Over at British Politics, a recent article caught my eye, this was related to comments made by a Home Office Minister, which suggested that the government had the powers and perhaps, even the will to designate existing documents as identity cards. This could, for example, be passports or more likely drivers licenses. There is even a suggestion that a refusal to agree to provide the additional information, could end up for example, a refusal to renew your drivers licence or maybe, if they wanted to go a step further, it could lead to the suspension or cancel of a drivers license.
Government has already started to introduce cards through the back door by suggesting that students should use them as well as airport workers and newly qualified British citizens. It is clear that the UK government want to get some groups to accept, either voluntarily, or by mandate, the use of ID cards. By dealing with smaller groups in this way, they are likely to get less resistance and can argue in the future that “some people already use identity documents”. It is clear to me, at least, that the UK government is determined to introduce ID cards by any means necessary. I have reproduced, with permission, the article from British Politics.
Proof, if any were needed, that this Labour government will bring in ID cards by any means necessary was provided by a recent statement given by Home Office Minister, Meg Hillier at the Biometrics Conference.
She was quoted as saying that there was “nothing to stop” drivers’ licences or other documents from being designated to work as ID cards and went on to say “In time it is possible to designate the driving licence or other documents to be counted as an ID card.” The only conciliatory note in her comments was that there were no plans to do so before 2012. Cold comfort for those who believe, as I do, that this Labour government is simply obsessed with gaining more and more control over the views, activities, intentions and minds of the electorate.
As Cornelius Tacitus, senator and historian of the Roman Empire was quoted as saying “In a free society, the rights and laws protect the individual from the government. In a dictatorship, the rights and laws protect the government from the people. The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”
Hillier explained that once an ID Card system was in place, it would be used for proof of age, criminal records bureau checks, for bank loan applications, for employers, as well as maternity allowances, tax returns, TV licences and incapacity or unemployment benefit claims. Of course, we all know that this will also include biometric data.
Under the Identity Card Act 2006, the Home Secretary can designate documents that will require anybody applying for them to be placed on the National Identity Register (NIR), the backbone of the ID card scheme. In other words, they could refuse to issue, for example, passports, drivers licenses and so on, unless, or until we agree to join the National Identity Register. This, presumably is designed, to counteract the growing movement of disobedience, where people are signing a pledge not to do anything to support the introduction of identity cards.
Phil Booth, national co-ordinator for pressure group NO2ID, said: “It is clearly a compulsory scheme if in order to continue driving, travelling abroad or get a loan you have to be registered on the scheme“. He added that “it is coercion up to the point of compulsion.”
Add this database, with the Big Brother Database, monitoring all forms of communications, mobile calls, text messages, email and internet browsing, together with the children’s database, ContactPoint and the mobile phone register, added to vehicle tracking through ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition), 4.2m CCTV cameras and a National Health Database that will hold all of our medical records for our lifetime and you really start to get a picture of just how much control this government wants overs its citizens. We need to ask ourselves why, what are they so afraid of? It cannot be to protect us against terrorism, because lets face it, for 100’s of years, this country has been under threat from outside influences, yet we have survived and prospered, without this level of state intelligence and policing.
If we value our civil liberties, which clearly this government does not, then we need to be vocal and we should consider supporting pressure groups such as NO2ID, Statewatch and The Open Rights Group.