Lord Waddington: My Lords, I consider the amendment of great importance. It raises fundamental issues of liberty. Noble Lords will recall that in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith saw written on the walls of the Ministry of Truth “War is peace. Freedom is slavery”. I was reminded of those words the other day when some noble Lords on the government Benches said that requiring a person to register, requiring a person to buy an identity card, was to grant him “a new kind of freedom”. Those were the very words used by the noble Lord, Lord Gould, on 15 November last year, at col. 1012, when talking about these matters.
I believe that most people will agree that while identity cards might bring some benefits to the individual, compulsory registration means an inroad on liberty and privacy and that when the Lord Chancellor said at the weekend that identity cards would make it easier for the citizen to deal with the state, what he really meant was that they would make it easier for the state to deal with the citizen.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Lords make ID cards voluntary
The Lords have made another key set of amendments to the ID Cards Bill, removing the means by which the government could force applicants for new passports or driving licences to register for a card: