Web Analytics Trust People (once an Englishman in Philly): ID compromise sell-out

Thursday, March 30, 2006

ID compromise sell-out

Much as the ID card compromise may, I hate to say it, suit the short-term political goals of both the Conservatives and Labour it should in no way be heralded as a break-through. It permits, after all, the compilation of the most unpleasant aspect of the scheme, the national ID database, from 2008. This allows access for Government departments to all sorts of private information as well as creating the requirement for registration. When the police can be issued with portable fingerprint scanners how confident can we be that they won't have compiled a pretty exhaustive database, centrally-held, of course, in advance of that date anyway.

How precisely does this differ from a police state? They can blather all they like about how restricted access will be, but we all know just how applicable the slippery-slope argument is to Government powers and we're all too aware of the scope for abuse. This entire policy has been a textbook example of all that is malign about the current Labour Party. If the substance won't play well, then ignore the substance. Deflect off it as much as you possibly can. This is what has happened as the justifications have shifted from "entitlement cards" to anti-terror, from cracking down on benefit cheats to illegal immigration, from complying with international passport requirements to yesterday's gem from Home Office Minister Andy Burnham.

When asked why Labour had not told voters before that ID cards would be compulsory to carry he said: "Actually, we did." He added: "It is part of being a good citizen to prove who you are day in, day out. Police State? Nah...


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