Blunkett was forced to water down his proposals for ID cards last November after objections from other cabinet members. So why the rush now? Apparently the bombings in Madrid and the arrest of suspected Islamic terrorists in Britain are the reasons for the accelerated introduction of compulsory ID cards. Yet these are obviously phoney rationales. ID cards are compulsory in Spain and the suspected terrorists were apprehended without them. Obviously, like Aznar, Blunkett and Blair are using the atrocity in Madrid to further their political agendas.
And talking of dubious logic, ministers are insisting that Britain was better prepared to meet the threat of Islamic terrorists than many of its European counterparts because of its experience in fighting the IRA. Unlike the Spanish state's experience in fighting ETA?
Getting their priorities right, one minister said "the argument has moved on from concern about civil liberties to making sure we get the logistics right." Yet civil liberties are the concern. When the Madrid bombings happened, the likes of Blair proclaimed it an attack on our way of life and democracy. And yet here the politicians are, eroding a key aspect of both by means of ID cards.
As libertarians, we should be at the forefront of resisting ID cards. Even if the excuses for introducing them were not flawed, we should not be giving the state more means of tracking us. Giving the state new powers is always a mistake.