Blunkett warns of ‘Big Brother’ Britain

3:47 am - February 23rd 2009

by Newswire    

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David Blunkett, who introduced the idea of identity cards when Home Secretary, will issue a stark warning to the Government tomorrow that it is in danger of abusing its power by taking Britain towards a “Big Brother” state.

At the 21st annual law lecture in Essex University’s Colchester campus, Mr Blunkett will urge ministers to rethink policy and counter criticism from civil liberties campaigners that Labour is creating a “surveillance society.”

He will come out against the Government’s controversial plan to set up a database holding details of telephone calls and emails and its proposal to allow public bodies to share personal data with each other.

His surprise intervention will be welcomed by campaign groups, who regard him as a hardliner because of his strong backing for a national ID card scheme and tough anti-terror laws. The former home secretary will propose a U-turn on ID cards for British citizens, although he agrees with plans to make them compulsory for foreign nationals.

…more at The Independent

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Reader comments

Of course the very next section in the Independent after the bit covered here says that he would make it compulsory for UK nationals to have passports but allow them to “opt-in” to having an ID card.

So really, not a huge U-turn, since presumably the identity database will continue, and if we ever get as far as compulsory carrying of ID then people will have to carry their biometric passport if they haven’t opted in for a card.

A big blow for liberty that one Dave!

An ‘opt-in’ ID card will be more or less mandatory once they are introduced and businesses decide they are ‘useful’.

Its not ‘compulsary’ to have a bank account but try finding a job without one.

Jock: It’s still an interesting change in stance for someone like him. These are small victories we can take and accumulate

Lee – I kind of agree with the overall tenor of the article/speech, but just on the ID cards thing, I think it’s not much of a “U-Turn” the media are spinning it as.

I though foreign nationals had passports, visas and the like? What do ID cards add to this?

Incidentally, great to see airline pilots lined up against ID cards – that’s just the kind og ‘glamou’ our side needs, rather than washed-up politicians.

‘…of ‘glamour”, that is.

Damn my unruly thumbs!

Wow, at this rate Blunkett will be moving left fast enough not too look out place on the Tory front bench!

Guy Herbert’s responserefutes the notion of any significant change from Blunkett.

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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    New blog post: Blunkett warns of ‘Big Brother’ Britain

  2. Liberal Conspiracy

    New blog post: Blunkett warns of ‘Big Brother’ Britain

  3. matt_heath

    irony meter go “spoing”

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