Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Living in fear of the state

Vicki Woods at the Telegraph is desparate for Tony Blair to leave Downing street.

"I want him out because he is changing my (free) country from a place I placidly love, admire and am grateful to have been born in, to a state I am beginning to fear. I don't really care what Tony does or doesn't do to the blessed schools 'n' hospitals any more. Don't even care about his difficulties with ermine or ministerial fly-buttons.

What I care about is that he is taking away my freedom to be who I am. The ID card lunacy alone should have the free citizens of Britain pouring into the streets à la poll tax riots. The state database is only one of Tony's assaults on freedom, but it's the biggest, the stupidest and the most illiberal.

He - Tony - will never, ever be stopped by some snotty youth 10 days out of Hendon Police College and asked to "identify himself to the authorities". You and I will.

"No one should fear correct identification," said David Blunkett. Oh, yes? Via a biometric card linked to a leaky government database? We should fear it mightily. It won't be "correct", any more than any other hastily got up and cockamamie government IT programme. And its purpose is not to enable free citizens to "prove" who they are, but to enable the Government to know who they are, where they are, what they are doing and what they have done."

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