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Lib Dem MEP and Councillors lead Renew for Freedom in the North East

May 4, 2006 12:00 AM
Fiona Hall MEP protesting against ID cards with Durham and Newcastle Lib Dem councillors

Fiona Hall MEP protesting against ID cards with Durham and Newcastle Lib Dem councillors

Fiona Hall, Lib Dem MEP for the North East, is drawing attention to the fact that members of the public can bypass New Labour's ID Cards scheme by renewing their passports early.

Fiona said: "New Labour might have managed to scrape their ID Cards scheme through Parliament recently, but there are hundreds of thousands of people across Britain who will resist it in any way they can.

New Labour have said that getting an ID Card is 'voluntary', but then cynically linked it to passport renewal from 2008. So renewing your passport for 10 years now, will exempt you from being forced onto the ID Cards Register until 2016. If enough people do this, it will blow a large hole in New Labour's plans."

Councillor Stephen Psallidas of Newcastle City Council, who renewed his passport earlier in the week said: "The ID Cards scheme is expensive, intrusive, and ineffective. The Register behind the cards will allow the current and all future Governments to track and record citizens' movements, actions and private personal information in great detail. The massive centralised database will be a paradise for hackers and identity fraudsters! And with the Government's shambolic record on major IT projects, the costs will end up ballooning to many billions of pounds."

Councillor Gareth Cooper, also of Newcastle City Council and Cllr Carol Woods of Durham City Council, recently successfully got a motions approved, formally refusing their Council's co-operation with the ID Cards scheme. Gareth added: "The ID Cards scheme will not prevent terrorism, since most terrorists have perfectly valid identification. It will not prevent illegal immigration either, since by its nature this is clandestine. The only possible explanation for the ID Cards scheme is that New Labour want to extend the state's centralised control of its citizens.

I urge people concerned about their privacy and an over-powerful State, to consider renewing their passports as soon as possible."

Please see http://www.renewforfreedom.org.uk for more information.