The Propsed UK Identity Card
Liberal democracy is based on the principle that the people
through their elected representatives control the State. This does not happen,
of course, because the Government of the day through Party majority controls
Parliament, but it does deny the implications of the biometric Identity
The implications of the biometric Identity Card are that the
State is entitled to license and control individuals. The detailed information
on the card not only identifies the individual, but informs the database of
everything about the individual which the Government may wish to record. This
would give any repressive Government the opportunity for total control and
The present Government is not in that sense repressive, but
certainly has authoritarian tendencies, and the threat of terrorism can be used
to sanction any increase in control and surveillance which any future
Government may wish to introduce. This will gradually reduce democracy to a
sham. It is worth noting, too, that the European Union is not in any real sense
democratic but becomes every year a more closely centralised bureaucracy.
The danger is all the greater because the technology and
organisation required to implement the system of biometric identity cards is so
complex and expensive that once introduced it will (if it works) be
Control, after all, is so much more convenient for
administration than freedom that every Government and bureaucracy has it as an
unacknowledged aim. Only the people's belief in democracy saves us from the
erosion of those rights and liberties now considered normal.
It is the combination of terrorism as a threat, and the
introduction of Identity Cards as a theoretical counter to terrorism which
makes the present situation so dangerous. The British people seem complacently
unaware of this danger, being perfectly willing to trade their liberties for
what they imagine to be increased security. In fact the cards will not make us
more secure, but will certainly make us less free, It is necessary to say 'Wake
up!' before it's too late.
© JBP 5th May 2004
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