UK should ‘degender’ passports, says Maria Miller – BBC News

This is the stupidest suggestion I have ever heard.

At a time when identity is hardly ever far from the news headlines.

I agree that the UK Driving Licence does not require gender. After all, it only indicates authorisation to operate a motor vehicle. Now, if you expand the license to be an identity card then I believe gender is pertinent. We won’t be going down that path, will we? The whining civil libertarians have seen to that.

However, the UK passport is a whole different kettle of fish. The passport is an identity device. And, until biometric data is used as part of personal identification then I believe gender is important.

How does a border control operator know if the passport in their hands, carrying the name Jo Bloggs,  actually belongs to Josef Bloggs or Joshephine Bloggs.

This isn’t about gender categorisation, segregation or even

transgender discrimination

, to quote Ms Miller. It’s about security and personal identity, providing our law enforcement and border control personnel with as many tools as possible. It is foolhardy to keep on going down the path where all controls are diluted for fear of upsetting a minority. I am all for equality, but not at the expense of common sense.

If there is such a problem for the, relatively small, transgender population, then surely the right thing, for the government, to do is introduce a new category. It could be as simple as
M = Male, F = Female & T = Transgendered.

I know that something that is so simple in my head, will turn into a “mares nest” at the hands of HMG.

I don’t know about you but in these terrorised times I want tighter controls. I don’t want our security services distracted by anything that is described by Liberal Democrat leader Tim FarronĀ as

something this small

UK citizens may soon need licenses to photograph some stuff they already own

This is just another example of the insidious bureaucracy that is blighting the UK.

If this is allowed to go ahead, every casual photographer will be at risk of being criminalised without their knowledge.

And, surely, the onus should be placed on the holder of any work of art to warn of their copyright entitlement. Will they be obliged to post warning notices. That will look nice on the lounge wall alongside your treasured Conran furniture.

“Family and Friends are reminded that under Copyright Law… Blah blah… the taking of photographs, family snaps etc. etc. are only allowed with the appropriate license”

Just how far will liability reach?

Consider the ubiquitous selfies, created on millions of smart phones, then promulgated via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Do the owners of those apps then become liable?

This legislation should be dumped in the trash can. Or at least kept in a dark place until it has been seriously rethought.