back to article ID card astroturf - No2ID beats the truth out of IPS

A cackling Phil Booth, No2ID National Coordinator, writes to tell us that six months after he first pestered the Identity & Passport Service about its quotes from ID card-toting happy campers in its publicity material, it has confessed - um yes, all but one of those quoted worked for the government. "We can confirm that eight …


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  1. Nero

    A story? Really?

    Who cares anyway. Yesterday's news.

    1. JakeyC

      A Troll? Really?

      You're either a troll or a government employee.

      Either way, please get out now.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        How's that for a guy...

        ...fiddling with himself while Rome burns!

        <- Rome

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      @Yesterday's news

      If only. They still want me to get one if I come up on their radar, and you can bet it will come back again for everyone before long...

  2. blackworx
    Thumb Up

    A story? Yes! And a happy one for a change too.

    Gotta love Booth. Like a dog with a bone that man. Hats off to him for all his efforts whilst the majority sat back and pretended the nightmare wasn't becoming reality.

    Also - very much not yesterday's news.

  3. JakeyC

    I want to be surprised

    ...but I'm not.

    I'm not surprised that the government has been less than honest, and that makes me sad.

    I want revelations like this to shock me, but they don't.

    I've become desensitised to lies from people in power and now only get astounded on the rare occasion that one of them tells the truth. Sad times.

    1. Dr. Mouse

      I share your pain

      I feel exactly the same way.

      Stories like this, and any other about those we elected to power being less than truthful, should be outrageous. The should whip up anger in the population that those who "represent" us would not be truthful with us. They should be the exception...

      But they are not. We regularly hear stories of politicians having distorted the truth to fit their own agenda. The most common comment I hear about them is "What do you expect? They are politicians."

      But that's the point. We *DO* expect it. But we *SHOULDN'T* expect it.

      And occasionally, as with the expenses scandal, we do stand against it. But not very often. Mostly we just put it down to "the way things are" and get on with our lives.

      Sad times indeed...

      1. Essuu


        Pavlov was right.

  4. PaulWizard
    Thumb Up

    now now Nero

    It might be old news, but I think its worth reminding people just how fare NuLabour were prepared to go to push this monster upon us. Mind you, if you read this site, you are probably already well aware.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Anyone else got this vision?

      Of Meg Hillier wandering around the country thrusting her ID card under people's noses saying - 'look! look! it's me! I can prove my identity with one of these!'

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        And everyone else

        pulling out their drivers licenses, passports and passport-linked (i.e. valid passport required to get employment, passport number & photocopy stored with HR) work ID cards and saying "Yup, we've got various bits of government or government-backed ID too. And have done for years, just without all the mess, fuss, security problems and general fuck-uppery that your gov't almost inflicted upon us".

  5. David McMahon

    Good to see..

    A good use of the FOI system, they so far have not responded to me asking if Anna Chapman is single.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Well done that man. HMG gets caught (yet again) lying their collective backsides off!

    It's obstinate stubborn sob's like Phil Booth who are the guardians of democracy. The likes of whom will eventually find out the truth about all sorts of hidden stuff. Like for example Dr Kelly's death, stuff that HMG would prefer to stay hidden.

    Thanks invisible big sky pixey for the pains in the derriere's like Phil Booth.

    Joins the ranks of my hero's like Tam Dalyell for his Belgrano stance I don't share his politics and I think sinking it was right. But we should have known the whole truth immediately. So he's a hero for that.

    People like Tam and Phil are IMO are a great example of what makes this country better.

  7. Scott 19

    I confess

    I was the man on the knolly hill, it was agreed that if i gave a review i would get a goverment contrcat that would run for 12 months i would do no work and then the goverment would cancel the contract and i would get paid large sums of money for nothing.

    A bit like the ID card contractors.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First the DfT lies to us......

    .... and another government body lies to us.

    Bet the tories do a better job of concealing their doubious antics.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge


      >>Bet the tories do a better job of concealing their doubious antics.


      Bet they don't. This government is going to leak like a rusty tug. Not only is it a coalition, so lots of decisions will have to be taken in public, but also it's got the Lib Dems in - and they like to let their backbenchers and their conference vote on policy.

      Finally this government doesn't have a landslide majority, so there's no guarantee it's going to be in power for a decade, and worse, it's planning to sack half a million civil servants! What do you think are the chances of officials keeping ministers' dirty laundry private for them? Expect embarrassing, nastily timed, leaks to be the order of the day for however long the government lasts.

      Anyway, all this information is good. Politicians aren't the only ones at fault here. Institutionally the Home Office seems to have wanted ID cards since the 70s. Almost all Home Secretaries since then have floated the idea of ID cards, it's just that the Conservative ones, Howard, Waddington, Clarke (from memory) floated the trial balloon then dropped the policy like a hot potato covered in poo. Whereas the New Labour ones all bought the policy from Blunkett onwards. I seem to recall it was floated under Labour in the 70s (as an anti-IRA thing) but they decided it was a crap idea too.

      It's been the Home Office solution to - variously: the IRA, football hooliganism, underage drinking, ID theft, credit card fraud, Al Qaeda, illegal immigration, alien abduction, and benefit fraud. I may have made one of those up...

      I'm sure the policy is dead for a decade, there's no cash and both parties in the coalition were against the policy - even when they thought it was popular. I'll put a bet on now that the Home Secretary in Spring 2019 will float it as a solution to The Facebook Killer, who stalks his victims on Facebook, then eats them and posts the pictures of him cooking them on their profile pages. The killer will turn out to be Jamie Oliver...

      1. Kevin Reader

        And it won't go away, a dusty file awaits the next government

        As with the infamous IR35, we should beware the ID card plans sitting in a dusty file, ready for the next change of government. You will recall that Ken Clarke was rumoured to have laughed out the entire "we hate contractors" concept when in power last time, and it was breezed out to delight Brown, Hewitt, and Red Dawn. The politics of envy indeed. Strangely they were less strict with their banking and celebrity chums, odd that!

        Remember if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. (Honest!) Oh no sorry that didn't work for MPs expenses or the Home Office. Oh, or the Iraq invasion.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    No2ID will be in business for a while yet

    The amount of money saved by scrapping the ID card system was *suspiciously* low. Either NuLabor made sure the cancellation fees were *astronomical* or a hell of a lot of SW infrastructure is now in place.

    It seems that the part for foreigners in the UK *remains* in place.

    You can *bet* the people in charge of that will continue to search for politicians *gullible* enough to believe their "It'll be the answer to your problem (crisis de jour whatever that happens to be) very cost effective as we've done all the development work already. Just sign on the line to authorize IBM/Crapita/HP/SOBOC (Some Other Bunch of Chancers. There new but more honest in what they are planning to do) to get on with it, Minister" BS.

    Thumbs up to Phil and the rest at No2ID.

    1. sheila


      "You can *bet* the people in charge of that will continue to search for politicians *gullible* enough to believe their "It'll be the answer to your problem (crisis de jour whatever that happens to be) very cost effective as we've done all the development work already."

      My bet is on the Scottish System. There has already been some hard sell (see my other posts -

      Put simply: Getting it right for every child + national entitlement card + eCare = IDcards+NIR only worse...

      The CHI number cited in these forms Girfec forms (

      is the citizen's eCare (

      identifier which also links with the NEC (

      Or as this lovely EU doc ( it:

      "In the absence of identity cards a form of information ‘link’ across the services is provided by theCHI (Community Health Index21) Number. 90% of residents (soon to be 100%) have the number,allocated within two days of birth, which is their date of birth plus a four-digit identifier. The CHInumber functions as a ‘pseudo-identity’ mechanism, and at present the automated matching ofrecords is successful in about 67% of operations, with manual matching then taking place andany data corrections being fed back into the respective databases. Thus the CHI numberprovides in incrementally improving mechanism to link records across the domains of socialinclusion."

    2. PerfDave
      Thumb Up

      No2ID *will* be in business for a while yet

      The campaign has always been about the Database State, the entire system of centralisation, collation and sharing of personal information without people's knowledge or consent. The ID card scheme and National Identity Register was the biggest part of that.

      We're still clearing up the ID scheme mess (No2ID is not happy with the Identity Documents Bill that repeals most of the Identity Cards Act, but leaves enormous backdoors for a similar scheme to return).

      There's still the NHS Summary Care Record system, centralising your medical details without your consent, that various medical authorities are opposing and the Coalition Government is pursuing in violation of its own coalition agreement.

      There are still literally hundreds if not thousands of systems out there that nobody's keeping track of, with your personal data in, collecting it and sharing it in ways we don't even know about yet. Are these all problematic? Probably not, but until we have a better handle on what's out there it's hard to be sure.

      And of course there's developing a positive view of how privacy protection can coexist with good public services and good government, setting out best practice and principle and encouraging people to adopt it.

      So yeah, anyone who reads No2ID's newsletter knows that they'll be in business for a while - and rather than just a thumbs-up, why not fling them some cash or volunteer some time to support their awesome work?

  10. Kubla Cant Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Pants on fire!

    Our dire economic plight (thanks Gordon and Prudence) means that the public sector needs to be slimmed down. But how to decide who goes?

    How about sacking all the bureaucrats who are shown to be liars, and all their colleagues who connived at their lies?

    Hard to prove? OK, just sack all the government PR functionaries.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If I hear how much...

      If I hear how much money we are up the creek for again and how it is all Gordons fault, I'll fucking scream the place down. Anybody know how much the Bank bailout and subsequent "quantative easing" has cost us, compared to the general spending spree on schools and hospitals.

      I'm pig sick of every bloody millionaire cabinet minister telling us how hard it is going to be, when what he means is how hard it's going to be for us poorly paid government workers and all the poor buggers in other industries who will be roundly abused in the name of economic necessity.

      I'm pretty sure what they(ministers) are really worried about is anything that will devalue the holdings of the rich bastards, so us the plebs will face 10 years of having bugger all, to make sure the champers swilling bankers get their bonuses and ministers have a place to go when caught with a hand in the till. I'm pretty sure "they" are not going to feel any pain.

      Nothing like a new Tory government for coming in and increasing those available for work by a few hundred thousand to make those with jobs grateful and quiet, and those employing them happy to have a compliant workforce.


      1. Justabloke 1


        ...if every labour government in living memory hadn't always left us so far up shit creek without a paddle there would be no need for tories to tidy their (labour's) shit up.

        Try studying some history before having a little rant about poor little Labour / workers being beaten up by nasty old tories.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        @ Anonymous Coward - who clearly doesn't like the Conservatives

        >>If I hear how much money we are up the creek for again and how it is all Gordons fault, I'll fucking scream the place down.


        Then prepare to scream. A lot of it is Gordon's fault. Even if you absolve the last government of all blame for the recession, the debt position the UK government is in, is half their fault. Have a look at:

        In fact the IFS (the treasury reports are harder to wade through) give figures for the difference between public spending debt, and financial intervention debt.

        As of this year, we're in for £889.5 billion of national debt, of which £118bn is down to financial intervention. Some of that we'll be getting back, as the government will probably make a small profit on the bank bailouts except for Northern Rock. I'm not quite sure what we'll do with QE, but I guess in the long run it'll make no major difference to the figures.

        Anyway it was in 2002 that our Gordon started to splash the cash.£25 billion of borrowing in the middle of a boom. That's when his Golden Rule went out the window, though he never admitted that, and left it to Darling to abandon.

        So before 2008, when the financial bailouts kicked in, Labour splurged £199.7 billion, during a boom. That's Apr02-Mar08. That took national debt from £401bn to £620bn.

        Worse that not only means we were spending more than we raised in taxes, but interest payments had gone up £10bn (about our total spend on justice and policing). So of the £30bn extra a year we, were wasting 30% of that on interest payments.

        Also, because the overspend had become permanent, it wasn't being used for investment, but for spending. If you borrow to buy a building or a railway, then you've always got that asset, and you only spend the money once. If you borrow to pay 100,000 extra teachers/police/doctors then you're stuck with that extra 100,000 staff until you either sack them, or raise the money to pay them. Seeing as Labour also raised taxes, and we've plunged into recession, we can't raise too much more tax, so we're going to have to cut spending. Which is rather harsh on the several hundred thousand extra civil servants that Labour took on - without ever working out how to fucking pay them.

        Of the £150 billion we borrowed last year there are 3 types of spending. A bit of financial intervention, mostly we've taken on debt to prop up banks, and we've got assets and shares to back it up. So long as the economy recovers we'll make a small profit on that. The upfront cost is 'only' a few billion.

        There's then a huge chunk of social security on people now out of work due to recession, and a drop in tax revenues for the same reason. This is called the cyclical deficit and is good. This is what government is for. It can borrow when we're in the shit to give us unemployment benefit, and to keep spending on stuff while we're too poor to pay the taxes. If we pay down this debt in the boom times, then we're happy.

        The rest is called the structural deficit. This is the £30bn a year Labour splurged but wouldn't pay for. Plus the £20bn a year extra interest we now have to pay on our national debt, as it's doubled since they took office. That's set to go up by another £10-£20bn before the coalition can get borrowing under control. £40bn is all of defence plus some. The £60bn it'll hit is all of education, plus policing!!

        There's a further component to the structural deficit, which causes a lot of argument about its size. How much permanent economic damage this recession has done. It's expected that the City will no be as rich as it was in the last boom, so it probably won't be paying as much tax as previously (from memory it was up to something like £50bn). So that's £10bn a year less tax we'll be getting for the next few years. Construction has crashed by something like 20%, and isn't expected to recover, so that's 20% less tax and jobs from another huge industry.

        The worst case structural deficit figure I've seen is about £90bn. I personally feel it'll be less. As usual economists differ.

        We'll have to raise tax or cut spending of roughly £60-£90bn. Half of that is definitely Gordon and Tony's fault. The other half is partly down to them and partly the banks. Oh and us. We can't blame the housing and credit card bubbles entirely on other people. No bank forced anyone to max their cards or buy a house they couldn't pay for.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How about sacking all the bureaucrats who are shown to be liars?

      Bit short sighted If we did that, we would have no government, full stop.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Must have been a Mancunian...

    The non government customer was probably from Manchester. That's where the initial test roll-outs to the general public were being trialed before it all got canned.

    Maybe time for a regional FOI question?

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