A couple of days ago the government narrowly saw its piss-poor ID cards bill pass in the House of Commons.
One of the ongoing claims for the intrusive little plastic bastards is that they’d help cut down on illegal immigration. Because – you know – illegal immigrants would all be asked very nicely to register for the sodding things like the rest of us and then we’d be able to nab them while they’re off their guard. Or they’d have “illegal” stamped across the front of their official state-issued ID. Or something.
The only surprising thing is that they didn’t come up with this load of made-up statistical nonsense at the start of the week, happily drumming up another scare just in time for the vote (as they have done with most pieces of anti-terrorism legislation – tanks at Heathrow, warnings of planes flying into Canary Wharf etc.):
To which the only reasonable response is surely:
One in 100 could be giant purple cyber-ants from the icy moon of Beltrazoid Alpha, says Nosemonkey
“A Home Office research document team used data gathered in the 2001 census and American methodology”
Because, you know, illegal immigrants are all going to tick the box marked “illegal immigrant” when their census forms come around, aren’t they?
“Tony McNulty, the Immigration Minister, said: ‘This is only an estimate and should not be seen as a definite figure. No government has ever been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who may be in the country illegally – by its very nature, it is impossible to quantify accurately, and that remains the case.'”
In other words, it’s a load of dangerous scaremongering bollocks, based on little more than speculation and conjecture, and designed purely to appeal to the Daily Mail / Sun reading crowd.
And look – surprise, surprise:
“Referring to the figures, Mr McNulty said the central estimate of 430,000 underlined the need for a ‘robust ID card scheme which will, among other benefits, help tackle illegal working and immigration’.”
To which the only response is:
“Referring to the figures, Nosemonkey said Mr McNulty’s patronisingly made-up bullshit underlined the need for the government to ‘shut the fuck up and stop talking bollocks’.”
In case Blair and McNulty and co haven’t realised, Britain is a sizable series of islands with a ridiculously large amount of coastline. Unless you build a sodding great big wall around the country they’re going to keep getting in. And none of them are going to register for ID. You morons.
Bunch of opportunistic bastards. This is precisely the sort of thing which leads to increased racial tension and suspicion. It’s irresponsible and cynical, designed merely to build support for a stupid and ill-considered policy in the face of condemnatory expert opinion – despite the fact that the policy in question will do precisely tit all to prevent the perceived problem.
If you have to resort to making up statistics to try and win an argument, you’ve already lost. Now give it the fuck up already.
(Oooh, I’m angry – did you notice?)
P.S. Got to love the analysis from Times Home Correspondant Richard Ford (my notes in square brackets/italics):
“We now know that there are an estimated [i.e. unreliable/made-up figure of] 430,000 people in the country illegally [i.e. without official sanction or status and actively avoiding government agents], but we don’t know their identity [because, erm, they have no official permission to be here and if we knew who they were they’d be arrested and deported]. If there were ID cards you would know who they are [because, erm, we’d issue ID cards to a bunch of people whose identites we don’t know, who have no official permission to be here, and who may or may not, in fact, actually exist]”
The Murdoch press, eh? Bastion of logic and good sense. Twats.