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The view from Ireland

Posted by Helen Thursday, April 29, 2004

In this letter Anthony Coughland of the National Platform in Dublin addresses the subject of the proposed ID cards and their possible connection with developments in the EU

Trinity College Dublin

Wednesday 28 April 2004

Dear British Friends,

As an interested oberver of the British scene, may I express the hope that the Conservative Party and all true "liberals" (with a small "l") will have the good sense to oppose Home Secretary Blunkett's scheme for compulsory ID cards, with everyone having to get fingerprinted and eye-iris-photographed at £70 a time during the next few years.

Talk about Nanny State!

The impulse behind this is surely in large part the pressure towards EU "harmonization" and making Britain part of a common EU police and justice area. Then in due time everyone's intimate particulars will be fed into the EU police computers in Wiesbaden.

If this proposal succeeds in Britain, ID cards will inevitably be imposed on us here in Ireland in due time. ID cards are quite unnecessary in this day and age and any positive impact they may have on detecting terrorism is wholly marginal, as the Spaniards, Russians and others have found out. They open the door however to a significant increase in bureaucratic and police interference in people's daily lives.

I would have thought that Tony Blair and Co. lay themselves wide open to political attack for this kind of proposed "Big Brother" interference in the lives of British citizens, and that there should be rich electoral dividends for the political party or parties that oppose it.

Yours faithfully

Anthony Coughlan