I am not up in arms about ID cards, terribly much. I am against them, yes. But it’s not really something I really care about from a civil rights point of view. I think getting up in arms about it only serves as a distraction from the more pressing civil rights issues in this country.
One, I don’t believe it’ll do any good, as the only protests I’m seeing are on-line, and we all know that petitions signed on-line don’t count.
But, more importantly, two, I am well aware that the state already has all the power and apparatus if could need to investigate my life, should they decide to, and I’ve seen no convincing arguments that would lead me to think that making me carry a bit of card with some personal information on it will not significantly increase its power over me, or provide it with much more information than they could get with, say a court order to my ISP, and another to the Oystercard people. That’ll tell them more than they could possibly want to know about my interests, associates, and movements.
It will, I suppose, make it harder for me lie to the police. I’m not going to be able to give a false name and address, should I get nicked for something. But, I’ve got to be honest, even were I charged with a crime that I had committed, I don’t think it would occur to me to give a false name and address.
But, all that said, I’m still against, them. I don’t see a need for them, or think they’re solve any pressing social problems. Introducing them will be a complete waste of time and money.
But here is an excellent argument for why they’ll be an on-going waste of time and money.