What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

May 24, 2006

Renew For Freedom - pass it on

Congratulations to the cunning folks at NO2ID for alerting us all to a loop-hole in NuLabour’s proposed Identity Cards Act - if you renew your passport before 31st May you will avoid being entered on the National Identity Database for 10 years.

(And well done, too, to Lib Dem MPs Nick Clegg, Lynne Featherstone, Mark Hunter, Roger Williams and Simon Hughes for taking their passports to Passport Office in Victoria, London, to highlight the campaign. Too much to hope, I guess, that the Party might have mentioned it on the Lib Dem website. Sigh.)

It’ll cost you £51, but that’s a small price to pay to avoid:

  • Having to attend an official interview and agree to be fingerprinted and give a wide range of personal information for the National Identity Register database.
  • Being required to update any details about yourself that change for the official record - or be fined.
  • Having that information available to be seen by the police, as well as tax, housing, and benefits officials, and thousands of other Government agencies. Or it being available to be checked by private companies.

(And anyway, it’ll cost you at least £93 to buy your NuLabour-enhanced ID card/passport when you do eventually have to renew.)

So if you object to having to prove that you exist to the Government, here’s how to renew your freedom until 2016:

Just send in a completed application form with two identical passport photos, your old passport and the appropriate fee. If you want your new passport back in less than the standard 4 to 6 weeks, you will need to apply in person at one of the Passport Offices, using either the ‘Fast Track’ (one week) or ‘Premium’ (one day) service. This will cost extra.

For more details, or to download an application form, you can visit the UK Passport website:
www.passport.gov.uk/passport_online.asp. Or call the Passport adviceline on 0870 521 0410, or pick up a form in your local Post Office.

5 comments:

Ryan said...

Actually I believe that Charles Clark orginally suggested it during the ID Card debate.

Jock Coats said...

And can we be clear on this...I thought the "deadline" of 31st May is NO2ID's idea - the idea being to flood the system in protest. Not that if you miss 31st May 2006 you will automatically have to do all the things you mention. I read that we don't yet know when the new regime will actually start.

Mine's a right pain - I haven't had a valid passport for twenty years now so need to go through a different process. So I wasn't going to hassle about joining the protest having been told I still had time to avoid all the new requirements.

Stephen Tall said...

Ryan - I hadn't realised old Charles was a bit of a subversive liberal on the side ;-)

Jock - thanks for clarifying. Saves me doing it this side of the BH week-end.

Mark P said...

It's mentioned in a fair few places on the main Lib Dem website: here, here and here.

Mark P said...

Oops, mangled that first link. Should have been to here.