Most people who know me also know that I'm vehemently against invasions of privacy and all but paranoid about civil liberties issues. I have no intention of attempting to proselytise, but I hope that perhaps everyone is actually aware of what the government is planning with regard to the national database and the introduction of ID cards.
Soon you will be obliged by law to give up to 49 pieces of personal information (including your employment and health record, address, previous addresses...) which will be held on a central database by a private company on the government's behalf. This is a government which has already shipped all marriage licence archives to India for storage by a private company (who, needless to say are in this purely for profit). There has been no definitive guarantee about exactly who will be able to access this information; the police (at whim), local councils, any or all government bodies, insurance companies? What might any of these people want with this information?
We do not live in a Police State, but Mr Blair and his mob have done more than any government in British history to make such a thing possible. Do you trust them enough to let them do this?
The latest is that your GP is to be required, unless you tell him/her not to, to hand over all of your medical records to a central database which can be run for profit by a private company. How safe do you feel about that? How long will it be before it becomes economically important that insurance companies have access to this database?
What can any of us do? Not a huge amount, if truth be told. Write to your MP (you can find his/her address and/or e mail on http://www.theyworkforyou.com/), write to your local council and ask them to refuse to use new ID technology unless specifically required to do so by law. Log onto http://www.no2id.net/ for more information.
And finally - for the GP and medical database write to your GP. It's easiest to use the pro-forma letter which you can find at http://www.nhsconfidentiality.org/?page_id=23, as it has the exact wording necessary to inform your GP what you're about. All you need to do is fill in your own details and the GP's name and address.
Right, I'm glad I've got that lot off my chest. On with Christmas preparations...