UK Compulsory National Identity Cards (ID Cards)
To Fight Crime and Terror
"Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in
destroying what we hold dear in this country" - Tony Blair, 7/7/2005
Following the 11th September atrocity, the UK Government immediately
began talking about introducing ID Cards. We were told they would
help fight crime and specifically terrorism. In fact this was
simply a case of Blunkett shamelessly taking advantage of the post-911 panic.
There is no evidence to support the claim that ID Cards
will significantly cut down on crime and terror. Many other countries have ID
Cards and still suffer from crime and terrorism.
Spain has compulsory Identity Cards. That did nothing to prevent the
Even the USA in the aftermath of 911 has not attempted to introduce
compulsory National Identity Cards. Remember that all the September 11th
terrorists entered the US on valid documents - ID Cards would have made
no difference to their actions.
The best that an ID Card can possibly do is to prove who
someone is. It can never prove their intent. If I wake up
tomorrow and decide to plant a bomb then no ID Card will stop me.
In Northern Ireland, the authorities knew for years the identities
of many of those behind the terrorist campaigns. The bombings
The terrorists want to destroy our way of life. If our response to terrorism is to panic
and give away the civil liberties we hold dear then the terrorists will have won.
In most cities the police know the identities of those responsible
for the majority of crimes. They can't do anything because of lack
of evidence, not lack of identification.
Those supporting Identity Cards seem to have some fantasy of
criminals taking their ID Cards with them to the scene of the crime
then dropping them for the police to find. More likely a smart
criminal will steal someone else's ID Card and plant that to waste
In the case of low-level crime, ID Cards can at least potentially identify
whether or not you have a past record. It is a notable feature of
suicide bombers that they are rarely repeat offenders.
ID Cards might actually increase the risk of terrorism by
making people complacent. Any ID Card, no matter how technologically
advanced, will be forged within a few years. It is the
well-funded international terrorist organisations who will be
the first to get such fakes.
Even David Blunkett himself didn't really believe that ID cards will make
a significant impact on the terrorists. In July 2002 he let this slip:
"Yes, I accept that it is important that we do not pretend that an
entitlement card would be an overwhelming factor in combating
international terrorism. That is precisely what I said three times on
the radio within a fortnight of 11 September, and I reiterated it this
An independent report from Privacy International proves there is no demonstrable
link between imposing ID Cards and reducing terror.
UK ID Cards - Introduction
Contact Trevor Mendham