Labour: Re-defining Language

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Despite the plaudits Johnson's receiving for his "major retreat" on compulsory ID cards, it's nothing of the kind. The database rumbles on regardless and, in fact, nothing has changed; the database is still the way for the few to control the many. The ID card was always intended to be introduced to the public as being 'voluntary' but then to place such obstacles in the way of living without one as to make it compulsory.

In other words, it isn't compulsory to have an ID card but if, eg, you want to open a bank account or obtain a driving licence, it will be a requirement to produce one. Do you need a bank account or a driving licence? Do you need to use NHS facilities or travel abroad? The government would probably say 'no' and that you are choosing to do so 'voluntarily'. Labour's Nu-speak reaches new heights.

You will not be required to use a card unless you wish to work, use the banking or health system, travel or receive benefits
"The issuing of a card does not force anyone to use it, although in terms of drivers or passport users, or if services - whether public or private - required some proof of identity before expenditure was laid out, without proof of identity and therefore entitlement to do it I doubt whether non-use of it would last very long." David Blunkett

So, why the apparent u-turn?
Because the government itself predicted that up to 15m people would rebel against ID cards: The Times “The forecast is made in documents released by the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act. The papers show ministers expect national protests similar to the poll tax rebellions of the Thatcher era, with millions prepared to risk criminal prosecution.”

The Conservative Party's Position:
“The second question was, “David, when you scrap ID cards will you also scrap the underlying National Identity database?” David Cameron: “I can give you a straight answer. Yes - we will get rid of the database... MagnaCarta”

The Libertarian Party's position: Here's their Manifesto

Some more links:
Liberty is not a means to a political end...
A comprehensive15-page background and analysis from Privacy International


4 Responses to “Labour: Re-defining Language”
Post a Comment | Post Comments (Atom)

An excellent post GV, and largely expressing my own thoughts on this issue. This is basically just a way of shifting ID cards off the agenda until the election, whilst maintaining the capability and framework to reintroduce in the next Parliament. I hope the Conservatives stay true to their words on this one and scrap the whole thing from top to bottom.

1 July 2009 at 09:52
Anonymous said...

That Cameron quote is two years old.

Has he weaselled out of it yet?

1 July 2009 at 13:31
Richard Dale said...

As an aiport worker my girlfriend was very concerned about this, and is relieved at the change. This should mean she does not have to register on the database before the Conservatives have a chance to scrap the lot.

Anon - do you have any reason for your comment? Has Cameron done anything at all to justify your scepticism, or are you just a troll?

1 July 2009 at 15:13

Cameron's words are on record now - if he weasels out of dismantling the database he's going to be toasted more than he ever hoped Brown would be.

In the meantime, I'm trying to keep an open mind and give the benefit of the doubt to Cameron & Co - some days it just doesn't come together.

1 July 2009 at 16:47