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Visiting the USA where they fingerprint you to track your movements, and having any sort of passport, let alone a biometric one, were always voluntary. Despite the amount of ID I carry, and despite the amount of data on my personal habits and movements that is available via those, they too are voluntary.
Mortgages, loans and credit cards are voluntary, and it is not illegal to not have them.
Leaving my house without donning a disguise is voluntary, and it is not illegal to wear such a disguise.
Having a driving licence is voluntary, and it is not illegal to not drive a car.
But the proposal for an identity card is not just one tiny inconsequential step further along the road down which we have travelled, it is the crossing over the border into a land known as the Police State.
THE DAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAKE IT COMPULSORY FOR ME TO HAVE AN IDENTITY CARD JUST TO *BE*, IS THE DAY THAT THEY TURN ME INTO A CRIMINAL, FOR I WILL NOT COOPERATE.
David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary said that ID cards should be introduced without delay if civil liberties and technical objections can be overcome.
I wonder how he plans to overcome my objections? On civil liberties grounds I object absolutely to any form of compulsory ID card. On civil liberties grounds I object absolutely to the police having the power to stop me to check my identity.
When the pilot tests of biometric scanning equipment begin, I would urge people not to be seduced by whatever promises are made of bureaucratic niceties such as fast track passport control, and not to volunteer for the trials.
Malcolm Farmer makes an excellent point. There is not one technology from the humble kettle for steaming open envelopes, through lock-picking and bugging to sophisticated electronic eavesdropping and codebreaking that has not at some time been misused by the police, security services, and other organs of the state.
We are about to enter a most appalling period of state monitoring and control, in which compulsory ID cards and extended police powers will be just the first aspects. It behoves all of us who cherish our freedom to resist as much as we can, and to make the journey into the new Dark Age one characterised by much kicking and screaming, not meek trudging.Mike Perry, 15 years ago.