back to article Government spends £11k on ID card 'branding'

The government still seems to be shying away from spending too much money advertising its ID card and National ID Register schemes. In a commons answer yesterday ID minister Meg Hillier said that the Identity and Passport Service had spent £1.3m so far buying "buying advertising space to communicate to the business community …


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  1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    ID Card for Foreign Nationals

    "... to ensure businesses were aware of the Identity Card for Foreign Nationals when it was introduced in November 2008"."

    Now March 2010 and I still don't / won't have one*. 16 months of telling to shove their ID Card where the sun don't shine and counting. Businesses don't seem to care either, new job in October 2009, declared nationality as Canadian, and I sure wasn't asked for an ID card - I was just asked to demonstrate capability.

    "Joke" because that's what the entire ID Card abomination is. A bad, espensive, offensive one.

    (*Because daddy was Canadian and mommy was English, I'm counted as a foreign national. If they'd been the other way around, I'd be counted as British. If I'd been born after 1983, I'd be counted as British. If I'd been a tennis player with a hope in hell of getting near the Wimbledone quarter-final, I'd be counted as British**.Consistency? Yeah, they've heard of it...)

    (**Greg Rusedski is in exactly the same situation, but was pro-actively offered British nationality. Strangely, the tabloids all seemed to love this when he was winning - "Great British Hope Rusedski" - and forget about it when he wasn't - "Canadian loser Rusedski"...)

    1. Gulfie

      No surprise there...

      ... just ask Scot/Brit* Andy Murray. Either nationality matters, in which case be consistent. Or it doesn't, in which case STFU.

      Hope you're enjoying the UK. I far prefer the multicultural country we are now to what we were in the 80's...

      * losing/winning

  2. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    ID cards are not going to fade away...

    They are just boiling the frog more carefully these days. If they spend a lot of money on a big advertising campaign, they know they will stir up a lot of media and public attention and some of it would definitely be to speak out against the forceful introduction of ID cards. Whereas this way, they gently raise the temperature slowly creeping the ID card into being used in every walk of life via businesses that use it for this and that and before you know it you need it almost everywhere.

    After all citizen, it may help in the perpetual war on terrorists.

    They don't want us to think about the fact ID cards will allow far easier spying on whatever we do, because each time ID card approval is required the ID card system will then be able to record where and for what that approval was used for based on where the approval request comes from. (But then they are already able to spy on credit cards via a side effect of money laundering laws. But you don't give away your position after you for example buy tickets for something, (plus you could just use cash to buy some tickets), plus you can use these tickets whenever you like, whereas with an ID card that can do away with the tickets, they get real time monitoring of peoples activities each and every time ID card approval is requested.

    I can see a time when we are required to use ID cards multiple times every day. For a start they can replace Oyster cards with ID cards. Then how about clocking in and out of work, automatically also recording your lunch time outside the office in the process. Then how about making parking meters use ID cards auto-deducting from your bank account. In fact thats a step towards all electronic money and therefore monitoring everything you buy. After all our ruling elite want a cut of every transaction, so they would love to finally kill off so called "cash in hand" style deals as well.

    Plus just think about how much money they will earn from organizing and centralizing spying on all of us. Their rich friends in businesses would pay good money to get access to that data, so they too can profit from all the spying.

    So much for our ancestors fighting against state interference. They could never have imagined how far that state interference would be able to go, but sadly George Orwell did.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      oh yes....

      the ips actually has actually asked businesses how likely they would be to use id cards to monitor staff access to restricted sites and areas (i answered the questions that's how i know, even though the whole thing was/is/will be pointless for my business). they're way ahead of you.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Getting it regardless

    "It's almost as if someone just wanted the scheme to fade away of its own accord, or alternatively was waiting to see if they could sneak back into power before ramming it down the public's throat."

    Wasn't a National ID card scheme also proposed by the Conservatives under Major, and opposed by Labour who -- at the time -- preferred saving the cash and putting it policing?

    How times have changed, eh?

    Just goes to show we'll get this regardless.

    1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

      I seem to remember

      That when the Tories proposed it, Tony Blair was one of the biggest critics.

      How times have changed indeed!

  4. Paul Hates Handles

    @Ihre Papiere Bitte

    As far as I'm concerned you came out of an English snatch so you're entitled to dual nationality in my book. Pity the government won't see that.

    1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!


      Though at least on a Canadian passport, I'm (slightly) less likely to get shot at!

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Still bad

    11k is about 15k too much.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re Getting it regardless

    Vote labour and you'll definitely get ID cards, vote Lib dem you'll probably get via them when Labour roll the LDs in some "power sharing" scheme.

    The tories _say_ they're going to get rid of them. Plus they say they're getting rid of the NHS db and they're more likely to stand up to the polizei. Got to be worth a punt...

    1. Number6

      Will or Might

      Aren't we in the situation where for one outcome we know we'll definitely be screwed and for the other we know we *might* be screwed? As I haven't yet lost hope I know which I'd prefer...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      RE: re Getting it regardless

      I feel it's a shame when our only hope for a liberal society and a non-police-state is to vote for a right-wing party...

      ...who will probably change their minds about the ID card anyway and then introduce it for all citizens (and immigrants) who earn less than £100k

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    cynicysm is the easiest political posture to adopt

    And if you're interested enough to *adopt* a posture in the first place, the most pointless.

    Just a thought.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I've spotted a pattern to these trolls.

      John Smith 19... Tom 15... Andrew 20...

      Saturn 5... Butterfield 8... Capricorn 1...

      Pelham 123.

      Grecian 2000.

      The floor's open.

    2. MadonnaC

      your proposal then..

      is not to be cynical, but to simply accept the wondrous gift the government bestows up on us?

  8. Tim #3


    The only branding the cards need is a logo just llike the wonderful OGC one, perhaps rearranged vertically, to reflect the public's view of the whole scheme.

  9. Adair Silver badge

    Totally pwned

    Just remember the 'ID Card/NIR' is nothing to do with party politics; it's been the pet project of the civil service ever since they had their toy taken away from them by Churchill's govt. c.1952 (the Wilcock's case).

    It's all about the vain pursuit of power for the sake of bureaucratic nirvana---total efficiency. If that happens to also tend towards total control, well, in these uncertain times so much the better.

    Totally pwned---if that appeals just bend over and take it; after all, anything for a quiet life.

  10. The BigYin

    Why advertise?

    There's no need to advertise the ID card as it will be compulsory.

    Either have an ID card, or foget about having a job, bank account, health care, insurance, driving license or being free to walk down the street (no ID card will be 'suspicious').

    Thus advertising the ID card would be like advertising breathing.


  11. Guy Herbert

    Value for money?

    So we have a "self-financing" scheme all paid for by fees, according to the Home Office. No saving to be made by cancelling it. Yet the first 4,000 cards have been issued at an external marketing cost alone of about £1.9 million.

    Let us ignore background tecnonolgy costs, and administrative overhead, for a moment. (A standard Home Office technique: ignore the really embarrassing facts and focus on something of marginal relevance.) Are another 630,000 or so cards going to be issued with no further marketing effort? That's approximately what's needed for it to the campaign described to pay for itself.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge


    "is not to be cynical, but to simply accept the wondrous gift the government bestows up on us?"

    Well being cynical about it kind of implies that is exactly what you *will* do. The more people think something is inevitable the less likely they are to fight it.

    For 70 years (1919-1989) the triumph of Communism was "Historically inevitable."

    Until it wasn't. The laws of physics are inevitable. where human societies are concerned things are more varied. If you don't vote you signed up for *anything* and *everything* whoever wins wants. Most real political change (good or bad) is so gradual people don't notice it unless they are opposing it.

    For beginners. Find out who your MP is. If they are Labour find out who the runner up is and vote for them. Encourage you friends and family to do likewise. If your MP is Labour tell them *why* you're not voting for them (The UK also allows 24 days detention without trial, the *highest* in Europe, despite the shutting down of the IRA over 10 years ago). For the runner up. If they are Conservative, remind them of David Cameron's pledge to scrap it (and make sure they are aware of the NIR and what it holds). If someone else ask them what their policy is, and why.

    Advanced. Identify which Politicians (and senior civil servants) believe in a democratic process (and don't see a need to collect much information) and those who are basically authoritarian. Whatever party they are a member of their *goal* is the collection of as much information and its most efficient use in controlling people. Make people aware of exactly what sort of package they are voting for/appointing.

  13. Ascylto
    Big Brother

    Which part of 'NO' don't they understand?

    They spent £3,000,000 trying to convince Mancunians that a Congestion Charge was a good idea. We saw through their lies and deceptions then and they got a resounding 'NO'. Just what made them think an ID card availability was a good idea in Manchester shows just how far from reality our politicians like to live.

    The politicos are mortally afraid that they could get Poll Tax type riots if they introduce compulsory ID cards so they'll try every backdoor method they can think of ... starting, of course, with the young and gullible. The present government have already got rid of habeas corpus, have succeeded in alienating the Police from the public, have introduce law upon law getting rid of rights the people have fought for since Magna Carta. You are no longer innocent until proven guilty. The government spurns ID legislation from the EU. They are SO afraid that they HAVE to have information on us and our whereabouts.


    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny;

    when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

    Thomas Jefferson.

    You ain't seen nothing yet!

  14. rharrisuk

    ID card experience.....

    Well I'm one of the few who have applied for an ID card, it was all very friendly at the ID office in Victoria. Interestingly they told me that they can only process 28 people a day, so it's only to take a while to get many cards circulated.

    Although I was told it would take 10 days to get the card, it arrived just 3 days later.

    That's the good news. Then tried to use it - fine leaving the UK, but from Germany. Was flying with Lufthansa and was told that the UK ID card is not an accepted travel document. It was passport or going no where, luckily had my passport with me so was allowed to travel.

    So, sounds like the government could easily strand people as all the documentation stresses the card is a passport replacement for the EU.....more trouble ahead with this project I think!

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    I quite like the idea of government branding.

    But I'm undecided.

    Dry ice or hot metal?*

    Any preferences?

    *Naturally this would be a purely voluntary procedure for all staff to show their unwavering commitment to this plan and not some kind inhumane torture.

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