Monday, March 19, 2007

Banging on about ID again

Having just received the latest magazine from Liberty (the civil rights campaigning group), I thought I should share a few interesting things from it about my obsession with ID cards and the surveillance state we're rapidly moving into.

Did you know that the government has revised its estimated cost of implementing the ID card and identity database scheme to £5.4 billion (it was all going to cost £3 billion maximum, remember). Liberty, NO2Id and others, however, prefer to go by the London School of Economics figures which estimates the overall cost at £19 billion. That's your money and my money about to be poured into a bottomless pit of an unworkable system which has been designed for no other benefit than to enable a government (future ones might not be as benign as this lot) to keep individual tabs on what you're up to.

Expenditure so far is at least £58.2 million (Home Office figures), and the government still can't even guarantee the security of the project. The new , all singing all dancing biometric passports can be cloned using technology that costs about £100.

National opinion polls are showing rapidly decreasing support for this illiberal and dangerous scheme. At the outset Mr Blair and his boys were claiming 80% of the population thought ID cards would be a good thing. The latest figures show that those in favour now number 49%.

This was bound to happen as people realise both the spiralling costs and the threat to all of our civil liberties. The scheme will not reduce crime, will not "control immigration" and will not remotely assuage the threat of international terrorism. It is a con. It is a lie.

We have a dishonest government led by a dishonest prime minister which wants to pave the way for a genuine police state. Help to stop it: write to your MP, join Liberty or No2Id (or both), renew your passport before you have to register for the database at the same time.

Happy Monday to you all!

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