In defence of an Identity Card

12 December 2021

Tony Czarnecki, Sustensis

I have a high regard for Dominic Grieve and his independent views. But this time I completely disagree with him view on voters’ ID cards. The governments’ view so far has been that it is enough to show a voting card (and sometimes even that is not necessary). Now, the government wants to introduce so called voters’ ID cards because it can see it would give it an electoral advantage and would also introduce an ID card through the back door.  must be incredible for most people in Europe. The Labour’s argument supported now by Dominic Grieve is that requiring ID cards would make poor people less keen to vote.

I believe he problem is not just with the voters’ ID card but with ID cards in generalt because that is really the core issue.

That could only be understood if such people are illegal in a country like Britain (there may be tens of thousands of people in London alone in such a position. Just to make it clear. I am a strong supporter of the Electoral Reform Society in Britain. This includes not only my support for a deep reform of the British voting system, PR, etc. but going even further – the support for the second chamber of the Parliament – A Citizens’ Senate (see: Therefore, I am in no way a ‘pro-government’ sympathizer. However, if you have a scientific mind, you must be devil’s advocate.

Why do we have such a stubborn opposition against the ID cards across the party lines and the society? I think it is the result of self-brainwashing, which is closely linked to an absolute notion of liberalism. I consider myself a liberal and believe freedom is sacrosanct. But I believe the ID card debate is closely related to the misconception of freedom. There is NO absolute freedom. It is a fallacy. To survive, we must co-operate and that means sharing our freedom. That also includes sovereignty, which for those who have voted for Brexit in the UK, or support Marine Le Pen in France, means there has never been and never will be an absolute sovereignty. What happens today in America is the best example of misunderstanding of the very concept of freedom.

The ID cards would in some way limit our freedom to be ‘unknown’ and have an illusion that we are not under a direct control of the state. And it is indeed an absolute illusion that the government does not know about us anything unless they introduce mandatory ID card. The government, if it wants, can have far more information about you right now, than it would ever have, when looking at your future ID card data. Google, Facebook or even Sainsburys in the UK, Kaufland in Germany or Carrefour in France have far more comprehensive information about who you are (using AI) than the government has.

Secondly, ID card would solve lot of problems that are being created by its absence, e.g., who has the right to be in this country (controlling migration), or who can have access to government services, to mention just these two areas. It would make the whole governance less expensive. All EU countries have ID cards. Would you say that France or Germany are less democratic than the UK, especially under Boris Johnson?

Showing ID card as a prove of identity when you vote in almost any country in the world is an obvious, well understood, and accepted procedure. Why should Britain be an exception? What is so special about Britain? It is perhaps just an anachronistic, and cleverly used argument by all parties to demonstrate that the British people are somehow superbly free by not having mandatory ID cards and can lead their lives as they please without the government interference. But in fact, Britain has the highest number of cameras per capita than any European country. For example, there are 68 surveillance cameras per 1,000 citizens in London, and only 11 in Berlin). This is also true at a community/local level. Britain has the most centralized government in Europe. Finally, since I am not a politically correct person, I agree that those who would have to show ID cards when voting, are probably the very people who do not bother to vote, and who would in most cases vote Labour. Labour would not admit it because it would have sounded discriminatory. But voting is an extremely important business and should be treated seriously. Therefore, it should be mandatory, like in Australia or Belgium. Then the whole ID card’s use for voting would go away.