Tag Archives: identification

Tories love being racist: they lied about voter ID demand stopping BAME people from voting

The Conservative government said its plan to demand ID from voters at elections did not discriminate against black people and those minority ethnic groups, when the only available facts showed that it did.

As far as This Writer is concerned, that is an example of blatant racism – an attempt to deny people who aren’t white their basic democratic right.

Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith said in June that “the evidence shows there is no impact on any particular demographic group … the evidence of our pilots shows that there is no impact on any particular demographic group from this policy.”

But the Electoral Commission showed information that suggests the exact opposite.

A 2019 report found in Derby, one of the pilot areas, that there was a strong correlation between the proportion of each ward’s population from an Asian background and the number of people not issued with a ballot paper – similar to a 2018 finding in Watford.

But the Commission said, “Polling station staff were not asked to collect demographic data about the people who did not come back, owing to the practical challenges involved in carrying out that data collection exercise.”

It cautioned against drawing any conclusions from the data and said there was not yet sufficient evidence in either direction.

But we can draw conclusions.

If the Tories had wanted to know who would be deprived of the vote, and how badly it affected particular groups, they would have carried out the research. They didn’t.

They then went on to tell falsehoods that the research had been carried out when it hadn’t and that it showed no impact on any demographic group.

You don’t lie about something like this unless you are deliberately trying to harm people from ethnic minorities.

We can only conclude that the Tory voter ID plan is intended to stop black people and those from other ethnic minorities from voting:

Yes, voter suppression. Tories in government are a racist attack on democracy.

Source: MPs may have been misled over BAME voter ID claims | Electoral reform | The Guardian

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Coronavirus: NHS staff have to hide ID amid bids to steal their identity for free food and drink

This is sickening. How low can people go?

It’s possible to blame Tory policies that pushed millions of people below the breadline before the coronavirus crisis struck.

But it’s also entirely possible that these are just extremely selfish people who are seeing others getting something they’re not and want it for themselves.

Either way, it is not acceptable. NHS staff are risking their own lives to help people with the virus and this is a repulsive way to pay them back.

NHS staff are being targeted by muggers trying to steal their identity badges so they can use them to obtain the free food and drinks being offered to doctors and nurses tackling coronavirus.

Health service bosses are so concerned by a spate of incidents that they are preparing to warn all hospital staff to hide their NHS lanyards when they are arriving at or leaving work.

Source: NHS staff warned to hide ID after spate of targeted muggings | NHS | The Guardian

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Voter ID: ‘protecting the integrity of democracy’ – or just stopping plebs from voting?

Voters at the ballot box: but would either of these people have been able to exercise their democratic right, had they been asked to produce acceptable photographic identification?

Boris Johnson’s government has already failed on two key promises – raising the minimum wage and rail access for disabled people – but he’s promising to be really good at delivering this one.

He says introducing mandatory photographic identification of voters at polling stations will “protect the integrity of our democracy” – it’s on page 48 of his Conservative manifesto.

He means he wants to deprive tens of thousands of young people and those from disadvantaged groups from voting – because they don’t vote Tory.

Critics have pointed out that very few people have been caught committing personation – pretending to be someone else in order to commit electoral fraud.

In comparison, 800 genuine voters were turned away in a pilot project earlier this year.

Meanwhile, critics have warned that Mr Johnson is ignoring genuine problems like anonymous political ads, dodgy donations and fake news.

It seems that, while claiming to be improving democracy, Mr Johnson is in fact trying to, badly, limit it.

Source: Voter ID: Boris Johnson to make photo ID mandatory at polling stations, Queen’s Speech reveals | The Independent

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Voter ID pilot turned away too many people. Tories are bound to roll it out across the UK

It’s ridiculous – after 28 cases of possible voter fraud among 45 million votes in 2017, the Tory government turned away 3,981 people on Thursday, claiming they didn’t have the right identification.

People were turned away in more than one in five polling stations across Bromley, Woking, Gosport, Watford and Swindon, where the pilot was carried out.

The question now is, what will the Conservative government do with this information?

As a test of a system intended to ensure that everybody with a right to vote was allowed to vote, the trial was an utter, unmitigated disaster.

But some of us suspect that the Tories have an ulterior motive – to use a demand for forms of ID that many people don’t have as a way of cutting down the vote for other parties.

So Cat Smith, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs, was right to say: “There was absolutely no case for introducing voter ID in the first place but after [Thursday’s] fiasco, it is impossible for the Government to justify rolling it out.

“After completely ignoring a number of serious warning signs, the Government decided to pilot discriminatory measures which denied people their right to vote.

“We cannot allow the Conservative Party to undermine our democracy, which is why Labour is calling on the Government to scrap their voter ID plans as a matter of urgency.”

If the Conservatives go ahead with this, based on the evidence we’ve seen, we’ll know they are trying to nobble democracy.

Over to you, Tories.


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Health dept’s most senior official is WRONG – passport checks are not needed before hospital treatment

Chris Wormald said the ‘controversial’ proposal was not part of health service culture but that visitors from abroad did not have an automatic right to free care [Image: Andrew Milligan/PA].

Chris Wormald said the ‘controversial’ proposal was not part of health service culture but that visitors from abroad did not have an automatic right to free care [Image: Andrew Milligan/PA].


It seems the Department of Health is joining in the wave of immigrant-bashing sweeping the UK – and the western world – at the moment.

So let’s make something perfectly clear:

THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR ANY UK RESIDENT TO HAVE TO BRING THEIR PASSPORTS TO HOSPITAL BEFORE TREATMENT, NO MATTER WHETHER THEY ARE UK CITIZENS OR NOT.

Got that?

The only way anybody qualifies for service at an NHS hospital is if they have been referred by their GP – and that means they must be registered with that GP as an NHS patient.

Everybody living in the UK has the right to register with an NHS GP if they live within that doctor’s catchment area, even if they come from a foreign country.

Entitlement to free NHS treatment depends on the length and purpose of a foreign national’s residence in the UK, not their nationality.

Hospital treatment is free to people who are ordinarily resident in the UK – but then, these are people who would have registered with a GP, whose details will be on file and who would not, therefore, need to show a passport when seeking treatment.

In England, a visitor from the EEA will need to present a valid EHIC or other healthcare documents (such as S2 or S1 forms) or they may be charged for care. A visitor from a non-EEA country would need to ensure they are covered for healthcare through personal medical insurance for the duration of their visit, even if they are a former UK resident.

And many services in NHS hospitals are exempt from charges, meaning they are free to everybody – including Accident and Emergency.

So there is no reason for anyone to have to bring a passport with them to hospital. Either they are on the register, or they will have insurance, or they’ll need to pay – but only if the service requires it.

I can’t, at the moment, see any reason for hospitals to demand passports from people seeking treatment.

I cannot understand why the Department of Health’s permanent secretary, Chris Wormald, is trying to suggest this as a requirement…

… Unless he is simply trying to persecute foreigners – and that is not in his job description.

Source: Hospitals may require patients to show passports for NHS treatment | Society | The Guardian

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Now the Tories want to sell your tax details to private firms

[Image: The Guardian.]

[Image: The Guardian.]

Not happy with its attempt to sell your health details to private companies, the moneygrubbing Conservative-led Coalition wants to sell off your personal tax data to companies, researchers and public bodies.

The government is considering how much to charge for the information, and claims that all data accessed by third parties will be “confidential”.

But the public has already been stung once by the Coalition’s incompetent attempts to go commercial. The proposed initiative to share NHS medical records with the private sector had to be suspended after a public outcry over “pseudonymised” data – a process by which medical records were said to be anonymous but it was in fact possible to trace exactly whose they were.

The plans for HM Revenue and Customs to share its data are, apparently, being overseen by Treasury minister David Gauke, whose relaxed attitude towards private firms led him to sign off on the infamous “sweetheart deals” that allowed multinational companies to keep billions of pounds of tax that they owed to the Treasury but didn’t want to pay.

Worse still, it turns out the government has already allowed private firms access to our data.

The government has strict rules about what can be released outside HMRC, with a near total ban on data sharing unless it is beneficial for the organisation’s internal work. But according to The Guardian, despite the restrictions, HMRC has quietly launched a pilot programme that has released data about VAT registration for research purposes to three private credit ratings agencies: Experian, Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet.

To comply with the law, the private ratings agencies, which determine credit scores for millions of people and businesses, have been contracted to act on behalf of HMRC and are “therefore treated as part of the department” – giving them access to tax data about businesses that would otherwise be confidential.

The government’s plans to change the law to allow the sale of anonymised individual tax data and release of the VAT register were buried in documents as part of the autumn statement and recent budget.

An HMRC spokesman told the BBC: “HMRC would only share data where this would generate clear public benefits, and where there are robust safeguards in place.

“Last year’s consultation made it very clear that there would be a rigorous accreditation process for anyone wanting access to the data and that any access would take place in a secure environment.

“Those accessing data would be subject to the same confidentiality provisions as HMRC staff, including a criminal sanction for unlawful disclosure of taxpayer information.”

So there. Do you feel better now?

Emma Carr, deputy director of civil rights campaign group, Big Brother Watch, doesn’t. She said: “The ongoing claims about anonymous data overlook the serious risks to privacy of individual level data being vulnerable to re-identification.

“Given the huge uproar about similar plans for medical records, you would have hoped HMRC would have learned that trying to sneak plans like this under the radar is not the way to build trust or develop good policy.”

Ross Anderson, a professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, told The Guardian the information could be highly useful to credit rating agencies, advertisers, and retailers wanting to practise price discrimination.

“This is going to be a big battleground,” he said. “If they were to make HMRC information more available, there’s an awful lot of people who would like to get their hands on it. Anonymisation is something about which they lied to us over medical data … If the same thing is about to be done by HMRC, there should be a much greater public debate about this.”

It seems the Conservatives in the Coalition are determined to sell information that doesn’t belong to them, and intend to grind us down with a relentless bombardment of initiatives and plans until they succeed.

They seem to by relying on the possibility that we will get ‘complaint fatigue’ and give up any protests. This is how they have beaten disabled people into submission to the draconian system for withdrawing state benefits from them; the system for appealing is drawn-out and convoluted, and many people with illnesses are too tired or weak to go through the process.

Also, this is another way of contracting-out government work to private firms, as evidenced by the VAT “research” that has been handed over to credit ratings agencies.

You can be sure of two things: Your data is not safe in their hands, and they won’t stop trying to sell it until they have been pushed out of government.

What are you going to do?

UPDATE: Campaigner Patrick Olszowski has responded to my challenge by launching a petition on the Change.org website. Please visit and sign!

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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