Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Dealing with the cards - the international importance of our ID debates. 

The horrible details of how the Identity Cards Act of 2006 will actually impact our lives can be gleaned from the Blackstones Guide just published. This makes the point that most countries that have ID cards introduced them when they were Colonial Dependencies or Dictatorships, or at War, or experiencing a State of Emergency. ID cards are for these countries even when they ahve become democracies at peace, just an accepted, undebated fact of life.

This means that there is little precedent in terms of national debate over the aims or purposes of ID card schemes as few democratic, non-colonial countries have attempted to introduce them during peacetime. (Blackstone 2006, para 2.05, in part)

So our continuing debates have quite wide resonances. It may help other countries reflect on what thay have got themselves into.

For my part I welcome the dawning realisation amongst some Tories that this issue is important and that ID cards need to be opposed. If it makes it more difficult for us LibDems to campaign distinctively on this issue, well that is the price of being so glaringly right on an issue that others have to come onto our territory.

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