Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Thoughts on ID cards.

OK, so not strictly about language, but maybe about we define ourselves...identity and language are linked, right?
Yeah, that's not tenuous at all.
Anyway. National ID cards, Personal Information database. The UK Government are trying really hard to get this stuff through and every fibre of my being cries out against it. I don't know which is more scary, the idea of an inept government - who leave sensitive information on laptops on trains, and lose CDroms with the names and addresses of every parent in the country - having all my personal details on a database, or the idea of a more efficient government one day having the same thing. Lets think about regimes known for valuing order and efficiency and wanting everyone to carry their Papiere - sorry, papers - around with them. Not good, is it?
And then there's the cards themselves. HOW do these prevent identity theft? By putting your identity on a handily stealable pocket sized bit of plastic? It just seems doomed from the start as any kind of a plan.
But it will happen. Mark my words.
How do I know? Because as a nation we like cheap booze. The government now sanctions shops and supermarkets VERY heavily if they are caught selling drink to anyone who MIGHT be underage. Stay with me here: it's all connected. I can't imagine that the government want us to stop buying booze. Real ales, for example, are one of the few surviving british exports. The taxes they stick on alcohol have got to be pretty useful too. The health service keep lobbying for booze to get more expensive and more difficult to buy in bulk but from what I've seen it's only getting cheaper.
But in order to pacify the health lobby, the government promises to get tough on underage drinking.
How can we curb underage drinking? Ask everyone to show ID when they buy beer.
Ah HA!
Seriously. It's doing my head in. I'm THIRTY! My partner is 33! We tried to by a measly bottle of wine at the supermarket. The wife had TAUGHT one of that outlet's cashiers (who irritatingly wasn't in that day) for five years. And because neither of us carry ID, we couldn't have wine. I'm not going to carry my passport around. It costs like £100 to replace if I lose it. I don't drive. So now I can only buy the crap, overpriced wine at the local shop where they know my face.
Standing in the city centre with my partner, wineless and ranting with frustration, I'd've given ANYthing for an ID card at that moment.
And that is why it will happen.
Just watch.
As a side note: When the NO2I.D. campaign ask you to sign a petition, and you do, and you put your address and postcode, aren't you creating a database of your personal details and SENDING IT TO THE GOVERNMENT?
How much of an own goal is that?


  1. Oh! You SO should have done my Foucault module. It would have dulled your sense of outrage into a pathetic acquiescence into the technologies of surveillance in the 21st century state. (But, oh no! YOU wanted to do my psychoanalysis module, so don't blame me for your paranoia....)

    You're 30? Really? Maybe that's why you're not allowed to buy wine -- you look 15. Suffer.

  2. It's the immaturity shining through...