Brown misleads Conference on ID cards

For immediate release, Tuesday 29th September 2009

Brown misleads Conference on ID cards

Gordon Browns remarks to Labour Party Conference today on ID cards are ‘the same misleading line as before’ according to NO2ID [1]

Mr Brown said:

‘We will reduce the information British citizens have to give for the new biometric passport to no more than that required for today’s passport.

‘And so conference, I can say to you today, in the next Parliament there will be no compulsory ID cards for British citizens.’

The campaign pointed out that ministers have repeatedly denied the ID scheme is compulsory throughout the last five years. Instead it has been designed to force people to volunteer for a system they cannot leave [2].

Mr Brown’s words cannot be true even if taken literally, since biometric passports must have at least the biometrics in addition to the information already on existing ones. But he is also contradicting the plans published by the Identity and Passport Service to build a
biographical database that will be shared between the passport and identity schemes, and integrated with the DWP’s systems.

They are also at odds with the raft of regulations defining the information to be held and the masses more information involved in the application process, set out in regulations passed earlier this summer[3].

Guy Herbert, General Secretary of NO2ID said:

‘Mr Brown is a Lewis Carroll character: he imagines ‘What I tell you three times is true.’

‘But even if it repetition makes it easier for ministers to delude themselves, this is the same misleading line as before. Whatever he says about a card, the plan remains the same: to treat the entire population like dangerous sex offenders and keep us all on a Home Office database for life.’


Notes for editors:

  1. NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. See for a list of ‘database state’ initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing, and for how it all fits together.
  2. As explained here:
  3. See: The Identity Cards Act 2006 (Prescribed Information) Regulations 2009
    and The Identity Cards Act 2006 (Application and Issue of ID Card and Notification of Changes) Regulations 2009

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