pull into a train station in Nazi-occupied territory. The exits
from the station are all blocked by Gestapo officers checking newly
arrived passengers. As you shuffle your way along the queue, you
prepare a countenance of calm indifference as faces are scanned
by faces for outward signs of inward duplicity.
you assume the head of the queue, you are greeted with the terse
phrase "Papers, please!" Muscles tense and thoughts press in
as the interrogator takes an uncommon time to go over your personal
details. You know these people can play mind games with you just
to draw out any suspected deception but you must go along with the
game until they pass you on. If they pass you on ...
of the State or just a nervous, law-abiding citizen? You decide,
for the modern-day reality is about to break out upon us in Britain.
The horrors of the 11th September have revitalised statist plans
to introduce national identity cards here in Britain. A disaster
of one degree leads to another as the State takes the opportunity
presented by human death and suffering to increase its grip round
the throat of Liberty.
is a rare opportunity for the State to seize and indulge itself
in that most intrusive of activities - sanctioning and defining
who YOU are. We all have an identity unique to ourselves; we have
the nod and assent of friends and family to acknowledge who we are
and we have the self-conscious apprehension that we are a distinguishable
individual walking amongst other distinguishable individuals and
ultimately we have our God-given DNA which is the final arbiter
in the realm of physical identity.
is that enough in the eyes of the State? The imprimatur of identity
is now to be ultimately defined, not by you, not by kith and kin,
not even by God, but by the omniscient State. Without that flimsy
card with that unbecoming photograph alongside that mysterious magnetic
strip, you are a non-entity in the eyes of the State and, by default,
under suspicion. No appeal to friends or family or God will reverse
that edict of the statist super-ego.
hoped better of the conservative newspapers here, but one tabloid
has declared thusly: "ID CARDS: Why we must stop whining about
civil liberties and act immediately to stop our people being killed".
For added psychological effect, this is transposed alongside this
main panic-mongering headline: "Britain in germ terror alert".
would merely add two observations to this. One is that none of "our
people" has been killed in Britain and, two; the likelihood of Britain
being attacked by botulism or anthrax is a good deal less than that
of the U.S.A. (who have not decreed such a violation of personal
a lot of Britons were tragically killed in New York, but that is
because they were in the country targeted and hated most by the
Islamic terrorists. Britain has never been a target for Islamic
terrorism and is; I suggest, way down the list of desirable, high-profile
how is the introduction of ID cards going to stop terrorism? Remember
that some of these Muslim fanatics had never committed an offence
in their lives and are not on the files of the Secret Services.
Why? Because they are new and fresh to their movement but just as
determined as their seasoned colleagues. The F.B.I. knew about those
men on those aircraft training courses in Florida, what could ID
cards have possibly added to that situation?
does this stop outside terrorists from coming in? Passports and
visas did not stop them, so how are ID cards going to stop them?
Like wartime spies, what is to stop them forging ID cards and slipping
by security forces that are much less ruthless than the Schutzstaffel
of old? Truly, any terrorist organisation that is incapable of forging
passable ID cards is also incapable of mounting the scale of attack
that these cards are meant to help prevent.
while the State wields omniscience only over its law-abiding citizens,
the enemy slips in unseen through cracks you could not push an ID
doubt, some apologist will say, "Those who have nothing to hide
have nothing to fear." No, Sir, I have somewhat to fear. And,
rest assured, the day may be coming when the phrase "Nothing to
hide" will apply to even that which is personal and legitimate.
let us submit the motion that ID cards are as useful as a chocolate
teapot and be done with them.
Statist, your papers do not appear to be in order …" the officer
Watson [send him
mail] writes from Edinburgh, Scotland.