Tuesday, September 5th, 2006 by Kevin Teljeur

That last post didn’t exactly set the world on fire, did it? Well, this is more important.

I think.

Me, Kevin Teljeur, being very dark and serious as I consider dark and serious matters. I'm also trying to look a bit Polish, to get into the mood.Me, being very dark and serious as I consider dark and serious matters. I’m also trying to look a bit Polish, to get into the mood.

It’s not a new story, but I hadn’t gotten around to writing about this (Nothing new there, then.). There is a plan in this State to bring in Biometric ID cards; plastic cards containing lots of personal identity information with which to identify the card-holder. Now, this is similar in principle to to how they are planning on doing this in the United Kingdom (who are applying pressure to the Irish State to bring it in too, partly because there’s a mutual free movement agreement between the two States, whereby Irish and UK citizens can freely live and work in each other’s countries.) but with a unique Irish twist; it’s just for non-EU citizens.

So, let’s say Garda Siochana Officer O’Reilly stops Oleg on the street, and says ‘Sorry Sir, can I see your Biometric ID card, I have reason to believe you are an illegal immigrant. Snap it up there, sonny.’. Oleg, who is Russian and although he is a nice guy, he really shouldn’t be here, he realises the game is up, and his many years of diligently paying income tax while working hard to help bolster the Irish economy have just been laid to waste. But wait! Oleg, not being Irish, comes equipped with some native cunning, and comes up with an ingenious plan, and answers: “I sorry, Mr Police Office, cannot be help. I don’t have card”. Very cunning indeed. Because, you see, if you’re not an illegal immigrant, then you don’t have to have a card! So, basically, you just lie and say you don’t have one, and then you won’t get arrested and thrown out of the country. If you’re not Irish, then pretend you’re Polish, which currently puts you into a very, very large ‘minority’ ethnic group in this country; apparently there are anywhere up to four hundred and fifty thousand Polish people in the country right now, which is more than one in ten people? And Poles are here legally (well, we’ll see what Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte has to say about that; he’s calculating forty million. That’s all of them!) at the moment.

In a few years time – short, thin on the ground years – the situation will be even more convoluted: Garda Siochana Officer HlavaVeprova stops Oleg on the street, and says ‘Hey you, you foreign guy, show me the biometric ID card that you are having, so that I can know the point.’. Oleg realises the game really is up this time, and his even more accumulated years of diligently paying income tax while working hard to help bolster the now failing Irish economy have just been laid to waste. But wait! Oleg, not being Irish, Polish, Latvian or indeed any EU nationality, comes equipped with cojones of the highest order and decides there’s nothing to lose. He answers: “I sorry, Mr Police Office, cannot be help. I don’t have card!”.

Garda Siochana Officer HlavaVeprova laughs and says “Ha ha, I am making a shit on you, it is joke! I not having card either, I am from Croatia! Ha ha!”. They go off to the pub and do a deal on Semtex and Kalashnikovs.

Now I’m just being facetious. But, I do have a very real and serious issue with the first scenario, because it will shortly become a real one. You can be stopped on the street and challenged to produce an ID card on the basis that you don’t belong here. As I understand it, if you’re here legitimately, then the card is a boon, it will allow you to use healthcare services, social welfare, State services, and generally fit into society. But with this card comes legislation to make this card a legal requirement for non-EU citizens, and brings with it the notion of everyone in Ireland being legally required to carry one at all times. Just the same as they’re going to bring to the UK (which has some interesting implications, as I described at the start of this post.). How will they know who to check? Skin colour? Accents? An armband with a special symbol on it? A tattoo, applied to non-EU nationals when they enter the country?

Anyway, I’m curious to see what you think. David used to joke about what he would do when he was in power with his Fascist State, but the Progressive Democrats are the real deal. Fascists in power now. Here are some links, to get some more detail on this story:

Dry and factual analysis (hopefully you’ll stay awake the whole way through):

Brief and concise:

Also brief and concise:

I’m not the only person to have reservations:

Here’s a really good one, which shows you where the so-called Irish Left is at: – requires registration; more on that below.
This is an excerpt from The Irish Independent. I don’t like The Irish Independent. It is rubbish. It is a rubbish newspaper. It is badly written. It is opinion masquerading as journalism, and articles frequently descend into inarticulate, badly punctuated, apoplectic rants. But, they do have some gems from time to time, such as this one.
Earlier this year, Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte sparked anger in his own party ranks after calling for restrictions on workers from new EU member states coming to Ireland.

In an interview he said: “The time may be coming when we will have to sit down and examine whether we would have to look at whether a work permit regime ought to be implemented in terms of some of the non-national labour.

“There are 40 million or so Poles, so it is an issue that we have to look at.”

Read that last line again, maybe even a couple of times. “40 million or so Poles”. If it wasn’t such a wildly ridiculous statement and also dangerous statement, it would be funny. That son of a bitch. Who is building this country, Mr Rabbitte? Yeah, let’s get the Poles to wear armbands or something, good thinking Rabbitte. You should be deported, you vote-grabbing Neo-Fascist.

Check out my comment in reply to Anto’s story on registration in order to enter a site and view the content. Actually, I’m just going to put the comment here in it’s entirety, but remember to check out Anto’s site, I agree with him on this…

The reason that Unison (the Independent Group online) has registration is that they’re going to use the information as part of a study into why people will go to that much trouble to read incredibly badly written crap, even though it’s hidden behind a tortuous sign-in and a website that hasn’t evolved in 5 years.

As it happens, it’s a little known fact that the Irish Independent was actually set-up as a part of a similar experiment into how much people would pay to read inarticulate opinionated shite, but they never got around to shutting it down once they had all the information they were looking for, and since then it’s kept going all by itself out of sheer bloody-mindedness. There was talk recently of having registration for the paper instead of paying for it to see if that would be a better deterent, or even setting fire to it before handing it over and then attacking the would-be reader.

I signed up, but you’ll quickly discover that stuff like RSS and editions and anything remotely interesting that you can do with the technology is… not there. Much like the notion of informative journalism, which isn’t there either, and neither is punctuation. The sign-up, as I say, is a safety feature to discourage people. I actually don’t know what they use the information for, I’m pretty sure your details go into a text file, probably in /tmp/.

Well, there we have it. I think it’s safe to say that I fear The Irish Independent more than I fear Biometric ID cards or vegetarian fundamentalists.

Comments are closed.