Sunday, 16 November 2008

The name’s Bond, Jeminah Bond…

On Friday I spoke to JobCentre Plus to register for Employment and Support allowance. I had tried a week ago but their systems were down and so they insisted on posting me a claim form.

A photocopied form arrived Friday after I had chased them mid-week the first line of which read “the best way to make a claim is by phone”!

So I rang and the lady said it’d take roughly an hour. Now the previous week I’d telephoned in and my name & national insurance number did not match. I wasn’t totally surprised as whilst I’d informed most Government departments of my transition I knew there would be databases that weren’t updated and I’d only find them if I used that Department. So I had my records changed well so I thought.

Anyway we start the process name, address and date of birth and bang each time we hit an error message on the new software it would not allow her to proceed. So I disclose my transition and we try again with my former name still won’t move on.

National Insurance numbers are not unique due to the way they were issued so HM Government rely on a combination of NI number and birthday to create a unique identity but that still may not be unique. She gets a new error message so we break off with the promise of a call back.

I get a call back to say my record is classified as a National Sensitive Record used for “HM Government Spies and Famous People” (her words) so that curious staff can’t browse their records. You exist but are only visible to people with the necessary authorisation. So I have to fill in the form and mark it “National Sensitive Record” to get my benefit.

Now I did know about this National Sensitive Record system. It was used when I first transitioned to protect me until I got a Gender Recognition Certificate so all my records appeared as my new gender but my former records were still kept, as the change might not be judged permanent.

When I got my Gender Recognition Certificate I got a letter from the Inland Revenue giving me notification of a special department that would hold my records. Perhaps foolishly I thought OK that’s for old stuff for the future calculation of pension but maybe it’s not like that in reality. I’m going to do a fair bit of digging now as the Gender Recognition Act is meant to recognise and treat you as your acquired gender not the one allocated at birth.

I was asked in the first conversation if I objected to “full gender recognition certificate” being put on my records which I did object to as we are not a third gender and even HM Government is legally obliged to treat me as my new gender even I acquired it differently to just a physical examination at birth.

I mentioned this sequence to a friend of mine who had a copy of an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check that mentioned her former name twice. There is a special section for transgender people a Confidential Checking Process for Transgender Applicants who do not wish to reveal details of their previous identity to the person who asked them to complete an application form for a CRB Disclosure.

Problem is that by definition this breaches the Gender Recognition Act still never mind eh?

Well yes actually, in the enthusiasm shown by transsexual people for the right to legal marriage and protected identity we let a lot of things slip.

We had HM Government beaten by the European Court of Human Rights but we conceded too much to a Caucasian male dominated Parliament concerned to protect the heterosexual male and what is laughingly called family values.

Personally I’d have made of list of those MPs who had sex with prostitutes especially the transsexual type ones and done a Cromwell “Gentlemen (after Army marches into Parliament) I believe now I have the majority.” LOL

Human Rights in England is the new Civil War.

It is important to remember that until the infamous judgement in the April Ashley case in 1970 you could get your original birth record altered and the old record destroyed but now we have a list as both your old record and the new one co-exist.

OK the list is protected now as a National Sensitive Record…

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