What We Said

January 24th, 2008

Only 2 years late

A piece on NIR and ID cards in light of the latest delay tactics of Grodon Broon.


“I’m optimistic that even if it starts to roll out, at some point down the line this is all going to start to fall apart,” says Neil Gerrard, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, and a sharp critic of the
plans. “I think it’ll be disputed by the courts. If you reach a point where somebody is being told, ‘You cannot be issued with a passport because you have not put your name on the register’, you’re bound to get human rights challenges to that.

The link at top to a Blogdial post in early ’06 addressed the problem thusly…

I refuse an ID card, I will be unable to get a passport.

If I cannot get a passport, I am for all intents and purposes interned in my own country.

My government cannot deny my travel and/or entry and exit to my own country.

Therefore it follows: passports must not be required for a British citizen to transit UK borders.

Could this last part be true?

After hounding HMG / HMRC for a while with no answer forthcoming we are left with two possibilities.

Either they don’t know the answer, or they don’t want anyone to know the answer.

In the same piece, Nick Clegg shows signs of being coloured LibDem Yella (sic);

When we meet in his Westminster office, I read the quote out to him. Does he stand by it? “Well,” he says, “the first thing I’ll do, of course, is argue against the legislation.”

OK. But if Labour win the next election and the watershed moment of universal compulsion arrives, what then? He pauses. “I’m going to effectively lead by example. I just cannot envisage the circumstances in which I would, by compulsion, give up my data.”


Here’s a crass but unavoidable question, then. Would you go to jail?

“Well, I mean … I’d be prepared to go to court. I guess it would start with fines. We don’t know what the sanctions are going to be, but I can’t take my position – that I’m not going to accept
compulsion even if it’s written into primary legislation – unless I’m prepared to face the sanctions.”

He agrees that all this represents a big step, happily acknowledging that some of his colleagues advised him against it. His young staff make a point of reminding me that imprisonment would mean that their boss would have to give up his parliamentary seat. But is he really
prepared to go to such lengths?

This powderpuff politician needs to (1) grow some cojones, (2) stop posturing and stand by his principles, if he really has any.

Anyway, the argument is moot. This parrot is dead.

They Know It.

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