia considers ID card
Philip Ruddock is treating the controversial national identity card as the “the next cab off the rank‰ for the Howard Government‚s security agenda following the passage of its tough anti-terrorism laws. Having ruled out the introduction of any form of compulsory ID card in recent years, the Australia Card issue was put back on the agenda by John Howard following the London terrorist bombings in July.

 + Database State : NHS IT – A spineless performance
When ministers last week proudly lifted the curtain on the new consumer-choice NHS, the centrepiece of Tony Blair’s public service reforms, the IT supposed to make it all work was down. The NHS’s apparent inability to achieve this, despite massive funding and the efforts of a highly experienced project team, does not bode well for other government IT schemes such as the identity card.

 + US: National ID, State Nightmare
An anti-terrorism law creating a national standard for all driver’s licenses by 2008 isn’t upsetting just civil libertarians and immigration rights activists. State motor vehicle officials nationwide who will have to carry out the Real ID Act say its authors grossly underestimated its logistical, technological and financial demands.

 + US: Mass Spying Means Gross Errors
The United States government either currently has, or soon will have, new technology that makes mass surveillance possible. The next question for citizens and other policy makers is whether and when to use this capability.

 + Ireland: ID cards may be introduced here if adopted in Britain
Ireland may have to create an ID card system if they are introduced in Britain. However, the Minister for Justice Michael Mc Dowell says any Irish scheme would operate on a voluntary basis for those who travel to the UK frequently.

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

 ++ What you can do
As the id card bill approaches its final stages in the Lords you can help us by:

 + 1. Lobbying your MP
When the ID card bill completes its passage through the House of Lords, the amended bill will return to the House of Commons for another vote so please encourage your MP to vote against the compulsory registration of UK citizens. To lobby your MP go to

 + 2. Writing to your local paper
Personal letters to your MP or the local press can be effective persuaders.

 + 3. Joining NO2ID / donating
Please join NO2ID, if you are not already a paid-up member.
(There’s a membership form at
Donate some money towards campaign expenses.
NO2ID, Box 412, 78 Marylebone High Street, LONDON W1U 5AP

 * 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

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