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It’s the Database, Stupid!

The No2ID launch was held in the basement bar of The Corner Store in Covent Garden, a spacious restaurant/pub catering for the tourist trade. The attendance was good, with more and more interested parties walking in as the clock crept past midday until the small room was overflowing.

The two speakers were Neil Gerrard, Labour MP for Wolverhampton, and Debbie Chay, the Chair of Charter88, representing the civil liberties movement, now repackaged as civil libertarianism, to distinguish itself from the Real Thing. Both provided telling anecdotes on the idiocies and dangers that an ID system would represent. Nevertheless, there was a telling gap in their analysis. Both were unable to provide a convincing story as to why the government was introducing this measure. Without understanding the motives behind the development of the ID scheme, it will prove far more difficult to halt or reverse.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Guy Herbert, a name not so unfamiliar here. His own fear was that the ID scheme will depend upon the establishment of databases that will require a far greater intrusion into the private lives of citizens if the state is to monitor them effectively.

My conclusions on the meeting were hopeful and fearful. As with any new campaigning organisation, there is a lot of work to be done in order to achieve the aim of defending civil liberties in the UK. Mark Littlewood, their National Coordinator, quipped that there were few organisations which could boast the Libertarian Alliance and Globalise Resistance as supporting organisations. Yet, as I talked with a couple of campaigners from the Left, they proved unresponsive to my thesis that they had to attract the middle classes: people who read the Daily Mail or supported the Countryside Alliance, if they wished to succeed. Since most of the activists were Left rather than Right in orientation, this may skew the activities and demands of No2ID.

Secondly, the lack of analysis may prove a boon for libertarians. Neil Gerrard asked “why anyone would wish to introduce ID cards?”. The answer is complex: strategies to control the individual by the state, which has an increasing need to obtain information (once deemed private) in order to further this end. Boondoggles such as the evil machinations of private capitalists who could make vast profits from any contracts awarded by government should remain a sideshow. They will not convince people fearful of a terrorist bomb. Libertarianism provides the strongest resource for crafting a message that can appeal to all of those affected: from men with the wrong colour of skin who will be stopped even more often and asked for some form of ID to the yound, single professional who never encounters the state, until this drops through their letterbox.

However, if there is a bomb in the United Kingdom on the scale of Madrid or the WTC, all bets are off. The government will argue that a terrorist atrocity requires the development of the surveillance state, backed up by authoritarian laws.

Crossposted to Samizdata

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5 comments to It’s the Database, Stupid!

  • Small correction : Neil Gerrard is the Labour MP for Walthamstow in East London, rather than for Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

  • Ian Bennett

    Might I suggest that “people fearful of a terrorist bomb” consider this scenario: I go out and buy a few 50-gallon drums of diesel. I might buy it all at once, or I might fill my car tank several times, removing a few gallons each time. I store the drums in my garage, which might be at my own home or might be a rented lock-up. I buy a gallon or so of peroxide bleach, or weedkiller, or some other readily-available oxidising agent. I combine these and other similarly-purchased ingredients in such a way as to produce a crude but large and effective incendiary device. I go out and steal a van, alter the number plates and load my device into it. I drive it to a multi-storey car park or whatever target I consider to be appropriate, set the timer, and go home. At all times, I have been carrying my genuine Government-issue identity card, which holds details of my name, address, height, weight, hair colour, National Insurance number, date of birth, marital status, sex, race, identifying features, medical history, sexual orientation, criminal record, political allegiance, shoe size and favourite Carpenters’ song. It carries digital representations of my face, iris pattern, retina, fingerprints, DNA profile, a detailed analysis of my typical bowel movement and a sample voice-print. All of this data is also held on a perfectly designed and implemented state of the art database administered by skilled and conscientious staff. It is totally and utterly foolproof, absolutely secure and inherently immune to any form of tampering. It is 100% reliable. Why would my bomb not cause death, injury and damage?

  • gordon vernon

    this weekend the No2ID campaign was at the European Social Forum – something of an eye-opener for myself! Guy Herbert and a couple of Arnarcho-Libertarians were there, among others, manning the stall and distributing leaflets.

    At the workshop, the good old SWP showed their face – the guy who “lectured” about the class war had about two people clapping; the second guy (that i recognized from my local train station) didnt even say who he represented…

    all in all, it was very educational..!

    i can only hope that more Libertarians get involved, other than those that i am aware of. i would hate to see No2ID ‘taken over’ by Globalise Resistance etc

  • An American Author, Albert Jay Nock wrote a book called,
    I believe, “The Enemy the State”

    Elect constituency Loyal MPs/ Psycheocracy
    This email for distribution to all officers and, if possible, to all members.

    The selection of Conservative and Labour prospective candidates for
    the House of Commons is almost always determined by the Conser-
    vative Central Office, etc. and Transport House. Although local pol-
    itical associations can contest the selection, they seldom do; the hier-
    archy having such political power. The result being a House of Com-
    mons having loyalty only to the Transport House and the Conservative
    Central Office, which in turn, are loyal to the banks which control the
    sovereign City of London, which, in turn, is controlled by a higher sover-
    eignty. The selection of candidates by the leaders of the parties is more
    than a travesty of democracy; it is the negation of democracy. Politics
    in the UK is only slightly more democratic than that of the Soviet Union.
    .
    Fortunately, this unhappy state of affairs is easily remedied. Conservat-
    ives, Labourites and others should form independent Conservative and
    Labour associations. These associations should then advertise for one
    hundred or one thousand applicants for the position of prospective
    candidate, using rigorous tests, including psychological evaluation, to
    select the best applicant. Then, at last, we will get MPs who are loyal to
    their constituents.
    .
    To repeat:
    .
    1) Form new, constituency loyal, independent, constituency associations.
    .
    2) These constituency associations should advertise widely for appli-
    cants for the position of candidate
    .
    3) select the best applicant for position of candidate using rigorous
    tests, including psychological evaluation
    .
    Note: this proposal does NOT call for:
    .
    1) New political parties to br formed be formed
    .
    2) Cost an enormous amount of money. The idea will cost only
    about 200 pounds or so for leaflets.
    .
    3) The proposal will require a massive nation organisation. It will
    require 10 to 20 persons to form one political association, then
    the new association will provide volunteers to form new
    political associations

    With enough power, the local associations will be able to form their own
    national hierarchy and keep it under their control. If an Establishment
    association insists on running a candidate, the Establishment association
    and the independent association of the same party could hold a primary
    election to determine who should be the party candidate. It might be
    possible to organise a recall petition to recall an undesireable MP.
    Such a petition would probably have no legal weight, but would have
    psychological effect and would nullify his legitimacy.
    .
    The History of the Constitutional Treaty, The Bilderbergers and The EU
    goes back to 1776 AD. This history is described in various books, such
    as “The Unseen Hand” by Ralph Epperson, “Rule by Secrecy” by Jim
    Marrs, “Conspirators’ Hierarchy” by John Coleman, “The Anglo-Ameri-
    can Establishment” by Carroll Quigley, Etc.
    .
    More information on the idea presented can be seen on the web page
    http://www.home.earthlink.net/~jnewell957 The web page may be accessed
    by searching for the word “psycheocracy”, the first return will be the
    web page.
    John Newell
    NY NY
    .
    See: http://www.globalchange.com/taw/TAW-Chapter7.htm
    .
    The very High Cost of Joining the EU and the Euro
    We have been told much about the advantages of joining the EU;
    More business, more jobs, no more war ( in Europe), no visa
    requirements, etc. The above is just the cheese in the rat trap.
    There is much more, some of which is described below.
    1)Britain would fund the massive pension deficits of European
    countries.
    2) The UK will be divided into several regions that will be directly
    controlled by the EU: the Westminster Parliament will not be
    able to protect these regions.
    3) Control of the British economy will be transfered to bankers
    in Europe who are unelected and unaccountable
    4) Although there is some fraud and mismanagement in Britain,
    it is nothing compare d to that of Europe. Already The EU
    bureaucracy, now 40,000 stong, is corrupted: 10% of their
    budget is lost to fraud and mismanagement
    5) Armed EU police, the Europol, protected by diplomatic
    immunity, will be able to arrest any Briton, for crimes that do
    not break British law, take him to Europe and hold in prison
    for nine months, pending an completion of any investigation.
    6) Under Corpus Juris, the EU legal system, Britons will lose
    their rights to Habeas Corpus, protection against double
    jeopardy, trial by jury and the presumption of innocence
    7) Herbal medicines and, possibly, complementary medicine
    will be, effectively, be banned
    8) Our fisheries were given, in 1970, by Prime Minister Edward
    Heath, to the EU gratis; or, perhaps for some unknown quid
    pro quo. If we join the EU it will gain control and possession
    of Britain’s oil
    9) If we join the EU it will be illegal, in Britain, as well as in the
    EU, to criticise the EU, its policies and its leading officials
    10) All EU taxes will be “harmonised”, meaning made equal.
    Since countries with taxes of about 50% will not be able to
    lower their taxes, Britain’s taxes will be increased to 50%.
    The extra money, will, most likely, be given to the new south-
    ern and eastern additions to the EU
    11) Any member state of the EU could lose their voting rights
    if a “qualified majority vote” believes that the member is a
    potential threat to “European values and principles”
    12) The Commissioners who run the European Commission are
    appointed by the heads of state of the member states. Since
    the heads of member states were selected by those who
    control the Bilderbergers, one may reasonably assume that
    the latter control the selection of the EU Commissioners.
    The EU Commission formulates EU policy. The EU Coun-
    cil translates the policies of the Commission into legislation.
    The EU Parliament votes to pass or reject the legislation.
    The Parliament cannot introduce or amend legislation. The
    EU Parliament is so structured so that it is difficult to reject
    legislation.
    13) The EU has instituted rules and regulations that cover about
    two million pages.
    14) Already the EU is thoroughly corrupt. Many millions of Euros
    have disappeared. EU auditors have refused to certify EU acc-
    ounts for nine successive years.
    15) Any new jobs, due to joining the EU, will go to eastern and
    southern Europeans, who will work for a fraction of what Britons
    get
    16) The integration of Europe into the EU is being orchestrated,
    behind the scenes, by a very ruthless group(s) of financiers who
    have been attempting to form a one world government for centuries.
    For more information search, for example, “+Illuminati+cecil”.
    This group is the reason why politicians push policies that would
    otherwise be considered suicidal, for example, ID cards.
    .
    To date, the EU has made little difference to everyday life in Britain.
    This is because, should the British public become upset, the British
    could decline to join the EU. However, after Tony Blair signs the
    Constitutional Treaty on the ninth of May, Britain will become a
    mere twelve provinces of the EU. Then the EU will be able to
    enforce EU laws to the full without legal opposition to worry about.
    .
    Web sites:
    http://www.newalliance.org.uk click: “Hot Links”
    http://www.democracymovement.org.uk click: “Web Links”
    http://eurereferendum.blogspot.com
    http://www.civitas.org.uk click EU button
    http://www.brugesgroup.com
    http://www.northeastnocampaign.co.uk
    For more web sites see: http://www.european-referendum.org.uk
    neilherron.co.uk
    neilherron.blogspot.com
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurosceptic
    bullen.demon.co.uk
    no-euro.com
    sovereignty.org.uk
    globalbritain.org
    euro-sceptic.org
    junepress.com
    congressfordemocracy.org.uk
    lesc.org.uk
    ashleymote.co.uk
    freenations.freeuk.com
    seangabb.co.uk
    euobserver.com/
    eurofaq.freeuk.com
    englandexpects.blogspot.com
    eufactsfigures.com
    .
    .
    Books:
    1) The Rotten Heart of Europe
    Bernard Connolly
    2) EU Law
    Stephen Weatherill, Paul Beaumont
    Penguin Books
    C. 1999
    ISBN 0-14-024113-2
    3) The Government and Politics of the European Community
    Neill Nugent
    Duke University Press
    C. 1989
    ISBN 0-8223-0969-6
    4) Economics of the European Community
    A M El-Agraa
    Pub: Phillip Allan, approx 1980
    5) Britain Held Hostage
    Lindsay Jenkins
    See: http://www.lindsayjenkins.com
    Pub. 1997 by Orange State Press
    ISBN: 0965781208
    6) The Great Deception
    Christopher Brooks,
    Richard North
    Pub. Continuum
    ISBN: 0826471056
    7) The Essential Guide the European Union
    Ruth Lea
    Pub. The Centre for Policy Studies London
    Tel: 020 7222 4488
    ISBN: 1 903210 73 6
    & see: junepress.com
    8)Treason at Maastricht
    Rodney Atkinson and Norris McWhirter
    Pub. Compuprint Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne
    ISBN: 0 9509353 8 7

  • Albert Jay Nock wrote a book called, I believe, “the Enemy the
    State”

    Elect Constituency Loyal Members of Parliament
    The selection of Conservative and Labour prospective candidates for
    the House of Commons is almost always determined by the Conser-
    vative Central Office, etc. and Transport House. Although local pol-
    itical associations can contest the selection, they seldom do; the hier-
    archy having such political power. The result being a House of Com-
    mons having loyalty only to the Transport House and the Conservative
    Central Office, which in turn, are loyal to the banks which control the
    sovereign City of London, which, in turn, is controlled by a higher sover-
    eignty. The selection of candidates by the leaders of the parties is more
    than a travesty of democracy; it is the negation of democracy. Politics
    in the UK is only slightly more democratic than that of the Soviet Union.
    .
    Fortunately, this unhappy state of affairs is easily remedied. Conservat-
    ives, Labourites and others should form independent Conservative and
    Labour associations. These associations should then advertise for one
    hundred or one thousand applicants for the position of prospective
    candidate, using rigorous tests, including psychological evaluation, to
    select the best applicant. Then, at last, we will get MPs who are loyal to
    their constituents.
    .
    To repeat:
    .
    1) Form new, constituency loyal, independent, constituency associations.
    .
    2) These constituency associations should advertise widely for appli-
    cants for the position of candidate
    .
    3) select the best applicant for position of candidate using rigorous
    tests, including psychological evaluation
    .
    Note: this proposal does NOT call for:
    .
    1) New political parties to br formed be formed
    .
    2) Cost an enormous amount of money. The idea will cost only
    about 200 pounds or so for leaflets.
    .
    3) The proposal will require a massive nation organisation. It will
    require 10 to 20 persons to form one political association, then
    the new association will provide volunteers to form new
    political associations

    With enough power, the local associations will be able to form their own
    national hierarchy and keep it under their control. If an Establishment
    association insists on running a candidate, the Establishment association
    and the independent association of the same party could hold a primary
    election to determine who should be the party candidate. It might be
    possible to organise a recall petition to recall an undesireable MP.
    Such a petition would probably have no legal weight, but would have
    psychological effect and would nullify his legitimacy.
    .
    The History of the Constitutional Treaty, The Bilderbergers and The EU
    goes back to 1776 AD. This history is described in various books, such
    as “The Unseen Hand” by Ralph Epperson, “Rule by Secrecy” by Jim
    Marrs, “Conspirators’ Hierarchy” by John Coleman, “The Anglo-Ameri-
    can Establishment” by Carroll Quigley, Etc.
    .
    More information on the idea presented can be seen on the web page
    http://www.home.earthlink.net/~jnewell957 The web page may be accessed
    by searching for the word “psycheocracy”, the first return will be the
    web page.
    John Newell
    NY NY
    .
    See: http://www.globalchange.com/taw/TAW-Chapter7.htm
    .
    The very High Cost of Joining the EU and the Euro
    We have been told much about the advantages of joining the EU;
    More business, more jobs, no more war ( in Europe), no visa
    requirements, etc. The above is just the cheese in the rat trap.
    There is much more, some of which is described below.
    1)Britain would fund the massive pension deficits of European
    countries.
    2) The UK will be divided into several regions that will be directly
    controlled by the EU: the Westminster Parliament will not be
    able to protect these regions.
    3) Control of the British economy will be transfered to bankers
    in Europe who are unelected and unaccountable
    4) Although there is some fraud and mismanagement in Britain,
    it is nothing compare d to that of Europe. Already The EU
    bureaucracy, now 40,000 stong, is corrupted: 10% of their
    budget is lost to fraud and mismanagement
    5) Armed EU police, the Europol, protected by diplomatic
    immunity, will be able to arrest any Briton, for crimes that do
    not break British law, take him to Europe and hold in prison
    for nine months, pending an completion of any investigation.
    6) Under Corpus Juris, the EU legal system, Britons will lose
    their rights to Habeas Corpus, protection against double
    jeopardy, trial by jury and the presumption of innocence
    7) Herbal medicines and, possibly, complementary medicine
    will be, effectively, be banned
    8) Our fisheries were given, in 1970, by Prime Minister Edward
    Heath, to the EU gratis; or, perhaps for some unknown quid
    pro quo. If we join the EU it will gain control and possession
    of Britain’s oil
    9) If we join the EU it will be illegal, in Britain, as well as in the
    EU, to criticise the EU, its policies and its leading officials
    10) All EU taxes will be “harmonised”, meaning made equal.
    Since countries with taxes of about 50% will not be able to
    lower their taxes, Britain’s taxes will be increased to 50%.
    The extra money, will, most likely, be given to the new south-
    ern and eastern additions to the EU
    11) Any member state of the EU could lose their voting rights
    if a “qualified majority vote” believes that the member is a
    potential threat to “European values and principles”
    12) The Commissioners who run the European Commission are
    appointed by the heads of state of the member states. Since
    the heads of member states were selected by those who
    control the Bilderbergers, one may reasonably assume that
    the latter control the selection of the EU Commissioners.
    The EU Commission formulates EU policy. The EU Coun-
    cil translates the policies of the Commission into legislation.
    The EU Parliament votes to pass or reject the legislation.
    The Parliament cannot introduce or amend legislation. The
    EU Parliament is so structured so that it is difficult to reject
    legislation.
    13) The EU has instituted rules and regulations that cover about
    two million pages.
    14) Already the EU is thoroughly corrupt. Many millions of Euros
    have disappeared. EU auditors have refused to certify EU acc-
    ounts for nine successive years.
    15) Any new jobs, due to joining the EU, will go to eastern and
    southern Europeans, who will work for a fraction of what Britons
    get
    16) The integration of Europe into the EU is being orchestrated,
    behind the scenes, by a very ruthless group(s) of financiers who
    have been attempting to form a one world government for centuries.
    For more information search, for example, “+Illuminati+cecil”.
    This group is the reason why politicians push policies that would
    otherwise be considered suicidal, for example, ID cards.
    .
    To date, the EU has made little difference to everyday life in Britain.
    This is because, should the British public become upset, the British
    could decline to join the EU. However, after Tony Blair signs the
    Constitutional Treaty on the ninth of May, Britain will become a
    mere twelve provinces of the EU. Then the EU will be able to
    enforce EU laws to the full without legal opposition to worry about.
    .
    Web sites:
    http://www.newalliance.org.uk click: “Hot Links”
    http://www.democracymovement.org.uk click: “Web Links”
    http://eurereferendum.blogspot.com
    http://www.civitas.org.uk click EU button
    http://www.brugesgroup.com
    http://www.northeastnocampaign.co.uk
    For more web sites see: http://www.european-referendum.org.uk
    neilherron.co.uk
    neilherron.blogspot.com
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurosceptic
    bullen.demon.co.uk
    no-euro.com
    sovereignty.org.uk
    globalbritain.org
    euro-sceptic.org
    junepress.com
    congressfordemocracy.org.uk
    lesc.org.uk
    ashleymote.co.uk
    freenations.freeuk.com
    seangabb.co.uk
    euobserver.com/
    eurofaq.freeuk.com
    englandexpects.blogspot.com
    eufactsfigures.com
    .
    .
    Books:
    1) The Rotten Heart of Europe
    Bernard Connolly
    2) EU Law
    Stephen Weatherill, Paul Beaumont
    Penguin Books
    C. 1999
    ISBN 0-14-024113-2
    3) The Government and Politics of the European Community
    Neill Nugent
    Duke University Press
    C. 1989
    ISBN 0-8223-0969-6
    4) Economics of the European Community
    A M El-Agraa
    Pub: Phillip Allan, approx 1980
    5) Britain Held Hostage
    Lindsay Jenkins
    See: http://www.lindsayjenkins.com
    Pub. 1997 by Orange State Press
    ISBN: 0965781208
    6) The Great Deception
    Christopher Brooks,
    Richard North
    Pub. Continuum
    ISBN: 0826471056
    7) The Essential Guide the European Union
    Ruth Lea
    Pub. The Centre for Policy Studies London
    Tel: 020 7222 4488
    ISBN: 1 903210 73 6
    & see: junepress.com
    8)Treason at Maastricht
    Rodney Atkinson and Norris McWhirter
    Pub. Compuprint Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne
    ISBN: 0 9509353 8 7