Time to stop with ID cards

There has been a lot of discussion, a lot of opposition, a
lot of lying and a lot of politic surrounding the very idea of introducing ID
cards into the UK. 

We have now reached the stage where Colin Langham-Fitt,
acting chief constable of Suffolk Constabulary has said:

“The proposed National Identity Register is creating a
massive security threat”. He went on to say that criminals would pay unlimited
amounts to subvert the national identity database. “In creating a national database
you are creating a gold standard for ID [authentication],” said Langham-Fitt.
“It will be worth whatever it costs to hack it, to mirror it and subvert it.” 

“We are at risk from insider threats and card cloning. The
idea the card can be used to fight terrorism is completely fatuous. This scheme
is convenient for government, but not for citizens,” said Langham-Fitt.

When the crime prevention officer tells us something, we
should listen.


The Identity and Passport Service has claimed its identity
card scheme is not “out of control”, as the London School of
Economics claims, but is being built on “uncertain” sands. 

Who on earth builds on shifting sands? What they really mean
is that they have a rough idea of what they want at the end of the day
(everyone tagged and checked), but don’t have a clue on how to get to get to
the end point, what the business plan is, how the politics can be presented,
how to deal with the costs, or the public disquiet, or how to deal with the
plethora of technology companies all telling them how good their equipment is,
none of which is working properly because most of it is based on vapourware.

Then we have the costs, the massive rising costs, with
project teams running around like headless chickens because no-one has a clear direction,
the costs are mounting on a daily basis. 

When a man does not
know to which port he is headed, no direction is the right direction. – Marcus
Tullius Cicero.


And finally, the admission by  Joe Harley, chief
information officer at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), that only
30% of the government's technology-based projects are a success.

Taxes are funding a £14bn annual spend
on IT – equivalent to 6,000 new primary schools or 75 hospitals a year,
about 600,000 nurses could be employed or more than three million state
pensions paid.. 

The 2 riskiest IT programmes: the £5.3bn
ID cards scheme and the NHS’s £12.4bn National Programme for IT account
for most of that.

“Today, only 30%, we estimate, of our
projects and programmes are successful,” said Harley. “Why shouldn’t it be


Indeed, why not 90%. 

I have written before
as to the causes of government IT failures, few listened then, but now a report
by the Parity Group said their findings show only 35% of project managers
considered completing within budget very important, and only 38% thought
finishing on time was a top priority, that
most IT project managers
do not think that
finishing a project on time and in budget
is important.

Parity concludes: “The overwhelming
conclusion is that poor leadership is jeopardising project success. From a lack
of commercial awareness to poor fostering of team skills, too many
organisations are failing to provide senior leadership throughout a project.” 

All I can say to that is they are
employing the wrong kind of project managers, and the Parity report backs up my
own conclusions. Maybe I’ll do it for £1200
per day.


Do we need ID cards. – NO

Do we want ID cards  

Can we afford ID cards – NO

Is there the technology to do it properly – NO

Do we need all these Consultancy
groups in Government – NO

Will it ever be finished – No (unless they completely change
their thinking and personnel)

Is there a good reason for ID cards – NO (other than John
Poindexter’s Orwellian plan).


Its time to pull the plug, time to say enough of the costly,
ill-thought databases. 


No to ID Cards, No to the database state.


About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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