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Identity cards are coming for us all
Conventions of law, bureaucracy and common decency suggest that if anyone is going to be asked for their papers, everyone must be - and that can already be observed.

Even before the EU referendum, the UK Home Office was delegating immigration checks to employers and landlords, while a debate had begun on asking for proof of citizenship in hospitals.

Where such checks have been introduced, a white face and a British or Irish accent has, of course, not been formal grounds for exemption.

What this is building towards is an electronic "everywhere" Border - based not so much on keeping certain people out as on making life difficult if they get in. It concedes that conventional frontiers are already overwhelmed and aims to turn every interaction with the state into a de facto immigration inspection.

A total of 16 million British people do not have a passport and the remainder do not want to carry theirs around at all times. As inspection requirements grow, demand for a national identity card will increase - and the unique position of the Irish will have to be accommodated.

We have been here before. Labour entered government in 1997 with a manifesto pledge against identity cards but changed its mind after 9/11, initially on security grounds, then later to combat benefit fraud and illegal immigration.

The first cards were issued in 2008, linked to a biometric database. Registration was compulsory for some non-EU foreign residents from the outset and was to be forced on everyone else in due course. The Tories scrapped the scheme immediately upon returning to office in 2010 - delightfully, the decision was announced by then home secretary Theresa May, following a prominent campaign against the "database state" by Tory MP David Davis, now her Brexit secretary.

Yet even to get this far, the scheme had to make significant compromises for Ireland.

The union flag was omitted from cards to avoid offending nationalists in Northern Ireland.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 17th, 2017 at 10:21:59 AM EST
re: international flow of people

Plans for a £3,000 "security bond" for some "high risk" overseas visitors to the UK are to be abandoned, the Home Office has confirmed. 2013

< wipes tears >

UK gov't may be compelled to ah revisit this strategy at their own invisible ports on the mainland, yanno, should Ireland's gov't be unable to master the invisible border of the colony.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 17th, 2017 at 11:57:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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