Climbdown on airside workers ID cards; no change otherwise

For immediate release, Tuesday 30th June 2009

In the face of broad opposition from trades unions, opposition parties and campaigners, Home Secretary Alan Johnson has dropped plans to make ID cards compulsory for pilots and airside workers at Manchester and London City airports [1].

The ‘pilot’ scheme, due to start this autumn, would have forced some airside workers to be registered for life on the ID cards database.

Phil Booth, National Coordinator of NO2ID said:

‘This humiliating climbdown still doesn’t mark the death of the ID scheme, but is rather part of the ongoing attempt by the senior officials in the Identity and Passport Service to fortify the scheme against cancellation, and to bind the hands of a future government.’

‘The reiteration that the scheme will only be voluntary is the same hollow evasion it has always been. Once you sign up you will be tagged
for life. And it is only voluntary in the sense that you can choose never to have a passport, and volunteer not ever to travel.’

-ENDS-

Notes for editors:
1) ‘Climbdown over airport ID cards’, BBC News, 30/6/09 – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8127081.stm

2) NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. See http://www.no2id.net/dbstate.php for a list of ‘database state’ initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing, and http://www.no2id.net/datasharing for how it all fits together.

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