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How you can help....
 

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Appeal From The Founder
Action #1: Spread The Word Through E-mail
Action #2: Make a Donation – Raise Some Money
Action #3: Buy Posters and Car Window Stickers etc.
Action #4: Discussions with Friends and Family
Action #5: Write to your Member of Parliament
Action #6: Write to the National Press
ACTION #7: Sign our on-line petition
Funding Statement
Where the Money Will be Spent
Banking Arrangements & Auditing

Appeal from the Founder of CASNIC.
 

"Thank you for reading this far. If you feel strongly about the government’s plans to introduce a compulsory National Identity Card, together with the Citizen Monitoring Database with its file on each one of us, please get actively involved in our fight. We cannot do this alone – only mass protest will cause the government to rethink this draconian measure. Maybe, like me, you are ready to fight for something you believe in, before all of our precious freedoms are eradicated? I certainly am not the campaigning sort. Like you, I prefer just to get on with my life. But this is such an assault on our privacy and freedom I felt I had to do something, hence CASNIC.

I have donated £5,000 of my own savings to start off the fighting fund. Please do whatever you can so support our cause. Thank you."

Stuart Smith B.Sc. Founder CASNIC


There are SEVEN things you can do, in order of importance:

Action #1: Spread The Word Through E-mail
 
Surprisingly, this is number one on the list of actions you can take. The more people we can drive to the web site, the better – and the exponential effects can be staggering! Electronic Mail is really the most fantastic tool for getting change to occur quickly. Think how long this would take by letter - and how expensive. But now you can help our campaign for zero cost and just a little of your time.

But it needs careful handling. We don’t want to be spamming the world!

Here, in 2 steps, is what to do:

  1. Go through your email address book and pick out just the names of people you know such as friends, family and acquaintances. We suggest you do not send emails to people you do not normally correspond with.
  2. Send them a simple, short, PERSONAL message (this is very important) pointing them to the CASNIC web site www.casnic.org

Example of Personal Message
 
The more personal the message, the better. Tailor it to the person concerned if at all possible.

Here are some example messages, just so that you get the idea. But PLEASE compose your own, otherwise we will have tens of thousands of identical emails flying around and this will reduce impact.

Three Tips

    1. Keep it SHORT.
    2. Keep it PERSONAL.
    3. Tailor it to the recipient.

Example #1 (If you don’t know how they feel on this issue.):
 
"Hi Graham, I heard recently that the government is intending to introduce a compulsory National Identity Card and start a Citizen Database with a file on us all. I don’t know about you, but I’m very unhappy about that. There is a protest group called the Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card and they have a web site www.CASNIC.org. It’s a great site with some very convincing arguments. Take a look. Pass it on to anyone else you think might be interested. Regards."

[Now obviously this should be done in your usual style of writing to Graham! You may write more like this: :-)]

Example #2
 
"Wazzup my man? Seen this ID card thing that plonker Blunkett wants to introduce? Check out the protest group www.CASNIC.org – good site. Later dude."

Okay, you get the idea – keep your normal ‘voice’ and tailor the ‘voice’ to the person you are emailing. From here on in, the examples are all in ‘standard voice’ but you must tailor them accordingly.

Example #3 [If you know someone who is already anti Big Brother]
 
"Hi Carolyn, You were right! Remember what you said about spy cameras/ID cards/Phone tapping? I’m sure you’ve seen that the government are intending to introduce a compulsory National Identity Card and start a Citizen Database with a file on us all. I’m with you on this one. There is a protest group called the Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card and they have a web site www.CASNIC.org. It’s a great site with some very convincing arguments. Take a look. Regards."

Example #4 [If you know someone who is pro ID Cards]
 
"Hi David, I know you’ve often said that ID cards would reduce terrorism and crime and you have a good point that these things need tackling. But having carefully read some convincing arguments against the ID card (on www.casnic.org) I’m wondering if this is more of a solution looking for a problem? Quite honestly, I’m also pretty worried about the civil liberties angle here and I hadn’t fully appreciated what they were proposing. I know you to be a fair minded sort of guy, so have a look and see what you think. Certainly I don’t think such a draconian measure should be passed through ‘on the nod’. Best Regards to Cathy."

Hopefully that will give you some ideas of what to write.

If you could send 10 – 50 such emails, that would be absolutely fantastic.

Email Signature
 
Whilst on the subject of email, it would be really helpful to our cause if you changed your email signature message to show support for CASNIC. The signature message is something which goes out with every email you ever send. It appears at the bottom, usually just before or after your name. You have probably seen them on incoming emails – people sometimes put a funny ‘tag line’ or favourite quote. You will have to work out how to do this for whatever email program you use.

So, if you want to support us, why not change your signature bar to one of the following?:

I am not a number, I am a free man (or woman as appropriate to you). Support the Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card. www.casnic.org

Down With Big Brother! Support the Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card. www.casnic.org

I do not want to be a numbered citizen on a government file. Support the Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card. www.casnic.org

Big Brother wants to control YOU. Support the Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card. www.casnic.org

Does the government REALLY have your best interests at heart? Support the Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card. www.casnic.org

Action #2: Make a Donation
 
Yes, no surprises here – we need MONEY.

If we are to fight this properly, we need media exposure – we plan a sustained campaign of national newspaper advertising and direct mail to gain support for the cause, and this will be very expensive.

Click here to see Funding Statement and Where the Money Will be Spent.
Click here to download a donation form in pdf format.
(Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to save to disk)

Paying By Cheque
 
Please write your name and address on a piece of paper (assuming you want an acknowledgement – anonymous donations are welcome) and enclose it with your cheque made out to CASNIC.

Please send to:
CASNIC
12 Tilbury Close
Caversham
Reading
Berks
RG4 5JF

Paying by Credit Card
 
Please write your name and address on a piece of paper (assuming you want an acknowledgement – anonymous donations are welcome) and enclose it with your credit card number, expiry date, (and issue number for SWITCH) plus the amount you want to donate.

Please send to:
CASNIC
12 Tilbury Close
Caversham
Reading
Berks
RG4 5JF

(Note: Credit card statement will show Field Management Services – which is the fulfilment company we have retained to handle this for us.)

Coming Soon - Paying by PAYPAL
 
You can pay on line if you have a PAYPAL account.

To setup a PAYPAY account, click here
.

Click here to download a donation form in pdf format.
(Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to save to disk)

Fund Raising
 
Fund raising is a whole complex issue in itself, with certain legal problems associated with it. For the time being, all fund raising will be done centrally and so please do not start any fund-raising initiatives under the CASNIC banner at present. By all means ask friends and family to send us a donation though.

Action #3 Buy Posters and Car Window Stickers etc.
 
Again you will notice that the important action you can take comes under the heading of ‘spreading the word’.

We are working on a range of large and small posters, leaflets and car stickers.

As soon as these are available, here’s what you can do:

  1. Buy a selection of car stickers – stick one in your car rear window and then try to persuade others to do the same (give them the car sticker).
  2. Buy a selection of posters. Make sure you put them up in your local area (front window etc.) and hand them out to friends and family.
  3. Buy some leaflets and hand them out to friends and family. Also consider buying (say) 200 leaflets and walking around your local area delivering them through letter boxes. This would be VERY useful to us.

Click here to order campaigning support materials.
(Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to save to disk)

Action #4 Discussions with Friends and Family
 
Obviously you don’t want to become an ‘ID Card Bore’ and have people roll their eyes when you walk into the room! However, if you can take every reasonable opportunity to argue our case, that would be very helpful. In particular, direct people to the web site www.casnic.org

How to Debate With People For Maximum Effect
 
This is fairly low down on the list because it is not very efficient one-to-one to try to convince someone else of your views. Also, in general, people are very poor at thinking through their positions and holding logically consistent views. In particular they are notoriously loathe to think from principle. They see this as ‘unbending’ or ‘extreme’. This comes from living in a pragmatic age where principles are routinely thrown out for mood-of-the-moment expediency.

Bottom line? You’ll have your work cut out – but it can be fun.

The Players
 
Unlike more emotional subjects such as fox-hunting, vivisection, and abortion, it is unlikely that you will come across any vehemently pro-ID card arguments. Most people have not even considered the issue. If they have thought about it at all, they probably have some vague notion that ID cards will ‘somehow’ stop terrorism and crime (in some undefined way) and they might have assimilated, and regurgitate a few ‘sound bites’ such as "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear." Or "If it saves just ONE kiddy’s life, it’s worth it."

Thus you are in competition with apathy and ignorance, rather than passion and certainty. You may also come across the rare person who holds very extreme (in our view) ideas along these lines:

"I would have a chip in everyone’s head controlling their thoughts, if that’s what it took to stop crime." The more you press this person, the deeper they will dig-in, advocating life imprisonment for a first offence ("They shouldn’t have done the crime if they didn’t want to go to prison.") and the death penalty for many crimes. They do not think that the current two million spy cameras are anything like enough and would strongly advocate a spy camera in each of our homes, together with a microphone. They would state that only criminals could possibly protest such a move. When you explain that the price of low crime is totalitarian dictatorship, they will agree – they just want that dictatorship as soon as possible. Thankfully these people are rare as it is hard to get them to take a more reasonable stance.

In general most people won’t have thought about it, some will be strongly anti- Big Brother and a few will be mildly pro-Big Brother.

Our best guess is:

80% No real opinion either way, can be swayed depending on the current argument.
18% Anti
2% Pro

This is good news for us as the vast majority of people are open to hearing our arguments and being converted to our point of view. (Contrast with contentious issues such as abortion where most people have firmly held views, issuing from deep moral convictions one way or the other. It is almost impossible to turn a pro-abortion advocate into an anti-abortion advocate, and vice-versa. Not so with our campaign, thankfully.)

How to ‘Win’ an Argument
 
The objective (in any argument, really) is to try to get the other person to consider your viewpoint, and hopefully change their own viewpoint as a result of their discussions with you. The objective is not to ‘win’ the argument and be ‘right’. When you set out to do this, people become alienated and even more firmly wedded to their viewpoint.

Click here to download the examples below in pdf format.
(Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to save to disk)

Here are a few tips for achieving the desired effect (this also works well for relationship problems at no extra charge! If you master this one, you’ve mastered a BIG life-skill!).

Tip #1: Stay Calm
 
No matter how impassioned you feel about an issue, it is always alienating to be screamed at, lectured to or spoken to like an idiot. How do YOU feel when someone does this to you? It makes the other person go into ‘protective’ mode right at the point when you want them to listen compassionately to your viewpoint. So, no screaming, wagging fingers, thumping tables or condescension!

Tip #2: No Judgemental Language
 
Do you want a sure-fire way of making someone switch off to your viewpoint and become hostile and defensive? Use judgemental language and negative labels – or use a tone of voice which implies these things.

"Only a fool would believe…"
"What kind of moronic statement is that?"
"That’s just ridiculous and unreasonable."
"Come off it! You cannot be serious, surely?"
"Listen, I’m going to explain this just once more, and s-l-o-w-l-y, ok?"
"That’s the sort of stupid thing I have come to expect from you."
"Sigh… I’m wasting my time here. I thought you had a bit more intelligence."

Tip #3: Listen to the Other Person
 
"I don’t learn anything when I’m talking," is a very true saying.

What do you most want from your encounter? You want the other person to listen to you considerately, hear your viewpoint, think about it intelligently, then hopefully (and it is a BIG hope) come on to your side, right?

So guess what? The best way to get this is to give the other person the same respect – but this is so difficult to do when one of your deeply held beliefs is being challenged.

If they challenge your views, ask yourself a really vital question: "What are they needing right now?" This will allow you to connect to the person BEFORE you start giving intellectual water-tight arguments.

Hint: 90%+ of people who take a pro-ID Card stance are acting out of fear. So their need is security and safety. They view the world as a dangerous place with criminals and terrorists lurking in every corner. They are frightened and want protection – just like we all want protection. They see the ID card (and many other draconian security measures) as providing them with more safety. Their un-stated motto might be:

"Safety and protection at ANY price."

Tip #4: Address Their Needs and Concerns FIRST
 
So before you launch in to the arguments, try to connect with and acknowledge the person’s need FIRST.

Example of Bad Argument
 
John and Mary are discussing ID Cards. John is mildly in favour.

This sort of response will get Mary nowhere:

John: "I disagree. I think ID cards are great. They will stop these terrorists from attacking us. That’s GOT to be a good thing, surely?"

Mary: "Don’t be stupid! It has been scientifically proven that 89.37% of terrorists do not even have ID on them when committing their acts…blah, blah, blah."

Now compare with this:

Example of Good Argument
 
John: "I disagree. I think ID cards are great. They will stop these terrorists from attacking us. That’s GOT to be a good thing, surely?"

(Mary first hears John’s need before doing anything else.)

Mary: "So you’re worried about the increase in terrorist attacks recently and you want people to be safe?"

(Acknowledging his need for safety.)

John: "Well yeah! Aren’t you? I mean it’s getting ridiculous. There was that Istanbul bomb, and the World Trade Centre and Jakarta – I mean, who’s safe these days?"

Mary: "You’re worried that terrorists might come into this country and plan attacks and that makes you fearful?"

John: "Well it’s certainly possible, isn’t it? And ID cards would let us know who these people were…"

[OK, John feels listened-to now, and Mary can progress.]

Mary: "Yeah, I want us all to be safe too, and if I thought ID cards would have any significant impact on terrorism, maybe I would support them like you, but you know there is good reason to suppose that not only will they not stop terrorism, they could even aid terrorism…"

John: "Huh? How come?"

Now Mary is free to explain this strand of the argument to John.

What a difference that way of talking makes! However, be warned, it is not so easy in the heat of an argument!

[Acknowledgement. We are indebted to Marshall Rosenberg for developing his concept of NVC Non-Violent Communication, on which the section above is based.
Non Violent Communication – A Language of Compassion. ISBN 1-892005-02-6]

TIP #5 Change May Not Come Immediately
 
Just because you have talked for an hour and that pig-headed fool (to use judgemental language!) still has not changed his mind – does not mean that you have lost. Often people feel the need to stick to their position, even when they know they are defending the indefensible. It’s a kind of macho-thing with men, at least. Maybe later, or next day or next week something you have said will suddenly have an effect and they will come to you and say: "I’ve been thinking about what we discussed last week, and you know, I think you’ve got a point…"

Action #5 Write to Your Member of Parliament
 
The more we can inundate our MPs with anti-ID card letters, the better. Just write a simple letter (one side only) with your name and address clearly on the top and a simple statement of your view. No need to waffle-on for pages and pages (it almost certainly will not be read) and no need to introduce all the arguments against ID Cards.

Sample Letter
 
Mrs G Kent
10 Ruby Street
Colchester
Essex
AA1 234

5th January 2004

Dear Mr Johnson,

You are my MP for the district of Sedgwick East.

I am writing to express my extreme concern about the government’s intention to introduce a National Identity Card into the UK.

Whilst we obviously need to take reasonable steps to protect against terrorism and crime, I do not believe that this draconian measure will have much effect on either. The creation of a government database with a ‘file’ on each citizen, is surely more the province of totalitarian regimes than freedom-loving democracies? I am also not reassured by the stealthy way this is being introduced with passports and driving licences as a first step and compulsion following some time after.

This is a huge step towards a Big Brother police state and I urge you to oppose it on my behalf.

Yours Sincerely

 

A Wilkinson

Please do not copy that letter exactly as all MPs will end up with the same letter. It is included here just as an indication of style and length.

Action #6 Write to the National Press

If we inundate the National Press with anti-ID Card letters, they will print a few and might even do a feature on the subject. Since they want to sell papers, they will be keen to reflect the majority of reader’s views.

Writing a ‘Letter To The Editor’ could be the subject of an entire book – it is quite an art to get your letter published. Here are a few tips to be going on with:

Click here to download the examples below in pdf format
(Right-click and choose 'Save Target As' to save to disk)

TIP #1: Keep it short and to the point.
 
Avoid waffling at all costs!

This is the single biggest mistake people make when writing to their newspaper (or MP). They waffle-on for page after page of green biro on lined notepaper – the subject sprawls to cover ‘everything which is wrong with the world’.

Here is a humorous (but not SO far from the truth) example:

Dear Sir

I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about the introduction of Identity Cards into the UK. Surely we didn’t fight two world wars to have this happen to us? It’s the same with graffiti and vandalism – what the hell is happening to this country? Immigration is another case in point – and the trains don’t run on time any more, which they always used to (although the food is, admittedly a lot better, fair play to them). It’s time someone cleaned up this sewer – for such, I’m afraid, Britain has become.

PS I waited TWO HOURS for a bus yesterday – that’s how bad things have got.

TIP #2: Read TIP #1 again!
 
Shorter letters have a VERY much higher chance of getting printed than longer ones because:

  1. The editor can find a space to squeeze it in to.
  2. They want as many letters as possible.
  3. Shorter letters are read 10x more often than long ones.

TIP #3: Make the journalists’ life easy.
 
Don’t make them have to work hard to edit your letter down to something they can use. Give them a polished piece of work which they can use with few, if any, changes.

TIP #4: Stick to just one point only.
 
There are ten or more good arguments against ID cards. You must pick just one, and no more, to make your point. You are not trying to write an essay which covers all the bases. Just one, short, sharp punch is what you are after.

TIP #5: Keep it topical if possible.
 
Something is always hot, right now. Next week it will be gone. Always try to link your ID card tirade with some current hot news item (see examples below).

TIP #6: Don’t Rave!
 
It makes you seem unbalanced and the reader will discount your view.

Sir,

I am incensed and furious at this idiot Blunkett and his asinine proposals on ID cards. Surely this man should be locked away as he must be insane? And that spineless poodle Blair can join him. We should all join together and overthrow this sordid government by violence and revolution if necessary.

Yours

TIP #6: Always give your name and address.
 
Papers simply will not publish your letter if you send it anonymously. You can ask for it to be withheld if you want, but you must supply it.

TIP #7: Bring in personal experience if relevant.
 
If you are an ex-prison warden, air force pilot, policeman, security official etc. it is powerful to bring relevant experience to your letter as it adds credibility.

Dear Sir

As a security officer for a major High Street retailer….

As an ex-policeman, I want to assure you that we rarely had trouble identifying criminals, just catching them. This makes nonsense of David Blunkett’s….

When I was in charge of Card Fraud for a major Credit Card Company…

I work in the Social Security office and I can assure you we get very little identity fraud. Most fraud is people under-stating their circumstances. Why, then is the government proposing….

As a teacher I am appalled at the prospect of fingerprinting our young people in preparation for a National Identity Card. What sort of world do we want these children to inherit?

Here are some example letters to the editor:
 
Sir,

I see that the Westminster Bomber is none other than a home-grown boy from Essex who attended Eaton (Guardian Sat 9th January 2005). Can someone explain to me how a compulsory National Identity Card would have prevented that act of terrorism?

Yours

Sir,

I was interested to read that Social Security Identity fraud is the smallest section of benefit fraud (the largest by far being under-statement of means) and totals a meagre 0.1% of the Social Security budget. (The Times, Feb 19th 2005) Can someone please explain to me why we are contemplating spending £3 BILLION pounds to issue ID cards to all citizens and create a massive government citizen database?

Yours

[The figures in the above letter were invented, so please do not quote them in your own letters.]

Sir

I was intrigued, but sadly not surprised at your lead article on corruption and fraud at the Passport Office (Independent, July 2005). Doubtless we can look forward to a similar level of incompetence when they issue everyone with a National Identity Card. I have heard estimates that the going rate for fake ID will be around £500 a time. As ever, terrorists and criminals will laugh at the law and ordinary law-abiding citizens will have yet more of their freedom and privacy curtailed. I have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation from the government about exactly how a compulsory National Identity Card, with its associated Citizen Monitoring Database will have a significant impact on crime or terrorism. Presumably, rapists, muggers, murderers and thieves will join all terrorists in leaving these shores forthwith because the little bit of plastic which they all dutifully carry will make their evil work impossible.

Or did I miss something?

Yours

Sir,

I see there are calls to fingerprint every person in the United Kingdom as part of the government’s ID Card fiasco. I always thought that fingerprints were for suspected criminals – or are we all now suspects, guilty until proven innocent? Who, exactly, gave this government permission to start a file on each one of us and issue us with a ‘Permission To Live’ – for such will the Identity Card swiftly become.

Yours

ACTION #7 Sign our on-line petition
 
Click here to sign our on-line petition

Please Support Us In Any Way You Can

Thank You

Funding Statement
 
CASNIC is funded entirely by individual donations from concerned citizens. Typical donations are between £10 and £100. The founder, Stuart Smith, has donated £5,000 of his own private money to the campaign, and, needless to say, takes no salary, remuneration or benefits of any kind from the organisation. We accept no contributions from political parties, companies, churches or any other groups with or without a vested interest in our campaign. We welcome donations from private individuals and all money is used directly in our campaign (we are staffed by volunteers and pay no salaries or administration fees etc.)

Where the Money Will be Spent
 
Administration Costs – Zero. We pay no salaries and have no paid staff.

Overhead – Zero. We operate from a private house and the owner does not want recompense for any extra outgoings.

Expenses. The only expenses we propose to pay are travel costs for a speaker to appear on National TV, or radio – assuming the station concerned will not cover this (which they usually do).

Printing. Leaflets, posters, handbills, letter headings, booklets, action packs, car stickers etc. We hope to make a small ‘at cost’ charge for some of these items and hence recoup some of our costs.

Design. We employ a graphic design company to design our logos, letter headings, car stickers, advertisements, leaflets, booklets etc.

Postage. Posting out leaflets, car stickers, booklets etc. We hope to make a small ‘at cost’ charge for some of these items and hence recoup some of our costs.

National Press Advertising. We intend to start a national advertising campaign in the main newspapers (Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Sun, Mirror, Mail etc.] Click here to see an example of the sort of thing we are planning

Direct Mail. We have access to a mailing list of people who are sympathetic to our cause. We will be mailing them to gain support. Hopefully we will also secure some donations which may make this a self-paying exercise.

Press Cutting Service. We wish to engage the services of a press-cutting bureau to send us all items which appear in the press relating to Identity Cards.

Mailing House Services. We retain an external mailing house to stuff envelopes, answer queries, handle donations etc. They charge on a ‘per item’ basis.

Researcher. This is lower priority, but if funds permit we want to retain a freelance researcher to gather supporting information to our cause (e.g. which other countries have ID cards, how they work, how they are accepted by the population etc.)

INITIAL FUND RAISING TARGET £50,000.00

Banking Arrangements & Auditing
 
Bankers are:
Lloyds Bank
1 Market Place
Reading
RG1 2EQ

Two signatures are required for each cheque (one signatory is a Chartered Accountant).

Fully detailed accounts will be posted on the web site every six months.

Accounts will be audited annually by chartered accountants and published on web site.

Accounts, when completed, will be fully open to inspection to any member of the public during office hours.

CASNIC is a not-for-profit organisation.

Sample Press Advert Concept
 

"It Will Cost £3 Billion and Will Take 4 Solid Years of Intense Effort by Thousands of Skilled People."

Housing the Homeless?

Improving Our Hospitals?

Sorting Out The Railways?

NO

Introducing Compulsory Identity Cards

Register Your Protest

Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card

www.casnic.org