The decline of the hat and ID card

Anybody fooled?

Want to get ahead? Want to get ahead?

"If you want to get ahead get a hat” was an advertising slogan from the 1940s. This was the high point for milliners, from then on the hat, de rigueur, went into decline.

The NO2ID campaign with its famous logo and clear message has been so successful that the new Home Secretary, Alan Johnson (bottom right) felt compelled to act; we are now told by Johnson that ID cards are “not compulsory”. So will NO2ID go into decline? Not at all.

For while citizens may now go hat-less as they please there are aspects of the paraphernalia to do with the ID card concept that remain a threat to us all, just as before. So what to make of Johnson's remarks?

To write up the true origins of the ID Card scheme and Database, IDsD, is a job for an historian. It is adequate here to start with David Blunkett. He is the sort of pseudo hard man and bully that Nulabour loves. He has made numerous comments about immigration, asylum and civil liberties which, had they been made by Carol Thatcher would have caused an outcry.

At the time Blunkett was Home Secretary a joke doing the rounds was “they say justice is blind, but does it have to be stupid as well?” In time, after his first of two resignations, Blunkett handed the Home Office to Charles Clarke, who gave way to John Reid, next up in office was Jacqui Smith who stood aside for Johnson.

The game of 'pass the parcel' is normally played at children's parties. Five Home Secretaries in eight years does seem to suggest there is something about the job of Home Secretary. Indeed the chances are the the next time the music stops Nulabour and Johnson will be out. However, during all these years no Home Secretary since Blunkett can be singled out for having made any significant comment on the IDsD.
Phil Booth of NO2ID explains Phil Booth of NO2ID explains
So why does Johnson, who is in favour of the IDsD, speak up now? It's simply a reflection of the electoral position of Nulabour. Obviously political parties aim to be popular, well usually they do. But starting with Blunkett there has been an 'in your face' attitude to the voter and IDCD. Nulabour just did not care. They knew best and 'knew' we would be happy with their arrogance.

When it came to their attention that they were loathed by the voter, attitudes changed. The big lie pushed by Jacqui Smith, that people were always coming to her and "asking for an ID card " was dumped. But Johnson's move was spun to suggest that he was a smart man doing the right thing and he was loved by the nation. This was tosh and the spin was an attempt to hide what remained of the IDsD scheme. Let the Guardian take up the story.

In an editorial the opening line is “Less a climbdown, more of a stumble.” I suppose this makes it a stumbledown! Coming from the Guardian that is remarkable. This is the newspaper that employs Martin Kettle, Michael White and Saint Polly Toynbee; a trio who have done so much to help Nulabour slither from the one crisis to the next. Oh how times have changed! Johnson is even mildly mocked for his party leadership aspirations going on pretensions. Certainly if this is Johnson at his best, then leadership is beyond him.
A small matter 
of civil libertiesA small matter of civil liberties
The Guardian then goes on to explain how “in the face of tremendous trade-union opposition”, this stumbledown comes about. In fact it's hardly surprising from Johnson, a former trade union official. What is notable is that 30,000 workers at two airports were affected and this small number brought about a favourable result. So waiting to be explained is why the vast numbers of people who have signed the NO2ID petition, the membership of that organisation, plus the huge number of other, non-aligned people against the IDsD were ignored. What sort of democracy is that?

We have posted before on the base level of corruption that Old Labour bequeathed to Nulabour. The political drama, 'Our friends in the North' had more than a nod to the great 'fixer' T. Dan. Smith. And now we have our friends in the unions. Campaigners who would wish to be rid of the IDsD have no reason to be thankful for this outcome. The unions will want, and no doubt will get, something in return. The government should serve the whole electorate and not just a subset from whom they get money. In the real world it's called corruption.

The UK economy is still in serious trouble. We have had the remark by Gordon Brown of “0% rise in spending”, oh how we laughed! Until we realised that the spending on the IDCD continues as before. So the spin and lies from Brown and Ed Balls is now matched by Johnson. Perhaps you should write to our Home Secretary and tell him what you think?

And then, if you have not already done so, join NO2ID