We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Various forms of coercion, such as designation of the application process for identity documents issued by UK Ministers (e.g passports), are an option to stimulate applications in a manageable way. Designation should be considered as part of a managed roll-out strategy, specifically in relation to UK documents. There are advantages to designation of documents associated with particular target groups e.g. young people who may be applying for their first Driving Licence.

‘National Identity Scheme, Options Analysis – Outcome’, the Home Office document from the end of 2007 that succinctly describes its approach to the imposition of the national identity scheme onto the population.

The new Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, says “Holding an identity card should be a personal choice for British citizens — just as it is now to obtain a passport.” This is no change. It always has been intended that it should become the same personal choice, that any application for a passport (or another official document that you need to live a normal life) should entail an application to be on the national register for the rest of your life. As voluntary as sleeping.

7 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    Sadly true Guy.

    The collectivist (anti freedom) intentions of the government have not changed – all they change is presentation and tactics from time to time.

  • ThousandsOfMilesAway

    Whilst the government are clearly, in the wake of the Johnson article – at least in presentational terms, if not, as you suggest, in substance – in retreat, now is the time that opponents of a national ID register should be pressing home their advantage and moving to ensure the demise of the database as well.

    I haven’t seen any columns in reply to the Home Secretary in the MSM. Guy, perhaps you could suggest to whoever mans the helm at CiF that you submit one?

  • ThousandsOfMilesAway

    Guy, I haven’t seen much (any?) MSM response to the Johnson article. Perhaps you or someone else from NO2ID might submit one to CiF?

  • ThousandsOfMilesAway

    [apols for the double (triple?) post – I see from NO2ID site that the Graun editorial the next day saw through the subterfuge, as did the Telegraph, but still, it would be good to see futher detailed rebuttal in the MSM if you can wangle some column inches – I think a lot of people have probably been take in]

  • guy herbert


    Comment is Free to their credit, asked me for a reaction the same day as the announcement. Here it is.

    It may be as a result of the chats I had with editorial staff that day that we got the good leader the following day. By the end of the week, however, another set of journalists who hadn’t absorbed the point at all (or didn’t want to) were writing up post-spin from Number 10. Newspapers don’t necessarily have a coherent personality or policy.

  • Remember when I advocated avoiding swear words except in very rare cases? This is one of those moments:

    If you think an Identity Card would be implemented as voluntary, you need to be fucking beaten with a Clue Stick until you beg for mercy.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Guy – the lazyness of journalists (and their desire to maintain good relations with the government, from whom they get their stories and their publications their advertising) is a real problem.

    Real journalists who “dig for the truth” (such as Christopher Booker – or, much though libertarians may dislike him over some things, Peter Hitchens) are rare.

    And it is a problem that has got worse over time. Perhaps because modern journalists are “university types” (unlike Frank Johnson and so on of old) and modern universities are far more conformist than they used to be.

    Someone like M.J. Oakeshott who taught, look for all the different sides of an argument or event – even one where you think the truth is obvious, could not survive in a modern university.

    For example, no academic (or student) would last long if they questioned the legal status of homosexual acts. I am not saying they should be banned (far from it), but not so long ago people in univeristies could have different opinions on such matters without being driven out. Or never getting a post in the first place.

    That is not true now. These days if people do not have “liberal” left opinions (corporations boo hiss, “diversity” wonderful) they do not have a chance.

    Nor is just social questions. For example, the “token free market man” that most university economics departments used to have has now mostly gone – for example when Jack Wiseman went from the University of York no new free market person was brought in to replace him. And even the library he had created was shut down – to make room for yet more admin space.

    Modern university work (for students) is more like “writing reports” than writing essays that really question established “truth” (such as that credit money expansion is a good reaction to a recession).

    So the journalists produced by such places are going to be ………….