Saturday, September 27, 2008

Data loss and ID cards

This week the new look "ID card" was unveiled. It is being trialed on foreign nationals, but make no mistake we are next. The Government persists in stating that ID cards will make us "safer". I have always been puzzled by this argument, as European Countries have problems with terrorism, crime and illegal immigration, as well as ID fraud. ID cards have not proved to be a satisfactory solution to those problems in Europe, so why is this going to be a miracle cure for Britain? The police in this country have the powers to arrest someone if they think they are being misled about their identity. They have to remain in custody until they can satisfactorily prove their ID. If you can whip out a soon to be faked ID card that is hardly likely to make us more safe.

An LSE study has estimated that ID cards are going to cost the taxpayers £20 billion. In these times it is a monumental waste of money. There is then the issue of the ability of the Government to stop others accessing our personal data. It has been confirmed today that the personal records of thousands of RAF personnel have been stolen from MOD premises this week. The MOD is likely to have a far higher level of security than your average government department, and this theft was from within a "high-security" area on the MOD site. I dont trust any Government department to keep my data safe, indeed with the child tax credit fiasco, they have lost it once already. It is time to stop this foolish waste of taxpayers money, and pull the plug on the ID card project.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rising Fuel costs

My electricity bill arrived this week. Like thousands of others I have looked around to fix my prices, but have discovered a neat little "change" made by the electricity companies. My standard tariff has 225 KW at a higher price, any electricity usage over that is charged at the lower rate. On all the options offered by switching all the tariffs I looked at had increased their "standard" charge to the first 900 kw of energy at a higher rate. Even with discounts for direct debits etc this would automatically lead to a huge increase in my bills, so I am staying put. Electricity does not heat my home, that is done by oil, and again prices are double what they were this time last year. So, the wood is stacked and the chimneys swept, I am not looking forward to this winter.