The next step towards the UK becoming a police state was taken today when the commons voted for the ID legislation. It represenets a remarkable abuse of democracy when over 60% of the public are opposed to such legislation, but it will be law before long. This one act has more potential to change the fabric of british life than any other introduced this decade.
Taken in isolation it’s not too drastic, but when you consider the UK has more CCTV cameras per head of capita than any other and the police hold DNA records of more of it’s population than any other democratic country you start to see a worrying trend.
None of the above are “nails in the coffin” for the free society we currently enjoy, even when taken together, as we do live in a democracy. As such, it’s true that there has been discussion and debate about these things before the vote was taken. What’s worrying, and when taken with the above is far closer to fulfilling the role of the final nail, is that throughout the discussion there has been an unusual display of irrationality and contempt for opposing points of view displayed by those in authority. Independant research that disputed the official position has been rubbished and its authors personally attacked to the point where one of them was recently talking about how “he now knew how Dr Kelly felt”. Is this really the sign of a “mature” democracy in action?
It may have been that the time was nigh for some form of ID card. Presented in a suitable manner and with a healthy body of evidence about costs and benefits such legislation wouldn’t have found it hard to gain cross party and likely public support.
Rushing through legislation without that body of supporting documentation, in a manner that evokes memories of a cold war soviet union, is not the way that such important legislation should be introduced.