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Ask to see my ID card and I’ll eat it

In his Telegraph column, Boris Johnson comes out strongly, and in his inimitable way, against ID cards in Britain. He goes for the proposal’s jugular, which has nothing to do with anti-terrorism and security and all to do with control and commmand.

I say all this in the knowledge that so many good, gentle, kindly readers will think I have taken leave of my senses, and to all of you I can only apologise and add, in the words of Barry Goldwater, that extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice, and that I really don’t know what I dislike most about these cards.

Worse than the cost and the bother, however, there is the sheer dishonesty of the arguments in favour. If I understood Her Majesty correctly, her Government conceives of these cards as essential weapons in the “war” on terror.

Perhaps it’s the latest ‘release’ from Tory constraints, so to speak, that allows Boris to heave a sigh:

All these points I have made these past few years, up and down the country, and the most frustrating thing is that these objections cut absolutely no ice (unlike, as I say, the cards themselves) with good, solid, kindly, gentle Conservative audiences.

My audience were all gluttons for freedom, if by that you meant the freedom to hunt, or the freedom to eat roast beef without the fat trimmed off. But they were perfectly happy to see their own liberties curtailed, if that gave the authorities a chance to crack down on scroungers and bogus asylum-seekers.

Indeed. If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear! Now, where have I heard this before…?

And the final exhortation:

And there, I fear, the debate has come to rest. To all those who yearn for ID cards, and who would extinguish the flame of liberty in the breath of public panic, I make this final appeal. Read this week’s Spectator, with its terrifying account by a man arrested and jailed for having a penknife and an anti-burglar baton locked in the boot of his car, and then imagine what use the cops could make of the further powers they are acquiring to inspect and control.

Yes, we have, Boris and ’tis a very scary read.

3 comments to Ask to see my ID card and I’ll eat it

  • Archie

    Those who will not fight for freedom and liberty deserve neither freedom or liberty.

    If you identify youself to any official using government issued cards you are a slave with no rights. A freeman has his name in Maximus Minimus a slave Maximus Maximus, what this means is if your idintity card license etc has your name all in capitals you have no rights and you can be tried, being guilty until proving yourself innocent.

    I would strongly suggest trying to get any card issued using English spelling rules your name in upper and lowercase starting with your given name(s) and then family name. Also you do not have a first, or last name , this too is a gov’t trick , do not sign anything that has your name in capital letters without putting brackets around it ( signature ) according to contract law anything in brackets is for reference purpose only and not part of the contract. Long live freedom , long live liberty.

  • Though I approve the sentiment, that’s a weird interpretation of contract law (don’t try it at home, folks). In any case, a government-mandated anything is not subject to contract. Maybe it should be, butit ain’t.

  • Random thought …

    Under the draft bill, it is an offense to damage your ID card, an offense to lose it, an offense not to present it, and an offense to be in posession of one that won’t scan.

    And of course I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a £2500 fine, would I?

    But … Is it an offense under the act to be in posession of an ID card that’s smeared in faecal material and/or HIV-infected blood or other noxious substances? In a heat-sealed plastic baggie? Which will of course be handed over on request so that the duly empowered agents of the state can open it (if they really want to examine it)?

    I’m sure it’ll be illegal under some other statute (handing over noxious substances to the cops must be covered somewhere), but probably not to the same draconian extent as the ID card bill, and for reason of natural perversity I kinda like the idea of carrying around an ID card that qualifies as biohazard material. Rendering it radioactive would of course be the coup de grace, but I don’t have a handy slow neutron source to hand …