DoorsToManual
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Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:21 am

Hi

This is something that interests me - many other countries in Europe seem to have compulsory ID cards for all their citizens.

This is a topic that is currently being debated in Britain (where currently there is no compulsory national ID). Personally, I would have no problem with the government having my details - I am a law-abiding citizen and therefore I can't see what I would have to worry about.

What exactly are some people worried about, if they aren't criminals?

rgds
 
Jaspike
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:43 am

I wouldn't be bothered if we had a card.. but we seem to be doing fine without one so why bother? If it was so important then we'd have one. This is where people will start throwing facts and figures at me  Laugh out loud

What exactly are some people worried about, if they aren't criminals?
Exactly, if they're not criminals why have a card? Waste of time and money having a card in my opinion...

Josh
 
saintsman
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:45 am

It's the civil liberties brigade that are shouting the most, along with the criminal element of course.

I carry around a whole wad of ID in my wallet every day so I don't see any problem myself.
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 5:38 am

I have no problem with carrying ID cards, it does not invade my privacy or freedom, this is the argument used by the liberals. One reason we don't have ID cards is because in the UK your British drivers licence and passport are legitimate ID's. There have been many occasions when i've used my passport as an ID, from enroling at university to opening a bank account. But times have changed, we have a huge asylum problem in Britain, it's easy for a foreign national to come to the UK and claim bogus benefits, work illegally and access public services such as the NHS at the expense of the taxpayer.
In Arsene we trust!!
 
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scbriml
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:34 am

[fx: crusty upper-class British accent]

We don't need one because we're British damn it! Only needed for bloody Johnny foreigners, what ho!  Smile

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Alessandro
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:16 am

The UK has cameras everywhere on public places instead of ID cards, their
way to combat crime...
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
Banco
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:40 am

The idea that ID cards will reduce crime is utter cobblers. It hasn't anywhere else, and all you create is a market in fake ID cards for the criminals.

As for not having anything to fear if you've done nothing wrong, this is the justification for all manner of state repression. I'm not suggesting that is what any government would necessarily do, but it certainly makes it easier, it's the thin end of the wedge.

Besides, why the hell should I have to prove my identity to a police officer anyway? What has it got to do with him? If I'm doing something wrong, arrest me. If I'm not what business have you got asking me for ID?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Andreas
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:46 am

Attention IRONY!!!!!!!:

Britain needs no ID, especially not to distinguish themselves from foreigners, I mean...who in his right mind, who had the luck not to be born British, would ever try to pretend to be British...or even worse, a British football fan...
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Banco
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:50 am

At least unlike certain Germans, we do not need a caption saying "Attention IRONY!!!" - we can work it out on our own.  Big grin
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Andreas
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:56 am

These first two words weren't directed at you, but at many others here on this forum who have about as much sense for humour as your average drosophila melanogaster!


..the rest though...that was excusively directed at you...I couldn't resist  Big grin
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Andreas
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:58 am

These first two words weren't directed at you, but at many others here on this forum who have about as much a sense of humour as your average drosophila melanogaster!


..the rest though...that was excusively directed at you...I couldn't resist  Big grin
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Banco
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:00 am

Are we still allowed to kick you out of the country?  Big grin
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
DoorsToManual
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:07 am

Allow me to reproduce one of Cecil Rhodes' famous phrases:

"To be born English is to win first prize in the lottery of life".

And for once, this isn't a French guy speaking! Big grin

brgds
 
Andreas
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:09 am

Of course, but I guess after having worked for a British employer for more than six years there are now too many Brits who, after weighing all pros and cons, have come to the ultimate conclusion that keeping me there is better than kicking me out  Smile
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cptkrell
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 5:49 am

Well, there's no I.D. card in the U.S. either. Just wondering, what countries actually have a national ID card? Maybe I'm out of the loop here, but are there any?...jack
all best; jack
 
bobrayner
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:22 am

Well, there's no I.D. card in the U.S. either. Just wondering, what countries actually have a national ID card? Maybe I'm out of the loop here, but are there any?...jack

Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Malaysia, Germany, Poland, France, Vietnam, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Korea, Pakistan, Italy, Greece, ... probably lots of others out there.

There's great scope for variety among ID card systems:
1. Who issues them - a central agency, or the local town hall?
2. Crosslinking with other databases - criminal record, social security, driving license, tax, ...
3. Smart card? Holograms? Machine-readable? Or a crumpled old piece of paper?
4. What data they contain - biometrics, address, photo, next-of-kin, organ donor status, shoe size...?

Most other countries have some kind of universal national number to identify people, but don't have a personal document to prove it.
Cunning linguist
 
aloges
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:30 am

I still remember how proud everyone was because they had just received their "Persos" (slang for "Personalausweise", German for "ID card"), at age 16... LOL, except for me who wasn't in Germany when I turned 16 - I got a nice Brazilian ID card for foreigners instead, which somehow managed to stay in better shape than my "Perso"... "Oops, you mean it's NOT supposed to have dog-ears?!?"
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
jcs17
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:40 am

"To be born English is to win first prize in the lottery of life".

I believe it goes like this, "To be born English is to win worst teeth prize in the lottery of life!"  Big grin  Big thumbs up Don't worry, I'm of British ancestory so I can make these condecesending comments.

There is no national ID card in America, but there is a good reason why. 90%+ of the adult population owns a drivers license, and having a state-issued ID in America is pretty crucial so those who dont drive usually just carry around state ID cards.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
cptkrell
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:59 am

Thanks, Bobraner...I didn't know of the countries issuing national I.D. cards. Sort of reminds me of the 3rd Reich..."Show me your papers". However, perhaps with the way things have changed, a national ID card could be a good thing? When I go across the river to Canada, I sometimes forget to take my passport (inconvenient to carry it anyway) and licenses simply allow you to operate machinery - not really a true form of ID (sorry, Californians), and my voter ID, although proof of US citizenship, doesn't carry a picture, so I have to answer questions every now and then...jack
all best; jack
 
Banco
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 2:43 am

JCS17: There is no national ID card in America, but there is a good reason why. 90%+ of the adult population owns a drivers license, and having a state-issued ID in America is pretty crucial so those who dont drive usually just carry around state ID cards.

That's one of the differences, JCS, we don't have any form of photographic ID, which is why this argument is going on. It's also why we have to remember our passports when we visit bars in the US, we don't have anything else that proves we're over 18 in order to be allowed to drink the nasty weak rubbish you serve over there. (Are we even in insults now?  Big grin )
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
N6376M
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:04 am

As an American, I'd have no problem with a national id card.

As a side note (and not one I support), I heard that one of the leading opponents to a national ID card in the US is the fundamentalist Christian movement who have equated the idea of a compulsary national ID with the "mark of the beast" language in Revelations.

"No one could buy or sell unless he had the mark" (Rev. 13:16-18)

-76M

 
bobrayner
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:14 am

As a side note (and not one I support), I heard that one of the leading opponents to a national ID card in the US is the fundamentalist Christian movement who have equated the idea of a compulsary national ID with the "mark of the beast" language in Revelations.

"No one could buy or sell unless he had the mark" (Rev. 13:16-18)


True; but this has also been used to oppose lots of other innovations in money / payment - especially anything electronic, that suddenly presents problems of identification.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Cunning linguist
 
jimbobjoe
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:07 pm

According to history, the UK did have an ID card during and slightly after WW2, which Churchill eliminated, for a variety of reasons, one of which apparently was it caused bad relations between the citizenry and police. (This is an issue in compulsory ID card countries. A friend of mine told me that he has seen Israeli guards throw down onto the ground the ID cards of Palestinians. There, it's used as a form of intimidation (to request someone's card, and then to throw it down once it has been shown.) You could write a book about the psychological effect of ID cards, how they make people overconfident (take a look at the movie Catch me if You Can for an example of this...an ID card can cause more security problems than they solve) and in other instances ID cards can be used for intimidation (your usual Nazi or Soviet examples go here, in addition to that Israeli one above.)

To this date, no Anglo-Saxon country has a cumpulsory ID card--different way of evaluating civil liberties versus government needs in Anglo-Saxon nations. (The province of Ontario is sort of an exception to this however, in having a photo based health insurance card.) England has only had a photo driver's license since 1998 (and I understand that most driver's still don't have the photo license...the photo was added not because the British though they needed it, but because the EU wanted a European-wide standardization of driving documents.) Canada, New Zealand and Australia only begun added photos to driver's licenses fairly recently (last ten years) and in several Canadian provinces and US states, you can still get a non-photo driver's license.

As I like to say, if you have a country with an ID card that isn't being widely counterfeited, most likely it isn't doing anything that justifies its existence. On the other hand, if it really is all that useful, it's being widely counterfeited. It's a pretty ugly catch-22 to get yourself into. (Each country's experience with ID cards is different, the US experience with them is high fraud with age identification (due to the drinking age) and financial transactions...whereas the country I was born in, Costa Rica, has high fraud due to immigration (the card notes if the person has the right to work in Costa Rica.)

I wrote a pretty substantial document concerning photo ID cards and fraud, it's available at http://www.njlicense.org/SDT.shtml.
 
QANTASforever
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:59 pm

Guten Abend. Wo ist Ihr Personalausweis? Produzieren Sie Ihre Ausweispapiere sofort!!!

Yeah - photo drivers licenses ok. But Identity Cars? It's a bit much.

What do you do if you aren't carrying one? Your are brought into custody?
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
airlinelover
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RE: Cptkrell

Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:05 pm

Cptkrell- Well, there's no I.D. card in the U.S. either

Each of the 50 states does offer a State ID card, not mandatory, but true. There IS no "National" ID card for the US..

CHris
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JAL777
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:08 pm

Why do you need an ID card on you at all times? The "authorities" have no right to ask you who you are... and should you do something that requires them to find out, they're paid to investigate.
 
Andreas
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:21 pm

Qantasforever: Guten Abend. Wo ist Ihr Personalausweis? Produzieren Sie Ihre Ausweispapiere sofort!!!


 Big grin Big grin Big grin Not bad but a clear proof that translating word by word can be hazardous to what you really want to say. I'm quite certain no German policeman will order you to at once manufacture your ID crad, he'd rather expect you to already have one.

Usually they say "Guten Abend, Ihre Papiere bitte". And we really do not get asked to show our ID all the time.
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QANTASforever
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:34 pm

Andreas,

You got me Big grin I bow down to your bi-linguality.  Big grin

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Andreas
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:06 pm

Oh thank you very much *deeplyblushing*!!!

You have no idea just how multi-lingual I get someti...ahem..*cough*, well thanks anyway Big grin
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Banco
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:40 pm

I'm not suggesting you do get asked to show your ID often, Andreas. But the issue is whether the state has a right to demand that its citizens should identify themselves at the request of the state. Here, they cannot do that, if the police ask you to identify yourself it is perfectly reasonable to ask them why they want you to do so. It's just different experiences, since we've never had one (except in wartime) the argument of whether we should have one now arises. If you've always had one, then you can't see what the fuss is about.

Jimbobjoe, an excellent post. On the issue of the EU drivers licence, the irony here is that the photocard is not taken as a reliable form of ID. When we hire cars the photocard is not sufficient and we have to produce the main licence documentation!

We do not have any form of ID that compares to what you have in the individual states. You have much more of an ID card system than we do, and you don't have one either!

This is currently going through the Cabinet. The hOme Secretary wants to introduce them, a lot of his colleagues are utterly opposed to it. In terms of the opinion polls, this always goes the same way, initially the public aren't bothered, and then as more detail comes out (i.e. they have to pay for it!) they tend to become more opposed. It'll run and run this one.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Andreas
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:44 pm

Banco are we starting to have a little Andreas-complex  Big grin?

You feel addressed by everything I say Big grin, of course I fell deeply honoured, only in this case, it was directed at Qantasforever I'm afraid.
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Banco
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:51 pm

Now, don't get big headed, Andreas, I knew who you were addressing, I just wanted you to be clear that I wasn't suggesting that my dislike of ID cards (and I have been the one who has put most of the "anti" posts up) was based on a false position of what you have to do.

Actually, since you're spending so much time over here your perspective might be interesting on this. Do you find it surprising that we carry so little ID?

To give the example the other way, I used to spend lots of time in Italy, and the whole checking into the hotel business with the Italians was always entertaining. They used to hand over their ID cards and I had to do so with my passport. I asked them whether it bothered them, and they always looked baffled. Well, why should you have have to do this, I would ask, and they would say that the police were then told about who was checking into the hotels. Well, yes, that's precisely the point, what the hell does it have to do with them? It didn't bother them, an example of two societies having no idea what the issue was for the other!  Big grin
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Andreas
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:13 pm

Ahem...ah yes Big grin..

As for the topic: yes that is exactly the point. Ín Germany we do not see this as an issue really, therefore we have no such discussion, and we never had, even during the 70ies during the "big terrorist war" in Germany (If I remember correctly, presenting your ID checking into a hotel was "invented" in those days). Of course we had (and still have) our fair share of discussions about the so-called "glaeserne Mensch" (man made of glass), but that is not directed at the ID card.
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cptkrell
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:56 pm

Airlinelover...I was aware that most (if not all) states in the U.S. had optional personal ID cards for those that do not drive, however, again, that is state-issued ID, not a national document. And, I don't believe that it is proof of citizenship, either. IIRC, the Michigan ID card says nothing of citizenship, only your address of residence when the card was issued.

JAL777...the authorities have every right to ask who you are if you are involved or legitimately suspected of being involved in a crime. Furthermore, a large percentage of people involved in crime are repeat-offenders, a good fact to know when legally detaining or processing an individual. An ID is also a good idea at all times to help them notify next of kin in case you get whacked or worse. As far as your feelings that the authorities are paid to investigate to find out who you are, well, their pay comes from my tax dollars, and I'd much rather have those dollars going into more important law enforcement activities rather than waisting time tracking down the ID of someone who's too lazy to carry an ID. You wouldn't be too lazy to carry a bit of money or a credit card with you if you were going out to dinner, would you? ...Jack
all best; jack
 
JAL777
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:52 am

Authorities might have every right to ask... and I have every right to keep my mouth shut!! A force ID card is forcing someone against their Miranda rights (right to remain silent).
 
cptkrell
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 10:01 pm

I would suggest then, JAL777, that you also have the right to be taken to jail where you can sit remaining silent while the police take care of other important business before they spend any time on tracking down who you are...jack
all best; jack
 
JAL777
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 10:24 pm

Cptkrell... yes I have that right.
 
ben
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:36 am

I am not a criminal.

I have never done anything illegal in my life (except maybe carrying an extra bottle of wine back from holidays and speeding occasionally)..

I would never do anything maliciously illegal (except those things noted above).

I have nothing to hide.

But I am so against someone forcing me to carry an ID card and forcing me to produce it when they want to collect more data about me, or to produce it when they want to look up everything about me.... that I would happily chain myself to railways, lay down on the road outside the Prime Minister's residence, etc etc.. all the usual tactics.. Arrested? So be it. I have the right to rot in prison while they process me, as JAL777 says.

It is my absolute right to hide any and every personal detail that I have.

Civil disobedience? Where do I report for duty?
 
dc-10 levo
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:49 am

Should get mine in the next couple of weeks. You get it around 3 months before your 16th Birthday in the UK.

DC-10
 
ben
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Thu Sep 25, 2003 1:22 am

Should get mine in the next couple of weeks. You get it around 3 months before your 16th Birthday in the UK.


WTF? We don't have one yet, DC-10 Levo.

They are debating it still. It's going to be in the Queen's speech.
 
jimbobjoe
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Thu Sep 25, 2003 9:31 am

Good time to answer this question...I forgot to address it...

The supreme court case prohibiting the police from just randomly asking for ID is Kolender v. Lawson, it's available at http://www.oyez.org/oyez/resource/case/202/

This case may be under a challenge of a type due to the Nevada supreme court affirming such a law in Nevada, and then the 9th circuit, following the Kolender v. Lawson precedence, rejected it...so the supreme court may have to step in and enhance the previous case or reject it, so the situation is cleared up.
______
Lawson was a law-abiding black man of unusual deportment (he wore his hair in long dreadlocks). Lawson was frequently subjected to police questioning and harassment when he walked in white neighborhoods. Lawson challenged the California law "that requires persons who loiter or wander on the streets to provide a 'credible and reliable' identification and to account for their presence when requested by a peace officer."

Question Presented
Is the California statute unconstitutionally vague?

Conclusion
The law was unconstitutionally vague because it gave excessive discretion to the police (in the absence of probable cause for an arrest) whether to stop and interrogate a suspect or leave him alone. The majority hinted that the California statute compromised the constitutional right to freedom of movement.
 
Banco
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RE: Why No Compulsory National ID Card In UK?

Thu Sep 25, 2003 4:23 pm

I think DC10-Levo is getting confused with being issued with his National Insurance number, Ben. That's not exactly the same, it's about tax! Big grin
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.

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