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Chris Neville-Smith

Things I've done for the stage

ID ID, you're my ID

Do you remember that rubbish government initiative called ID cards? I once worked on that. Don't blame me, I thought it was bollocks, they made me do it. Anyway, this freebie is primarily aimed at the 2,000 or so people who worked at the Passport Office (then called the Identity and Passport Service) between 2006 and 2010. But if you didn't work at the passport office, this will take a bit of explaining.

One of the most painful bits of the project was the marketing of ID cards, designed to make the whole scheme look nice and fluffy and not in the least bit creepy and sinister. The most excruciatingly bad advert was I am Spartacus. Sadly, I cannot beat that for comedy value. But before that campaign, there was a previous one which had photos of various members of staff presumably to show the wide variety of people ID cards were meant for.

Using real members of staff in adverts was, of course, famously done in the Halifax adverts. So I though: why not go one step further and make an excruciating corporate anthem to the tune of a famous pop song? I even pondered submitting this to their "Bright Sparks" scheme, but I was worried that either 1) I'd get sacked for taking the piss, or worse, 2) they'd take the idea seriously, actually go ahead and make the advert, and I'd never live down the shame.

However, since it looks like the managers from the ID cards era won't be around much longer, I can now safely publish this. I apologise to the vast majority of you who won't properly appreciate this in-joke, but passport office staff have been have a quite horrific time lately and they need a smile on their face. So ... here is the music - just try to imagine the alternate lyrics below.

ID ID, you're my ID (with apologies to Tom Jones)

In a modern age of villainy,
Criminals are after your identity,
But thanks to biometric technology,
It won't be so easy.

We're opening some centres where you'll take a trip,
To scan all the prints on your fingertips,
And position of your eyes and mouth and nose and lips,
Will go on a microchip.

ID ID, you're my ID,
IPS looks after you and your whole family,
ID ID, you're my ID,
It's the thing for you and me.

[Optional extended version - key change, repeat chorus]

ID ID, you're my ID,
It is what we need for national security,
ID ID, you're my ID,
It's the thing for you and me,
This is what we guarantee,
So come on baby get your ID.

© Chris Neville-Smith, 2007

Permission granted, until further notice, to re-use this material provided it is not for profit and I am credited as the author. Please contact me in advance for any other - oh sod it, anyone who wants this can go ahead and use it. The more, the merrier.