Monday, July 04, 2005

Panic in No 10 as ID card support collapses

So only a minority support ID cards, now that the bill has been published and the discussion begun. This was to be expected. If our democracy was functioning, that would be an end of the matter. But a feeble opposition, MP's cowed by the whips, and a press which daily becomes more and more craven means that our democracy does not function. An interesting question for the next poll would be whether those who don't want the card expect it to be introduced. I bet they do. Blair will not back down on this now, for fear of seeming "weak".

Sadly, only civil disobedience will kill this totalitarian project.

Telegraph | News | Panic in No 10 as ID card support collapses

2 comments:

Sam said...

Of course we expect it to be introduced. There seems little we can do to prevent that. Surely, though, we can make the system completely unworkable, simply by refusing to buy the cards.
The most amazing thing about that article was the figures. Who are these 78% who were for ID cards two years ago (or the 45% who are now)? I've never met one!

Tom Paine said...

I think people initially supported anything which might make them safe from terrorism. The little bit of Cromwell in all English DNA also made us to WANT to suffer to prove we were all on the same side.

Then the Government admitted ID cards would do no such thing. Support dropped. There was public discussion about costs, economic and social. Support dropped further. The LSE published figures more plausible than the Government's (but converging with them, as the Government's estimates are on the usual upward trend). Support dropped still further.

The macho style of this government is a worry. Effete public schoolboys as many of them are, they seem to need to swagger to prove their credentials to lead the working class.

Constitutionally, the people's only protection against a swaggering Executive is Parliament - but our MP's are under total party discipline and live in fear of the PM's patronage (or rather its withdrawal). Few MP's are financially indepdendent these days, and the Parties resist the selection of anyone who might be. Our professional politicians are at the mercy of their party's whips and our Consitution is therefore not functioning.

Civil disobedience is - as you say - our only hope. However, the bill does not provide those of us who have signed the No2ID pledge with an opportunity for martyrdom in prison. Instead, there will be repeated "civil" penalties (a nasty New Labour invention to disguise criminal fines) enforced ultimately by confiscation of property. We will be forced to beggar our families, rather than go honourably to jail as living reproaches to government.

All who have signed the pledge should probably therefore be putting their houses in the names of a spouse who has not done so.