Déjà vu as mainstream media announces the demise of the identity card scheme for the umpteenth time
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” – George Orwell.
Headlines everywhere announced yesterday that the British government has been defeated on ID cards, and that a great victory has been won for civil liberties. The problem is that we have heard this several times before and it is simply not true.
A batch of typical headlines follows:
However, if you read further than two paragraphs into the articles you discover the truth of the matter.
“The announcement means that the only people for whom it will be compulsory to have an identity card will be foreign citizens. However, the Government is to press ahead with creating a national identity register that, from 2011-12, will include the details of everyone who applies for a passport.” reports the London Times.
Next week will also see a debate on legislation that will seek to make it an offence to withhold details of a change of address or name from the government’s register.
In essence, nothing has changed, the cards will still be introduced and the identity register will go ahead as planned.
(Article continues below)
The mainstream media began to promulgate the headlines yesterday after jumping on the comments of the new Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, who said that ID cards “will never be compulsory” for British citizens.
However, Johnson also said “There will be significant benefits to individuals from holding an identity card, which will become the most convenient, secure and affordable way of asserting identity in everyday life.”
This is key. Yes, the card will not be compulsory, you will have a choice. However, as soon as cash machines, supermarket checkouts and other everyday items are linked in with the ID card database, it will become virtually impossible to live without one.
Furthermore, if you wish to hold a passport, which you need in order to travel anywhere beyond the border, you will have to be entered into the ID database.
The government never openly admitted to the compulsory nature of the ID scheme in the first instance anyway. It was only via suppressed Whitehall papers, released under the Freedom of Information Act, that the agenda for compulsory uptake was ever discovered.
The government has been caught lying and misleading on the ID issue so frequently that it is now clear that anything they say about it cannot be trusted and is usually the exact opposite of the reality of the situation.
If this current defeat of the ID scheme all feels familiar, it’s because it is, this has all happened before, several times.
In January 2006, headlines around the country announced that ID cards had been defeated in The House of Lords.
In reality, the Lords simply held off the compulsory element of the scheme by voting for an amendment requiring a separate Act of Parliament be passed to make this so.
In the months that followed, the issue went back and fourth between the House of Commons and the House of Lords and was “defeated” no less than five times.
Now here we are again, three years down the line having the same endless debate.
It is clear that ID cards and the national biometric Database are part of a long term agenda that has been mapped out into the distant future by influential powerbrokers that will always hold sway with the government in the UK, whichever party it is represented by.
As proven time and time again by history, the attempt to erode the freedom of the people by government will never be “defeated”, it will only ever be held off by permanent vigilance and action to the contrary.
This article was posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 9:30 am