Home Office
China (re Golden Shield)
FBI (re NGI)


Is Francis Maude an idiot?
4 October 2010

Four years ago, the Cabinet Office promised Tony Blair that they would transform government if only he gave them all the Christmas presents they asked for. Which he did and yet there is nothing to show for their promises today.


Eight years ago, the Home office promised David Blunkett that they would issue everyone with ID cards. They failed. Comprehensively.


Since then, the coalition government has made its will clear, they don't want ID cards. A red rag to a bull, the Cabinet Office have promptly proposed something called the "digital delivery identity assurance project". ID cards by the back door. Who's in charge? Whose authority can be safely flouted?


And the Cabinet Office have merged this ID cards MkII project with their other idea, the G-Digital initiative, which would rain down public services on us from a G-Cloud* – "cloud computing" is what you get when you put all your business applications and data on the web. Transformational government, by another name. They've failed once. Why should they be given a second chance? They've already proved that they can't deliver. (Just as well too, look what happened when Estonia put their head in the clouds).


The sensible questions above resolve themselves into one very rude one – is Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office Minister, an idiot? Obviously his officials think he is but BCSL firmly believe that no, of course he isn't an idiot. He won't have the authority of Parliament abused like this, he can recognise a naked attempt to resurrect ID cards and transformational government, he knows that their advocates are ineffectual and are presumably just trying to keep their jobs, and he will keep the G-Cheque book firmly locked in his G-Plan desk.


G-Cloud and the other members of the G-Digital club are the very last of all the cockamamy civil service zombie projects to preserve during this time of cuts:


* For the avoidance of doubt, the "G" in "G-Cloud" stands for "Government" and not "Google" or "Gangsta".

About Business Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL):
BCSL has operated as an IT consultancy since 1984. The past 7 years have been spent campaigning against the Home Office's plans to introduce ID cards into the UK. It must now be admitted that the government are much better at convincing people that these plans are a bad idea than anyone else is, including BCSL.

Press contacts: David Moss,