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When A "True And Accurate Representation" Is Neither True Nor Accurate (Or Why Frankie Boyle May Have A Point)
They say that the hardest truths are sometimes hidden in extremely offensive jokes, don't they???  Usually I cannot stand Frankie Boyle (mainly due to his attitude towards certain sections of society).  However, in this case, he actually had a very valid point to make - just not in the way he intended.

I remember a "joke" that Frankie Boyle told when the UK Government decided that they were going to bring in those implements of torture commonly known as "Biometric Passports".

He made a comment regarding what would happen if one of them was stolen.  The comment involved needing new fingers and new eyeballs (at that point there were rumours that fingerprints were going to be stored on the new passports).

Unfortunately, his "joke" about needing new eyeballs hit a bit too close to home for me.

Readers of the original Inkyworld blog may remember that I wrote two posts about the Biometric Passports - both of which pointed out the extreme difficulties I have had with mine.

I will do my best to condense those blog posts into one blog post in an attempt to explain.  First - I have a bit of a puzzle for you;

Below are two photographs - your mission is to decide which photograph would allow me to travel the furthest.





(Both of the above photos are examples of photos which appear on documents which are connected with travel.)

The answer may surprise you.

Legally
- the photograph without my glasses will get me into any country I desire to travel to.  That is the photo I am forced to put in my passport.

Technically - the photo with my glasses will not only get me free bus travel in most parts of England - it is also the one which causes a lot less problems when it comes to wandering around unsupervised in public.  (And that is before you start thinking about passport photos.)

Allow me to attempt to explain;

The first photo is an example of the one which appears on my Disabled Concessionary Bus Pass.  It is also the version of me you are most likely to find roaming around in public.

The second photo is the one which I find the most problematic.

Put it this way - if your sight is as bad as mine and you need to renew your passport - getting the photos for it very quickly turns into a two person job.  Photo booths are rendered absolutely useless for several reasons - so you have to find a human w.ith a camera.

When you have had your photo taken - you will have to get it signed to say it is a "true and accurate representation" of you (even if you actually spend your entire waking life with glasses on your nose).

However, that is not the most heartbreaking bit.

You will soon learn that a Biometric Passport can be used to keep you out of your own country if you are not careful.  (I am being extremely serious - it nearly happened to me.)

A few years ago I made the mistake of flying from Schiphol Airport to Luton Airport with my Biometric Passport.  I followed the signs for the Biometric Scanners and got stuck.

Put it this way - if I cannot see something how on Earth am I supposed to focus on it???

I read the instructions (with my glasses on) which told me to put my passport in the machine and look towards some gates a short distance in front of me.  Now - the aforementioned gates were perfectly visible and locateable with my glasses on.  Attempting to locate them without my glasses on was an entirely different story.  They were - to all intents and purposes - non-existent.  So I looked in the direction I remembered seeing them.  Luckily I got through the gate.

So Frankie Boyle did have a point with his comment about needing new eyeballs - it is just that he thought they would be necessary in the event of a Biometric Passport being stolen - not as a result of an attempt to get a Bioetric Passport in the first place!!!

It is also the version of me



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