back to article Manchester's on fire for ID cards, claims ID minister

Home Office Identity Minister Meg Hillier is now pitching ID cards as a weapon against social exclusion, and has mysteriously truffled-up nearly 6,000 extra ID card enthusiasts, meaning enrolments will hit 10,000 next week. Was it not just last week she said they'd only had 4,307 applications? Yes it was. Furthermore, says …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So not having a passport leads to social exclusion does it? Well I don't have a passport and I don't think I've ever been excluded from anything for that reason. Clutching at straws on behalf of a drowning project?

    1. John G Imrie

      I do have a passport

      But I don't recall ever having to use it to be included in anything.

      1. LinkOfHyrule


        I don't have a passport. I didn't a few years ago either when I rented my first flat, set up four utility providers, got things delivered to the house, applied and got jobs, enrolled at colleges, set up a bank account..... etc etc.

        I must be one of those "socially excluded" people who cannot take part in society due to having no ID that's acceptable.

        Socially excluded people are I would think, more likely to be people who have been on long term benefits and have very poor credit. If you are in that situation, you will find banks unwilling to offer you a proper bank account and utility companies insisting on pre-payment metres. This leads to higher bills and can force many to use "dodgey" credit sources (dodgey dose not mean illegal either). Having a passport is not going to change a banks mind on whether to give you an account or not - it will just speed up the decision a little and save you the time of digging out that old birth certificate!

        I'm calling spin and lies on this one!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          A quick visit to the local loan shark to raise the money to get one. Yes that sounds likely....

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Her lips were moving...

    ...ergo she's lying...

  3. Anonymous Coward


    "Frankly, it's a puzzle [...] how they'll be able to get an ID card if they can't identify themselves"

    It's OK, they're clearly who they say they are. They'd be committing a crime if they gave false details.

    Mine's the one with the "Spartacus" ID in the pocket... what do you mean there's more than one?

    1. Sooty
      Thumb Up

      an opportunity for some publicity

      Simply offer a prize for everyone who gets their name changed to Sparticus and gets an id card issued. The more the merrier.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I'm Spartacus

        You sir, are a cast iron genius. I'd love to see the population of Manchester roll up to be ID stamped and every single interview.



        1. Spartacus

          Stop it right now

          its not funny.

  4. ElFatbob

    there's a distinct whiff of shite around these figures..

    or am i the only one who can smell it?

    1. Barry Lane 1

      No, you're right

      Although I've been blaming the dog.

  5. alistair millington

    10k - sigh.

    Isn't that still less than the number of people employed at the airport?

    And 10k in a city of over 2 million (if you include the Greater Manchester and Salfrod areas) is nowt.

    I do like 'spin' when it is used in this way. (The flapping round trying to look useful way)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    ID cards

    "Or indeed, how they'll be able to get an ID card if they can't identify themselves."

    Quite a serious comment, I presume you will need a signature from suitable worthy to confirm who you are but I have no lawyer, don't go to church, have never met my bank manager (branch several hundred miles away), only met my doctor once (only registered a few years ago never bothered before).

    Not that I want one anyway.

  7. hplasm

    Manchester will have to burn to the ground

    before I will apply for one of these cards. And probably not even then. The House of Commons, though...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Passport apps?

    I wonder if they're counting applications for new and renewed passports in Greater Manchester. There's probably a box on the forms there saying "tick here if you don't want an ID card as well".

    1. John G Imrie

      Actually it says

      "tick here if you don't want an ID card as well".

      but there is no box

      1. OldBiddie

        There is a box

        it's just a white font on a white background

        1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!


          If your tick crosses the line of the box it's not counted.

  9. Neil Robertson


    I got my first passport when I was 30 and don't remember any social exclusion as a result - bought houses, rented flats, got drunk, visited nightclubs.

    The passport has now expired and I'm still not excluded. It hasn't been renewed due to the current pricing structure - I would have to spend around £300 with the passport office if I wanted to holiday abroad with my family this summer!

  10. Stef 4
    Thumb Down


    Shouldn't her comments go through a spin doctor or some PR guru? At the moment everything she says sounds like "The dog ate my homework."

  11. Trollslayer

    Care in the community

    I can't come up with any other explanation.

  12. Adrian Challinor

    Typo in the story

    "Other polls however have indicated much lower levels of support, showing the public split on ID cards, and heavily opposed to the database."

    I think you have an extra "l" in split.

    Mines the hoodie with Obe-wan Kanobe's autobiography in the pocket. Something to read at the job centre,

  13. The Original Ash

    Misleading headline

    It should read "Manchester *setting* fire *to* ID cards"

    I reject your reality, and substitute my own!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Madwoman speaks..........bollocks.

    Ha-ha! another NuLab madwoman talking bollocks. After May she will no doubt still be talking bollocks the only difference is that no one will care. Not that many care now now of course, but thats another story...........

  15. Blofeld's Cat

    Listen with Hillier

    ... and the woolly-minded mammoth trumpeted louder and thrashed more wildly as the tar stuck to her fur. Slowly but inexorably the weight of rubbish dragged her down her down into the pit. Soon the bubbles stopped, and the tar closed over her without leaving a trace.

    And they all lived happily ever after.

    It has "A politician's guide to La Brea" in the pocket.

  16. lukewarmdog

    I was

    considering applying for one just to wait their time printing out an application pack but I can't even bring myself to that level of enthusiasm.

    On the .gov site it says you need a passport to apply for an id card which has left me really confused.

  17. Guy Herbert
    Big Brother

    I am reliably informed...

    re: "Shouldn't her comments go through a spin doctor or some PR guru?"

    ... that a Home Office offiicial now goes around afterwards clearing up, er... misunderstandings among the audience.

    That some more credulous media than El Reg will print any old rubbish a minister happens to announce, as a product of ideologically convenient misunderstandings of her own or the IPS's own economy of expression, is no doubt unfortunate, and in no way a feature of the government's PR strategy.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "she also claims that public support for ID cards has 'grown consistently over the last year, now close to 60 per cent, whilst opposition has declined'."

    That statement actually has me grinning from ear to ear. This Meg Hitler bloke talks more shit than a turd salesman. He must have some kind of brain implant to help him come up with such random statistics.

    I hope Mr Hitler has a Twitter feed, I could use some nonsensical gibberish in my crypto keys. C'est fantastique

    1. LinkOfHyrule

      I could use some nonsensical gibberish in my crypto keys.

      "I could use some nonsensical gibberish in my crypto keys."

      A use at last for all the 'noise' that comes out of politicians mouths - use it as actual random noise! If I ever want to brute force your crypto keys, I'll use the Government Press Release archive as the dictionary!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Let's mark another up

      for Godwin's Law

  19. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Those numbers.

    Are those lies, damned lies or statistics?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Manchester's on fire, y'say?


    Oh. You meant they're on fire for ID cards.

    Aw, crap.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TThis is less about the people of Manchester...

    ... who we already know don't give a sh*t, no matter what words Meg Hitler shovels like brimstone and treacle into their mouths when they aren't looking.

    This is more about the people of Hackney South and Shoreditch, who have a marvellous opportunity coming up to show NuLabour that there is no such thing as a safe seat.

  22. smudge

    You only have to do it once!!

    Being very sad, I actually looked at the article your report refers to.

    Can anyone tell me what the last sentence of the following quote actually means?

    "In some circumstances we want to know that people are who they say they are for the public good. This might be to meet security requirements, prove eligibility to work, or prevent crime. But it is equally, if not more important, to make it easy for individuals to verify their identity once, rather than time and time again.


    I thought the whole point of this thing is that we are going to be continually asked to prove that we are who we say we are.

    1. Steve X

      "make it easy for individuals to verify their identity once"

      But I already know who I am, and I have done for years.

      1. Brutus


        "But I already know who I am, and I have done for years" - lucky bugger! Two years of therapy and I'm still confused. Can I have an ID card please?

    2. Glyn 2


      I'm still stuck trying to think of a way it'll help "prevent crime"

      Maybe you'll have to have an ID card to mug people, no ID card, no mugging. This place is getting more like Ankh Morpork every day.

    3. some vaguely opinionated bloke


      ... and every month, when income tax and NI is taken from my gross pay, I'm proving who I am - and that's done with no more than my National Insurance Number.

      Unless of course, HMRC/DWP would like to admit they don't really know whether they've been collecting tax and NI from the right person for the past 17 years...

      1. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Indeed...

        Actually there's no great reason why HMRC should care particularly about who you really are. For most of the dosh it's just a matter of making sure the employers are doing approximately the right tax deductions and bunging it across. From that point of view, HMRC should care less if the NI number is attached to Mickey Mouse, a Shetland Pony, or whatever, so long as it's being appropriately taxed.

  23. Dances With Sheep
    Big Brother

    Passports for jobs

    Actually, as an ex-dole monkey I had the opposite experience needing a passport. Every single "professional" job I applied for insisted I bring a passport to my interview or I would not be considered for employment. (An NI card wasn't good enough apparently, 'cos you can still be a furriner and have an NI number!)

    Turning employers into boarder guards is *definitely* throwing up a barrier to the disadvantaged trying to apply for work..... Not that this justifies ID cards and the Nu-Stasi database obviously.

    1. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Passports for jobs

      It was always intended that this be the case. When Blunkett first proposed them, they were to be called Entitlement Cards, the notion being that you had to prove who you were and what your entitlements were in order to claim them. So making employers liable if they employ illegal immigrants and forcing banks to impose tougher ID checks (you know the way your bank keeps asking you to prove who you are, no matter how long you've banked with them? - government's fault) forces people to prove who they are more often. Thus creating a greater demand for ID cards.

      You could think of it as the New Labour ID Card Hamster Wheel System.

  24. Ian Entwistle

    No passport - No ID card...

    mother in law doesn't go abroad but does occasionally need a form of ID at teh bank etc so applied for one. As her old passport expired about 8 years ago and she can't find it she isn't allowed to apply for a ID card yet.......

  25. I. Hardon


    How many of the alleged 62,000 application packs have been or will be converted into ID cards?

    I can see quite a few people applying for them just so that they can say they did it, before the entire ID card failure slides into oblivion...

    Will we see them on eBay once Cameron cancels the lot?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Other answer..

      Just how warm was it in Manchester over the last few weeks?

      Could just be a load of pensioners adding to their fuel rations..

  26. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    ID card minister makes stuff up.

    Channeling Wacky Jacqui perchance?

    Why do I keep picturing the Identity Card Publicity Office as being located in a small town called "Denial?"

    86 days max, 51 days likely.

    BTW does anyone know Mad Meg's electoral majority?

    Thumbs down because.

    1. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: ID card minister makes stuff up.

      10,204. (

      The only thing that'll shift a Hackney Labour MP is the Hackney Labour Party. I did that once, you know... (-:

      1. ElFatbob
        Thumb Down


        So what we're saying is that Hackney has a large percentage of lobotomised voters....

        Her pedigree is impeccable by Labour standards though...

        Oxford educated in PPE -> Librarian -> Journalist -> councillor -> mayor -> all women shortlist (htf does that work with all the 'equality' legislation these communists have brought in?) -> MP -> junior government minister (just about as soon as she's in the door)....

        Some shites just seem to float to the top....

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Thumb Down


          "Her pedigree is impeccable by Labour standards though...

          Oxford educated in PPE -> Librarian -> Journalist -> councillor -> mayor -> all women shortlist (htf does that work with all the 'equality' legislation these communists have brought in?) -> MP -> junior government minister (just about as soon as she's in the door)...."

          Actually it's impeccable by any government . I've lost count of the number of Oxbridge PPE's who end up somewhere in the reptile house.

          The former heads of MI5 and 6 (including the one who went on to head the SOCA, the lead agency for IMP) have all done the course.

          Like the US funded officer training college in Panama many of whose graduates have gone on to mount coups in their homeland this seems to attract students of a right thinking law and order point of view.

          Thumbs down for a complete and expensive waste of time.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        @John Lettice

        "The only thing that'll shift a Hackney Labour MP is the Hackney Labour Party. "

        That was lazy of me. Checked Wikipedia just after posting.

        Not necessarily. Remember the Speaker's constituency in Glasgow? c26000 Labour majority. IIRC it went to the SNP with around a 4000 majority. I think the safe seat MPs also had a disproportionate involvement in the expenses scandal. Ms Hillier seems to have avoided getting covered in too much of that.

        I'd guessed her willingness for this project was her snowballs chance in hell of being re-elected, hence seeing weather she could push this thing through so far that it could not be canceled. Obviously she fully expects to stay in.

        "I did that once, you know... (-:"

        I salute you.

  27. Ian 31

    Manchester On Fire for ID Cards?


    Seriously, I live and work in Manchester and I haven't come across anybody saying they're going to get an ID card. The usual response when you ask people about ID cards is either:

    a) No thanks, I know who I am

    b) What, you need a passport to get an ID card? Then WTF do I need an ID card for?

    This government is a bunch of fucking not rights if you ask me.

  28. Boring Bob


    Why should anyone want to fork out for an ID card when the scheme will be scrapped in a few months time if the Tories get in ???

  29. Adam Williamson 1 Silver badge

    'travelling without a passport', eh?

    "People across the country are using their identity cards as a secure and convenient way to travel to Europe without a passport"

    Or they could sign the fucking Schengen Agreement and then we could travel to Europe without a passport *or* an ID card. You know, like everyone else in Europe can. But noo, that would annoy the Daily Express lobby ("ROMANIAN SWANS COMING OVER HERE AND RUINING OUR HOUSE PRICES! IN CENTIMETRES!"), so we can't do that...

    (Besides, what's the advantage of travelling without a passport if it takes _more_ effort to get the thing that lets you travel 'without a passport' than it does to get a passport? sigh. How stupid do they think we are?)

  30. Anonymous Coward

    The Home Office...

    "... has asked us to include the following comment"

    Or what?


    I expect resistance to the cards has gone down as most people thought the scheme was scrapped last year after no-one wanted them and all the data losses.

    Tell them that it's still going ahead and they'll be .. well, I was going to say shocked but nothing about this government shocks anymore.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Big Brother

      Shocking, positively shocking.

      Shocked is what you'll be if you *don't * submit to the ID Gestapo.

      "Zis von iss ready for ze electrodes, Herr Hillier.

  31. OldBiddie

    Do they ...

    .. actually believe the crap they spout out themselves?

    Are they really that dilusional? Or is it simply one big cocaine party on expenses at Whitehall?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    par for the course

    Oh come on, we all know how much shit the government makes up about figures to try to claim their ideas are working when they're not.

    It's what they're famous for. Look at Gordon Brown and the repeated lies. Does anyone actually trust anything he says?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reason for lots of 'applications'

    I, and other anti-ID people account for a LOT of the applications. It's a great way to spread awareness. Here's how to do it:

    (1) go to: Ignore the info that says its only for manchester - they can't wait to send these out to get the stats up so they send them to everyone!

    (2) ask for FIVE packs. WHen you ask for multiple packs, they put them in one envelope, and here's the best bit - each of the five comes in a unsealed pre-paid envelope

    (3) send the five (postage pre-paid) envelopes to influencial people who might like these, like your MP, local councillors etc. Don't forget you can helpfully fill out much of the forms in advance for them to make it clear they're really not into terrorism and all that bad stuff.

    bingo - 60,000 people have applied for info packs!


    1. Anonymous Coward

      re: The reasons for lots

      "It's a great way to spread awareness"

      and provide valuable PR for the government "even people that can't have an id card want to know about them !"

      never mind the waste ...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sign of things to come

    Over here in that tiny country right north of some tinier countries you nowadays indeed can't do much without either a passport or an ID card. And I'm getting sick of it. I've heard it's even worse in France, where ex-algerian French youf can't walk an entire street without having their ID cards demanded. Ten times a day if the sun shines just so.

    The thing is, you really shouldn't need to ``prove who you are'' at the drop of a hat. It means the other guy isn't trusting you for your pretty face and instead is requiring you to hand over enough information that he can ``trust you'' to the tune of being able to impersonate you if he should so decide to abuse your details.

    Merely showing the old passport isn't enough, mind. Taking colour copies (ok, scans) is /de rigeur/ now, indeed, the royal dutch revenue service made that a hard rule for banks. And as we all know, banks can be trusted and never lose data, and neither does the HMRC.

    Where, dear government, is the upside in this for me?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...include the following comment

    In the interests of balance, I imagine the home office will be happy to return the favour and include a representative sample of the avalanche of critical comments in their own press releases on ID cards.

    And isn't the allegedly high interest in ID cards an indictment of the education system? Critical thinking evidently needs to take a higher priority among the nation's young 'n' dumb.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Big Brother

      Education, Education, Education.

      Having two kids in school, I can honestly say, from first hand experience, that Blair would have been more accurate if his election slogan was Indoctrination, Indoctrination, Indoctrination.

      It really is quite scary the amount of Government "spin" (passed off as "fact") that kids are being fed in our schools.

  36. Richard Porter

    Lies, Wapping lies and ministerial rep-lies

    I think we can take pronouncements about the success of ID cards with a large pile of road salt.

    Anyway the cards are pointless. If you have the database and the means to take biometric data you can check someone's identity online (against the person, not the card). If you don't have the means to take those data at the scene then the card will only give you a false sense of security. ID cards WILL be forged.

  37. Matt Hawkins


    Now would be a good time to summarise all the reasons the Government have used for introducing ID cards :

    1) It will prevent terrorism

    2) It will prevent benefit fraud

    3) It will prevent crime

    4) It will prevent identity theft

    5) It will prevent illegal immigration

    6) It will make it easier to buy cheese

    Obviously these are all rubbish because of the following proven, documented facts :

    1) Terrorists are happy to operate as themselves and rarely attempt to adopt other identities (unless they are Israeli)

    2) Benefit fraudsters are happy to operate as themselves and rarely attempt to adopt other identities

    3) Criminals are happy to operate as themselves and rarely attempt to adopt other identities

    4) ID cards will make it easier to have your identity stolen

    5) Illegal immigrants will simply not have ID cards just as they don't tend to bother with passports. That's sort of why they are "illegal".

    6) Buying cheese is fairly easy at the moment and doesn't need an expensive waste of plastic to make the process easier.

  38. gedi
    Big Brother

    Total Fantasy

    I live in Manchester. My family, friends, neighbours, people on the street, acquaintances..No one has an ID Card, or even applied for one. Nobody I have spoken to about it has a good word to say about the scheme. Really I don't understand where they get these figures from. Completely made up !! I offer my own stats... I guess my sample would be approaching about 100 people. 0% take up rate. 0% Positive towards the idea. Approx 80% quite Anti, Approx 20% ignorant / don't care.

    Yet another example from the Government of pushing through pet projects against the will of the people by force of the tide of bullshit they generate.

    Big Brother for obvious reasons.

  39. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    @Matt Hawkins

    Nice summary. All used. All *total* BS.

    Thumbs up for handy reminder.

  40. DaveB

    Give me a reason to have one

    I had a meeting with my solicitor the other day and before we could start he needed two forms of iD. Passport, Driving License and/or a utility bill.

    Passport yes I have one.

    Driving License....paper one no use.

    Utility bill....that was difficult as most are online, but luckly the water rates are still stuck in the 20th century and use dead tree format.

    UK ID card........not an option. Solicitor's view if you've got one its probably a forgery.

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