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.

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