I don’t get it

Why would anyone sign up for this?

My local council has decided, in it’s “wisdom”, to issue ID cards to any under 18s that want it. Why the feck would they do that, and more to the point, why the feck would any kid want ID proving that they’re under 18?

Problems from the Council’s point of view: a) it’s a voluntary ID card, so it’s actually no use for curbing ‘anti-social’ behaviour; b) the only thing that it’d be useful for would be ensuring the ages of people buying cigarettes, which is a Bad Thing (according to government, anyway), so why make it easier?

Problems from the pupil’s point of view: a) buh-bye, civil liberties; b) why would you want to prove that you’re under 18? I mean, when I was under 18, all I wanted was ID to prove that I was over 18 so that I could get drink.

The only things that I can think of that you can do before you’re 18 that rely on age are going to see 15 films and buying smokes. And you can’t buy smokes till you’re 16, yet you can get a provisional driving licence from 16 (if you say you’re going to be driving a tractor). And cinema’s work on the time honoured “we don’t really give a shit, we want your money principle”. So, this card is filling a gap that is already filled, so I don’t see why they’re bothering.

Except for the inevitable creepage, though.

  • What are the odds that simple things will need this card in the near future. School dinners, field trips, collecting books?
  • Access to council buildings? Sure, let’s see your ID first. No, it doesn’t matter that you’re a citizen, you have to prove that you are. Here: jump through that hoop. And that one. Bark like a dog. Good citizen.
  • If these kids are used to carrying an ID card voluntarily, they won’t mind so much when carrying a national ID card is compulsory.

Remember, people: the official IDQCT… line about government sponsored ID cards is:

YOU CAN SHOVE THAT UP YOUR ARSE. Sideways. After sharpening the edges.

Oh, and people, remember the ways that, once they are introduced, you can accidentally not get one:

  • They’re very stubborn about having photos endorsed. Apparently, getting Big Bird from Seasme Street to sign it does not an endorsment make. And they had to get back to me, wasting several weeks. Shame.
  • My banker informs me that sending HM Government cheques dated 1st Feb 2187 does not actually count as paying them. I think that I should have been told this in advance.
  • I keep forgetting details. Such as postal addresses that forms need to be sent to. I always get receipts though, so I can prove that I tried. Even if the form ended up in Calcutta.
  • On the non-accidental front: punch anyone who tries to make you carry such a card. Make sure to hand them a note:

    And would carrying a fucking ID card have prevented this? Not unless it was a fucking bodyguard in disguise, no, it wouldn’t…

Obviously, I could be very wrong about all of this, and it could be that there are very good, sensible reasons for these cards, and there may be no slippage. There may also be world peace and I may also be the soap-on-a-rope in Angelina Jolie’s shower, and I’m just dreaming this…

12 thoughts on “I don’t get it

  1. Something I have noticed. In my job we need to collect ID for housing benefit claims. Up until recently most people in receipt long-term had benefit books. Now these have been phased out and benefits are now paid directly into banks and building societies. Despite a possible saving of tax-payers dollars (that’s tu et moi Ed) in admin costs there are several reaons why this stinks. The first is that banks are getting their hands on more money, the second is that ATM companies are going to cream off dosh from these people when all ATMs collect a fee from the punters. And the third is that without, as is often the case, driving licences or passports a fair chunk of the populace have no means of ID. Which of course paves the way for ID cards.

  2. What’s the problem with ID cards? I already carry 5 different means of identification and the government already knows who I am several times over.

  3. Some other problems with direct payment of benefits (and pensions):

    -Many people (especially OAPs) are not comfortable with the operation of ATMs.

    -An abstract problem: the queue outside Post Offices for pensions used to be a fairly social occasion. I know a few people who really enjoyed it. Now they spend the same amount of time (or longer) standing in line in banks to get their money, surrounded by busy people who can’t be doing with this talking lark.

    -You’re forcing people to use banks. Especially the local ones, which have this wonderful policy of gouging as much money as possible out of their customers.

    And any saving will go elsewhere to be wasted. And, as you say, it creates a vacuum to be filled by ID cards.


  4. Matt: in a democracy, the question should never be “why shouldn’t the government do this”, it should always be “why should we allow the government to do this”.

    Why should we allow the government to demand that we prove to every jumped up little shite in uniform that we are who we say we are? Why should we allow the government to keep even more information on us than they already do? Why should we allow the government to make it an offence to not produce ID, as they will inevitably try?

    ID cards don’t work. They don’t reduce violent crime, they don’t protect us from terrorism, they don’t stop money laundering, they don’t stop smuggling, they don’t make any nation more secure.

    What they do do is make governments more secure. They make it easier to keep a closer eye on the law-abiding in society. They reduce everybody to what can be held on a 2×3 piece of plastic.

    In other words: they are inherently wrong. They have no redeeming features for the population of a country, at all.

  5. Matt: it is the person in uniform who has to identify him/her/itself to us, to prove that they have the authority they purport to, not us who has to identify ourselves to them on a whim.

    It is the very basis of freedom.

    Also, answer your e-mails/text messages!

  6. And what about identity theft? Doesn’t make much difference how much ID you’ve got if some other tosser has stolen your details and is busy with your ID maxing your credit cards and emptying your bank account.

  7. Oh, I was just working from the angle of what was in it for governments. The problems associated with having a brand new, one-stop shop for all your personal data are a whole other thing…

  8. With a National ID card you’re giving the criminals a one-stop-shop for identity theft. Personally, I don’t see how the government can make a theft-proof system. If it can be made by the government there’s no reason why it can’t be made be someone else (i.e. counterfeited).

  9. Communism is the answer – that way every one is equal therefore identity theft is pointless as it will get you nothing as no one will have any possessions :p

    Hang on they tried that didnt they and it didnt really work if i remember correctly.

    A national id card is a bad thing. Why?

    Like Chez and Ed have pointed out it is a one stop shop for identity theft – Matt, you have said you already carry 5 pieces of ID – would 1 of these existing forms not be sufficient – not including any required for work – im supposed to have a pass as well but they havent got round to giving me mine yet – rather than the guv’ment forcing yet another on you? There is only so much room in a wallet!

    The point about introducing them to under 18s is a joke – who is going to bring ID to prove they are UNDER 18? Whats the point? It cant get you anything, and they simply wont be used – kids dont need them to buy their cigarettes now, they wont need them in the future.

    I wonder if they will be required for transport -easy paymet for trains and buses, swipe on, swipe off, all easily collectable – just like the proposed vehicle tracking system to monitor traffic entering certain bits of road – all sounds a bit fishy to me.

  10. Communism is the answer; “How can we effectively kill untold millions in the name of the greater good?” is the question.

    And sure how could anything go wrong? Data is always secure, right? There’s no danger of identity theft at all, is there?

  11. Communism is the answer – that way every one is equal therefore identity theft is pointless as it will get you nothing as no one will have any possessions

    I disagree. Should communism be introduced in this country, anyone holding or claiming the identity of any of the proposers of said political change will find themselves the possesors of a severe and brutal beating.

    To each according to their need, as they say.

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