Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Scrap ID Cards

One of the good things about watching an authoritarian government slowly committing itself to the dustbin of history, is to see its supporters turning against each other. The backstabbing about expenses, in some cases being used to settle old scores, and now attacks on policies widely detested but previosly kept quiet about for fear of 'rocking the boat' are the new bloodsports.

ID cards, hated by those who enjoy individual freedom and who detest statism, are under attack, and thank God for that. Alan Johnson is said to oppose the current scheme, maybe he prefers another one. Either way he will be closely watching the response to a speech today by Lord Steyn. The following is from politics.co.uk:

Former law lord Lord Steyn will call for the government to scrap its proposed ID cards scheme today, in a sign of growing discontent among the judiciary over the controversial plans.

As he prepared to deliver his Farrar's Building memorial lecture he told journalists: "'My untutored view is that the debate on ID Cards is on its merits progressively turning against the government.

"In one of his English letters Voltaire said that the civil wars of Rome ended in slavery, and those of the English in liberty. He wrote that the English are jealous of their liberty. So they are.

"The commitment, by and large, of the British people to European constitutional principles and ideals does not require us to adopt an ID card system. In my view a national identity card system is not necessary in our country.

"No further money should be spent on it," he continued. "The idea should be abandoned."

Farrar's Building is one of England and Wales' leading civil and criminal law sets.

The new home secretary Alan Johnson is understood to be lukewarm about the scheme and is currently implementing a review of the plans, starting from 'first principles'.

I fear that the ID project will continue, in some form or other, whether we have a Labour, Tory or, God forbid, Lib-Dem government. There seems little for libertarians in the UK in any of the smaller parties, most of whom, even if opposed to ID cards, are authoritarian in many other respects.

Which is why I would urge them to look at the Libertarian Party. Not forgetting to support No2ID.

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