Fainting in Coyles
An occasional letter from the Heart of Euroville

Thursday, July 17, 2003  

The ID card - A personal statement.

It is a little known fact that the drive towards an ID card in the UK is driven, as so many things that fit uncomfortably upon Briton, by a desire to be more communitaire.
Though I have learnt over my four years working within and without Euroville to distrust most things with similar provenance my objections to ID card predate these concerns.

When I was about 11 it was pointed out to me by one of my teachers, a Mr Colville if I remember rightly, that the concept of the free born Englishman predated, by at least 100 years those same Englishmen being given the right to vote. He taught me that there were two great traditions in our history, one the Whiggish golden thread of our constitution and the other more radical of the Levellers,

the Dorset Clubmen and the Tolpuddle Martyrs and that was just in my home county of Dorset.

What he taught me that there is a great tradition within my land of refusing to doff our cap to our betters. Of standing up for our independence, whether or not that threat came from at home or abroad.

The ID card is an imposition, pure and simple, no doubt it will be another of the Governments favourite project – the self financing project, thus we will pay the state extra in order for the state to remove our liberties. The state will then prosecute those of us who refuse to carry one of these blessed objects.

The Telegraph carried a story the other day about a man called Clarence Henry Willcock. A hero for his time and one for ours as well. He was stopped on December 7th 1950 in Finchly he refused to proffer his card. The rest is history. There is one fine footnote,
“In 1951, the Tories won the general election, and abolished ID cards the following year. Mr Willcock lived just long enough to see them go. He dropped dead in the National Liberal Club in December 1952 while debating the case against socialism.”
I will never carry an ID card in the UK, I will go to gaol rather than do so. I also suggest that others who feel as I do also screw their courage to this sticking post.

December 7th seems to be a very good day to launch a serious co-ordinated campaign to rid the Government of this pernicious idea. Will anybody join me?

posted by Eliab | 6:29 pm
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