An appeal for charity at Christmas


by David Moss

December 2008


We are used to claims from IPS and their predecessors that ID cards will prevent identity theft, for example, and benefit fraud and illegal working and crime and terrorism.

These are long-dated promises. And dubious promises at that – there is no reason to believe that the NIS can deliver any of these benefits, even when it is a reality.

But for the moment, it is not a reality, there is no NIS, there are no ID cards, the police aren’t linked to the NIR, DWP aren’t linked to the NIR, employers and banks and retailers aren’t linked to the NIR, not least because there is no NIR. The NIS is just a plan, an expression of wishful thinking.

Roll-out of the ID card scheme is due to start in earnest in 2012 and is geared to the renewal of 10-year passports. By 2022, 80% of the population over the age of 16 might have an ID card. If we are to rely on the NIS to prevent 80% of identity theft &c, then we have to hold our breath and hope, for the next 14 years. published an article yesterday, ’Poll suggests ID scheme opposition‘, discussing the conflicting findings of two sets of polls. According to IPS, 59% of people are consistently in favour of the NIS, while No2ID find that the figure is more like 31%.

We are used to that, too.

But something changed yesterday. The article also includes this:

… an Identity and Passport Service spokesman told Public Servant Daily: “Identity cards are already a reality, bringing benefits to the individual and the country by reducing identity fraud and related crime, including illegal working”.

If the unnamed spokesman is talking about IPS’s NIS-type ID cards, then this is manifestly false. IPS’s ID cards are not already a reality. They do not exist. They are a figment of IPS’s imagination. It follows that they cannot already be bringing benefits to individuals and to the country, and the IPS spokesman must be deluded.

It is lonely at IPS. No-one will talk to them and they have no successes to their name. That’s not surprising. They don’t try very hard – in fact, it’s hard to see that they have achieved anything at all in the past six years, they and their predecessors. They have consistently set themselves very low targets and failed to reach even that undemanding standard.

But, especially at Christmas, we must be charitable when we see the disastrous effects unending failure has on people’s mental stability. IPS have now apparently entered a fantasy world. It seems that they have moved from believing that ID cards will bring certain benefits to believing that they are already delivering those benefits.

Their spokesman is emitting a cry for help. They need treatment, and we cannot honourably stand by and ignore the suffering of our fellow human beings, not at Christmas, not at any time. WIBBI* IPS were put out of their misery now?


* WIBBI = wouldn't it be better if

David Moss has spent six years campaigning against the Home Office's ID card scheme.

2008 Business Consultancy Services Ltd
on behalf of Dematerialised ID Ltd