UK Compulsory National Identity Cards (ID Cards)
It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.
- Joseph Goebbels
Public opinion is moving rapidly against the Government on this issue - perhaps that is
why they are so desperate to rush the Bill through Parliament with little real public debate.
The Government likes to cite the
2002 "public consultation" which the Home Office claims showed 80%
public support. That claim is a lie.
The "consultation" was badly publicised and the materials involved were biased.
Towards the end of the consultation period,
groups including Stand and Privacy International started a campaign to alert the
public of the issues. Some 5000 people responded via the Stand website, the vast majority
opposing the Government's plans. This compared with around 1500 people who responded to
the Home Office supporting them.
Despite the biases in the consultation the true result was a huge majority
opposed to the plans.
The Home Office decided they wouldn't count the Stand
replies because they were part of an organised campaign. In effect
some 5000 people had their opinions judged irrelevant because
they gave the "wrong" answer.
It seems perverse to ignore the opinion of people who feel strongly
enough about a subject to join an organised campaign.
More Recent Figures:
poll shows that when people are told the true costs of the scheme, support falls to
55% with 43% thinking the scheme a bad or very bad idea. This confirms that the more
people learn about the government's plans the less they like them.
In November 2004 the Home Office published the results of its most recent consultation.
This time the figures were very different.
According to the Home Office's own figures, 48%
of us now oppose their plans and only 31% support them.
If Tony Blair is worried about the political fallout from the hunting Act, he
should be a lot more worried about the resistance to ID Cards. Banning hunting
affects only a tiny minority of the population - compulsory National Identity Cards
will affect us all. The figures show that this issue will lose the Labour party votes
- and seats.
A May 2004 opinion poll showed that around three people in four would
support compulsory National Identity Cards but not if it meant
paying forty pounds a time for them. That still leaves one person
in four objecting to the plan on principle - hardly a resounding
public endorsement. Even those who like the idea of ID Cards don't approve of
paying for them or of having to keep the Government informed of every change of address
on pain of a £1000 penalty.
In other words, even those who initially favour ID Cards change their minds when they
learn the details.
The more that people learn about the Government's plans, the less they like them.
UK ID Cards - Introduction
Contact Trevor Mendham