Readers may be aware that the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, has announced that the planned ID cards will be “voluntary”, and that no-one will have to carry one.
However, the Government is still pressing ahead with its plan to make everyone who needs to update certain “designated documents” have to register personal details on the database behind the national ID card, the National Identity Register. In other words, when a reader of this paper renews their passport or driving licence after 2011 they will have to supply information which will go onto the National Identity Register and pay for an ID card whether they want one or not.
Moreover there will then be a fine of up to £1,000 for failing to inform the authorities of any alteration to the information you have been compelled to give, such as a change of address or name.
It is simply dishonest of the Government to describe the ID card scheme as now “voluntary” when you won’t be able to leave your own country or drive a vehicle unless you submit your personal details to the authorities to be included on the ID card register. I challenge our local MPs, Margaret Beckett, Bob Laxton and Mark Todd, all of whom have supported the ID card legislation, to explain in your columns to your readers what they understand by the word “voluntary”.
MPs are going to be voting in Parliament soon on the regulations underlying the ID card legislation and the “designated documents” in particular. Concerned readers have the opportunity to contact their MP and demand MPs do not support ID card legislation.
I would also urge concerned citizens to get involved with Derby no2id, the local branch of the campaign against compulsory ID cards and the database state. The next meeting of Derby no2id is on Tuesday, July 21, at the Friends Meeting House, St Helen’s Street, Derby DE1 3GY at 7.30pm. All are welcome. People can also contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.