Foreign national ID cards will be unveiled

According to the BBC, the Identity and Passport Service is set to unveil the first ID cards. These will be issued to non-EU students and marriage visa holders, and are in fact issued under the UK Borders Act rather than the Identity Cards Act.

Of course the cards themselves are a red herring that will please the popular press – they have little practical purpose in verifying entitlement to remain in the UK – because the real issue here is the capture of biometric details in a register for the broader range of purposes covered in the ID Act. Furthermore, the system is (as I understand it) intended to be temporary, being replaced by the National Identity Register if and when that appears. What we actually have here is a proof of concept scheme, so it will be interesting to see how the scheme – and its compulsory participants – fare over the coming months.

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My blog rant: The card will be compulsory for foreign nationals. All terrorists and illegal immigrants will be required to obtain one and show it to policemen, council officials or dog catchers on request. LOOK! TERRORISTS! This initiative comes from (a) civil servants who think it'd be convenient to their jobs to have everyone filed and numbered (b) private contractors like EDS and Capita who have been promised CASH CASH CASH for consulting on such schemes, and a track record of employing ex-goverment ministers and senior civil servants at vast consulting fees 12 months after they leave the government. "We wholeheartedly support this move, for the good of Britain," said Nick Hitler (no relation) of the British National Party. Reports that the BNP had put out a bounty on a "lost" data disk listing the names and addresses of every immigrant in the country are unconfirmed. The ridiculous thing is that this is a creature of the Labour government, who are vastly unpopular, and will likely be kicked out on their corrupt backsides in the 2010 election. This scheme is set only to be fully implemented by 2011/2012. EDS and Capita will, of course, still be paid in full.