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ID Card Act Draft Code of Practise for Civil Penalties April 5, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in ID Cards & the Surveillance State.

This is how the government will deal with you if you don't submit to Mr Blair's State Inventory.

(With the usual arse-covering, career-saving disclaimer that "This document is an indicative draft only. It has no legal effect and is subject to consultation and alteration".)

7.3 There is no power of imprisonment for failure to pay a civil penalty.

Excellent. That means that besides not submitting my details to the National Identity Register under any circumstances, as far as possible I'll also be flatly refusing to pay any civil penalties imposed on me.

6.9 As the purpose of the penalty scheme is to encourage compliance rather than to punish,

Eh? Did Andy "Accuracy Tortoise" Burnham write this particular part? Penalties punish. A penalty scheme penalises. It does not "encourage compliance". If it did, it would be offering a carrot for conforming rather than a stick for not conforming. What complete bullshit.

6.13 Only in the most extreme circumstances should that result in cancellation of the penalty. Rather the penalty should be reduced to an amount which is affordable.

6.14 Once the amount of a penalty is fixed, the Secretary of State or the court may agree that it should be paid by instalments in amounts and at times to be agreed

Great. So if for some reason I do decide to accept a fine: "I can afford £2 per month, Your Honour, as I'm self-employed and on breadline wages. You want more? Well I'm sorry, but you can't have it, because I don't. No I don't own a house or anything of value. What are you going to do about my inability or refusal to pay? Send me to jail? I refer you to paragraph 7.3."

A maximum fine of £2500, paid at £2 per month, would take 1250 instalments to pay off. That's 104 years. I'm 34, and according to the official statistics only have about 40 years left. So I'd only pay off around £960 of the original £2500 fine, and that would take me 40 years. So, even if my circumstances improve and I end up paying a little more per month, was it worth the court time? And particularly, will it be worth the court time when you multiply me by the thousands and thousands of people who are in my financial position, or will morally take exactly the same line as me? Because there will be that many people. Probably more than that. Certainly more than the courts can cope with or the administrative systems can process. Count on it.

This intrusive, unasked for, unneeded, unwanted, dare I say even fascist scheme is doomed from the start. It is already unworkable in the very detail; and the large number of us Brits who oppose it will make damn sure it's unworkable on the ground. And as it pauses to take its dying breath in years to come I will be watching, smiling, and raising my middle finger.



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