diamond geezer

 Wednesday, November 12, 2003

ID cards - your questions answered

What information will be kept on my ID card?
Nothing more than your name, address, gender and actual date of birth. Only Joan Collins need be worried.

No, really, what information will be kept on my ID card?
Well, all of the above. And, erm, OK... your employment status, a copy of your fingerprints, your police record, a electronic scan of your iris, a full but unverifiable credit check, who you voted for in the last five elections, health records, your favourite football team, religious background, speeding fines, a strand of your DNA, any overdue library books and that dark secret you've been harbouring about Britney Spears.

How much will my ID card cost?
There will be two different price structures. UK residents with blameless lives will be asked to pay €120 for the benefit of proving their innocence. Illegal immigrants, lawless benefit fraudsters and international terrorists will be able to buy a cheap but convincing forgery from that bloke in the lock-up behind the Chinese restaurant instead.

Why can't I just use my passport as ID?
That photo in your passport looks nothing like you.

Will carrying my ID card be compulsory?
No, don't be silly. That would be an invasion of your civil rights. If you should accidentally find yourself without your card whilst popping out to the cornershop, expect nothing worse than a night in a police cell and a €500 fine.

Where will I have to show my ID card?
Use of your card will be mandatory before the use of any NHS services, so always keep it handy in case you want to request urgent treatment for a heart attack or serious traffic injury. Those with private healthcare can of course continue to flash their credit card instead.

How will ID cards help to fight terrorism?
If you should ever be involved in a major terrorist incident, take your ID card and press it hard against the infidel's windpipe, resulting in respiratory trauma, unconsciousness and hopefully death.

Why aren't ID cards being introduced until 2013?
This is because half the cabinet still think they're a stupid idea and maybe they'll go away. '2013' is in fact a Government keyword which means 'never, but it sounds like we're doing something'. See also 'Crossrail'.

What if I refuse to buy an ID card?
Don't worry, we're arranging to have all this biometric data installed on the SIM card in your mobile phone instead, but without telling you. That way we can guarantee you'll always carry it with you everywhere you go, and we can track your movements to the nearest 10 metres too.

What is in Room 101?
The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world. The worst thing in the world varies from individual to individual. It may be burial alive, or death by fire, or by drowning, or by impalement, or fifty other deaths. In your case, the worst thing in the world happens to be rats.

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