Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.
If we get ID cards in this country it won’t be long until they’ll be useless, faked, forged, cloned or whatever.

Passports are already faked and forged. They are also transient. But worse - while border authorities might have a means of identifying these as valid - I suspect that most institutions in the UK that accept them have no clue whatsoever as to what they are actually looking at.

I suspect that driving licences are not that hard to forge - at least to a level that institutions will accept them (see passports above :().

And you missed the ubiquitous 'utility bill' that is needed to back up these documents with current address details. (Odd that a modern driving licence includes an address but some institutions seem to ignore this).

The difference - and this is the bit that people miss - is that a modern identity card is tied to *identity*. The 'card' as such is just a facet of the underlying system. Passports and driving licences are separate and not designed to do this. And we had NI numbers - but appear to have lost control of them a long tie ago. We have NHS numbers - in various forms - and odd systems - in Scotland these were replaced by CHI numbers which have evolved in an odd way. We have tax that is sort of tied to NI numbers but also has UTRs.

What we have hasn't worked properly for years but we kind of got away with it. Now we have half baked rules and responses because we are no longer getting away with it.
 
In the UK we have a real problem dealing with identity. There are services such as DVLA and HMRC and NHS that the public interact with which all have their own databases and their own numbering systems and issues. There isn't a common identity database. NHS registry is seen as the most complete for some purposes - and the way it is used can be a bit of a hack.
HMRC, NHS and DVLA all use your National Insurance number as their prime reference.

That may drop into your local patient number, but it’s the NI number that’s the prime record “for most.”

But obviously the systems allow for those who don’t have an NI number.

You can pay tax / use the NHS / hold a drivers licence without an NI number, but the majority do have that NI code
 
Last edited:
We *need* proper ID cards. They are long overdue.

My fundamental point is that identity is an issue behind the scenes. Your passport is a temporary document. Different government departments and punlic agencies have real problems - some members of the pubic may suffer because of the mess behind the scenes - but bear in mind that the hand wringing "can't do" attitude of the Uk is in part driven by the inability to deal with identity. When things go wrong we get further messy solutions.

While I completely understand the attraction of a single identity device - an ID Card - in part in recognition of the myriad issues that the British State has managed to create for itself through its own incompetence, I'm also acutely aware of the substantial risk of identity theft / impersonation that such a single high-grade "proof" of ID creates.

The mechanisms for providing proof of ID in the UK have always relied upon the production of a random selection of lower-grade identity information that all has to match. Unfortunately, various bodies have more recently coalesced around requiring the same selection of ID "proofs" which rather undermines the underlying principle of a random selection of proofs, but nevertheless this remains much harder to falsify than a single, supposedly, high-grade device that due to its nature won't get questioned.

Having been the target of an attempted identity theft (that ultimately failed, thank goodness), I'm very glad that we don't have an ID Card system in the UK as it would have been much harder - and taken far longer, thus giving the bad actors more time to use and solidify the stolen identity - if I hadn't been able to rely upon a random selection of information sources to prove who I am.

I am firmly in the Not to ID Cards camp for reasons that don't involve a tin-foil hat.
 
We are one of very few countries in the world now without a national ID card scheme....be it compulsory or not. Only bout 11 countries don't have one...inc UK.....out of about 196 countries**. Personally I'm in favour on a national compulsory ID card scheme.....as long as its cheap/free.

(NOTE ** Country number may vary depending on wars going on at time of reading and your own political or religious beliefs!!!)

 
New economic analysis of national data for ASH finds the cost of smoking to society is significantly higher than previous estimates have shown.
Personally, I would be inclined to check outside for myself if ASH told me it was raining. They are a single-issue pressure group not known for having a strong relationship with facts, but who have been instrumental in championing legislation that badly backfires.

Let's take the Plain Packaging legislation. Superficially, the objective is to make the product "less attractive" at the point of sale and after purchase. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

However, the major effect of it has been to turbo-charge the illicit trade in counterfeit product. Why is that? Because the legitimate manufacturers have all long used various security devices in the pack to make counterfeit product easy to detect. But all of that disappeared with plain packaging and, as the industry warned prior to the legislation being enacted, the counterfeiters have taken significant advantage of it.

One obvious effect of the surge in the counterfeit trade has been a reduction in duty revenues, but there's (arguably) a more serious consequence in that it has made cigarettes more harmful on a random "Russian Roulette" basis. How come?

Well, legitimate manufacturers comply with very stringent regulations regarding nicotine content and the presence of toxic substances in the manufactured cigarette. This includes verifying that the tobacco contained within the finished product doesn't contain traces of heavy metals and other very nasty minerals that can be present in the plant leaf depending upon the soil it is grown in. Do the counterfeiters test their product to confirm compliance with these regulations? Of course not. Even worse, to maximise their profits they will buy up tobacco leaf cheaply from supplies that the legitimate manufacturers won't touch due to the presence of contaminants.

So all in all, the plain packaging regulations have managed to reduce duty revenues and achieve a definite increase in harm risk in exchange for the questionable "prize" of making the product look less attractive. Genius.
 
I got similar figures elsewhere. Lower figure are available!!!.......but lots of them only count the direct cost to the NHS....not everything else smoking affects..like days of work due to smoking related illness etc etc.....so not the whole cost to society. How anyone cant try and justify the slow poisoning of anyone or themselves is laughable. Even if it cost the NHS nothing, banning them make sense to any straight thinking non addict....IMO!


As as for worrying about what's in "legitimate" ciggys......do me a favour!! Tobacco alone when burnt and breathed in give you a lovely dose of all the following.

  • Nicotine (the addictive drug that produces the effects in the brain that people are looking for)
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead
  • ****nic
  • Ammonia
  • Radioactive elements, such as polonium-210 (see below)
  • Benzene
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs)
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Many of which cause cancer (obviously).....and that's just from the tobacco.......not the other ingredients that makers ad for taste or making them easy to light and stay lit and the paper itself!!.....so worrying that a dodgy maker might add some harmful ingredients makes perfect sense......erm?.....no!!!!! If anyone worried about what they breath in they would noit smoke in the first place.

Had a vaguely similar conversion with a friend of mine who his fully supportive of the London ULEZ as he lives in East Finchley and works in the City.......why should he breath in all the harmful NOX and pollution?? He smokes about 15 fags a day!. His argument is that's his choice........car fumes are not. There's an addicts common sense and logic right there!!


EDIT...LOL....the forum profanity censor is a bit sensitive if it wont allow a.r.s.e.n.i.c!.....At least it allowed fags I guess!
 
Last edited:
It seems that vapes are to be included in the tobacco bill and that they will be taxed. Taxed on a sliding scale dependent on nicotine content. Zero nicotine vapes are to be taxed at a rate that will double the cost for some of the products. Where is the justification for taxing (beyond the current VAT) a zero nicotine addiction free product or depriving its sale based on age when it causes no harm?

The content of post # 32105 can be applied to vapes - with knobs on.
 
I got similar figures elsewhere..lower figure are available.......but lots of them only count the direct cost to the NHS....not everything else smoking affects..like days of work due to smoking related illness etc etc.....so not the whole cost to society. How anyone cant try and justify the slow poisoning of anyone or themselves is laughable. Even if it cost the NHS nothing, banning them make sense to any straight thinking non addict....IMO!
That describes exactly junk food and, alcohol in many many instances.
 
There seems to be a lot of comments that national id cards will easily be forged, so what do other countries, ie USA, do to stop the forgeries or is it just an accepted fact that forged id cards exist?
 
Personally, I would be inclined to check outside for myself if ASH told me it was raining. They are a single-issue pressure group not known for having a strong relationship with facts, but who have been instrumental in championing legislation that badly backfires.

Let's take the Plain Packaging legislation. Superficially, the objective is to make the product "less attractive" at the point of sale and after purchase. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

However, the major effect of it has been to turbo-charge the illicit trade in counterfeit product. Why is that? Because the legitimate manufacturers have all long used various security devices in the pack to make counterfeit product easy to detect. But all of that disappeared with plain packaging and, as the industry warned prior to the legislation being enacted, the counterfeiters have taken significant advantage of it.

One obvious effect of the surge in the counterfeit trade has been a reduction in duty revenues, but there's (arguably) a more serious consequence in that it has made cigarettes more harmful on a random "Russian Roulette" basis. How come?

Well, legitimate manufacturers comply with very stringent regulations regarding nicotine content and the presence of toxic substances in the manufactured cigarette. This includes verifying that the tobacco contained within the finished product doesn't contain traces of heavy metals and other very nasty minerals that can be present in the plant leaf depending upon the soil it is grown in. Do the counterfeiters test their product to confirm compliance with these regulations? Of course not. Even worse, to maximise their profits they will buy up tobacco leaf cheaply from supplies that the legitimate manufacturers won't touch due to the presence of contaminants.

So all in all, the plain packaging regulations have managed to reduce duty revenues and achieve a definite increase in harm risk in exchange for the questionable "prize" of making the product look less attractive. Genius.
So banning cigarettes would appear to be a sensible solution, based on the above argument? :dk:
 
HMRC, NHS and DVLA all use your National Insurance number as their prime reference.

UK NHS is not actually UK wide. Separate registries. I have never had to provide a NI number to a doctor in Scotland. So the English setup may try and tie their NHS numbers to NI Numbers and the child equivalent - but to my knowledge the Scottish setup cannot and does not. It is possible to exist on both the English and Scottish system.

HMRC and DVLA have to deal with people who don't have NI Numbers. HMRC seems to prefer UTR as a unique reference.

Children (technically) don't have NI Numbers.

My understanding is that one of the failings of the CSA system over a decade ago was that it couldn't resolve identity and NI numbers consistently.

In Scotland there is the UCRN - Unique Citizen Reference Number - which is used to try and associate unique identity with Scottish government and council services. I don't believe there is any assocation between UCRN and NI number.

So probably more accurate to think about the NI number as a cross reference that can be used between some systems.

It makes sense that UK government is increasingly trying to tie everything to NI Numbers as they make the obvious basis for an underlying identity management system across agencies and should have been used as the foundation for this. This is definitely what we're seeing when you interact with their online systems. But it's an augmentation of existing systems.
 
So banning cigarettes would appear to be a sensible solution, based on the above argument? :dk:
If the underlying intention is to ban cigarettes, then yes.

But prohibition doesn’t have a great track record, does it? (Just as a reminder, cannabis consumption in the UK has been illegal since 1928. That’s been a roaring success).
 
Last edited:
Personally, I would be inclined to check outside for myself if ASH told me it was raining. They are a single-issue pressure group not known for having a strong relationship with facts, but who have been instrumental in championing legislation that badly backfires.

Let's take the Plain Packaging legislation. Superficially, the objective is to make the product "less attractive" at the point of sale and after purchase. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

However, the major effect of it has been to turbo-charge the illicit trade in counterfeit product. Why is that? Because the legitimate manufacturers have all long used various security devices in the pack to make counterfeit product easy to detect. But all of that disappeared with plain packaging and, as the industry warned prior to the legislation being enacted, the counterfeiters have taken significant advantage of it.

One obvious effect of the surge in the counterfeit trade has been a reduction in duty revenues, but there's (arguably) a more serious consequence in that it has made cigarettes more harmful on a random "Russian Roulette" basis. How come?

Well, legitimate manufacturers comply with very stringent regulations regarding nicotine content and the presence of toxic substances in the manufactured cigarette. This includes verifying that the tobacco contained within the finished product doesn't contain traces of heavy metals and other very nasty minerals that can be present in the plant leaf depending upon the soil it is grown in. Do the counterfeiters test their product to confirm compliance with these regulations? Of course not. Even worse, to maximise their profits they will buy up tobacco leaf cheaply from supplies that the legitimate manufacturers won't touch due to the presence of contaminants.

So all in all, the plain packaging regulations have managed to reduce duty revenues and achieve a definite increase in harm risk in exchange for the questionable "prize" of making the product look less attractive. Genius.
Aren't there different issues here? Not buying legitimate cigarettes from UK retailers results in lower revenue collection by HMRC - a downside that's acceptable to most of those who want smoking significantly reduced and hopefully eventually eliminated. What's less clear cut is the alternative source for those people who want to (or are unable to stop) carry on coating their lungs with tar. They can buy from illicit sources or cross-border. The former is most likely a source of the dangerous counterfeit products that you rightly castigate. The latter could be any originating source, but more likely to be legitimate and regulated.

A BMJ report tells us that "among adults in England who smoke, the proportion reporting cross-border tobacco purchases is now three times higher than it was at the start of 2019. The proportion reporting illicit tobacco purchases has not changed substantially." So are the health concerns beyond those naturally associated with smoking tobacco really any worse as a result of the measures taken in an attempt to reduce its consumption?

 
There seems to be a lot of comments that national id cards will easily be forged, so what do other countries, ie USA, do to stop the forgeries or is it just an accepted fact that forged id cards exist?

You have to assume any document somebody carries and that they present for viewing can be forged.

So the solution is ultimately to allow somebody who want to verify the card a means of checking it with a central system.

The usual checks in the UK are to verify the information you give against a database. So a licence or passport provide photo ID. And then they will take your name and details and other documents (eg. bank statement, utility bill) and verify those. Credit check organisations are a means used by private companies and government to provide verification of details. This is where the UK is a bit of a mish mash of ad hoc procedures.
 
If the underlying intention is to ban cigarettes, then yes.

But prohibition doesn’t have a great track record, does it? (Just as a reminder, cannabis consumption in the UK has been illegal since 1928. That’s been a roaring success).

My view of the latest legislation is that it is the UK parliament going down the same road as the Scottish and Welsh legislative assemblies and local councils and Mayors.

Basically when you have nothing better to do and want to be seen to do something then legislate something reasonably useless that you can be righteous about - anti-smacking, interlinked smoke and fire alarms, LEZs, ULEZs, gender and hate crime legislation, child guardians, or a peculiar date of birth banning something law.
 
If the underlying intention is to ban cigarettes, then yes.

But prohibition doesn’t have a great track record, does it? (Just as a reminder, cannabis consumption in the UK has been illegal since 1928. That’s been a roaring success).
Without prohibition, cannabis consumption is likely to be even higher. In the UK population in 2022, 12.9% of people aged 18 years and over, or around 6.4 million people, smoked cigarettes. In the UK, cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug, with 7.4% of adults reporting having used the drug within the past year (Office for National Statistics, 2022). Those stats don't tell us the frequency of use of each drug, so again I can only guess at ciggys being used far more often. So perhaps prohibition does work after all, albeit not by as much as hoped.
 
While I completely understand the attraction of a single identity device - an ID Card - in part in recognition of the myriad issues that the British State has managed to create for itself through its own incompetence, I'm also acutely aware of the substantial risk of identity theft / impersonation that such a single high-grade "proof" of ID creates.

The problem with the existing setup is it is fuzzy. So arguably the risk regarding identity threat is greater simply because identity is vaguely defined and proved.

If you bring in identity cards then you also bring in a better means of defining and verifying identity. And a you can bring in heavier and more punitive legislation to deter misuse.

My main concern with a UK based identity system would be failures of implementation and bureaucracy. So the system makes a mistake - and you can't get it fixed - and your life is messed up badly. Like the meter billing screwups that seem to occur with energy companies where the meter and the location get confused and they seem to be unable to resolve easily.
 
That describes exactly junk food and, alcohol in many many instances.
I agree.....but as far as junk food is concerned to most people there is a big difference between greed, self control and addiction. With alcohol....well yes to the weak minded it can became a problem......but most drink in moderation or at least not to the point that they become addicted and cant live without it. Small, moderate amounts of alcohol are pretty harmless...some even say that red wine in moderation can be beneficial (not a fan myself though!). Any amount of tobacco smoke breathed is obviously harmful and its VERY addictive. In fact its one of the most addictive drugs in the world, coming in third after heroin and cocaine and well above alcohol.
 
When I'm asked for further documentation to prove my identity, it becomes a challenge. I have access to very little in the way of genuine original documentation because I do as much as I can online. I don't receive paper bank statements, utility bills or most other acceptable forms of identity. I can print them off from online versions, but regard those as the easiest thing ever to amend. I don't have a mortgage or landlord to refer to for identity. So whenever my passport and/or driving licence aren't considered sufficient proof of identity, it throws up a genuine challenge for me. But if I had an ID card that was a PITA to get hold of the first time, life would be so much easier.
 
Without prohibition, cannabis consumption is likely to be even higher. In the UK population in 2022, 12.9% of people aged 18 years and over, or around 6.4 million people, smoked cigarettes. In the UK, cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug, with 7.4% of adults reporting having used the drug within the past year (Office for National Statistics, 2022). Those stats don't tell us the frequency of use of each drug, so again I can only guess at ciggys being used far more often. So perhaps prohibition does work after all, albeit not by as much as hoped.
Good point.

It's no coincidence that alcohol consumption, and obesity, rose when Brown deregulated pubs and off-licensed premises to allow the public all day access to alcohol.

Good for HMRC revenues and for the economics of the corner shop.

If we make it easier to access cannabis, cigarettes and alcohol, the public will buy more. It's that simple.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

  • m80
Back
Top Bottom