†††††††††††††††††††††††††† A SCREENPLAY BY ARTHUR CHAPPELL




†††††††† George Forester is an honest, decent citizen living in Manchester. He sees no reason to oppose the impending introduction of I. D. Cards. He tells his wife that he has no interest in signing a petition against the cards being introduced. Six months later, George has a job interview. He leaves home early, and heads to Manchester. He has to show his ID card to be even allowed on to the Metrolink.He has to show it again when he buys a newspaper. George moves on and witnesses an Asian man being hassled for his card, and treated roughly. George moves on, not wishing to be involved, but he is spotted and asked to see his card anyway. He shows it. George goes to the pub to calm his nerves before the interview. He has to show his card to be able to buy half a pint of beer. He gets chatting to an old friend. George then leaves for his interview, which goes well. George is clearly qualified and experienced for the job. However, the interviewer speaks to a colleague in HR who runs an ID check on George. The newsagent has a reputation for selling pornography. George was involved in a street brawl, and drank alcohol in the daytime in a gay bar. They also learn about Mary Forester being pregnant. The firm decides not to employ George. The final scene is George receiving a letter that tells him that he has not got the job.


TIME Ė 2016.


SETTING Ė Manchester, England.


SCENES AND LOCATIONS Ė Opening credits. 1/. Manchester City Centre stall run by anti-ID card protesters. 2/. Caption - Two years later. 3/. GEORGE AND MARY FORESTER'S House. 4/. The route to the tram stop 5/. Metrolink tram stop. 6/. The street after George gets off the Tram. 7/ street leading to the newsagents 8/. The Newsagents. 8/. Side street in which the Asian Citizen is being interrogated. 9/. Street approaching the pub 10/.  The pub. 11/. Street on route from pub to interview. 12/. Interview Waiting room. 13/. Interview Room 14/. Georgeís House again. Closing Credits


All external scenes take place in daylight.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† THE CAST (In order of appearance)


GEORGE FORESTER Ė Manchester citizen heading for a job interview.

MARY FORESTER Ė Georgeís wife.

ANTI ID CARD PROTESTERS Ė Anti-ID Card Protesters Ė group of campaigners running a stall/leafleting campaign.


ID CARD CHECKER at Metrolink Tram station.


ASIAN CITIZEN Ė hassled for his card Ė An event witnessed by George.

2cd ID CARD INSPECTOR Ė Hassles the Asian Citizen.


GRAHAM Ė Georgeís friend who he chats with at the pub.

MR. REDCALFE Ė The Interviewer.



†††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† I D CARD


OPENING CREDITS Ė Title, author, leading cast members, director.



SCENE ONE Ė EXT. Manchester city centre.


GEORGE and MARY FORESTER are walking through the streets, and spot a stall being run by anti-ID card protesters.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY


(Making a move towards the protesters)


I think thatís terrible.I donít want to have to carry proof of who I am all day long, every day. I wonder if they have a petition or something we could sign.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


(Pulling his wife back)


Why should we worry about ID Cards? We havenít done anything wrong?We have nothing to fear. Whoís going to mistake us for criminals or terrorists?Ē What reason do we have to hide our identities from anyone?


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY




Perhaps youíre right. Letís go home.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††† CUT



SCENE THREE - GEORGE and MARY FORESTERíS House. An ordinary kitchen. George is getting dressed smartly for his interview.



I this tie suitable?


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY

The Blue one looks better for a job interview. Black ties are for funerals.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Youíre right of course.Iíll change it.


†††††††† (George goes upstairs to change ties. Mary puts the radio on).


O.S. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† RADIO ANNOUNCER


The number of students burning their official Government Issue Identity Cards has increased. The Home Office makes it clear that such behaviour will not be tolerated. Anyone unwilling or unable to produce his or her ID cards on request risks a fine of up to £1,000 or possible imprisonment.


(MARY listens in some concern)




There have been complaints from many people that the information on their ID cards is inaccurate, and the information that the cards contain is very difficult to interpret correctly. A man in Belfast found that he was registered as a paedophile even though he has no criminal convictions whatsoever. One lady from Doncaster found that her card had been deactivated because she was believed to be dead. She was very much alive and well, and trying to book into a hotel in Brighton when the problem came to light. A Government spokesman stated that there were bound to be some teething troubles with the new technology behind the ID cards, but that overall, the scheme was working very well indeed. Many commuters disagree. Transport is often delayed as people board trains at every station to conduct random ID Card inspections.Employers are increasingly angered by the lack of punctuality by staff who cite random ID Card inspections as the main reason for their late arrivals at the work place. †††††


OS Ė Sound of George coming down the stairs.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE

(Entering the kitchen)


Iíve found the blue tie. Does it look better?


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY


Yes, that looks fineÖOh, and George, donít forget your ID Card.


††††††††††††††††† †††††††† GEORGE


(Reaching into his pocket and producing the card from a wallet)


Itís right here. Iíll get going now. See you later.


(George hugs and kisses Mary)


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY


Your interview isnít until two thirty. Youíll be about two hours early.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


I know. I donít want to go at the last minute. I like to arrive in plenty of time and without unnecessary stress. Iíll probably do a few errands on the way.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† MARY


OK. Good luck with the interview.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Thanks. What are you hoping to do today?


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY


My friend Sally and I are going to the Arndale Centre to buy some baby clothesÖ What with our little Jason coming in FebruaryÖ.Sallyís got three kids already. Sheíll advise me whatís best for us.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Donít forget your own ID Card then.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY


No, I wonít go without it. Donít worry. I have it in my purse at all times.


(They kiss again. George leaves the kitchen.)


OS Ė Sound of the front door closing. Mary looks concerned.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE


SCENE FOUR - EXT Ė George walks calmly down the street.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE


SCENE FIVE - EXT Ė GEORGE arrives at a Metrolink Tram station.


(George is about to buy a tram ticket at a ticket machine when an ID CARD INSPECTOR approaches him). .†††




May I see your ID Card Sir?


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE




Y. YÖYes. Here it is.


(George produces the card. The Checker looks at it very thoroughly.)





What is the purpose of your journey Sir?


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


What do you mean?





Where are you going and why? Is this business or pleasure?


††††††††††††††††† †††††††† GEORGE


Business. I have a job interview.


††††††††††††††††† †††††††† ID CARD INSPECTOR


I see. I see, and did anyone pack your hand luggage for you before you set off?


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE



What? I havenít got any hand luggage. Surely you can see that for yourself.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ID CARD INSPECTOR


(Putting Georgeís ID Card into a reading machine)


Quite true Sir. My apologies, but I have to ask everyone these questions. I know it can be irritating, but please donít make it more difficult than it already is. That way weíll both have a more pleasant day of it, wonít we?


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


This is absurd. Itís like an airport customs inspection. Iím only going to town, not abroad. Oh God, look. Iíve missed a tram now. I could have been on that.


(Camera pans round to film a tram heading out for Manchester).





(Now writing notes on a little pad)


Iím sorry Sir, but these questions are very necessary. You may go now. Have a pleasant day.


(He hands George back his ID Card).


George waits for the next tram and gets on. The doors close. The tram moves off.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE



SCENE SIX EXT Ė George gets off the tram and walks.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE


SCENE SEVEN EXT Ė Street shot. George approaches a newsagents shop. He walks in.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE


SCENE EIGHT INT Ė The Newsagents.


(George browses around, picks up TV magazines, and discards them, settling instead on a Guardian Newspaper. The camera pans around the shop, only briefly noticing he erotica magazines on the top shelf. George goes to pay for his newspaper.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


(Showing the newspaper and his money)


Just this, thanks.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† NEWSAGENT


(Taking the money)


Iím afraid I need to see your ID card too, Sir. Rules are rules, Iím sure youíll understand.


(GEORGE hands over his ID card. Three people queue behind him as the Newsagent struggles with a reading machine he clearly isnít used to using).


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† NEWSAGENT


Bide with me a moment Sir. Iíll soon get the hang of this. Ah, thatís it. Itís a nuisance I know, but the men who brought the machine in insist I check everyone. Its more than my jobís worth not to.


(The NEWSAGENT hands the card back to GEORGE)


††††††††††††††††† †††††††† GEORGE


(Mildly exasperated)




George leaves the shop as the next customer hands a chocolate bar and an ID card to the newsagent.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE


SCENE EIGHT EXT Ė George walks down the street, and suddenly witnesses an ASIAN CITIZEN being jostled by a 2cd ID CARD INSPECTOR. All three figures should be in shot at all times.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† ASIAN CITIZEN


Oh, come on Man, this is the fifth time Iíve shown my card off today. Give me a break. I bet you donít hassle white guys half as much as meÖ


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2cd ID CARD INSPECTOR


Please co-operate Sir. You know the rules.


The Asian, clearly angry, has produced his card, but the 2cd ID CARD INSPECTOR has now spotted George. He turns his attention on him.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2cd ID CARD INSPECTOR


Sir, yes you. Stop.Please produce your ID Card immediately.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE




This is nothing to do with me. I donít want to get involved. Iím just passing by.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2cd ID CARD INSPECTOR†††††††




I didnít ask you what you saw. I asked to see your ID Card. Produce the card, now!


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


(Produces his card)


Here it is.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2cd ID CARD INSPECTOR


(Putting the card through a reading machine).


There. That wasnít so bad, was it? Now get out of here.


(He hands the card back to George who takes it and moves away quickly. The 2cd ID CARD INSPECTOR turns his attention back to the ASIAN CITIZEN.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2cd ID CARD INSPECTOR


Right, you little foreign bastard. Have you got that card out for me yet?


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† ASIAN CITIZEN.


(Clearly nervous)


Itís here. Itís hereÖ. SomewhereÖ


GEORGE sees this, but then turns and runs away. He is very frightened.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE



SCENE NINE EXT Ė GEORGE sees a pub. He looks at his watch.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Still three quarters of an hour to go. Iíve got time.


GEORGE enters the pub.


SCENE TEN INT Ė Inside the pubís main bar area. GEORGE goes to buy a drink.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PUBLICAN


What would you like, Sir?


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Er, just half a pint of biter, please.Iím not drinking much. I have an appointment shortly.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† PUBLICAN


As you wish, Sir. Thatíll be £1.20 and your ID Card please.


(George produces the money and the card. The PUBLICAN checks the card, and takes s the money. He hands GEORGE the beer. GEORGE takes the beer and sits by himself at a table to drink it. The camera pans to another drinker, also alone. It is GRAHAM. He sees GEORGE and immediately rises to go and join him.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GRAHAM

(Shouting loudly with joy)


Hey, George, what brings you out in the afternoon?Ē


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


(Pleased to see his friend who now pulls up a chair and joins him at his table).


I have an interview in about half an hour. Iím just killing time and steadying my nerves before I go in.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GRAHAM


You look like an emotional wreck. Are you that worried about a poxy job interview?


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Itís not the interview thatís freaked me out. I just saw some poor Asian kid being hassled by an ID inspector. The bastard saw me looking and clocked my ID too. He was really nasty to the kid. I think he was just picking on him for being a Pakistani.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GRAHAM


Happens a lot. Some of them a re really racist. Your best bet is steering clear. Donít get involved. Just look out for yourself.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Thank, Graham. Kind of realised that myself nowÖIím beginning to really hate these dammed cards now. Did you have to show yours just to get a drink here too?


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GRAHAM


Iíve had to show it every fresh visit to the bar, and Iíve been up there four times. If someone checks the log on my bar tab theyíll see how much booze Iím taking in.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Surely once the staffs has checked your ID once, they donít need to look again until you come back on another day?


††††††††††††††††† GRAHAM


I asked the Landlord about that. He tells me they have to check every time. There could be different barmaids serving me each time, and they canít always tell who has been in all day from who has just arrived. Itís crap I know. They just want to see how long we spend in here.The card registers the exact time of each purchase on the Government computers. I remember when Big Brother was just a game show.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE



Iím sure itís not that bad. Itíll just take some getting used to all these checks, thatís all. Ah, Iíd better get going. I have to be at my interview soon.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GRAHAM


(As GEORGE finishes his beer, stands up and gets his coat)


Good luck. Let me know how you get on.


GEORGE waves to GRAHAM and leaves the bar.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE


SCENE ELEVEN Ė EXT- GEORGE approaches the offices of the firm at which he has a job interview, and enters.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE


SCENE TWELVE Ė INT Ė GEORGE is in a waiting room. A secretary approaches him.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SECRETARY


Mister Metcalfe will see you now, Mister Forester. Go through the door to your left.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


(Smiling politely)


Thank you.


GEORGE goes through the door indicated. It closes behind him.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE


SCENE THIRTEEN Ė The interview Room.MR. METCALFE is sitting at a desk, with some paperwork in front of him.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE




Come in. Come in. Sit yourself down. No need to stand on ceremony.

(GEORGE sits down)


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE.


Thank you, Sir.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


I take it you had your ID Card checked as you entered the building?


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Yes, twice.Security checked me as I came in downstairs, and your secretary read it too.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Splendid. Splendid. Well, down to business as they say. Iíve read your application form of course. You seem very experienced in this line of marketing work and more than qualified to work here. Perhaps you could tell me in your own words why you feel we would be right for you.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Well, frankly Sir, you pay a great deal more money thanyour competitors. I also believe that you have a greater range of opportunities for overtime, at high bonus rates, and more scope for promotion than many other firms. I work hard as my references will show you. Iím actually a bit of a workaholic. I donít think my previous employer could actually give me enough work to do. I have strong reason to believe that you will find much more for me to do.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR METCALFE


Splendid. Splendid.Well. I wonít beat about the bush, George. I like you. I think youíll be just right for us. Of course, I do have other candidates applying for the post too, but Iím personally very confident about you. Expect to hear from me by the end of the week. Goodbye.


(MRMETCALFE reaches out a hand to shake hands with GEORGE who gets his coat and leaves the office.As soon as GEORGE exits, MR. METCALFE calls in his H.R. Rep, SANDRA MAITLAND on the phone.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Sandra, could you bring the Forester ID Card print outs in for me please. Just bring me the information gathered today. His full file will be longer than War And Peace.


OS ††††††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


Right away Mr. Metcalfe.


(A door opens, and SANDRA MAITLAND enters.)


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


The Forester print outs, Sir.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Read them to me.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


He came in by Metrolink this afternoon. An ID Inspector reports that he found him a little surly and uncooperative. George then went to newsagents. We donít know what exactly he purchased, but a cross-reference on the newsagent in question shows that the shop has a reputation for selling pornographic literature.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Oh, dear. That doesnít sound good at all. Do continue.


†††††††† ††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


George then witnessed an altercation††† between an ID Inspector and a youth who was obstructing his duties. George was inspected to record his presence at the event. He is reported as being somewhat critical of the proceedings.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Mr. Foresterís little halo does seem to be slipping somewhat. Do continue.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


Forester then went to the pub, just before he came here.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Drinking in the daytime is not something I encourage among my employees. We lose too many hours of production to staff taking long liquid lunches.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


It gets worse, Sir. The pub is a gay bar.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Good grief. Hold on. Isnít Forester married?


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


Yes, Sir. Heís been married for three years.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


You know, Sandra. We could be doing him an injustice with this data. Iíve been known to take umbrage with constant ID checks myself. As to the newsagents, for all I know, he bought cigarettes or a comic. That the place sells porn as well is almost by the by. As for the pub, well itís just round the corner from here. Maybe he was just thirsty. He didnít look drunk to me when I interviewed him. He might not even know it was a gay bar.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


I agree, Sir, but with respect, such details are on record. If we give him the job despite them and he proves to be unreliable or unsuitable for us, we might be questioned later as to why we ignored the warning signs. I think we should reject his application to work for us.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Sandra, we have found ID Card fault with virtually everyone who has been in. Iíve turned down twelve candidates, and at least three of them know the job better than I do. We have to draw the line somewhere. Weíre losing business waiting for Mr. Right like this. We canít afford to be too fussy. Do we have anything else on George Forester? If not, the job is his.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


You wonít like this, Sir. His wife, Mary. I cross-referenced her card to the National Register. Sheís been out shopping in Mothercare all day. I think she must be pregnant.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Ah, that tears it. George never mentioned that. It explains why heís so keen for more work and more money. No doubt heíll be requesting paternity leave before long. I canít afford to let him have time off so soon after he starts working for us.Take a letter, Sandra. Iíve got some bad news for GeorgeÖ..


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† SANDRA MAITLAND


(Taking up pen and shorthand notepad)


Yes Sir.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† MR. METCALFE


Dear Mr. Forester. Thank you forÖ

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† FADE


SCENE FOURTEEN INT Ė The Forester home Ė Kitchen.GEORGE is sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast. MARY enters with a letter in her hand.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY


The post has arrived, George. This oneís for you.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


(Taking the letter and beginning to open it).


Thanks loveÖ Ah, Itís from Mr. Metcalfe.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY




Did you get the job?


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Dear Mr. Forester, thank you for applying to join us at Öbut with regret, we have decided to give the position to a more qualified candidate. May I take this opportunity to wish you every success in future employment? Yours SincerelyÖ.


(GEORGE crumples the letter and throws it on the floor. He weeps. MARY comforts him.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY


I really thought youíd get that one.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


(Getting up and putting his coat on)


So did I. Guess Iíll just have to go out looking for another job now.†††††


†††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††MARY


Make sure you take your ID Card with you.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GEORGE


Donít worry. I never go anywhere without it.


(George kisses his wife and leaves the kitchen. We see Mary patting her pregnant looking stomach and weeping as the door shuts behind him.)


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MARY


(To her baby)


Youíll get your own ID card in a few yearsÖ yes you willÖ just like mummy and daddyÖ.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FADE




††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FIN



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