No More Private Parts

Issue section: 
(288)

Hardly anyone noticed, but a month back the consultation stage for the government's paper on identity cards closed. This is the first step towards their introduction.

If you want to see what you missed, a pdf of the document is downloadable from the Home Office's website. In its introduction David Blunkett informs us that 'the threat of global terrorism, the ease with which large numbers of people now travel around the world and the proliferation of identity fraud make secure identification more vital than ever'.

He also reiterates the government's plans to make it compulsory for every citizen of the UK to carry such a card.

There can be no doubt that the planned introduction of identity cards is part of one of the largest attacks on civil liberties this country has ever seen. In response, there are a number of groups and campaigns mobilising against ID cards and against the general attacks on our freedom.

A very useful website is that of the newish campaign group No2ID. At the core of their website are a series of questions and answers about ID cards, aimed at dispelling government myths.

For instance, they debunk the idea that ID cards will stop terrorism by pointing out that all the hijackers on 9/11 carried ID cards of one form or another and that compulsory ID cards in Spain didn't stop the more recent Madrid bombings either.

A much more established group is Liberty, whose website looks at issues as diverse as curfews and deaths in police custody. Privacy International is another group looking at ID cards and other privacy issues. Their website is a mass of articles, very useful to those concerned about Blunkett's plans.

These last two websites are very good at informing people of the danger, but there is very little in the way of activities for activists to get involved with.

With the government looking at introducing further plans attacking the right to protest, by claiming they want to stop animal rights campaigners who use 'terrorist tactics', there has never been a greater threat to our liberties. This is something that every activist needs to get involved in.