Creeping identity cards
Sir - From today, the Government is issuing what it calls "ID cards for foreigners". These will affect students and those marrying Britons.
Over time, residents from outside Europe will be fingerprinted and have to account for their movements. Later, so would we all.
Refugees and the unskilled poor have nothing to lose, but successful foreigners such as Robinho or Kevin Spacey, and the overseas students who subsidise our universities, have a lot of choice over where they study or exercise their talents.
Some will decide Britain has become too unfriendly. When America introduced more hostile visa conditions three or four years ago, Bill Gates complained that Microsoft could no longer hire some of the best software engineers.
If this scheme is continued it will lead to less fee income and lower international status for our educational institutions. British students will have to pay higher tuition to make up, and will have less money to spend with local businesses. Fewer of the world's leading performers in every field will choose to make their homes here.
We value the contribution that these people make, economically and culturally, to our institutions and our society. We think our country should treat them as guests, not criminal suspects.
Phil Booth, National Coordinator, NO2ID
Guy Herbert, General Secretary, NO2ID
Prof Ross Anderson, University of Cambridge
Mark Ballard, Rector, Edinburgh University
Anthony Barnett, Founder, openDemocracy
Sophie Barrett-Brown, Chairman, Immigration Law Practitioners Association
Gerard Batten MEP
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch
Shami Chakrabarti, Director, Liberty
Barbara Cohen, Discrimination Law Consultant
Dr Rachel Lara Cohen, Warwick University
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive, TaxPayers' Alliance
Mohammed Esharif, Chairman, Exiled Journalists' Network
William Heath, Ideal Government
Becky Hogge, Executive Director, Open Rights Group
Gus Hosein, Privacy International
Sally Hunt, General Secretary, University and College Union
Chris Huhne MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary
Prof Douwe Korff, London Metropolitan University
Adam Price MP
Simon Richards, Director, The Freedom Association
Alexandra Runswick, Unlock Democracy
Samuel Tarry, Chairman, Compass Youth
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Creeping ID Cards
The following is a letter in today's Torygraph signed by, amongst others, Gerard Batten UKIP MEP, Phil Booth of No2ID and the great Brian Eno of the orginal Roxy Music line-up: