05 November 2007

Speculating on the Police State

The British state has seemed intent on the introduction of ID cards and the cataloging of us like so many lab rats and the British population on the whole seems to have remained pretty docile about the whole thing. However one wonders if they may be getting jitters given the following excerpt from The World this Weekend, a Radio Four show;

[24:45] R4 : Let me ask you if I may one very quick question about that. It's been suggested that one of those policies, the ID cards, may be dropped from the Queen's speech, that the idea that they should be compulsory for UK citizens is an idea that the government is retreating from. True or false?
[24:59] Harman: Well I think that that's false. We are absolutely clear
that we are going to have proper bio-metric-iden-ti-fication for people from
abroad who are in this country, that we are --
[25:10] R4: But for UK citizens, people who actually are citizens of this
[25:13] Harman: There's no change in our policy [that has] been announced,
and that's just speculation.

It would no doubt be too much to hope for that the past failures of similar schemes in other states, viz. The Australia Card, would give pause to our own ruthless authoritarians.

In evidence to the Joint Select Committee on an Australia Card, 1986, Justice Michael Kirby, President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, observed "If there is an identity card, then people in authority will want to put it to use....What is at stake is nothing less than the nature of our society and the power and authority of the state over the individual".

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