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Someone mentioned that ID cards exist in Denmark. Indeed they do. The pragmatic approach there comes from the fact that they are are a tool, coupled with rights of privacy and transparency that are constitutionally protected for its citizens. The boundaries of the state's power are explicitly laid out.
In the UK, our rights are protected by the common law, with no explicit constitutional protection. We are therefore at the whim of the executive, who can steamroller legislation through with the bare minimum of support, with the slimmest of majorities in the commons. Worse, this parlaiment cannot proscribe future ones from extending or introducing legislation (Maastricht was slightly different, being the result of a treaty obligation). So it's entirely possible for the next parliament to make an ID compulsory and to introduce powers to stop and produce. The fact that the ID framework is in place makes it even easier to do so.
The whole proposal does change the relationship between the individual and the state; suddenly, we have become the property of the state and it is no longer an instrument of the people: how can it be when it determines who the people actually are?
So why do Bliar (not a misprint) and the Government want this system? In the end, it is all about control.Darren Stephens, 14 years ago.