Going over some visa paperwork this morning on the UK Border Agency website (the loading of which sucked up my computer’s entire capacity to do anything for four minutes), I found myself slogging through stupid shit and remembered, with considerable fury, this fucking abomination from a couple of months ago.*
Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary and total whore, announced in November that all foreign nationals wishing to live and work in the United Kingdom must acquire an ID card containing, among other things, their fingerprints and facial-scan data. This includes foreign nationals already living and working in the UK, who will need to apply for their ID cards when they seek to renew their visas.
And that includes young Bella, who is an American. And a libertarian. And who is mightily fucking pissed off.
I do not care about being ‘able to prove’ my legality ‘easily.’ As far as I’m concerned, the reason I apply for (and pay through the nose for) my visa and work permit is to put the onus on the government: it is their job to prove I am here illegally. Unless there is some reasonable cause to believe otherwise, the assumption should be that I am a law-abiding member of the public whose presence in the UK is perfectly legal.
Bella also raises a good point about why this scheme is being targeted at foreign nationals first.
Let us also keep in mind the salient fact that foreign nationals, the first people in Britain for whom this identity ’scheme’ will be mandatory, are in fact the only people living in the bloody country who are not allowed to vote. Coincidence? Je pense que non.
Quite. It is the old divide and conquer method that your humble Devil wrote about some time ago.
And so it is that the government have been able to put through some disgusting laws, by aiming them at groups that the other groups dislike. 42 days detention without trial?—well, it'll only apply to terrorists, and they're all Muslims or at the very least darkies, eh?
The scrapping of double jeopardy, habeas corpus and trial by jury?—well, that'll only apply to the eeevil criminals (no matter that they have yet to be proven such). Oh, and the darkies, of course. And the poor.
The confiscation of your assets before you are even found guilty, or reversing the burden of proof for the confiscation of assets? Well, that'll only apply to drugdealers and the like.
And none of these people are really human, are they? Not like me.
And that's how they get us; that's how they pass those laws. And, they say that they won't use them except in the most exceptional circumstances, and only against those people who aren't really human.
Except that, by the time that the laws have passed and everyone has forgotten about them, suddenly you find that they are not quite so exclusive as you might have thought—that they might, in fact, be used against you and not just against those nasty, inhuman drug-dealers.
In fact, it's fucking textbook. Let's register the filthy foreigners—with the added bonus of them not being able to vote against this—and no voter will object; then, of course, as each new group is forced into having ID Cards, then it will be rolled out across the country.
For everyone. No exeptions.
And then, of course, the "you won't have to carry the the ID Card with you" will become "you will have to carry the ID Card with you." Not only will the police randomly stop you and ask for "your papers, please", but private businesses will also do so. After all, Wetherspoons already specifies ID Cards—the "UK citizen card"—as one of only three forms of ID that it will accept.
And what is in it for businesses? Well, Unity explains that, in detail, in a post that should be required reading.
For companies who get into the business of buying and selling information from a variety of different sources, there is a big downside, a couple of obstacles that gets in the way of their building a clear and accurate information picture of you.
One of these is simply that not all the data they received is necessarily reliable. Errors can creep in and data is entered, stored and moved from location to location and, of course, people circumstances change; they move house, change jobs, have children, start or end a relationship and a thousand other things beside, all of which can mean the information that companies hold may be inaccurate or out of date in some respect.
The other big logistical problem lies in reliably tying together all the information from various sources; not only do you have the problem of possible errors in the information, itself, may be ambiguous.
What if you’ve got two people with the same name living in the household? How do you separate the information for Joe Bloggs from the information for Joe Bloggs Jr, especially if some of the information you buy is incomplete and doesn’t record middle names or ages, things which you might use to differentiate between the two?
It’s can be very difficult to combine together information from a range of different sources unless all of them have one piece of information in common, a piece of information that is unique to a particular individual…
…like the National Identity Registration Number (NIRN) which, if the ID cards scheme goes ahead, will be issued by the government to everyone who gets an ID card.
Be afraid, be very afraid. And get angry, get very angry and tell your friends why you're angry, and why they should be too. As Bella says...
I object to being scanned, printed, and tagged like a piece of fucking livestock.
So do I. Fuck you, NuLabour: fuck you and your totalitarian shit. And fuck the British people too, for sleep-walking into this shit.
Oh, and I suspect that the EU will be involved somewhere too (well, they are: they have a say on the database structures, etc.)—it is all part of the drive towards "harmonisation". Since every other country in the EU has ID Cards, we must have them too.
As such, it'll be interesting to see if Cameron and his merry men do drop the scheme, as they have promised, once Call Me Dave's EU chums have had a word in his ear.
We are being sold down the river by our power-mad, corrupt politicos; very soon, all of the freedoms that our ancestors fought for will be gone—those hard-won freedoms that even the might of Hitler's army couldn't destroy will have been bargained away by mendacious politicians.
And, depressingly, I don't think that we will see them again in my lifetime...