Saturday, 29 March 2008

Nick Clegg on ID cards

Channel 4 Political Slot: No to ID cards - Nick Clegg

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

If you've got nothing to hide...'ve got nothing to fear - one of the most common phrases levelled at people arguing against the National Identity Register. The answer will be the subject of some forthcoming blogs; but as a starter, here's A C Grayling's retort:

"The assumption behind the 'if you have nothing to hide' claim is that the authorities will always be benign, will always reliably identify and interfere with genuinely bad people only, will never find themselves engaging in 'mission creep' with more and more uses to put their new powers and capabilities to, will not redefine crimes, and even various behaviours or views now regarded as acceptable."

Thursday, 20 March 2008

NO2ID Birmingham March meeting

A date for your diary: the next NO2ID Birmingham meeting is on Monday 31 March at The Midlands Art Centre. Meeting starts at 7:30pm. All are welcome.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

The private life in Britain...

OK, this piece by Clive James isn't explicitly about the erosion of our civil liberties, but in many ways it goes to the heart of what the current civil liberties debate is about: how valuable is privacy?

The answer, James says, is that it is as fundamental to civilisation as language:

"Private life is an institution, like the English language, which is collapsing too, and proving, even as it falls to bits, that it's a structure our lives depend on...Until recently, the concept of private life was basic to civilisation. Its value could be measured by the thoroughness with which totalitarian states and religions always did their best to stamp it out. But now we have to face the possibility that the latest stage of civilisation might also be trying to stamp it out."

Incidentally, if you scroll down you can see the first comment is from NO2ID's very own Guy Herbert.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

MoD: Missing our Data?

"The Ministry of Defence is at the centre of a new security row after it emerged an 'extraordinary' 11,000 military ID cards were lost or stolen in the past two years," reports Sky News.

Given that the armed forces number about 190,000 personnel, that works out at a loss rate of about 3%. For a country the size of the UK - 60 million people - that 3% rate would mean a staggering 1.8 million cards lost a year.

And the price of replacing a lost card? £30.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Responding to Jacqui Smith's Demos speech

It can seem daunting to us newcomers to try to evaluate what's going on in the media and respond intelligently to it. We had a hectic day yesterday trying to keep up with the news following Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's Demos speech whilst also trying to put in a respectable day's work!

We sent out a press release (see below) at lunch time and got phone calls from two local radio stations almost immediately. Michelle Graham did prerecorded interviews for both BRMB and Kerrang FM and, although we're not sure they aired our response, we do feel that we've gone some small way to putting ourselves on the local media map.

If we got no other benefit out of yesterday, we're now convinced that our press releases work!

Press release
6 March 2008


Local opponents of Government's ID card scheme have condemned plans announced today to force airport workers to get the controversial cards, saying that it will not improve airport security.

In her latest attempt to get the controversial scheme off the ground, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced that about 100,000 airport workers with airside access will be forced to get the new cards, or risk losing their jobs.

The NO2ID Birmingham Group is inviting people worried by the proposals to attend the group’s next meeting on Monday 31 March at the Midlands Arts Centre.

Andrew Mitchell MP, Conservative Shadow Minister for Birmingham, said: “The ID card project, pursued single-mindedly by this government, is a terrible, perhaps fatal, error of judgement. It will prove to be a white elephant and a waste of money of extraordinary proportions. In due course, the public will not forgive them.”

Michelle Graham, Birmingham coordinator of the NO2ID campaign, said: "This highlights the Home Secretary's sheer desperation to find a plausible reason for her ID card scheme. Airline pilots and other airside workers are the most carefully vetted employees in the country. How can issuing them with the same ID card as you or me possibly improve security?

"The Government is trying to introduce the scheme through the back door. They will start with airport workers, but gradually target more and more groups. It could be students or even nurses and teachers who are targeted next.

"I would urge anyone concerned by the announcement today to get involved in their local group.”


Notes for editors:
1. For further information please contact Michelle Graham on 07734 087470 or email
2. A recent leaked memo shows that the Home Office plans to ‘coerce’ the public into getting ID cards, despite ministerial claims that they would be voluntary:
3. A recent ICM poll shows more people opposed to the government's ID cards scheme than in favour:

4. NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. Scroll down for a list of 'database state' initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing.