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Wednesday 2 September 2020

Online ID Cards = Polecat Megalomania

The public at large will tolerate bureaucratic overreach, but only up to a point: for those needing to know how long the tolerance will last, the National Registration Act of 1939 provides a useful case study. For this legislation, which forced everyone in the UK - including children - to carry an identity card, the moment of reality came on February 21st, 1952, when the public at large decided that they had had enough.

But the lessons of history are of little use to the wilful and obsessive, which brings us to the latest wizard wheeze from chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings and his band of dubiously talented freeloaders. There they are, libertarians all, knowing that doing away with identity cards heralded a major advance in civil liberties, and what are they proposing to impose upon the public at large? Yes, more identity cards.

At least the Mail has noted the potential for infringement of personal liberty, telling readers “People will get an online identity that can be used for daily activities such as proving ones age, registering with a GP and buying properties from a different location. It comes after issues emerged in identifying people during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as during the self-employment income support scheme”, but also cautioning “despite privacy fears”.

In any case, we already have National Insurance numbers, so the idea that ID cards will make it easier to identify people is questionable at the very least. Also, the sales pitch sounds remarkably like that of the post-war Attlee Government, who “maintained that the identity card was a key that could be used to access all the benefits of the state, from rationing to voting to NHS services”. How very late 1940s of the Polecat and his pals.

Your online ID is invalid, Number 9. You know the penalty for failure

The contradictions inherent in Dom’s Brave New Digital World are obvious: “Minister for digital infrastructure Matt Warman told … he was excited to 'work with partners in the private sector’. Cabinet Office minister Julia Lopez added: 'There is a need and an expectation for the government to make it easier for people to use digital identities quickly, safely and securely, and we are committed to enabling this.’

Work with the private sector. Jobs for the boys and girls. Potential for data breaches and hacking on a scale previously unimaginable. And a “need and expectation” that no-one outside the megalomaniac command and control world of Dominic Cummings asked for. But at least Dom is being sort of consistent: “Boris Johnson's chief adviser Mr Cummings has been a vocal critic of privacy laws in the past”. Cos they were foreign.

He branded the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation 'a legal and bureaucratic nightmare' on his blog two years ago”. So the great libertarians in Downing Street are going to swallow their reservations whole and back this further waste of money.

Moreover, no-one has yet stopped and thought who may miss out, even though it is staring them in the face. Those not online - the poorest and oldest - are likely to be effectively disenfranchised, remaindered from society, made into outsiders, un-persons.

Megalomaniac wackos are no longer confined to Bond films. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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Simon said...

'How very late 1940s of the Polecat and his pals.'

Well, it does make a change from the 1930s.

Uxbridge No Analytica said...

A 'deny the vote' proposal that comes shortly after a poll showing the Tories are losing support.
There isn't a single ounce of human dignity in the whole of the Tory Party.

Anonymous said...

@simon .... austerity is over ... eer apparrently ...or maybe not ... spiv s in government ... a pm who is more Winnie the poo than churchillian ... and a pompous little melon headed lying little shite ... Dan don’t you dare ... and so sank the ship brittanica

Jonathan said...

Didn't Cameron get into power with Blacklegg on the promise of scrapping Gordon Brown's ID card scheme back in 2010? Yes of course.

Since New Labour, governments have cunningly created mass databases of personal information of all UK citizens for use by differing agencies of government, from child benefit to which zoo you visited last week with your kids.

One thing the Polecat and his crew know this information is shared around government departments to prevent fraud or more likely to be sold to Polecat's friends.

So with that treasure trove of info there is no need for Digital IDs when you can sign up for a Government Gateway account.

Paul said...

1. Anyone remember the identi-eeze card from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Just the one item to steal for complete identity theft.
2. They don't even need it for surveillance. Back in the 80s, I was positively vetted for a thing. They asked one of my character referees if their CND membership would affect their judgement. I didn't know they were in CND but the authorities did.

dushka said...

I already have problems as I don't have either a driving licence or a passport.

Anonymous said...

As if The Friends haven't already listed anyone who sticks their head over the parapet. (Like YOU, Tim Fenton.😆)

How bad is it? Well who can forget far right loony Newton-Done's list of "extremists". (Which included YOU, Tim Fenton.😆)

And therein lies the problem. British establishment "culture" is so rotten, McCarthyism is unopposed.