Anorak News | A Numbers Game

A Numbers Game

by | 7th, January 2004

‘GOOD morning. This is HX47658B talking to you from deep inside the bowels of Anorak Towers.


Around me sit my colleagues FA87256A, LU90121A and VD54906B; on the wall hang posters of the luscious NN67498A and the delectable SX68262B; and from the radio wafts out the dulcet tones of MN28710A.

We paint this happy picture of life working for the UK’s premier online magazine not to make you feel jealous as you slave away in your fancy open-plan office but as evidence of how a la mode we are (to borrow an expression from our French friends).

We have, you see, already dispensed with such archaic forms of identity as names in anticipation of the Government’s plan to allocate a unique number to each and every single one of us.

The Guardian says the £240m scheme would supersede NHS and national insurance numbers and provide a device with which to regulate all access to public services, along the lines of the US social security number.

It will also end once and for all the widespread and confusing duplication of names.

For instance, we read on the front page of this morning’s Telegraph the tragic news of Michael Howard, a father of three who was run over and killed in front of his former model wife while trying to stop thieves stealing his car.

The story is no less tragic, if slightly less newsworthy, for the fact that the Michael Howard in question was not the new leader of the Tory party (also a father of three and married to a former model) but a director of a Salford-based pharmaceutical company.

Any confusion engendered by the fact that the two men share a name as well as key personal details would of course be removed by Labour’s plans to replace names with numbers.

As we all know, Tory leader Michael Howard is BF28549A, while his erstwhile namesake was WE19620B. The two numbers could hardly be more different.’

Posted: 7th, January 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink