Latest ID cards scandal shows that Big Brother will be privatised
Today the LSE brought out its thorough report on ID cards. This
report had met with controversy before publication when Home Secretary Charles
Clarke tried to imply they could not publish as to do so would breach
confidentiality. This attempt was met with puzzlement as the government had
turned down the LSE's request to do an 'official' report with the aid of
government departments and therefore LSE had not had access to any secret
documents to disclose.
You can read the LSE's report in full here
Read the LSE report in full (pdf) put together by 14 professors at the top
university. This report found a series of serious problems with the government's
plans to introduce ID cards.
With only a day to go before the Commons' vote on the issue
(Tuesday, June 28th) and amidst fears that the scheme is being hurried along,
brushing aside fears of technical problems, cost and legal implications this
report could not have come at a better time for anti ID card campaigners.
The LSE report accuses the government's case as "not stacking up"
and it is neither "safe nor appropriate" They also found that
the cards would cost at least twice as much as the
government is claiming and could be up to four times as expensive, a bill we
would be expected to pay for in one way or another.
The Independent on Sunday reported that the personal details of
all 44 million adults required to have ID cards under the proposals could be
sold to private companies to help pay for the ever growing bill. The price of
your privacy could be around £750 a pop, and you'd have no say in the matter
whether your details could be passed on or not. Of course it comes as no
surprise that the business friendly New Labour government should consider such
disgraceful measures as privatising your identity, but considering the
government's poor record on IT solutions the implications can become all the
This is the first time since the election and Blair's newly
reduced majority that such a controversial measure has been put before the
Commons and the number of Labour MP required to rebel is far reduced. It's also
the case that opposition in the Lords is strong, the London Assembly has voted
to call for a national review of the scheme and the Welsh Assembly has voted
that ID cards would not be required to access public services in Wales. Public
sector unions are opposed and some are saying that they will refuse to implement
the scheme. There is clearly discontent in the political classes as well as the
rest of us mere mortals who happen to live here. Even the NATO security chief
has said that the cards could be a "security disaster" and are far too "risky"
What is clearest is that the government has been battered from
pillar to post and has started making things up as it goes along.As John Snow of
Channel Four News said "the government does not know how much ID cards will
cost, nor do they know how much it will save in reduced fraud, nor do they think
it will prevent terrorist attack. But they want everyone to think ID cards are a
good idea. "
From the Guardian
Or visit the campaign website
Even Bigger Brother meeting
London, June 29:
7.00pm at University of Westminster, Old Cinema, 309 Regent's
Street, London, W1B 2UB.
Rt Hon Tony Benn,
Rt. Hon. Peter Lilley MP,
Alistair Carmichael MP,
George Galloway MP,
and Director of Liberty,