NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International

London, Wednesday the 6th February 2002
For Immediate Use
Contact Details: Dr Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, sean@libertarian.co.uk

“IDENTITY CARDS: ASSAULT ON CIVIL LIBERTIES AND WASTE OF TAXPAYERS’ MONEY”, SAYS FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES THINK TANK

The Government’s proposed “Entitlement Card” is a closet identity card scheme, and is a threat to both civil liberties and the taxpayers’ pockets. So claims the Libertarian Alliance, Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties think tank.

Libertarian Alliance spokesman, Dr Sean Gabb, said:

“Entitlement Card, Identity Card - call it what you will - this is a solution looking for a problem. The Government’s scheme will do nothing to cut street crime or benefit fraud or illegal immigration, or anything else they claim to worry about. All experience from abroad shows that identity cards at best slightly raise the costs of committing a crime. At worst, they reduce the cost - when being able to produce a forged or stolen card often puts suspicion to sleep.”

He added that every 20th century dictatorship had used identity cards to know which people to kill or imprison, what they looked like, and where they lived.

Just some of the countries where identity cards have been used to enable mass-murder:

∙    Nazi Germany
∙    Soviet Russia
∙    Castroist Cuba
∙    Rwanda in 1994

Other countries where they have been used to facilitate petty oppression:

∙    Germany (homosexuals and nudists)
∙    Belgium (black people)
∙    Socialist Czechoslovakia (religious pilgrims)

Here in Britain, said Dr Gabb, “identity cards would be used to single out and discriminate against smokers, drinkers, members of unpopular religious movements, and the politically incorrect.”

They would also be an embarrassing failure. “We all know that the data stored on us by the State is riddled with inaccuracies. Join all that up and make it available via an identity card scheme, and every scenario becomes a certainty from the comic to the downright sinister.”

They would also be horribly expensive. “£1 billion set up costs, they tell us? Anyone who believes that will believe the Millennium Dome was a success and that aliens landed at Roswell.

“We are told these ‘Entitlement Cards’ will be voluntary. This is an insult to our intelligence. The Government would use the money laundering rules to get the banks to make production necessary for all transactions. Other bodies would be pressed into doing the Government’s dirty work, while the politicians stood back insisting that their identity cards were voluntary.”

ENDS

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