22 June 2006
Following former Home Secretary David Blunkett’s admission that ID cards were intended to track residents of the UK , at Prime Minister’s questions yesterday, Tony Blair said: I should also say that if we want to keep track of people in this country, in the end we will have to face up to the difficult decision on identity cards.
Phil Booth, NO2ID  National Coordinator said:
These are damning admissions that directly contradict what Home Office ministers said  while forcing through the ID cards legislation.
The Government can’t keep track of relatively few child sex offenders, and of foreigners who are already in prison. Its answer: everybody should be tracked all the time. But isn’t it strange how the answer came before the question? Mr Blair and his authoritarian cabal decided to build a surveillance state as far back as 2003, perhaps earlier, with their “entitlement cards”. Why didn’t they come clean before now?
- ENDS -
Notes for editors
1) On BBC Radio 4’s Today show, Wednesday 14th June, replying to question about amnesty for illegal immigrants, David Blunkett said:
Blunkett: Not without identity cards. We had a little debate – it was supposed to be under Chatham House rules at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in 2003, it immediately was released, as ever* about this issue, because I was asked this question specifically by a journalist. I said it’s impossible to have an amnesty without ID cards and a clean database, because you firstly don’t have any incentives for people to actually come up front and register, and make themselves available, and secondly you have no means of tracking them.
* repudiated by Chatham House, here:
2) Hansard, 21 Jun 2006 – Column 1312.
3) NO2ID is the non-partisan national campaign against ID cards and the database state. See http://www.no2id.net
4) In a letter to The Observer on March 26, entitled ‘ID cards will not mean we are watching you’, then Home Office Minister responsible for ID cards, Andy Burnham wrote: “The scheme will not track your life’s activities.” -