When the Home Office issues an official Press Release, quoting a Minister, James Brokenshire the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State responsible for Crime Reduction, about the issuance of some new official legal guidance, is it really too much for members of the public to expect that someone, amongst the vast array of Press Officers, Special Political Advisors , Private Office staff, or even the Minister himself, would actually bother to read the guidance document published on the official Home Office website ?
The Press Release: New Guidance to help pubs, clubs and shops spot fake ID
is dated Thursday, 24 Feb 2011
which points to
On 24 February 2011, we released guidance to door staff in pubs and clubs on how to spot false documents and what to do once they have confiscated them.
This is additional to the false ID posters that were released in 2010.
The "new" guidance:
Guidance published in February 2011 provides advice to door staff at pubs and clubs on how to spot false documents and what to do once they have confiscated them.
Date: Wed Feb 23 15:50:15 GMT 2011
Incredibly, even though this document has a preface by the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition Home Office Minister James Brokenshire and is dated 24th February 2011, the Home Office has taken no notice of their very own
1 Repeal of Identity Cards Act 2006
(1)The Identity Cards Act 2006 is repealed.
(a)sections 25 and 26 of that Act (possession of false identity
documents etc), and
(b)section 38 of that Act (verifying information provided with
passport applications etc), are re-enacted by this Act (with
consequential amendments and, in the case of section 38, also with
We are not talking about a minor typographical error or two, but multiple pages full of no longer legal references to the repealed "Identity Cards Act 2006" e.g. page 7 and the whole of Annex B pages 32 to 34
If the licensed Security Industry door supervisors etc. attempt to seize people's suspected fake id documents, using this inaccurate Home Office guidance, citing these repealed legal powers, they could be prosecuted for theft, which would be a career ending mistake, which James Brokenshire and the Home Office would be responsible for.
Here is a link to a copy of the original, for you to compare with any future revisions of this "new guidance" - false-identity-guidance.pdf which, according to its meta data, was created between 15:02 and 15:43 on Wednesday 23rd February 2011 i.e. the day before the Press Release was published on the public Home Office website.
Spy Blog noticed this on Thursday and has waited in vain for the "razor sharp minds" at the Home Office to correct this rubbish.
If the Labour party was doing its job as the Official Opposition, of scrutinising, in detail, the work of the Government, they would have immediately noticed this stupid error and could perhaps scored a genuine political point off the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government
It appears, however, that their Home Affairs spokeswoman Yvette Cooper (the third Labour politician in this post in less than a year) and her colleagues, are just as incompetent in Opposition, as they were when in power.
N.B. simply blaming the low level civil servant driving the Adobe InDesign CS4 (6.0) software used to create the offending (.pdf) is not the solution - this incident points to wider management failures at the Home Office.
Those of us who do try to keep an eye on what is spun out of the Home Office's Marsham Street kremlin, should welcome the role of pubs, clubs, shops and professional door supervisors, in dealing with underage drinking etc., but should we should call for a public apology and the withdrawal of this Home Office "guidance" until all the inaccurate mentions of the now repealed "Identity Cards Act 2006" have been removed.