I am Proud of Britain and even more Proud of Britain. One more reason to be Proud of Britain is its devilishly clever civil service who clearly could teach their clueless American INS colleagues a lesson or two in how to crack down on Johny (or Jose or Jubar al Jihadi) Foreigner.
As The Register reports they have come up with a corking good wheeze for these voluntary ID card thingies that they want us to pay for.
It might not be your Big Brother's Database, but the UK ID scheme has certainly mastered doublespeak. Take, for example, the way it will force businesses to joyfully embrace ID card checks - or else.
The Bill's Regulatory Impact Statement tells us that the bill has no provisions "which allow the Government to require business, charities or voluntary bodies to make identity checks using the identity cards scheme." And indeed it doesn't. But David Blunkett gave us a taste of what this really means in his speech to the IPPR last month. Referring to the provisions of the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act which require employers to check that potential employees are eligible for employment (i.e. not illegal immigrants), he noted that "clause 8 has been very difficult to implement because employers quite rightly say that they are not an immigration service and they can’t easily ascertain whether someone is legally in the country without great difficulty." Under the Act it is a criminal offence for an employer to fail to make an adequate check, but this particular provision is a difficult one to bring in and to enforce, because employers and their organisations could reasonably protest about cost and about not being an immigration service, and because if the Home Office did prosecute then they'd most likely fail to get a conviction because the employer could claim to have seen a document that looked genuine, and how the blazes were they to know? Well, hello employers, now you are an immigration service.
Blunkett continued: "The verification process under ID cards would remove that excuse completely and people would know who was entitled to be here and open to pay taxes and NI." So once the scheme exists there's no reason for the Home Office not to enforce clause 8, and employers are going to find using the ID scheme pretty compelling - or else.
1984 really is coming 20 years late - obviously it took a British Rail train. We should be Proud of Britain and its totalitarian Nu Labour government, they don't miss a trick do they?