Author Topic: NO2ID Newsletter No 150  (Read 807 times)

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Offline Margie

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NO2ID Newsletter No 150
« on: June 04, 2010, 08:07:20 am »

++ NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 150 - 3rd June 2010 ++
With Second Reading of the Identity Documents Bill 2010-11 (i.e. the first debate in the Commons) scheduled for Wednesday 9th June, moves to dismantle the National Identity Scheme are truly under way.
The Bill as drafted is not quite perfect - there remain some technical issues which we shall be briefing Parliamentarians to amend or remove at Committee stage (where changes are actually made) - but it should do the job. And we shall continue to do ours: lobbying, analysis, briefings... the fight against the database state in Westminster and Whitehall, though often less visible than other forms of campaigning, is a vital part of NO2ID's work.
It is a positive sign that the very first Bill introduced by the coalition government is one to repeal the Identity Cards Act. But the government's continued failure to act on Summary Care Record uploads, despite promising in the Coalition Agreement to "[put] patients in charge of making decisions about their care, including control of their health records" is far less encouraging.
The new Health ministers may need time to review the entire programme, but there's no reason to allow even more people's records to be sucked into the system while they do.
Some GP practices have uploaded patient records since the election, despite the supposed halt announced by the Department of Health earlier this year - and while uploads continue, every week or month that goes by puts more people's medical confidentiality at risk.
Please, if you haven't done so already, write to your new MP urging him or her to call for an *immediate* halt to Summary Care Record uploads. The online letter-writing tool that POWER2010 kindly built for us makes it straightforward and quick to do:

Your own words are best, but what's most important is that your MP hears from you NOW.

For further information on why the NHS Summary Care Record programme represents such a threat to medical confidentiality, and puts at risk both individuals' and the public health, download our latest factsheet - - or visit - the campaign NO2ID helped set up in 2006 to help protect patients' rights over their own health information.
What just happened?

+ Government aims to pass Identity Documents Bill by summer holidays +
The first bill to be published by the new government following the Queen's Speech was the Identity Documents Bill which lays out plans to scrap the current ID scheme. The government aims to have the bill pass through Parliament and enacted by the parliamentary recess in August. The Identity Documents Bill does not scrap ID cards for foreign nationals which will remain (apparently European law "requires non-EU foreign nationals to be provided with biometric residence permits"). The UK Identity and Passport Service has published a handy list of 'Cancellation of identity cards' Frequently Asked Questions on their website at:

+ Identity Commissioner and Identity Panels scrapped +
Sir Joseph Pilling the Identity Commissioner will soon be looking for a new job after the Home Office announced that he will be scrapped along with the ID scheme. A Home Office press release states: "The role of the Identity Commissioner will also be terminated. The public panels, designed to scrutinise the identity cards scheme, have already been disbanded."  See

+ ID Documents Bill caution - the Devil is in the detail +
As pointed out in our lead story above, the Identity Documents Bill which lays out the government's plan to scrap the ID scheme is not perfect. SpyBlog has done some interesting analysis of the detail of the bill and flagged up a few flaws, such as the current Section 7(6) which states: "The Secretary of State may by order amend the definition of
'identity document'." SpyBlog warns: "The Labour Government did not dare to get around to making Driving Licences into Designated Documents under the identity Cards Act 2006, but the Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition may be bamboozled into doing so with this Identity Documents Bill."  See

+ Media attention for NO2ID local groups +
The announcement of the government's plans to scrap the National ID scheme led to flurries of media attention for NO2ID local groups around the country. A few of their recent radio interviews can be heard on-line including: BBC Radio Cambridgeshire interviewing Andrew Watson (joint Cambridge group coordinator) on Wednesday 19th May (, BBC Radio Leeds interviewing James Elsdon-Baker on 20th May (, BBC Radio Sheffield interviewing Richard Belbin (Sheffield coordinator) on 27th May (

+ The dance "of the Intellectual Pygmies" +
Back in 2002 when ID cards were called "Entitlement cards", the Home Secretary David Blunket responded to ID scepticism during a parliamentary debate in March saying: "I am disappointed, because this is degenerating into a contest with intellectual pygmies." Following the recent news that the scheme ushered in by Blunkett is to be cancelled,
William Heath over at the Ideal Government website has posted up a video of a celebratory "Dance of the Intellectual Pygmies". The video begins with Star Wars style opening credits that state: "Once upon a time in a far off land an evil authoritarian emperor described opponents of the benighted ID cards scheme as "intellectual pygmies". On that fateful day, plucky rebel commander William Heath vowed to fight the ID card
legislation."  See
What's next?

*+ 9th June - Identity Documents Bill 2nd Reading +*
The Identity Documents Bill will have its 2nd reading in the House of Commons on 9th June. Follow the bill's progress at

*+ 14th June - RHUC Lecture, London - 'Human Rights, Civil Liberties and the New Coalition' + *
Monday, 14th June 2010 (7 for 7.30PM) at Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead - James Welch (Legal Director, Liberty) discusses the future for our rights and liberties under the new government. Do changes such as the abandonment of the ID card scheme and a new freedom bill mean that we are going to become a freer society? Suggested donation to cover costs - £5. Enquiries: 0207 4333267.  Wine and nibbles available.

*+ 'Erasing David' screenings +*
The producers of Erasing David - the new documentary about privacy, surveillance and the database state - are offering NO2ID groups and supporters the chance to hold screenings of your own *before* the retail launch of the DVD. If you, or a supportive organisation for which you work or volunteer, would like to show the film to an audience in a club, community centre, school or elsewhere then you can get a (paid) license to do so from the Good Screenings website ( Please note: you will need to ensure that the venue you are using also has the appropriate
Premises License. More information and advice on organising screenings in NO2ID's Erasing David campaign pack update, which you can download from here: *

**+ 'Voices of Freedom' Debate Series +*
The Free Society, an offshoot of the smokers' lobby group Forest, has announced an exciting new programme of events entitled 'Voices of Freedom: The Battle Against Big Government' to take place in London on 3rd, 10th, 15th, 24th and 29th June. Hosted by The Free Society in association with the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the Adam Smith Institute, Big Brother Watch, The Manifesto Club and Liberal Vision, debate subjects will include 'The Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill', 'Big Government is Watching You', 'Can a Big Society be a Free Society?', 'Hyper-Regulation and the Bully State'; and 'Who Holds the Liberal Torch in 2010?'. Speakers will include NO2ID's national coordinator Phil Booth and general secretary Guy Herbert. Each debate will run from
7.00-8.00pm, preceded by a drinks reception from 6:00pm, at the IEA, 2 Lord North Street, Westminster SW1. For further information and full list of speakers go to
"ID" in the news

*+ Thales loses £18m ID card deal - Public technology 3/6/10 +*
Following its decision to end ID cards, the government seems to have 'got off' lightly in terms of contract cancellation costs. eal?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&

*+ ID cards poster girl laments her £30 - The Register 2/6/10 +*
Angela Epstein, the Manchester-based columnist and ID cards poster girl, has written a furious lament for the scheme - and she's so angry she's started a Facebook group.

*+ NHS tops ICO list of data breaches e-Health Insider 1/6/10 +*
The NHS has been the source of almost a third of the data breaches reported to the Information Commissioner's Office since 2007.

*+ ID card contractors escape the axe - Contractor UK 1/6/10 +*
The two leading IT contractors on the outgoing national identity cards scheme should emerge relatively unscathed, as their contracts will escape the government's axe. Speaking last week, the government said ID cards would fold within 100 days for UK citizens, but not for "foreign nationals", and that biometric passports would remain.

*+ Blunkett in Parliament challenge - Sheffield Star 1/6/10 +*
Changes to council funding, the review of a proposed £80 million loan to Forgemasters and the decision to scrap identity cards have been challenged in Parliament by a Sheffield MP.

*+ Only one ID card supplier contract to be cut - Computing 28/5/10 +*
Only the smallest of the three ID-card supplier contracts will be cut, with one large contract being minimally affected and the other not being affected at all according to details of the supplier contract renegotiations released by the Home Office.

*+ Savings from axed ID card contracts will be limited - 28/5/10 +*
The £86m in savings to come from axing ID card suppliers "once all exit costs are met" as reported on the BBC is unlikely to appear, given details of the supplier contract renegotiations released by the Home Office.

*+ Blunkett threatens to sue for £30 ID card refund - The Register 28/5/10 +*
David Blunkett this morning claimed he may sue the government for a refund on his £30 ID card, which new laws will render worthless by the end of summer. The former Home Secretary and political originator of the ID cards scheme went on Today this morning to explain why he was right to introduce the scheme and the ConDem coalition is wrong to scrap it.

*+ Government to scrap ID card scheme within 100 days - Out-Law News, 28/05/10 +*
Plans for identity cards for British citizens will be scrapped within 100 days, the Government announced yesterday. Biometric resident permits will continue to be issued to foreign nationals living in the UK.

*+ CitizenCard offers free cards to national ID card holders – Talking Retail 28/5/10 +*
Following Home Secretary Teresa May's announcement that the National Identity Card scheme will be abolished within 100 days, CitizenCard, the UK's leading identity and proof of age scheme, is offering the 15,000 holders of the National Identity Card a free CitizenCard worth £15.

*+ Summary Care Records - too big to fail? - Computer Weekly 26/5/10 +*
"Given that [the Summary Care Record scheme] is not particularly effective at improving health care, the project has to be seen to be a success in some other way."

*+ ID card scheme will be scrapped with no refund to holders – The Telegraph 24/5/10 +*
The Government will refuse to refund money to thousands of people who have already paid for a National Identity Card when the scheme is scrapped in the Queen's Speech tomorrow.

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter - Editor( )

To see if there's a group in your area check our list at
Or, if you're interested in starting a group yourself, please contact Matty on to discuss what's involved and what we have in place to support coordinators and their groups.

_*+ Blackburn +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Blackburn mailing group at**_

_*+ Cambridge +*_
The announcements and speeches by the coalition government about the abolition of the ID cards scheme prompted several calls from the Cambridge local media. On Wednesday 19th May Andrew Watson, joint local group coordinator, did an interview for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire that you can listen to here:

_**__*+ Canterbury +*_
To stay up to date join the Canterbury NO2ID mailing list on:

_*+ Dorking +*_
If you would like to help or get involved, contact Geoff Cox ( or 01306 631377).

_*+ Dover +*_*
*To stay up to date with Dover NO2ID join our mailing list on:

_*+ Edinburgh +
**+ 15th June - Edinburgh NO2ID celebrate cancelled Scottish Public Panel +*
Tuesday 15th June, from 6:30pm - on the day of the cancelled Scottish Public Panel meeting the Edinburgh group will be holding its own celebration, beginning at 6.30pm in the Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2JL, then at the Beehive in the Grassmarket. More detail at All welcome.

*+ Saturdays 1pm - 3pm - Edinburgh **NO2ID** Street Stall +*
Every week, weather permitting, you will find our campaigning stall at the east end of Princes Street, opposite the Balmoral Hotel. Do drop by for a chat. New volunteers - please contact John (, and for more group information see

_*+ Exeter +*_
If you would like to join the Exeter group, please email and say hello! Do also join the Exeter group mailing list at

_*+ Hull & East Riding +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Hull mailing group here:

_**__*+ Ipswich +*_*
If you are interested in the work of the Ipswich group, please join their mailing list on:

_*+ Lancaster +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Lancaster mailing group at

_*+ Leeds +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Leeds mailing group at

_*+ Liverpool +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group please join the Liverpool mailing group at or email Jeff at

_*+ Manchester +*_
*+ 12th June - Manchester NO2ID Monthly Meeting +*
Saturday, 12th June, 12-1:30pm in the Moon Under Water pub on Deansgate. Manchester No2ID will be holding its monthly meeting ahead of the afternoon street stall. See minutes of our previous meetings on our website. The pub is just opposite St Ann's Square where the street stall will occur at 2pm, and serves food. With the Government pledging to end the National Identity Register, there are still many aspects of the Database State on which No2ID will continue to campaign, including the NHS Summary Care Records scheme.

*+ 12th June - Manchester NO2ID Street Stall +*
Saturday 12th June, 2-4pm in St. Ann's Square in Manchester City Centre. While it looks like the National Identity Scheme has been scrapped, plenty of Database State initiatives still remain for us to campaign against, including the NHS Summary Care Record scheme. Feel free to join us to lend a hand or just chat. You don't need any experience or
equipment, just a bit of time to spare and a friendly smile!

_*+ Newcastle +*_
If you are interested in the work of this group, please join the Newcastle mailing group at:

**_*+ Norwich +*_
*+ 26th June - Norwich NO2ID Stall +*
Saturday 26th June, 9am - 7pm at the Norwich Peace Camp & Peace Cycle Event, The Forum. Norwich NO2ID will join other local community groups, charities and organisations to further the cause of peace, justice and better understanding. We will raise awareness, share ideas and address key issues and concerns which face us locally and in the world as a whole. There will also be music and other live entertainment, so it promises to be a cheerful and enlightening day for all. Please come along, it will be great to see you there. Find out more at ( Please email if you're available and able to help out.

If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on:

_*+ Oxford +*_
See the website for more info on Oxford NO2ID:

_*+ Portsmouth +*_
Join the Portsmouth mailing list at

_*+ Reading +*_*
Contact Reading NO2ID on or join our web group at

_*+ Sheffield +*_
*+ 23rd June - Sheffield NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday 23rd June, 7.30pm at the Harlequin pub, 108 Nursery St, Sheffield, S3 8GG ( This meeting is to discuss Sheffield NO2ID's future priorities and direction in tackling the Database State under the new government. The meeting room is upstairs. We usually congregate in the bar shortly before the
meeting. Please ask the bar staff if you can't find us.

Please join the mailing list If you haven't already:

_*+ St Helens & Wigan +*_
Anyone interested in our work should join the St.Helens mailing group at

_*+ Watford +*_*
Please contact Colin Simmons on if you are interested in giving a couple of hours a month to join us.

_*+ York +*_
You can join our Facebook group here:!/group.php?gid=54041617189&ref=ts

Anyone interested in the work of this group should join the York mailing group at:


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