back to article IPS in cunning 'get an ID card, get crucified' scheme

The Identity and Passport Service's hilariously triste efforts to make ID cards cuddly has passed another millstone (shurely 'milestone?' - Ed). As a follow-up to plastering its propaganda with happy fingerprints, IPS now has a flash animation of them as well - derived, weirdly, from a movie you might be familiar with. With a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Spartacus the hero

    who was crucified by the totalitarian Romans, who incidentally also crucified Jesus Christ for, well, nothing really if the Bible story is to believed. Now wishes to try and paint him as a Roman sympathizer.

    Whatever next, Mother Theresa as an Angel of Death, Gandhi with an AK-47, these government workers would push the patience of a saint, so I suppose all things possible.

    1. Paul Hates Handles
      Jobs Horns


      ...Mother Theresa was pretty much the angel of death. She didn't ease anyone's suffering because she believed you needed to suffer to be closer to God - so her hospitals were the most awful places imaginable.

      Utter, utter douchebitch.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @Actually: Although ...

        ... I completely agree with you about Mother Theresa, I do have to point out that Ghandi with an AK-47 would fuckin' ROCK!

  2. Warren G

    So soon?

    I thought it would be a while before they admitted the true purpose of these cards.

    And of course if you haven't got an ID card it must be because you are guilty of something else, so fetch the nails.

  3. blackworx

    Subvertising at source?

    It would be nice to think this is the successful result of some infiltration and subversion plot by NO2ID.

    Somehow though I think not.

  4. Tom 15
    Paris Hilton


    They look awfully phallic to me.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I foresee ...

    ... a Viz character who saves people from all sorts of dangers using a wheelbarrow full of ID cards.

  6. Sceptical Bastard

    Beggars belief

    It's the dickheads at IPS who seserve crucifixion - a bunch of complete tossers!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shouldn't it be?

    I'm Brian. And so is my wife.

    1. Red Bren

      Crucifixion? Good...

      Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        That you should bring up the life of Brian though

        To paraphrase;

        Meg Hillier 'We've got lots of ID cards round the back'

        Jailer 'Oh, don't worry about her, sir. She's ma-- she's m-- she's ma-- she-- she-- she's m-- m-- m-- she's m-- she's m-- ' *thump* 'She's mad sir'

    2. Neil Stansbury

      @Shouldn't it be?

      Perhaps, but that would be amusing rather than ironic.

  8. seanj

    Joy-killing bastards.

    I'll wager they try to take the funny away from "I'm Brian, and so's my wife" next.

    People's Front of Judea? Fucking splitters...

  9. Captain TickTock

    Cheer up you old bugger...

    Let the Life Of Brian quoting begin!

    Mine's the toga with "What have the Romans ever done for us?" pamphlets in the pockets -

    er maybe in the folds... I guess togas don't have pockets.

  10. Paul Durrant

    Pay £30, and get fined £1000

    Hmmm... So, get an ID card for £30 and be able to travel in the EU, give proof of your age to people, and get fined £1000 when you forget to tell the IPS that you've moved. What a bargain!

  11. irish donkey
    Thumb Up

    Get and ID card get crucified

    Forget to update the details on your Voluntary ID card and you will find out how quickly they will crucify you.

    Oh and I'm Sporticus and so's my wife

  12. Eddie Edwards

    Pure comedy gold

    You can't make this stuff up.

    My theory is that they wanted to do "I'm Brian" (which would have worked) then someone reminded them that the scene was based on Spartacus.

    Clearly the group which put this together and approved it haven't a braincell between them.

    No surprise there. Did you see Michael Howard on Celebrity Mastermind? He came last with 12 and believe me the show was really dumbed down for the occasion. If that's the (former) leader of a major political party we can see how clueless politics must be generally.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Well, that's one of the programs my kids watch ruined...

  13. Number6


    Looks like IPS are going to be really cross with El Reg.

  14. Hollerith 1

    Nice parallel

    The slaves shouted 'I'mSpartacus' voluntarily, willing to be tortured and killed in their hero's place.

    That kind of volunteerism is exactly what was asked for from Manchester, and yet they failed to step up to the honour. Shame, shame and yet again, Mancunians, shame. They will never make a movie about you.

  15. Big Bear

    Copyright? Or whatever the F*** it falls under...

    I'd piss myself if Universal hadn't agreed to using their iconic line for this campaign and sued the IPS for thieving it...

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      It would be even funnier than that, coz we'd be paying for it.....oh.

  16. yossarianuk

    Lack of government understanding

    It seems the government know as much on the film Spartacus as they do about Drug policy and internet reform.

    Using Spartacus is so wrong that I though it was a joke.

    It is not

  17. Antony 2

    I respect the laws...

    I have applied for an ID card.

    Mine's the one with my ID in the pocket.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      Seriously? Can you tell us why?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      "respect" my arse!

      > I respect the laws... I have applied for an ID card.

      There's no law says you have to apply for an ID card, so you're making up entirely imaginary new ones that don't even exist just to show how keen you are.

      That's no mere "respect"; that's "world-class brown-nosing", is what that is!

  18. disgruntled yank

    always look on the bright side of life!

    As El Reg has pointed out, Judith Iscariot is now an elected official. Any chance you can get a comment from her?

  19. Mark Monaghan

    Obvious fake

    I seem to recall that Spartacus was a Thracian, and not a "British Citizen" as claimed by the ID card.

    As for "So that's that one nailed then", you could at least have waited until I'd finished my tea.

  20. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Looking at the cards

    I'm thinking of investing in a company that can make covers for finger tips so that people can give ID cards the same fingerprint.

    Then we all become Spartcus

    Or more likely, the entire population gets rounded up under suspicion when one of us does something wrong and gets caught.

    With the added bonus we all get put on the peodo register just because we were once arrested in connection with a case of shoplifting

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    A question...

    I understand that holders of the ID card are required to report changes, such as addresses, to the authorities. Suppose said individual is a foreign student who returned home, or is someone who immigrated. Are they required to continue reporting such changes after leaving the UK?

  22. Paul Donnelly

    hee hee hee

    Romanis Eunt Domus!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      It means 'Romans go home'

      1. John G Imrie

        No it doesen't

        Conjugate the verb to go.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the website:

    > "What are the benefits of the card?

    * It’s a more secure form of identity – Built-in security features make this a more secure way to help protect your identity against fraud."

    Actually it isn't a form of identity, my identity is a form of identity. The card is a form of documentation. Besides, more secure than WHAT?

    > "* You can use it for travel within Europe – The National Identity Card works like a passport within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. "

    Why would I want something that 'works like a passport' but with none of the benefits of being a passport? sounds GREAT.

    > "* It’s convenient and portable – You just need to carry the one card to quickly help prove your age or identity. "

    Like my drivers licence?

    > "* It will help to protect the public – Our checks mean that criminals and terrorists will not be able to successfully apply for cards using multiple identities. "

    A) Yes they will. and B) You don't need multiple identities to blow things up, you stupid stupid dolts.

    And those are the only four reasons they give in the case for identity cards. None of them even backed up with proof or evidence. I am gobsmacked.

  24. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: A question...

    Unless they changed the rules when I wasn't looking, if you're not resident in the UK you don't qualify for an ID card. So presumably you'd have to give it back, or something. Not that that would be likely to get you off the ID register...

  25. Andrew Culpeck

    Don't Froget

    You ARE slaves. Given to the government at birth by your perants in exchange for a faximaly of a birth certificate.

    So stop complaining IPS are just pionting out the facts of life.

    I suspect you even think you own vehicals. If thats the case why do they give you a V5 with your name and address on it as the registerd keeper and not the owner?

    And while we are on the subject the V5 is a grant of use, not to you the man or woman who paied for the vehical but the fictional legal personality that is MR/MRS X at Y address.

    If you don't beleve me look up John Harris on youtube and he will explain the law far better than I can.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      In English s'il vous plait?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      @Don't Froget (sic)

      No. That's stupid, and you're stupid.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why is it that almost everyone who can spell....

      Or otherwise string a sentence together, seems to be against the ID cards? :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I truely hope you get an ID card because..

      with that level of literacy, you'll need 20 of the damn things before you manage to spell anything correctly.

      Means 19 other people wont need one to get the numbers of takers up!


    Link or It Didn't Happen

    So where's the link to the flash animation?

  27. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Link or It Didn't Happen

    1. Rob Beard

      That god awful music...

      ...wants me to go and crucify myself, I've got it going round in my head now, it's so bad, like a really naff midi tune.

      I for one welcome the ID card carrying overlords.


  28. Tim Croydon

    @Life of Brian quotes

    I don't need to watch the film now. The entire script seems to be in the comments.

    p.s. He has a wife, you know...

  29. Mike Bird 1

    But I wants one

    .. my preshus.

    Actually i do really want an ID Card.

    I don't see what the problem is, the government has all the information anyway, just scattered across 50 different systems.

    1. MadonnaC
      Black Helicopters

      If they have the information

      then why do I need to apply? shurely they could simply mail me the card.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    He's not the Home Secretary...

    ..he's a very naughty boy!

  31. Number6

    V5 and registered keeper

    The terminology is because the person who is responsible for the car is not necessarily the person who owns it. Usually they are the same person but they don't have to be.

    1. Rob Beard


      ...when I was caught speeding in a company car, it turns out the registered keeper was the company but the owner was the leasing company, or something along those lines.

      Mine is the one with the highway code in the pocket.


  32. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    satire was overlooked by the committee

    Methinks mayhap a gent who was sitting on the committee who chose this commercial may have thrown out the idea sarcastically to the rest of the committee but the rest of the committe being uneducated missed the joke and the nice gentleman who suggested the commercial kindly chuckled to himself as the committe proved to him that the old proverb is true being that a committee's intelligence can be summed up as the lowest intellect in the committee divided by the total number of committee participants.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Buy an ID card, betray your heroes!

    This has to be the worst propaganda ever, who on earth wants Spartacus to get caught? I guess that civil servants watching that movie must have thought that he was meant to be a rebellious, disobedient villain and consider it a strongly moral movie with a happy ending.

    In that light, can I suggest a few other remakes that the government might like to consider?

    Robin Hood - Applaud the noble Sherriff of Nottingham as he captures the desparate youth villain Robin the Hoodie and his entire gang of criminals by forcing everyone in Sherwood to carry ID cards. Laugh as he takes the last gold coin from a peasant family who forgot to update their address when they moved hovel!

    The Great Escape - Pretty obvious this one - "Papieren Bitte" - celebrate as Germany's strong ID card system allows the dangerous jail-breakers to be recaptured before they can commit any crimes while on bail!

    Star Wars - Relax in a feeling of smug satisfaction as the illegal attempt to release the terrorist suspect Leia from her entirely legitimate 28-day detention and waterboarding falls at the first hurdle when Luke and the rest can't produce biometric ID cards and the guards see through their trivial disguises before they even get out of the hangar on the Death Star!

    Terminator - Arnie comes back from the future, logs into the ID card database, and is immediately able to track Susan Connor to her home address and dispatch her with ease, despite her best efforts to remain ex-directory. Rejoice as the world is saved from the danger of not ending up as a futuristic techno-dystopian machine-dominated nightmare reality!

    etc. etc. etc... I feel sure that people will proudly want to associate themselves with the Roman Empire, Sherriff of Nottingham, Nazi soldiers, Imperial Stormtroopers, and remorseless amoral killing machines aimed at the destruction of all humanity.

    Or at least that's who the government seems to /think/ our heroes should be.

  34. Captain TickTock

    Actually you do need multiple IDs... blow things up.

    You need to keep them separate. then you put them in a bomb and the detonator brings them together. Then they reach critical mass and...

    Mine's the dirty bomb, I mean mac.

  35. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Operation Sparticus

    Is the name given to the hyperthetical idea of setting all NIR entries to the same set of (possibly fictional) details.

    Everyone is then Sparticus.

    But as we all know the access security is *far* to tight for that to ever happen.

  36. Graham Marsden

    Epic FAIL!

    There are those of us who are willing to stand up and say "NO! I will NOT have an ID card."

    We will stand up and say "If you are going to prosecute one of us, you'll have to prosecute ALL of us!"

    That is, of course, entirely the whole point of the "I'm Spartacus" scene at the end of the film, the slaves are willing to give their lives to show their defiance against the oppressors is undaunted.

    Yet this point has gone entirely over the IPS' heads and they think that the slaves should have all pointed out who Spartacus was to save themselves.

    Yet again the truth of Ben Franklin's words is shown "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite

      >"Yet this point has gone entirely over the IPS' heads and they think that the slaves should have all pointed out who Spartacus was to save themselves."

      I don't think so, I think their belief is that Spartacus should be so proud of his identity that he should have jumped up and pointed himself out, shouting "No, me, me, I'm the real Spartacus and I've gone a long way out of my way and spent my own time and money to prove it".

      Equally daft though, I grant you.

  37. DavidK

    The people called Romanes

    they go the house?

  38. Oldfogey

    ?PROVE Identity?

    Just looking at the ad for this on ebay, where it says that an ID card "will help to prove your identity".

    So it doesn't actually prove it then?

  39. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up


    A fine set of films.

    Very nice work. You do get the distinct impression whoever came up with this nonsense clearly sides with the Romans.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    So how does this prove who you are?

    After all, it's only a house of cards. How DO you prove who you are. Birth certificate - easy to copy or create. Driver permit - based on paper sources. Voting - based on paper sources.

    tell me again how this is supposed to work?

  41. Robin Bradshaw
    Big Brother


    Could they have chosen a more inappropriate metaphor, what are they going to do for the next advert? Perhaps base it on Hotel Rwanda and point out how efficient the ID card was at enabling genocide?

    Useless twats!

  42. Ascylto
    Big Brother

    End of the line

    The next one will be funded by IBM and will have a train coming to the end of the line with some people getting off and being separated into lines ... one of which goes to the work camp, the other to, well, let's wait and see.

  43. TeeCee Gold badge

    Not the same at all.

    As far as I can make out from historical record, when the Romans crucified Spartacus there was no tinpot official there to present him with the bill for the wood and nails.

    Personally I like to think that had revolt against the Imperium carried a penalty of optional crucifixion at your own expense and the Romans had offered Spartacus and his mates the chance to volunteer, they'd have politely declined the invitation.

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