Dame Shirley Reads BLOGDIAL

November 10th, 2007

A lurker sent me this:

Its almost like she’s quoting from Blogdial.


Peer ‘ready to defy ID card law’
The Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Williams has said she would rather go to prison than carry an identity card.

Baroness Williams said the cards would seriously undermine individual liberty so people were entitled to refuse their co-operation, using non-violent means.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions, she described the plans as “a Big Brother scheme of the most terrifying kind”.

From 2010, all UK passport applicants will be issued with biometric ID cards.

The £5.6bn scheme will also mean all foreign nationals will have to carry them from next year.

The government says cards will help protect people from identity fraud, will tackle illegal working and illegal immigration, and disrupt criminals and terrorists’ use of false identities and ensure free public services are only used by those entitled to them.

But Baroness Williams said: “Because it is so expensive the government has proposed that it will sell our data to commercial interests who will then be able to track down every damn thing you do from dawn until dusk.

“And you won’t be able to escape from it because the ID card which will be checked against your credit card will be a record of exactly where you’ve been, what you’ve done, who you’ve talked to.

“My view quite simply is that the ID card will undermine individual liberty so seriously that one’s entitled to say one won’t co-operate with it.

“I have not suggested I would use violence. I am suggesting I wouldn’t co-operate with it, nor will I.”

Asked whether that meant she would go to prison for breaking the law, she replied: “So be it – and I’m not suggesting any act of violence but we’ve got to not co-operate with something as bad as this.”

Nick Clegg, one of the party’s leadership candidates, has also stated he would take part in a civil disobedience campaign against ID cards.

Last month, he said if legislation were passed, he would lead a grassroots campaign of civil disobedience to thwart the programme and thousands of people would simply refuse to register.



She is right of course.

But what she has failed to understand (or at least failed to say) is that exactly the same dangers exist if you simply apply for a passport and hand over your fingerprints.

Once they have your fingerprints, they can use both stationary and mobile fingerprint readers to interface with the NIR in lieu of a physical card.

It is the NIR which is the danger, not the physical card alone.

If Dame Shirley is really serious, she should encourage everyone to refuse to be fingerprinted by the authorities for any reason. That means not applying for a new passport until the requirement of fingerprinting is eliminated.

Violence is absolutely not required. All you need to do is get everyone to agree to refuse to co-operate. That is the only thing that is required.

As for her reading BLOGDIAL, that may or may not be the case. What we do know with absolute certainty is that she has read the ‘Frances Stonor Saunders‘, which spells out beautifully and perfectly what ID cards are all about. We know this because everyone in the Lords read it.

This scheme is going to fail. The next part they are trying to bring in is the fingerprinting and registration of all foreigners. This is not only discriminatory, but it is insanely stupid, as we have said over and over again.



It’s certainly possible that people might find ways to mount legal challenges to compulsory ID cards, but the most obvious potential challenge would be over the introduction of an ID card for EU citizens resident in the UK. This is specified in the ID Cards Act, and can only go ahead without being challenged by Brussels if compulsory ID cards for all UK citizens also go ahead. The moment Gordon Brown’s Government admits that compulsory ID cards aren’t going to happen for UK citizens is the moment that he also has to abandon them for non-UK EU citizens, because he’s not permitted to discriminate against them.


The Register

And secondly, you cannot discriminate against foreigners who are not EU citizens because that is….DISCRIMINATION.

Thirdly, this doesn’t make any sense on a practical level. If you stop someone (you being a police man) and then use your mobile NIR fingerprint reader to scan the person, and they are NOT in the NIR, what does this mean? IT can mean one of several things:

This person is not in the database because he is an:

  1. Illegal immigrant
  2. ID card Refusnik
  3. British Citizen without a passport

So, what do you do?

You have to haul in the person wether they are entitled not to be in the NIR or not, just like they do in Belgium if you are caught in the street without your ID. You are taken to the police station until they can find out exactly who you are. Them not knowing who you are at all times is a crime in Belgium, and it is the logical conclusion of having a compulsory ID card. But I digress.

The only way to be sure that only criminals are not in the database is to put all the law abiding citizens in the database. Fingerprinting only foreigners is insanely stupid because it is impossible to distinguish between a foreigner and a True Brit®. An identity database that only targets foreigners or that is voluntary is useless for the purposes of identifying people on a routine basis. The above leaves out all the moral objections any of which is enough to destroy a scheme like this.

Fingerprinting is for criminals and the detection of crime. It should be done only when a person is convicted of a crime, and if someone is convicted and later acquitted, those records should be erased. That is the only fit purpose for this technology, and it should be used to speed up the identification of known criminals and nothing more.

Fingerprinting everyone in a country is very much the ‘Nuclear Option’ in the identity arena, and this option should be and will be shunned by all decent and properly informed people.

Just you watch.

One Response to “Dame Shirley Reads BLOGDIAL”

  1. BLOGDIAL » Blog Archive » Henry Porter still asleep: get a louder alarm bell Says:

    […] of the last part of his awakening will be his public commitment to disobedience, like Dame Shirley has done. No self respecting person will sign up for this nonsense. No self respecting person will […]