You may not know that a Home Office minister is touring the UK holding ‘consultation’ meetings about the National Identity Scheme, and that it is more nonsensical than even the average government consultation exercise. She is, however, and nothing will be allowed to stand in her way. 3 members of NO2ID were arrested this morning for “suspected breach of the peace” while protesting outside the venue of the Edinburgh consultation exercise. Making ministers look bad will these days get you hustled away by police, apparently.
The reason the ‘consultation’ is even more fatuous than usual is this. There is no question the intention is to go ahead: the legislation was passed two years ago. And any questioning of the plan is ruled out of order – if not, indeed, arrestable. The object of this tour is to gather together “stakeholders” – businesses and voluntary organisations, and to persuade them that helping the government strong-arm their customers, staff and volunteers into enrolling will ultimately be for the good of all. In fact it seeks suggestions from them how best to get universal compliance.
Rounding up any dissidents is the last resort, of course.
Update: Apparently 9 people are still in custody at time of writing (18:20 BST). Hat-tip: Glasgow Herald, who called me for a statement.
Update 2: (06:23 BST) You can read the account of Geraint Bevan, of NO2ID Scotland, here. (The hard scientists among our readers will be pleased to know that the ‘Dr’ signifies Geraint just got his PhD in engineering.)