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Shirley Williams on the Identity Card

I listened to Shirley Williams today speak about the identity card on the always excellent “Any Questions” program on Radio 4. She is not a fan. First of all she made it clear that she believed the LSE’s estimate of the cost, at £19 billion, rather than the government’s, at £5.6 billion. But then she got really quite outspoken

I think the ID cards are much more serious than people realise … the absolute key thing, and I can’t stress this enough, is that the level of data that the government proposes to collect under the ID bill … adds up, in my view, to a Big Brother scheme of the most terrifying kind.

Because it is so expensive our government will sell our data to commercial interests

It will be a record of where you’ve been, what you’ve done, who you’ve talked to, and I think its a terrifying scheme and I’m another person who’s prepared to say I wouldn’t cooperate with it in any way at all (lots of applause)

When asked if she would court jail in her resistance to ID cards, she responded

Of course … My view is that the identity card will undermine individual civil liberty so seriously that one is entitled to say that one won’t cooperate with it. I have not suggested I would use violence, I am suggesting I wouldn’t cooperate with it, nor will I.

Yes, yes, Shirley, but there’s no need to beat about the bush – tell us what you really think! 🙂

I wonder if Shirley supports No2ID?

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