the Disillusioned kid: Spectrum of Debate
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Monday, October 09, 2006

Spectrum of Debate

Quoth Auntie:
The UK's national ID scheme will cost £5.4bn to set up and run over the next 10 years, the Home Office says.

It is the first time the government has set out the estimated total expense for the controversial project.

Ministers claim ID cards will help in the fight against illegal immigration and terrorism.

But the Tories, who want the scheme scrapped, say the true cost is likely to be £20bn and the cash would be better spent on building more prisons.
This nicely captures some of the distasteful undercurrents in the debate about ID cards in the UK. The Tories may oppose them (at least this week), but primarily because they aren't oppressive enough. The money would obviously be better spent on increasing our already ridiculous prison population.

All too often, NO2ID, the pre-eminent anti-ID organisation in the country, has failed to challenge the parameters of the debate, laid down for us by our leaders, restricting itself to the traditional conception of single-issue politics. As Dan points out in his two posts on the matter, this does nothing to challenge the mindset which conceives of the National Identity Database and has encouraged the raft of repressive legislation which has been introduced in recent years. Defy-ID, and the Nottingham branch particularly, have tried to transcend these limitations arguing for a consistently liberatory struggle against ID cards, with some success, although at times it feels as though we're engaged as much in opposing NO2ID as we are in opposing the database state.

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