back to article Smith's airport ID card plans cut back to small pilot scheme

Jacqui Smith's plans for ID cards for airport workers are in deeper trouble, with the news that next year's rollout has been downscaled to an 18 month trial at only two airports, Manchester and City of London. According to a report in today's Financial Times, the Home Secretary is due to announce the trial on Thursday - but the …


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  1. Mike Crawshaw

    Thanks for the detail!

    The part about forcing non-EU nationals to apply has, as a Canadian living here since '83, had me somewhat concerned. Seeing the part about forcing application as part of the renewal of leave to remain is somewhat reassuring, as I had this renewed this year, so have a good few years left before I need to reapply, and get forced into that too. Hopefully the entire thing will be nothing but a bad memory by that point!!

    Cheers for brightening my day even further, El Reg!

  2. Nomen Publicus

    Golden rule

    There is a rule when dealing with a policy disaster - get out fast!


  3. Gulfie
    Thumb Down

    Money for nothing...

    So lets get this straight. The government are engaging expensive consultants to work on prototype ID card systems which won't be committed to any kind of significant operations until after the 2010 election.

    If the conservatives win (and I'm not sure they are capable of losing at the moment) they have already stated their intent to scrap the whole thing.

    So in all likelihood, all the money spent (or at least a large slice of it) will go down the toilet. Fantastic. I don't know whether to laugh - and try and get a slice of the work - or cry.

  4. dervheid

    This has as much chance of success...

    as Celtic do against Manchester United tonight.

    (Lights blue touchpaper and stands back to admire the fireworks)

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Will it work?

    Have any of these idiots looked into the price of a terrorist operation compared to the price of a well worn 727 cargo version?

  6. Elmer Phud

    No ID - must be a Brit

    It seems that the plans now are to ensure that anyone in the U.K. who is not born and bred here will be carrying official ID. The trick is that if you are not carrying ID then you're either a terrorist, a non-registered itinerant or a resident.

    A few simple road-side checks can tell the truth -- one chorus of 'Doing the Lambeth Walk' and if the person listening doesn't automatically finish the line with an 'OI!' then they are an imposter.

  7. druck Silver badge

    I can just see the advert now...

    In addition to officially announcing the trial, on Thursday Jacqui Smith is expected to announce a "prospectus of market engagement" which the paper says will invite organisations with a high street presence to bid "for contracts in areas such as fingerprinting, application checking and photographing linked to the new biometric passports and ID cards."

    Rush down to your nearest Marks and Sparks or Woolies for the latest two for the price of one offer; be fingerprinted like a common criminal, AND hand over all your personal information for the government to lose (again). All that for just £5.4billion, £9.1billion or £25+billion depending on who you believe.

  8. Colin Millar

    I've written the report on the outcome of the trial

    "The trial has been inconclusive in terms of the cost/benefit of wider implementation and further consideration will have to be given to the introduction of this scheme or an amended version of this scheme at a date to be decided."

    Can I have the £500k now please

  9. Dave Bell

    Somebody just had to mention The Lambeth Walk....

    Famous bit of film on YouTube

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The best part

    Is that the "wacky one" (TM) will announce the whole thing as a rousing "SUCCESS!" no matter how it actually turns out and no matter how few are issued (for any purpose). Even when the card-holders details are lost on a CD or left on a thunb-drive in a bar by one of her contracted wet-ware, it will be swept under the rug and pronounced "fit to go ahead" for everyone.

  11. Mike Moyle
    Thumb Up

    I just want to say...

    ...Best. Subtitle. EVER!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    organisations with a high street presence

    I see reputational damage coming up. I shan't be using a fingerprinting establishment for anything.

  13. Dougdoug

    10 fingers or less

    How does "market engagement" equate to security?

    If you are collecting biometric data for the purpose of producing a secure ID card, surely you need someone more proficient than a checkout gimp to validate that it really is you?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Small pilot scheme?

    I'm a small pilot, and I resent that remark.

  15. Wayland Sothcott

    Where will terrorists strike next?

    Airports are targets because of the large concentrations of people. However terror strikes could be more subtle. What if you could contaminate the food supply. That would hit a lot of people. But surely any poisonous food would be removed from the shelves after the first person keeled over. The trick is not to have it so poisonous that it's obvious. Have it so that statistically people will die. It could then go on for years before anyone noticed. Even when it was noticed then people would argue for ages whether it was actually harmfull or not.

    If you did this over several decades with several types of poison then it would become normal. A sort of trend. You could kill 20% of the earths population and a few scientists would fret, a few conspiricy nuts would spot it, but as I said in an earlier post they are wrong by definition. The cancer cure Doctors would be delighted with all the yonger people getting cancer since they have a higher recovery rate.

    Everyone is happy, except for the terrorists since their work has gone un-noticed.

    It's a good job that something like that can't happen because it's a conspiricy theory I just made up.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damage. We could really do some here.

    A letter-writing campaign to the CEs of all the potential High Street retailers stating that we will not be using any of their stores for any purpose should they assist the Government in this matter might actually have some effect. It's not like they're dogma-smitten politicos: they've a profit to make.

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