An Orwellian slide towards the loss of civil liberties

J Mullally (H&H letters January 21) asks how long before the voluntary ID scheme becomes the norm . The answer is next year: anyone renewing or applying for a new passport from 2011 will be compelled to go on to the National Identity Register. And then

J Mullally (H&H letters January 21) asks how long before the "voluntary ID scheme becomes the norm". The answer is next year: anyone renewing or applying for a new passport from 2011 will be compelled to go on to the National Identity Register.

And then there will be no escape from the sinister multi-layered identity management system and data-trafficking regime with which this Government, on its own admission, is "recasting the relationships between the citizen and the State" (Putting the Frontline First: smarter government, December 2009).

They are introducing a level of state control which attacks our liberty and choice and signals the end of privacy for any British citizen, thus destroying our basic freedoms.

Portrayed as being "voluntary", it has been kept well out of the public eye, and disguised with weasel words about "efficiency", the "transformation of public services for the benefit of citizens", giving "citizens choice, with personalised services".


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Gordon Brown appeared to say last year, that ID cards would be dropped. We were lied to.

The truth is that the Identity Cards Bill became law in 2004 and established the National Identity Register (NIR). Section 33 of the Bill provides for the imposition of civil penalties for those who fail to keep their records up to date; and Section 15 provides power to make public services conditional on identity checks.

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It is clearly intended that eventually you won't be able to renew a passport, driving license, register with a doctor or vote, or even have your rubbish collected, unless you are on the register.

The NIR with its "Single Source of Truth" for every British citizen - a data processing term which they now applying to our identities - are part of what the government calls it's Transformational Government (TG) programme. It will "transform" this once free country into an Orwellian nightmare.

We need our democratically elected local councils to protest loud and clear. They have the power, and a growing number of councils are stating publicly that they will refuse to co-operate with the ID scheme. These can be found on the no2id website.

Camden Council should join this protest on behalf of its citizens. It is good that the Green party put this on the agenda, but the whole council now needs to take concerted cross-party action with a united statement that they will not cooperate with government diktat that compromises the rights of British citizens to go about their lawful business, free from arbitrary harassment by agents of the state.

Helen Marcus

NW2

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