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Longer & Larger

At no point has any proponent of ID cards successfully demonstrated—rarely have they even bothered to try—how they would actually stop terrorism or fraud. They would briefly make the latter slightly more inconvenient to commit than before, but the spread of technology will smooth out that blip soon enough. Tony always shrugs off accusations of being a control freak—as he does every last atom of criticism ever slung at him—but how else to interpret his implacable zeal for a database containing every last detail about his fellow citizens? Clinically fascinating for psychologists, his grandiose, invasive desires are bad news for the rest of us. He and the scheme’s few supporters in government have no idea how the thing would work—they’re just convinced, like any good believer through the ages, that the reality can’t be far behind the words.

I know I’ve accused Tony in the past of suffering a kind of vacuous Tourette’s that means he spurts out random empty platitudes for no good reason. But, although he often repeats his meaningless assertion that modern always equals good, surely even he wouldn’t try to claim that would be a good enough reason on its own to press ahead with ID cards, would he?
Tony Blair: The real issue here is not privacy or cost, it is modernity.—6/11/06
*coughs up tiny bit of sick in mouth*

Another highlight from that speech: “[Because biometrics will soon be required across Europe], even if the whole ID card scheme stopped today, 70 per cent of the cost of the combined passport and ID card will be incurred in any case”. So we might as well go the whole hog and try to cobble together a bigger database than anyone in the world has ever attempted to satisfy my ever more creepy fantasies—for the sheer fuck of it! Wahey! I’m in government and you’re not!

We will be left with the most mind-bogglingly vast and cumbersome bureaucratic industry, of no benefit to the rest of us but existing purely for its own sake. I am suggesting that this is a bad idea worth rejecting. However, look out for ever more government surveys that show people showing overwhelming support for the scheme, when asked things like “Would you like to own an ID card that made your life fabulous, or do you want the terrorists to win?”. Indeed, I’m looking forward to the next stage of the government’s campaign to convince us:

Comments

randy_gibbons
Nov. 15th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC)
Considering HMGs record on I.T. projects, I predict it'll never get off the ground until bailed out by Very Big Corporations, the price for whose co-operation will be full access to the database for the purpose of selling stuff.

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