And when I say enomrity, I mean it (see sense 2b).
The wonderful thing about Bird Flu is that allows governments to pursue other things with barely a word of complaint or comment. Note how earlier this week, in the midst of the Avian flu panics, HMG managed to sqeak the Third Reading of the ID Cards Act through the, “mother of all parliaments”.
To those Labour MPs who trooped dutifully through the “Aye” lobby, I have but one thing to say: congratualtions for selling out essential liberties that have taken nearly nine hundred years and countless lives to win.
From the day this Act becmes law, the relationship between me as a citizen and the state changes for ever. The government will no longer be an instrument of the people; how can it be when it controls who the people are? My entire identity will be at the whim of the state, who can do with it as they wish. And with no reciprocal responsibility for the government, what is to stop the creep of interference?
The Bill is fairly scary reading, particularly Sections 11,12,15,16 and 17.
And what if I were to lose my card? How do I get another? How do I prove who I am? The rate of failure of biometric data, admitted by Tony McNulty (a home Office minister), is a major concern. And if you can prove who you are, you end up being no one.
Having one card to do everything is a sure recipe for disaster. The fact that I need three separaate pieces of ID to do some things is a positive advantage: it make it harder for someone to steal my identity. With one single point of failure, the best forgers and ID thieves will command a higher price for their services. I wager now that within a year of a system being put in place, easy and feasible ID fraud will be fairly common.
And, given the previous record of IT projects in the public sector, I’d just love to see how HMG will manage a system that will need a huge range of entry points and security points to work. And just guess who’s going to pay for it?