The problem(s) with ID cards
Everyone I've spoken to recently has been doing the same old "if you've done nothing wrong..." arguments, usually followed by the "so what's the big deal?" line. Normally, after a five minute rant, I manage to convince them that this is one of the most intrusive and unpleasantly fascistic laws this country has yet seen, that it's the first step down the slippery slope to genetic databases and every dystopia ever envisaged.
But usually what gets them is "what? I'll have to pay eighty-five quid for this thing?"
For those wanting a few more details, check the ever-enraged No2ID campaign (an organisation I would happily promote via a banner on this site were it not for their use of the number two to replace the perfectly good word "to") and, via Martin Stabe, a point-by-point demolition of the ID cards bill by the people behind Spyblog, who have a wealth of ID information.
The Lords aren't going to let this through in its current form, don't worry. However, all that means these days is a two year delay before Uncle Tony forces the thing through. The government won't listen to us if we go on protest marches (cf. the million-person march against the war on Iraq), they won't listen to us if we present reasoned arguments (cf. the Law Lords declaring detention without trial to be illegal), they won't listen to us if we get violent (cf. the later stages of the campaign to protect hunting).
The only language politicians understand is VOTES, and the only thing they feel represents this is letters from constituents - but only if they are short, contain no exclamation marks, and don't sound overly emotional.
- If you vote for a candidate who supports ID cards, you are voting to be turned into cattle.
- If your MP is bound by a three-line whip, and so abstained yesterday rather than go against the party line, write to them. Remind them that it is their party which is in the wrong, so it is their duty to go against this most intrusive of pieces of legislation.
- Especially if they are a Tory, remind them that this is going against three hundred years of tradition; point them in the direction of The 1952 Committee; remind them of Churchill winning the 1951 election on the basis of scrapping wartime ID; tell them this could have been their route back to office (OK, that's a lie, but it could massively have improved their chances)