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Archive for June, 2005

Identity Cards – Another Puppy?

You would think that our prime minister would learn from his mistakes – but no, he just keeps making them, firstly Europe, then the war and now this… The idea of a national identity card in itself is something we could discuss endlessly, some see it as a great anti-terrorist measure, others see the combination of the new intelligent road cameras, the identity card and other separately innocent measures as the combined tools of a control-freak mentality that makes even the original USSR communist party look like amateurs by comparison. Personally I firmly believe that whatever electronic measures the government puts in place will be sheepishly adopted by the mass of law-abiding public – while genuine terrorists will simply come up with ways to circumvent the cards. There is hardly an electronic security measure in the world that can’t be bypassed or broken if you’re clever enough or you know someone who’s clever enough – it takes one virus writer to bring down thousands or millions of computers – if we adopt this technology nationally it would just take one clever anarchistic type to publish information that would make the cards completely redundant. If a medium level of security is needed – most of us have that already – drivers licences and passports, together with our national insurance numbers.

What can’t be argued is that a cost of £399 or even £93 is utterly and completely unacceptable. Either this is another tax-collection device in thin disguise or there is something very sadly wrong with governmental procurement. We already have medical systems that a are propped up by the middle classes – will the same happen with these cards – free supply to the under-privileged while the rest of us pay not only for the cards but in higher taxes to cover those who don’t or can’t pay?

Much smaller organisations routinely use security cards with a cost-per-person WAY below these figures – and we all know how the cost of electronics benefits from scale – all of use except, it seems, the government.

Track and Tax

The proposed scheme to “track and tax” motorists per mile has several important and fundamental flaws.
  • The idea that the government would remove tax from Petrol and Diesel and fairly charge according to conjection is laughable. Their assumption is that we trust them to do this whereas in fact we all know the charges would creep up over time to pay for the social services. There is no way this government would be able to resist the option and they know we’d have no real way to monitor increases. £1.34 in the centre of a conjested city might not sound TOO bad – but what if they decided the M6 was overcrowded or the A1 or the M25? Some people (often those who generate wealth in business which often requires speedy and diverse travel unsuited to public transport) could find their travel costs multiplying several-fold.
  • Does anyone in goverment who has any kind of life really believe for one minute that the British public would accept their every move, their every stop-off being tracked – I don’t even think George Orwell envisaged control of quite this magnitude. Does anyone think that such tracking information would be used solely for the purposes of road charging? Come off it, with the current state of terrorism the government would be unable to resist the tempation to use this to track citizens – in the beginning only known terrorists but eventually as computer power increases they’d find the idea of keeping tabs on everyone irresistable and computers will soon be easily up to this challenge.
  • What about the cost of the tracking devices – if they charged motorists for this, there’s ANOTHER tax, if they don’t then the public (including motorists) would STILL end up paying for them – having seen the ridiculous suggested charges for identity cards, I have no doubt that the goverment would procure such devices by methods which would ensure charges to us which would be WAY above typical commercial cost

This is a VERY dangerous idea that should be fought with our last breath. It is nothing more than another attempt to kill the motor car and reduce us all to using the rather pathetic (and in some places non-existant) public transport system by a government that has no understanding of business and little understanding of the needs and desires of it’s own people. Big Brother? How about ENORMOUS Brother!