Brown on ID Cards

My short lived optimism has well and truly expired. Golden Brown has confirmed that 'Yes. We are going through with the ID plan'.

From Radio 4’s Today program via No2ID:

R4: Are you committed to the ID card plan?

GB: Yes. We are going through with the ID plan, and -

R4: No rethink.

GB: What I said yesterday, I think it's a very important point here, if you are in a situation, where you or I, could easily have my identity stolen, then that is a threat to my privacy and my civil liberties, and that is an increasingly common feature of our society.

…. But what I feel that you've got to show people is that as you have to take measures to deal with the security of the country, you've also got to show people that the civil liberties of the individual are respected, that there will be no arbitrariness; that at the same time there will be proper accountability for any decisions that are made, and of course the strengthening of the Parliamentary procedures for accountability, and at the same time the assurance to people that their identity or any other aspect of what they do will not be treated in an arbitrary way, is an important part of what I believe is the British constitution, what I believe is what people in Britain have valued over the centuries, that the civil liberties of the individual are upheld.

I’m absolutely sick to the back teeth of politicians blatantly misusing the term ‘civil liberties’, redefining the term to fit their arguments with noone ever bringing them up on the issue.

If you look in the dictionary, the term ‘civil liberties’ is defined as:

‘The freedom of a citizen to exercise customary rights, as of speech or assembly, without unwarranted or arbitrary interference by the government.’

ID Cards will be the epitome of governmental interference in the freedom of a citizen, which makes it even more galling that they are using the term to support the idea!

A request to all the journos out there… next time you’re interviewing a politician, and they mention our hallowed civil liberties, please interrupt them and enquire as to whether they know the meaning of the notion.

And as for our glorious pseudo-leader’s assurances of non-arbitaryness, what can be more arbitrary than the emerging ‘Computer says No‘ culture, which will no doubt be perpetuated by their hare-brained schemes?

I'm also tired of politicians answering 'No rethink' with two paragraphs of blurb instead of just saying 'No'.