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ID CARD ACTIVISTS POINT FINGER AT BROWN

07-04-2008

Anti ID cards activists are targetting Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith by trying to obtain a set of their finger-prints to highlight the inadequacies of system. Perhaps they should be trying to target their DNA as well to show up the daftness of this project, suggests Stirrer blogger Dr David Nicholl.

This week’s Observer states that the anti-ID cards group No2ID and the campaign organisation Privacy International will this week take out spoof 'Wanted' posters in tube stations and pub toilets offering a reward to anyone who can lawfully obtain either the fingerprints of Gordon Brown or Jacqui Smith.

Why stop with their prints, why not get Jacqui and Gordon’s DNA? A few scrapes of their skin from a seat they have been sat on or a hair would suffice.

After all it has been proposed by some police-officers, but not the government, that there should be a national DNA database with all UK citizens on it, so it would be very easy to get the samples and show to us all how this could work.

Indeed since Gordon Brown’s son has cystic fibrosis, an inherited disorder, thus Mr Brown would be a cystic fibrosis carrier. It would be extremely easy to run some SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) across the cystic fibrosis to confirm this as a crude ID check, for example.

Don’t get me wrong, the national forensic DNA database has been a vital tool and bringing some very nasty criminals to book. But that is my point - it should be used to target criminals, not as a national screening strategy of the whole popoulation.

Given that we have a higher proportion of the population on the DNA database (5.2%) compared to any other country (eg USA 0.5%), we risk diluting the ability of the database to target real criminals with large numbers of the general public.

I happen to think that Gordon Brown, Jacqui Smith (and indeed the rest of us) have a right to privacy. Perhaps the politicians need to watch out where they sit on this issue, there might be an activist after their seat with a swab!

Do you support the idea of a national identity card? Or oppose it? Leave a comment on The Stirrer forum.

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