Ahead of Greater Manchester's local elections on 1st May, local campaign group Manchester NO2ID is polling election candidates to highlight the cost of the National Identity Register at the local level. The published costings for the scheme, estimated at £10-20bn by the London School of Economics, does not include the cost to local authorities of reworking their computer systems to talk to the Government's central ID database, where over 50 categories of information will be stored on every resident along with a life-long audit track.
Manchester co-ordinator Dave Page says "This is a local issue for these local elections. Councils will have to foot the IT bill, local police will waste time chasing after people who forget to tell the Government every time they move, and local people will be forced onto giant state databases, ripe for plundering by identity thieves.
"Councils around the country, along with the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament, have voted to keep their citizens safer from the Database State but so far only Bolton out of the Greater Manchester councils has done so. Manchester City Council has supported the scheme without even investigating the costs. Any candidate who does not oppose this expensive intrusion wants to waste your money and put you at the mercy of Government incompetence and bureaucracy."
The group is sending the following questionnaire to every candidate in every ward in every local authority in Greater Manchester, and will highlight responses on their website at http://manchester.no2id.net/localelections/2008
You will no doubt be aware of the plan to introduce compulsory ID cards and a set of linked databases to manage aNational Identity Scheme. As this is an issue that will affect each and every voter, I am sending you this short questionnaire so as to determine your position on the nationalisation of personal identity.
- Do you support plans for a Home Office agency to track the life-history of every person over the age of 16 resident in your ward? YES/NO
- Do you support expenditure of your authority's funds on integrating council computer systems with the Home Office identity management databases andverification chargesfor council services? YES/NO
- Three dozen local authorities, the Welsh and London Assemblies and the Scottish Parliament have passed motions opposing the National Identity Scheme. If elected, would you oppose the National Identity Scheme by voting in council? OPPOSE NIS/SUPPORT NIS/ABSTAIN
Please add any comments you may have:
Thank you in advance for your reply. It is my intention to publicise the responses I receive so that voters may be clear on each candidate's position before voting on May 1st, on our website at http://manchester.no2id.net/localelections/2008
Please return this survey via e-mail on email@example.com or phone on 07982 814 441.
For more information or interview, please contact Dave Page on 07982 814 441, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
For a list of councils who have voted to oppose ID cards, see http://www.no2id.net/resources/motions/
For responses to this year's survey, see http://manchester.no2id.net/localelections/2008
NO2ID is the UK-wide, non-partisan campaign opposing the government's planned ID card and National Identity Register. We bring together individuals and organisations from all sections of the community and seek to ensure that the case against ID cards and the database state is forcefully put forward in the media, in the corridors of power and at
grassroots level. We continue to actively campaign on all fronts for the abolition of the ID scheme and repeal of the Identity Cards Act 2006.
Manchester NO2ID is a local group of the national campaign. It has been campaigning against the "Database State" across Greater Manchester continuously for two years, running regular public awareness stalls and organising protests at events such as the Labour Party Conference and Information Commissioner's Conference.