Taking the pledge

26Sep08

I have become increasingly concerned about the proposed use of the National Idenitity Register here in the UK. State surveillance, and it’s more or less totally unapologetic about it. I do not buy the government’s claims that by sacrificing my freedom to have a private life free from state intervention and surveillance (at all levels) I will be more secure (and nor, apparently, do security experts or the police).

As Benjamin Franklin said: “he who sacrifices freedom for security is neither free nor secure”.

So, I joined the No2ID campaign some time ago, and have done everything I can to secure my opt-outs where possible. However, the announcements yesterday by the government that despite the massive compromises on data security in the last couple of years AND the spiralling costs AND the general opposition amongst the population it is still ploughing on with the scheme. And it starts with foreign nationals, because we all know they’re untrustworthy, right? PAH! Makes me sick to my stomach, to think they’ll whizz that right on through because they think no one will protest the fact that foreign nationals have equal civil rights to UK citizens.

I do.

I have hesitated to fully take this pledge for some time now, because as a parent I have to think through the implications: if this iniquitous piece of legislation is implemented and I do not comply, I will be imprisoned. I need also to consider that I and my family may well be excluded from accessing some forms of public service: education services, the NHS, for example. I may lose some civil liberties: the right to vote, for example. Do I feel strongly enough about it to put my kids in that position? After yesterday, the answer to that is yes, I do.

And so, I solemnly and publicly promise that:

  • I shall not register for a national identity card
  • I shall not supply personal details or fingerprints to a National Identity Register
  • I shall not apply for any document or service if joining the National Identity Register is a condition of obtaining it
  • I shall not co-operate with any Identity and Passport Service Interview concerning my identity.

and furthermore, I will not allow any agency to register my children’s personal details and fingerprints, will not allow them to apply for any document or service if joining the NIR is a condition, and I will not co-operate with any attempt of the IPS to interview my children concerning their identity.

I will encourage others to do the same.

And that is my pledge.

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