The Cost Of Life?

13 10 2007

The debate “raging” in the UK over ID cards astounds me. To begin with, is cost really the most viable argument against them? At least those hiding behind “civil liberties” arguments have some basis. After all, these protections are said to be a response to international terrorism, and so a logical counter-argument is that if we allow our fear of terrorism to push us into eroding the civil liberties which make our democracy what it is, then the terrorists win.

This, at least, has some attractiveness, until you (hopefully) realise it’s a gross over-simplification. What we are talking about is not the eroding of rights, but the balancing of rights against one another. After all, the right to life is also a fundamental right, worthy of protection I’m sure we agree.

However if you are trying to argue that the cost of something designed to save lives (at least that is how it is being billed, I’m not going to touch upon whether that’s the true motivation) is prohibitive then something is seriously wrong with your mindset. The argument that citizens shouldn’t have to pay twice is like the argument used by some that parents who send their children to private school shouldn’t pay taxes towards public schools (except that has some merit).

I’m in favour of ID cards, since the unbelievably straightforward logic of “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide” stands strong in the face of any possible counter-argument. There will always be people who fear the Orwellian nightmare but Orwell wrote his book in 1948 and, thankfully, his concerns have never materialised since. It never will, to say otherwise is scaremongering.


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3 responses

14 10 2007
Jean/jml

Gee, our licenses here have a load of info on them. They use to be renewed every few years but now I think they extended the time limit to save money.

14 10 2007
Jean/jml

Sorry — you get two for one comments making you feel popular and worth reading (LOL), but would these be renewed every year or every few years? I did not see that info.

14 10 2007
Mr President

As far as I know they haven’t revealed how often. Passports are renewed every 5 years when you’re under 18, 10 years after that (face changes more often as a child, obviously). I presume ID cards will follow similar lengths of time. It’s highly unlikely to need to renew it every year.

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