Author Topic: Mail to the adv and the nationals. A meeting with the minister:  (Read 647 times)

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Offline Krippers

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Mail to the adv and the nationals. A meeting with the minister:
« on: September 21, 2007, 06:23:39 pm »
The following mail has been sent to the Swindon Advertiser:

Sir,
I am writing after attending a meeting hosted recently by MP Swindon South, Ann Snelgrove with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office, Meg Hillier representing the Government in attendance.

I attended the meeting anticipating perhaps clear resolution on a requirement for ID and the National Identity Register (NIR). The meeting at least clearly resolved the opinion that the Government either has no clear or acceptable reason for the implementation of the National Identity Register, or does not wish the full reasons to be known.

The Minister opened the meeting by expressing the Governments position on ID cards. Perhaps Ms Hillier and Ms Snelgrove would be disappointed to learn that, far from giving assurance that the scheme is a correct thing to do, it has in fact created more reasons to oppose it.

The Minister opened by expressing that a recent survey showing that 71% of people polled were in favour of ID cards if it stopped terrorism. Yet the Minister was unable to find an answer when it was openly pondered how many of the 71% would change their minds if they had then been told that all of the London bombers could legitimately have been on the database and carrying ID cards. The Minister then correctly stated that this system will not stop terrorism.

Ms Hillier then proposed that the ID card would combat benefit fraud but was unable to field a response to the comment that, even at the inception of this scheme, the home secretary clearly stated that it may only possibly address at most about 2 percent of benefit fraud.

The Minister went on to say that it would control illegal immigration. However the Government do not know how many people are illegally here now and those that are arriving illegally are not going through established entry points. It requires a significant suspension of belief to accept that the nation being put onto a database will in any way significantly impact this problem. At best the Minister clearly demonstrated a requirement for better boarder security, something the vast expense and administration of the NIR will detract from.

The Minister stated that the ID was to help town planning. This is not true, there is already an electoral register and we are already accounted for with respect to council tax.

Perhaps the most dangerous statement that was made in the meeting was her repeated assertion that this is to fight crime. This was a complete contradiction to a statement claiming that the NIR is to be available primarily for us to be able to say who we are. For this scheme is to be used in the role of crime detection it is required that the information on the database is used for that purpose. In every sense, and there can be no other way of looking at this, we are being asked to give our very selves to the Government for scrutiny. The Minister did try to dismiss the idea that this was the intended role but was unable to offer any assurance when it was pointed out to her that the NIR is legislated to contain tracking information of when, where, and why the card was used. Ms Hillier did attempt to dispel what is obvious scrutiny by the state, claiming that this tracking was only there for the individual card holder. She was unable to field a reply to a simple question asking why anyone would want to know where they had used their ID card. The only conclusions that can be derived are that if indeed it is for us to check where it is being used then the Government acknowledges that there are security issues and in fact it will be our responsibility to determine if the ID is being used fraudulently. Furthermore, given that the Prime Minister, when Chancellor, has stated that he is in favour of surveillance of routine bank transactions using this scheme, I am quite clear in my mind that these assurances are either false or representative of confusion, neither of which can be considered to be a reason for ID.

The Minister stated that the hardware system is going to be a secure one. Ms Hillier could do with examining the very serious difference between hardware security and information security. The two are very different and so far it has not been adequately demonstrated that the information can be safe.

The Minister tried to express that one of the great things about our nation was its right to travel and that this scheme is not initially going to be made compulsory for everybody. This was again dismissed when it was expressed that the legislation, soon to come into effect, states that it is required by law to register oneself on the NIR on application for passport renewal or new passport issue. It was made clear to the Minister that if we didn’t want the ID then we couldn’t get a passport and as such this was a clear restriction of our right to travel. She was also reminded that the scheme demands that the entire nation will be on the NIR in the future.

Finally it is fair to say that there was one empirical statement made by the Minister. She clearly stated that a future Government could scrap this scheme, in this she is correct and she should be aware that when it comes to the time when the people are forced to pay for the states right to drag them into an intrusive interview the people may well ask if they can say no. The minister may be assured that there are a rapidly growing number of people in this nation that will be there to show them how to say no.
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