EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01, 25/9/06
Blair “building tools of totalitarianism”
Civil liberty campaigners NO2ID  this evening attacked Tony Blair on
his personal role in promoting the national identity scheme and ID cards, branding both him and it a dangerous threat to civil liberties. A full-page advertisement in an edition of The Guardian to be distributed at Labour Party Conference on Monday shows Blair in menacing monochrome, with a bar-code forming a Hitler-style moustache, over the words “ID cards have worked well in Europe before.”
Phil Booth, NO2ID’s National Coordinator said:
Tony Blair is not Hitler. But he has personally driven this insidious ID scheme. Sneering at the idea that citizens could have anything to fear from a state they have learnt to distrust, he calls it modernisation .
History says different. It is an old idea.
The vast majority of ID schemes in Europe were started or imposed on whole populations by dictators, or under Nazi or Soviet occupation. Almost all have been used to harass political opposition, bully minorities, or facilitate mass-murder. Everywhere – without exception – the purpose has been monitoring the people for official purposes.
Blair, in thrall to technologies he barely understands, proposes to number, tag and track everyone and allow government to link unprecedented amounts of personal information . He is blindly building the tools of totalitarianism simply because they might come in handy, with no control or clue as to how they ultimately will be used.
Notes for editors:
1) NO2ID is the non-partisan national campaign against ID cards and the database state. See http://www.no2id.net
2) Reproduced here: http://www.silicon.com/publicsector/0,3800010403,39164469-2,00.htm
3) E.g. Tony Blair: “I don’t destroy liberties, I protect them”, The Observer, 26 February 2006
4) See, for example:
Cabinet Office ‘Transformational Government’ strategy – http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/e-government/strategy/
Citizen Information Project – http://www.gro.gov.uk/cip/
Vision Statement on Information Sharing, 13 September 2006 -