Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday, 22 April 2004

Poll says UK public 'happy to carry ID cards'

80% of persons polled by MORI, for an IT consultancy which has done work for the government, were found to be comfortable with this. This sounds to me like a lot of polls which have been conducted in the past suggesting that people would be happy to support political parties which propose higher taxes, provided they are earmarked for education and the health service, etc. Who then proceed to elect the Liberal Democrats by a landslide - not!

The key to this poll lies I think in the 'bottom line' - almost half of those polled said they would be against being required to make an upfront payment for an ID card. An amount of GBP35 is being suggested. One presumes those on low incomes would have access to some kind of 'benefit' to fund the fee, otherwise it would be pretty pointless, wouldn't it? So many other things will come to hinge on possession of this Orwellian plastic that not to have one would most likely make life very awkward if not downright impossible. Of course, even if the government backs down and abandons the idea of imposing an upfront fee, it will still have to be paid for - through the general tax system. Just like the NHS, education and all the other methods by which the government accrues to itself the wherewithal to spend a very significant proportion of the national wealth in what is often a pretty inefficient manner.

And I haven't even begun to discuss here the danger to civil liberties which introduction of ID cards is very likely to involve. I am not comforted by the "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" style of platitude on this subject.

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