Nick Clegg writes on ID cards

From yesterday’s Guardian:

ID cards for foreign nationals are the thin end of the wedge, whatever they look like – and the home secretary, who unveiled their design today, knows it. Here’s how it goes:

Step 1: Target a weak group who have no political voice in the UK and who benefit from little public backing or support, and make them the guinea pig for a deeply unpopular policy.

Step 2: Once the sacrifice of their rights has embedded as “standard procedure”, pick off the next target – airport workers perhaps – or a group similarly small and likely to fly under the public radar.

Step 3: Involve other public service workers in “sensitive” positions, followed next by students, and so it will go until we have all had our privacy surrendered to Labour’s surveillance state…

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  • Totally agree. What happens to an airport worker who refuses an ID card bearing in mind that it is not law and is not in contracts of employment. Would a public spirited (Lib Dem) airport worker be prepared to make an issue of this with our backing.

  • David Heigham 26th Sep '08 - 3:21pm

    I still have my National Identity card from 1951 – when the wartime system collapsed following a court case. I kept my old card as a potentially useful voluntary identification document. When I tried to use it two or three years later, the system was still so unpopular that no-one, not even the police, would look at it.

    Later, in the 1980s, I tried to find an identity card system anywhere in the world which really kept tabs on everyone. There wasn’t one. It is probable that the wartime systems in the UK and Nazi Germany were the most complete that ever existed; and both of those had tens of thousands existing “illegally” with false documents or none.

    The Home Office obsession with introducing Identity Cards is completely irrational behavoiur, as well as being self-evidently “un-British”. They are now trying to sneak it in by using salami tactics. Nick and Chris need to skewer each attempted slice.

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