Monday, March 17, 2008

أنا لست ارهابيا

Ahh . .it's blogger heaven this week and it's only Monday! So much ammunition. They found The Sydney, we're buying Lockheed F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) from the US even though they're duds, the Dalai Llama won't recommend a boycott of the Beijing Olympics and Mercy Ministries have been performing exorcisms on bulimics and anorexics . . . but I'm in my own private Idaho and concerned with paperwork!

I am not a terrorist, and I don't need to launder money acquired by ill begotten means so why does the Federal Government insist that I provide a primary photo ID document and secondary ID document in order to deposit, switch or withdraw my money from my fund manager?

It seems we are following in the biometric paranoia of the American Government and tarring everyone with the same brush. We are all potential terrorists and mafioso hit men so we must all justify who we are before depositing, transferring or redeeming our own bloody money!

In November 2007, the Federal Government very cunningly passed Anti Terrorist and Money Laundering Legislation that has given financial institutions the excuse to create even more forms and red tape (and anyone who knows me knows how fucked up I am at doing forms!) What part of 'broad brush, creative, marketing, conceptual, project management, no eye for detail, logical and pragmatic' don't you understand. I HATE FILLING OUT FORMS. Yet 30% of my job depends on me doing it. Lately, it's been a nightmare because I didn't tick the right box to say we'd sighted ID or I didn't present the right ID, or as a Justice of the Peace, I didn't certify copies of a person's ID. For fuck's sake. I feel like I'm in a Douglas Adams novel pushing pen and paper around with the rest of the Accountants and Telephone Hygienists!

So how do I help little old Widow Moffatt withdraw funds from her fund manager? She is 89 years old. She has never driven a car so there goes her licence as a source of photo ID. Her passport hasn't been renewed since 1938 so that's no good, the near sepia picture is a semblance of its former self and bears no resemblance to our lovely silver haired lady. She is financially self sufficient so she has no Social Security number or need of a pension. No Seniors Card . . in fact nothing with photo ID. But apparently, she is a potential terrorist, a money laundering granny from hell who is bent on the destruction of democracy and not entitled to her own savings without jumping through the proverbial flaming hoop!

Eventually, we can get Edna's money for her after presenting a rates notice, a letter from her doctor, her last 12 months of phone bills, letting the Government know her shoe size, parading her and her zimmer frame in front of a panel of experts and having her teeth x-ray'd!

Mr High Net Worth is filthy rich and deservedly so, he is a highly successful engineer and businessman . . . has a bank account with Macquarie Bank. . .big bank . . very big bank. He's had his account for 20 years, they've been more than happy to do business with him and he gets a VIP Christmas Card and party invitation every year. They are constantly telling him what a 'valued' client he is. But, this week, when we want to put a goodly some of his cash into not one, but three Term Deposits . . he, read me, (All he has to do is sign the fuckers but has trouble doing that in the right place!) has to fill out a mountain of forms AND provide ID to the point where I thought he was going to withdraw the lot and stick it in a tin under the bed!

If it wasn't for the good cash rate return on Term Deposits at the moment I think he may well have done that!

I have often had arguments with libertarians and those of the right wing persuasion about my socialist leanings and I stick to my moderately leftist politics, I do believe in subsidised health and education and the wealthy looking after the poor but . . . when we virtually accuse an entire nation of being potential criminals, create even more bureaucracy and red tape, and respond to a problem that barely exists here . . . it's time to rise up and tell your politicians to stick their ridiculous accusations up their proverbial bottoms and to get on with governing the country!

I am not a terrorist! And the only laundering my money has been through is in the bottom of a washing machine!

Please, Mrs Moffat and Mr High Net Worth look nothing like a terrorist:


Anonymous said...

I think free health care, education and a social security net are conducive to creating a libertarian society - liberty is not possible where there is a large, alienated underclass.

The British government's ID card proposals will hopefully founder. They would have to introduce legislation against Irish citizens who can currently enter Britain without any need for a passport and there are no proposals for ID cards here.

Anonymous said...

Have you heard the latest, Baino? I read that China has closed down Mount Everest (with the 'cooperation' of Nepal) to ensure the Olympic torch can be carried across the summit without problems. Dozens of planned expeditions to the summit (at the most favourable time of year) will have to be cancelled as a result. How insane is that? For a frigging torch??

Anonymous said...

Sorry, back to the post. I agree governments are using the terrorist paranoia to introduce ludicrously over-the-top ID checks which just needlessly complicate everyone's lives. As Ian says, the British government's ID card plans will get seriously stuck here in Ireland where lots of people will violently object to getting them. BTW, are you really Baino? Do you have any ID at all? Just a routine check, madam.

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) said...

Phew! I thought I'd had too many green drinks when I couldn't quite understand the title of the post!

I tried to open a bank a/c in UK a few years ago. among the ludicrously detailed list of items they wanted to see that proved who I was were original copies of:

- bank a/c or building society statement.
- Utility bill (gas electric)
- Telephone Bill

but guess what? - I'm trying to be green and have signed up for electronic statements / bills which were not an acceptable form of proof of who I was. Strrooooth! I'll just keep my money under the mattress!

Anonymous said...

Keeping the money under the mattress was what our poor Taoiseach did (and in a bag on the kitchen table) and look at all the trouble it has caused him! Why don't you ask your local Fianna Fail cumann if you can pay your bills from their account?

Baino said...

Ian: There is always talk of some biometric ID card. The "Australia" card was universally rejected in the 80's via referendum but it's back on the Agenda,not in a big way but I feel it is somehow inevitable at some time in the future. This current ID issue relates to financial transactions only at the moment and the acquisition of other ID docs such as Passports.

Nick: You jest surely? Nup, just checked it out. I think they're more afraid of protest perhaps?
Yep definitely Baino, nothing to hide and loads of photo ID and I'm a size nine shoe!

Quickroute: Perfect example of lack of photo ID or appropriate docs. When I applied for my mortgage I was in the same boat and had to PAY for printed bank statements. The Arabic reads "I am not a terrorist"

My Grandfather used to keep his horse betting winnings in a leather suitcase under the bed!

Anonymous said...

Money under the mattress!

Anonymous said...

You're a hoot! Baino

And a real tonic... in this world gone mad!

Anonymous said...

Money under the mattress seems an increasingly sensible option with major banks continuing to go insolvent and being hastily propped up by massive lending facilities from national governments.

Thriftcriminal said...

I slightly fail to see how any of these measures can in any way prevent anyone from funding a terrorist organisation. These people will get on with their agenda regardless, and will probably be funded by some very rich people who don't need ID checks anyway. I reckon it has more to do with cracking down on tax evasion and other such government unfriendly activities.

Unknown said...

It is very sad that we are so afraid of terrorism. It makes them even more confident however I think safe rules are needed.

RED MOJO said...

Hey Baino, This is my first time here, I came to reciprocate your visit!
I opened a business account here locally a few months back. The bank manager told me they'd be putting a 10 day hold on all checks because it's a new account. He told me that was the policy now, due to terrorism.
I said, "So, you're afraid I might be a terrorist?"
He said, "No, but that's the policy and we have to follow it."
I asked, "When will my account no longer be considered 'new'?"
He said it would take six months.
I said, "Fine, I'll start using it in six months."

Anonymous said...


Baino said...

Money under the mattress isn't such a silly idea with the markets going the way they are!

Thanks Steph, I try to please!

Ropi; Some regulation is good but we have many here and it's getting a bit ridiculous

Hey RedMojo: Welcome over! Nice to know we're not the only country with silly regulations!

PN: Um .. yes indeed! *silly boy* at least you've got over being anonymous!